Myth and Folklore Wiki

Here is a list of (almost) all Slavic mythical creatures.



A depiction of the Alkonost, by Ivan Bilibin (1905)

Alkonost, who gets her name from the Greek demigod Alyclone, is a creature with the body of a bird and the head of a woman. Her voice is incredibly beautiful and alluring, causing people to forget everything and never be able to experience happiness like hearing the voice again. She lives in the underworld with her counterpart, who is named Sirin, who appears in an orchard during the morning to cry on the Apple Feast of the Savior Day. In the afternoon, Alkonost sits in the tree Sirin was in and starts to celebrate, laugh and rejoice. She would also lay eggs and put them on the bottom of the sea, where they would cause rough seas and large thunderstorms over it.



A depiction of the Azhdaya, by Ivan Bilibin (1912)

Azhdaya is the demonic version of Zmaj, a dragon. It is over one hundred years old. Usually they have an odd number of heads, rarely two. They spit fire, have a terrible roar and have an evil look on their faces. They live in caves or mountains, from which they escape, then cause eruptions or hailstorms and devour humans and cattle. They were so well known in Slavic Pagan, European and Baltic folklore that Christianity adopted it as perfect image for devil - being greedy and hungry all the time as well as being extremely hostile to all living beings. In Serbia it is thought that St. George killed an Azhdaya.

Baba Yaga[]

Баба Яга

Baba Yaga by Viktor Vasnetsov

Main article: Baba Yaga

Baba Yaga is a witch, known in Eastern Slavic countries. In the majority of tales, she is represented as an evil being who rides either a broom or mortar, wields a pestle, scares children and eats them. However, in a select few tales, she gives her wisdom to protagonists. She lives in a forest hut that has chicken legs.


Babay or Babai, similar to the boogeyman, is a night spirit used to scare children. In Russia, he is known as Babayka, and in Ukraine is known as Babayko. He is described as a pitch-black, old, crooked man who carries around a bag and cane. He is also depicted with physical defects, which vary from tale to tale. Some of them are muteness, amputated limbs, and lameness. He kidnaps children who are misbehaving and who do not sleep. In some tales, he will watch children through their windows, tapping, scratching, or knocking on the window to scare the child. He lives in the forest, swamps, or gardens.

Baba Roga[]

Unfinished Baba-Roga 02

Baba Roga by Ivica Stevanovic

Baba Roga (not to be mistaken with Baba Yaga!) is a creature known among Southern Slavs. She is represented as a very ugly, hunchbacked old woman with a horn on her head, and in some tales, iron teeth. She lives in dark caves. According to folktales, Baba Roga likes to steal naughty children and to bring them to her lair.


Balachko by wiggers123 dejd4uc-fullview

Balachko by John Wigley

Balachko is 3-headed giant from Serbian tales. From one head he could spit fire and from the second head he could breathe cold wind. When he depleted his magical weapons, he was easy to kill. He was under the rule of Mihailo, the king of Leđane. He was killed by the Serbian hero Miloš Vojinović when he tried to kidnap Princess Roksanda, the bride of Tsar Dušan. This tale was told in the Serbian epic poem "Tsar Dušan's wedding" (Женидба Душанова). He was referred to as a Voivode.



Bauk by Dejano Jovanovic

Bauk was a creature from Southern Slavic beliefs, especially from Serbian beliefs. Parents used to scare children with him. The word bauljati is used to describe when somebody walks weirdly, which originates from Bauk. Bauk walked weirdly and lived in dark places- in holes or abandoned houses from where he preys upon humans and eats them. The only way to banish Bauk is to use light or noise. The English word that is similar to Bauk is ogre.


Beda (bijeda or "misery") is a demon from Southern Slavic folklore and is descended from ghosts. One translation of her name is Chuma, meaning "plague". She wanders across the world, attacks people and tortures them. There are sayings like "Beda found them" or "Beda follows them from cradle to grave". Beda is a bony and slimy creature that breeds very quickly, likes to steal things from people and to dig the stolen objects deep into the ground.



An image of Bies (Bes) from the book "The bestiary of Slovian Countries," illustrated by Paweł Zych and Witold Vargas

Bes is demon from Serbian folktales. Its name in English is literally "Anger". They like to possess people and animals, causing them to feel extreme rage. Bes is evoked when somebody threads on Sunday or spits on fire. The name Bes is very old one, used for a demon and can be encountered and in Egyptian mythology.


