Though Le Fanu does not overtly present the tradition, the emphasis on the offspring of Laura suggests that the fairy man's motivation was to strengthen the fairy race through human blood. Le Fanu never clearly describes the 'grand-looking' lady but instead focuses on the black woman whose sinister appearance, compared to a 'death's head', signifies the evil behind the fair lady's charming overtures to the child. In 'Ghost Stories of Chapelizod' Le Fanu introduces this set of supposedly local legends by emphasizing that the village of Chapelizod supports his claim that 'there is no such thing as an ancient village, especially if it has seen better days, unillustrated by its legends of terror'. Ivan Melada points out the Gothic precedent to Le Fanu's use of the fantastic here in Sheridan Le Fanu 'A figure stepping out of a portrait is a stock occurrence in the Gothic novel; an instance of it is found in Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto'.