In 1917, two cousins from Cottingley, near Bradford, photographed what they claimed were fairies. Frances Griffiths, 10 years old at the time, is seen here with their fairy friends, and Elsie Wright, age 16, is behind the camera. These were the famous Cottingley Fairies, vouched for by none other than Arthur Conan Doyle, inventor of the world’s most rational detective.
I make no bones about messing with an actual photo, since the photo is itself a very successful hoax. It seemed only right to put young Frances in a leaf. Below are the five original photos, the first of which I used in my mash-up. It’s sad to think that these enterprising girls went on to live thoroughly conventional lives. But I’ll leave the last devastating word to Frances:
I never even thought of it as being a fraud – it was just Elsie and I having a bit of fun and I can’t understand to this day why they were taken in – they wanted to be taken in.