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  • Writer's picturePhil Parker

You know you're in an urban fantasy when...

  • The night has eyes (and they’re oval shaped and red)

  • There’s a doorway to another world and it’s covered in ivy

  • The stranger refers to cars as metal boxes with wheels

  • Drains and gutters offer lots of reasons why you don’t go near them

  • You mention the word Fairy and everyone looks suddenly very nervous – or –

  • You mention the word Fairy and you’re told it’s spelled Faerie – or –

  • You discover fairies don’t like the term fairy. Or Faerie. “We are the Sidhe.”

  • No one knows how to pronounce the word ‘sidhe’.

  • An annoying expert in all things mythological suddenly turns up

  • The pet dog or cat is anything but what it seems

  • The thing scratching the window pane? It’s not a branch in a breeze.

  • A little kid starts talking to an imaginary friend who has bizarre opinions

  • There’s an Anointed One. They’re a pain in the arse

  • There are footprints in the garden, someone’s wearing Hobbit boots again

  • That dog that’s howling at the moon tonight? It’s not a dog.

  • A book of fairy tales is mysteriously laid open on a table

  • That woman with the long, flowing hair and perfect skin? Yeah. Not a woman.

  • You look for pointy ears, there aren’t any. Lots of pointy teeth though.

  • The cat won’t go upstairs any more, it spits and hisses at nothing.

  • The new neighbours are from Sweden. Who claim Uppsala is the capital. (You Googled it, it was until 1436!)

  • The milk goes sour very quickly these days, even in the fridge.

  • A written message on the frozen window – the Elder wants to see you.

  • The kid with the unibrow who delivers the pizzas? Don’t eat the pizzas!

  • Oak leaves on the patio are arranged so they spell out DANGER

  • Ants appear on the worktop, they form the words YES! DANGER!

  • The water pipes make banging noises at midnight, every night.

  • That dead tree in the garden you want to cut down? It’s called The Witch’s Tree and each time you’ve tried to cut it down, the chain saw stops working.

Let's have some fun. Give me some more signs that you're in an urban fantasy! Why not get in touch on Twitter - tweet me your answers with the hashtag #Youreinanurbanfantasywhen... at

Good luck!


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