For a brief moment after World War One, everyone was obsessed with fairies.
It started with a series of black and white photographs, showing two schoolgirls in Edwardian clothes frolicking in the garden with tiny, winged fairies.
To the contemporary eye, it's no surprise the photos of the Cottingley Fairies were faked. But in 1920, when the camera was still considered a mysterious and scientific instrument, they captured imaginations far and wide.
Even the great writer and intellectual Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, of Sherlock Holmes fame, championed the photos as evidence that his spiritualist inquiries were based firmly in the real world.
The Cottingley Fairies might be the most recognisable example of early-20th-century interest in the 'fair folk', but they are certainly not the only one. There was, in fact, a society of people, some of whom were hugely influential, who met regularly to discuss fairy sightings and hear from people who'd had their own fairy experiences.
During the horrors of World War I, many people sought comfort via all manners and mediums of supernatural practice. And fairies, being as they were conveniently located at the bottom of the garden, were particularly popular.
A society of eccentrics
Simon Young, a British historian and expert in folklore and accounts of the supernatural, gives a frank account of the original Fairy Investigation Society.
He says it was "an organisation that was set up in the United Kingdom in the 1920s by a bunch of bohemian eccentrics in London".
"It was necessary to believe in fairies to join the Fairy Investigation Society," he adds.
The society was patronised by a number of notable historical figures.
Dr Young notes that "probably the single most famous individual in the Fairy Investigation Society was Walt Disney".
"He was, let's say, a sleeper member. He was interested but he wasn't taking a very active role," Dr Young explains.
More active members included Lord Dowding, the man hailed as winning the Battle of Britain; surrealist painter Ithell Colquhoun; Scottish novelist Naomi Mitchison; Irish scholar Walter Starkie; and poet and colonialist Victor Purcell.
It might come as a surprise to 21st-century readers that the society was set up by a man of science.
Captain Sir Quentin CA Craufurd was an early pioneer in developing radio technology.
"He actually made some quite important inventions for the British Navy, in terms of wireless technology," Dr Young says.
"He became interested in, as many of these people in the '20s and '30s did, fairies because he was interested in communicating with the dead.
"He basically used radio to communicate with a group of marsh elves — this was somewhere on the outskirts of London — and to his own satisfaction, tuning the radio, he believed that he was getting messages from these elves.
"They even on one occasion told him where to dig for some treasure."
A fairy census
Sadly for fairy history researchers, most of the original Fairy Investigation Society's documents were lost during the Blitz. They were probably kept in Craufurd's house in London.
After World War II, a secretary from Nottingham named Marjorie Johnson revived the society.
"She basically ran the society herself," Dr Young says.
"She enabled meetings between other individuals but she was the beating heart of the society."
Johnson also began the process that would become the society's greatest work: a collection of individual accounts of fairy experiences, intermingled with collated folklore — a fairy census of sorts.
But by the turn of the century, the society had been all but relegated to the annals of history.
A digital rebirth
That we're living in an age of reboots is not a particularly original observation. But it's still surprising that the society was revived a few years ago, especially considering that fairies don't feature in public discourse all that much.
But Dr Young, who's now the administrator for the group that is based wholly online, says it is more successful than ever. It even has more members than the original.
There is, however, one key change to the original society's rules.
Unlike its first two incarnations, today's society doesn't require its members to be 100 per cent sold on the existence of sprites. They just have to have an open mind.
"I'd like to say, I'm a fairy sceptic but with a very small 's'," Dr Young says.
"I take very seriously people who've had these experiences. I'm not quite sure how to explain those experiences, but I wouldn't just write them off.
"Many people who join the Fairy Investigation Society, are probably also fairy sceptics like me, but they have this interest in fairy lore."
In a continuation of Johnson's legacy, the new society also gathers accounts of fairy sightings, this time by anonymous mailing list, into a published collection.
Dr Young says they have received upwards of 500 responses.
"One of the things that most fascinates me is how fairies change when people see them. If you talked to people 150 years ago, you never ever saw fairies with wings," he says.
"When Marjorie Johnson collected her sightings, lots of people [saw] fairies with wings. And by now, its not universal but many many people see fairies with wings."
As an academic, Dr Young believes it is his responsibility to mount projects like the renewed society.
"I think it really does fall on us to try and understand all parts of human experience. And this is one part of human experience. Their voices need to be heard as well," he says.