Besomar is a demon that is connected to disgust and hatred that had similarities with the Werewolf or Vampire. Sometimes, historians mistake Besomar for the two, saying that it is just another name for same demon. Its name is made up of and comes from bes (anger, rage) and with mora (torture, death). Some historians say that Besomar is king of all Bes spirits, while some say that it is another name for Chernobog.



A depiction of the Bukavac by Veronika Kozlova (2017)

Bukavac is demonic creature from Southern Slavic tales, especially of Serbs that live on northern part of Serbia. Similar to Drekavac, it likes to yell very loudly, but unlike Drekavac, it lives close to swamps, rivers and lakes and has different look. It has six legs, slimy skin, big mouth, long tail and long curved horns on head. It likes to drown people and animals who happen to walk close to their watery lair at late night. During the 1900s locals reported sightings of this creature on the shores of the Sava river in the region of Syrmia.



A depiction of the Chort from "Russian National Fairytales" by Boris Zabirohin (2008)

Chort is demon from Russian folklore whose name passed into similar-worded Russian swearing (chyort - damn). It is usually represented as human with goat's hind legs, long tail and goat's horns, known to bring misery to anybody that it encounters or to destroy their property. Its look is adapted into Christianity for devil. It appears as one of monsters in Witcher III game.


Chuma is embodiment of Black Death disease from Serbian folktales. According to them, it is represented as ugly old woman with big eyes and messy hair. Chuma appeared at night from attic or chimney, carrying clay bowl with arrows. People tended to wash their dishes before sleep, because Chuma had habit to scratch them with her dirty nails and to poison them.


Danitsa is Slavic name for Venus planet which could be seen as morning star that calls upon the dawn. In folk tales, it is represented as sister of Sun or Moon, sometimes even as daughter of Sun.



Domovoi illustration by Ivan Bilibin (1934)

Domovoy (or Domovoi, Domovik, Matsich) is house spirit known in all Slavic countries. He is a forlorn character, and his stifled sobs are heard when the house creaks and groans in the night. Represented as tiny middle-aged man with fur cloak and sometimes depicted as a hunchback that looks like a bundle of hay, he guarded houses and cared for cattle and therefore connected with God Veles. He could transform into dog, cat and cow, snake, or frog. He lived often in corner close to hearth, in the attic or in the garden. He could be heard, but it was dangerous to be seen. If the residents of the home didn't bring tribute to him (in form of bread or wheat), he abandoned their home and cause sickness of inhabitants and cattle. When someone in the household was about to die, the Domovoy could be heard crying very loudly at night.


Drekavac (Drekavac or Screamer) is demon from Southern Slavic folklore, created from dead, unbaptized toddlers. It is represented as tiny hairy creature with long sharp claws and long fur, which he stomps upon and yells in mixture of child's cry, scream and wolf's howling. He could scream so loudly that people could get deaf from him. He lives on graveyards, in forests or shores of rivers, generally, in places where it died as human. If human approaches him, he could jump on their back and force them to run until first calls of rooster. If human resists Drekavac, their face could be shredded with claws. Drekavac is afraid of light and dogs. Drekavac is commonly sighted in the forests of Mount Zlatbor in Serbia.



"The bird Gamayun," a depiction of the Gamayun by Viktor Mikhailovich Vasnetsov (1898)

Gamayun is prophetic bird from Eastern Slavic folklore. Pretty much like Alkonost and Sirin, she is imagined as large bird with head of beautiful woman who live close to Iriy. As messenger of God Veles , she spreaded divine messages and prophecies to everybody who could hear her. She knew everything about creation of sky and Earth, Gods, heroes, creatures, animals and birds. When she flies from the East, she could bring deadly storms.


German (or Djerman) is creature from Southern Slavic folklore tied to weather. He could cause hailstorms, rain and thunderstorms. People used to create little figures out of clay to evoke rain during Summer Solstice (or Kupala celebration).



A depiction of the Kikimora by Ivan Bilibin (1934)

Main article: Kikimora

Kikimora is female house spirit that is known in Eastern Slavic countries. There are two different kinds of Kikimoras. The one that comes from the house is married to the Domovoi. The other one comes from the swamp and is married to Leshy. It is said that she can be identified by her wet footprints. When home builders wanted to cause harm to someone buying a house, they would bring in Kikimora. Once she is inside, it is difficult to get her to leave. Her role in house is juxtaposed with Domovoi, and is usually bad in comparison with him. She lives in cellar and behind stoves and produce noises similar to mouse. She scares naughty children and sometimes could be seen spinning thread in cellar.


