These mushrooms are part of every fairtytale book from my childhood. Yet they are apparently really quite toxic; if ingested in small quantities they have hallucinogenic side-effects. They were used by shamans to assist them in talking to the gods. They also inhibit the fear reflex in the amygdala - the part of the brain responsible for fear; so the Vikings ate them before embarking on a battle.
I still like to imagine that fairies live under them and are the inspiration for fairy ball gowns. I shall visualise a red and white spotted ball gown for the fairy queen in my dreams tonight.