The Swedish courts took up a perplexing case in 1656: Småland maid Karin Svensdotter claimed to have had a sexual relationship with the King of the Fairies. She said she’d met a beautiful man in golden clothes who called himself Älvakungen and courted her with gifts. She’d borne him seven children, which he’d taken away to the land of the fairies. She said she’d given birth during recurring fits, from which she was known to suffer, and her employer testified that he’d heard her searching for her children in the forest.
In the 17th century the church acknowledged the existence of mythical creatures, and consorting with nature spirits such as Älvakungen would have constituted bestiality, for which a human might face a death sentence. After some consideration, though, it was determined that Svensdotter had been driven mad by Satan’s magic. The congregation was ordered to pray for her, relatives gave her a silver cross, and Älvakungen never troubled her again.