Leshy (1906)

An image of the Leshy by N. N. Brut (1906)

Main article: Leshy

Lesnik, also known as Leshiy, Lesovik and many, many more things, is a spirit known in all Slavic countries. His name translated from Russian means "from the forest" and he is a deity of the forests. His domain as spirit is to protect forests and the wildlife that inhabits them. He can change his size from size of grass to the tallest tree and has the ability to take whatever shape he wishes to. He has blue cheeks because of his blue blood, vivid green eyes, pale skin, and his hair and beard are created from grass and vines. Slavs thought that migrations of animals were actually Lesnik's orders. Farmers and shepherds usually made pacts with him so he could take care of their animals and farms. Lesnik is also a trickster. For example, he is known to lead people wrong direction in forests, where he could tickle them to death. Because of this, people formed a habit to wear their clothes upside-down to prevent getting lost. If two Lesnitsy meet each other, they may wreak havoc upon forests, destroying trees and scaring animals away. He also has a wife called Lesovika.


Likho is demon of misfortune known in all Slavic countries. She is represented as old skinny woman with one eye who is wearing black clothing. She is usually found in fairytales.


Milosnitse are demons of plague, known in all Slavic countries. Their name in English would be merciful ones and Slavs called them like that, because they wanted to appease them and to avoid plague that they bring. They are represented as women in black and they walked in groups, rarely alone. Amount of Milosnitse was measured by amount of sicknesses that they brought. There was no cure from them, but there was a way to appease them and to eventually avoid their plagues. People could light fires on crossroads and on village's entrance and they could share food and drink and even sing before fire.



Mora by Ana Omi

Mora is night demon that, because of her name is usually mistaken with Marzanna (Morana). She is created from girl baby that is born with blood and had habit to sit on people's chest while they are sleeping and drink their blood. They could take form of hair or straw and could pass trough keyhole.



A depiction of Moryana from the book "Characters of Slavic mythology" by A. A. Kononenko (1993)

Moryana is a female sea spirit, and she is also often confused with Marzanna. She can be both good and bad. She is able to cause storms and prevent them. Moryana is usually described as a long-haired maiden of enormous growth. There is a speculation that she was originally a goddess associated with water and wind.


Nav (plural Navi, Mavke or Navke) is demon known in all Slavic countries. As they shared name with Nav - realm of dead and are created from dead, unbaptized babies, they embodied death itself. They are represented as black birds with baby heads who attacked pregnant women and children. They also could attack and cattle and steal milk from them.


Nezhit is tiny demon that could cause physical sicknesses in humans, making their teeth to fall out, making flu, deafen them and blind them.


Osenya is female demon from folklore of Eastern Serbia. She is represented as woman in white clothes. She could be seen on bridges, close to roads or on hills in middle of night. Osenya had a habit of seducing men to lead them across forests and fields, making them tired at dawn.


Patuljak (Dwarf) is creature known in all Slavic countries, as well and in World folklore. It is polar opposition of Giants by having tiny stature and great intellect. Serbs know dwarves from stories, like one when Gods decided to create them, but they didn't have any purpose, then they decided to create Giants, who also proved to be useless, then in the end they created humans that are neither giant or tiny. Dwarves in Serbian folklore had magical powers, as well and ability to transform into frog.



An image of the Poludnitsa titled "Reaper," by Konstantin Alekseevich Vasiliev

Main article: Poludnitsa

Poludnitsa, also known as Lady Midday or Noonwraith, is the goddess of day. She is the sister of Kupalnitsa, the goddess of night. She also has a male variant called Polevoy. She is generally depicted as either a beautiful maiden or an old lady wearing a white dress with either a scythe or shears. She appears in grain fields and offer either conversation or difficult questions/riddles to any person she finds in the fields. If the person changes the topic of conversation or gives the wrong answer to the questions, she either cuts their heads off or gives them heatstroke.


Psoglav is demon from Serbian folklore. It is represented as chimera, with horse hind legs, human torso and dog's head with one eye and iron teeth. It lived in caves with plenty of gemstones, but without Sun. It ate people, sometimes and dug their graves to feast on their corpses.


Witold Pruszkowski-Rusalki

Rusałki by Witold Pruszkowski (1877)

Main article: Rusalka

Rusalka is type of fairy that lives close to lakes and rivers. Pretty much like Vila, they are imagined as beautiful, eternally young girls with red or green hair, however they are extremely hostile toward humans. They like to seduce men and to drown them, or to kill them with loud laughter. They are created from souls of young girls that are drowned or faced violent death. The most powerful repellent against Rusalke is wormwood or garlic.


