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Fairy Doors of Ann Arbor

Discover the magic world of the tiny ornate doors

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin
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Ann Arbor hides numerous enchanting portals to the fairy world. Sometimes you just need to look a little closer to spot them, but sometimes you might come across one simply walking down the street. These tiny doors are told to be the entryways into the fairy realm. They can be seen year-round, but it might be more pleasant to go on the fairy door quest when the weather is nice.

The first of the fairy doors were "discovered" in 1993 by Jonathan B. Wright, Ann Arbor's resident fairyologist. His family was renovating their old home when the young daughters found magical portals: a series of tiny, six-inch doors had appeared in several places around the house. Subsequently, other doors have appeared around Ann Arbor.

Where to find the Fairy Doors

About two dozen minuscule doors have been discovered around the city of Ann Arbor. Some of them are exterior, while others interior. Several doors have tiny windows next to them; occasionally, the lights are on, but when they are off, the fairies are likely to be roaming the city. In some instances, fairy doors mimic the human doors they are placed next to. Some of the doors have diminutive interiors that you can have a peek at. It's so much fun to crouch down and see the world of the fairies. Urban Fairies are as fickle as flower fairies, so the locations of fairy doors change unexpectedly. There may not be a door when you come to have a look. You can find the most up-to-date list of the fairy door locations on the Urban Fairies website (see the "External Resources" section below), run by Jonathan B. Wright himself. Some of the loveliest fairy doors are located at Red Shoes Home Goods (check out the "Ours" sign referring to the human "Hours" info), Sweetwaters Coffee and Tea (a tiny interior door with a fairy version of the cafe, where you can turn the lights on and off), Michigan Theater Box Office (look through the fairies' entrance to the theater and you'll discover the viewing room complete with a screen), and Ann Arbor District Library ("Folklore & Fairytales" section in the youth department boasts not only a door but also tiny windows in several of the books). There are also lots of "independent" fairy doors that have popped up across the city. So keep your eyes wide-open when walking the streets of Ann Arbor.

Selo Shevel Gallery fairy door closeup (already vanished) 2020
Selo Shevel Gallery fairy door closeup (already vanished)
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Fairy Door at Sweetwaters Cafe 2020
Fairy Door at Sweetwaters Cafe
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Fairy door and windows at Ann Arbor Library 2020
Fairy door and windows at Ann Arbor Library
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