Sirin Lubok

A lubok print, which were typically used to decorate houses and inns, depicting a Sirin. Artist unknown (18th-19th century CE)

Sirin is creature from Eastern Slavic folklore. Pretty much like Alkonost and Gamayun, she is imagined like bird with head and chest of woman who live close to Iriy. She has gold crown and feathers without shine. Sometimes she appears as owl. It was believed that some people could hear her, but those people lost their minds and followed her until death. People then banished them by cannon shots or by church bells.


Stratim bird by metei nei

A depticiton of the Stratim by Metei-Nei (2014)

Stratim is the mother of all birds in the world. She is an assistant of the god of wind, Stribog. Just one movement of her wing may create a huge wave in the sea. Also, her screams can cause storms. Like the most Slavic mythological birds, she is imagined as a bird with the head and chest of a woman. She is said to live close to the Ocean-Sea.


Sudjenitse (or Sudjaye) are trio of spirits known under different names across all Slavic countries. They are weaving destiny of every newborn child, including and how long child will live and how it will die and nobody can escape that. Slavs had habit to welcome them with clean house and clothing for mother and child who is surrounded by already made bread, wine, picked basil plant and gold and silver coins as tribute to them. Three days after child is born, they appear in their home. First sudjaya is very ugly and evil, she is telling the death of child. Second one is also evil and she threads child's dysfunctions, while third one is the most beautiful of them and she threads longevity of child's life and success in marriage. Usually, people pick second option that is neutral.



"ТОДОРАЦ / TODORAC" by Noktvrno

Todorats is the most powerful and evil demon from Balkan folktales that is half-human, half-horse. But it should not be mistaken for Greek centaur.

They look like riders sprouting from horse's back who are wearing cloaks that obscure their faces. Nobody ever saw their faces. While they are passing trough villages and towns, they kill everybody on their path by stomping them.

Somewhere at the end of winter, there was Todor's Saturday and it was the only day when they appeared. Among them there was Great Todor, who was lame, white demon covered in white cloak and carried rattling chains. People then had special ritual to appease them and to banish them. They created cookies that looked like horse hooves and portion of those cookies was always given to horses. At that day, children were forbidden to get out of house and people didn't work.



Cikavac by Andréa Boloch (2021)

A Tsikavats or Cikavac is a bird-like creature with a long beak and pelican-like sack that, according to belief, could be created when woman stole egg of black hen and put it under her armpit for 40 days. Until hatching, woman could not confess, pray, cut her nails or wash her face. Once a tsikavats is created, it remains very loyal to its master. It could steal honey or milk from nearby beehives or cows, then give it to its master. Also it could give its owner a power to understand animal language. Belief in tsikavats originated in Serbia.


Usud (Fate) is a being from South Slavic folklore. He is the personification of fate. Acording to folktales, one day Usud lives a luxurious life in a castle and then when midnight comes a voice is heard saying "Oh Usud! Oh Usud! today this many and that many souls were born, give them what you will." Usud then opens a box and starts throwing gold coins, while saying "How it is for me today, let it be like that for them till the end of their lives." The next day he lives in a middle sized house and when midnight comes a voice is once again heard saying "Oh Usud! Oh Usud! today this many and that many souls were born, give them what you will." he once again opens a box but this time it is full of silver coins with which he does the same thing as yesterday. The house and the amount of money keep getting smaller every time until he is living in a tiny shack with barely any money left. The next day he is once again living in a castle and the cycle repeats from there. Depending on how wealthy Usud is on the day that you are born you will be that wealthy for your entire life.


Vampir Boris Zabirokhin

A depiction of the Vampir from "Russian National Fairytales" by Boris Zabirohin (2008)

Vampir (or Vampire) is the only Serbian word accepted in all world's languages. Everybody knows them as human-shaped undead blood-drinkers with fangs that pops up in almost all RPG games, cartoons, animes and movies. But original Slavic vampire is far much different from their Hollywood siblings. They usually came from people who were either truly evil while alive, or who ended their lives with suicide or being tortured. Sometimes, evil spirit possesses and bodies from innocent people and their living corpse or their ghost (belief is depending of region) comes to vampire's hometowns and attacks people, sustaining themselves with their flesh and blood.

Unlike their siblings from pop-culture, Vampires are not charming and sparkling aristocrats, who wear goth-like clothes and act very calm and seductive toward their victims, nor they make wars with Werewolves, nor they have just two fangs. Original Vampires came from all classes of society and wear whatever they brought into their grave. They never make relationships with mortals and act very violent in search for blood - ripping off victim's throat, almost beheading them with their sharp teeth, much like their werewolf relatives. And their faces turn red when they are full. While Werewolves had human shadow and mirror image, Vampires don't have it at all.

Also they don't shift into bats. Vampires originally shapeshifted into butterflies or moths, as they have habit of gathering around moonlight. That shifting into bats is Hollywood thing, because vampire bats exist in New World.

The most known Vampir is Petar Blagojević - villager that lived in Serbian village of Kisiljevo who died in 1725. and became vampire few weeks later. That village was under reign of Austro-Hungarian Empire and every human died every day from plague that was apparently caused by him. There is also and story that his apparition came to his living wife, searching for opanci (Serbian shoes). When Austrian doctors came to that village and dug him out from grave, his corpse had fresh, red face and had blood on his mouth. And news that Vampire appeared caused massive panicking among people of Austro-Hungary. Thanks to Petar Blagojević, Vampires became known and beyond Slavic territory.

The only common thing between original and Hollywood vampire is their treatment - they can be banished with garlic and Holy Cross and water. And can be killed either by beheading or by stabbing in chest with stakes made of whitethorn tree.


Vila (or Fairy) is creature from Southern Slavic beliefs that is usually benign to humans. She is imagined as very beautiful and eternally young girl with bird or butterfly wings, golden hair, white dress and armed with bow and arrows. By beliefs, her power was in her hair. She lives far from humans, in forests, close to lakes and rivers or in clouds. It is believed that Vila is born from dew, certain flowers or when rainbow appears on sky.

She could transform into any animal, especially falcon, wolf, swan or mare. She could be seen riding horses or elks in hunting, but very often could be seen dancing in circle with other Vile. She could seduce heroes in fairytales or sometimes be their sisters-in-law, healing their wounds with various herbs that are created in battles. Human girls used to appease her for beauty or protection.

Vila hardly forgives insults and could kill the offender with her eyesight or bow and arrows. Even in cases when she causes evil things, she still remains beautiful and seductive. She can become loyal to human by stealing her clothes or she can become ordinary woman if somebody takes out her wings. It is believed that seeds of garlic plant give her eternal youth.

During times of New Moon, she becomes similar to Rusalka and therefore dangerous to humans.

Vila are belived to perform rituals next to small bodies of water like streams, ponds and even wells.


Vilenjak (Elf) is male version of Vila, known in all European beliefs. But Slavic Vilenjak is as tiny as flower of clover and could be summoned only if somebody finds or eats four-leaf clover. It is believed that they bring good luck to people.



A depiction of the Vodyanoy from "Russian National Fairytales" by Boris Zabirohin (2008)

Vodenjak (Vodenyak or Vodyanoy) is creature from Eastern and Western Slavic stories that lives in water, especially close to watermills. They are created from souls of drowned people, especially ones that didn't meet funerary rites. Some people believed that Vodenjak is soul of very evil human that is punished by Gods to live in water. It is represented as human with long claws and tail, covered in moss or grass, or as old man with green beard and hair or as fish covered in mud. During day, he rests in decorated lair, while at night he pulls down unlucky people down into water, especially married men, so they can steal their women and make them into servants. He often damages watermills, bridges and fishing nets. People appeased Vodenjak by throwing rooster, chicken or sheep. Sometimes, people sacrificed and well-fed horse by throwing into water with stone tied to their neck.


Werewolf Boris Zabirohin

A depiction of the Werewolf from "Russian National Fairytales" by Boris Zabirohin (2008)

Vukodlak (or Werewolf) is a human that shifts into half-wolf creature every night. However, in Slavic mythology, being a werewolf is far different than the Hollywood werewolf, like getting bite or scratch. One way for a man to become a werewolf is to skin a dead wolf and to wear it without tanning it (killing wolves in Slavic belief was the biggest sin, like raising a hand against an ancestor. Being a werewolf is considered as the embodiment of Dazbog's punishment). Another belief is that when a pregnant woman dies and wolf passes over her body (Slavs used to burn bodies in funerals), her dead child can turn into a werewolf and grow into an adult over time, eventually popping out of her womb to hunt.

It is believed that werewolves could cause eclipses by devouring the Sun or Moon and spitting it out after some time.

Unlike pop-culture werewolves, these werewolves do not transform others into one, nor do they age, make tribes/packs, or wars with vampires. Some people believed that werewolves are the siblings of vampires because they both are immortals stuck between Yav (world of humans and mythical creatures) and Nav (world of dead), and they both share same food - human blood and flesh. They do not participate in tribal traditions, such as tattoos, jewelry, decorative feathers and religious rituals like Native Americans have. They hunt alone and are craving for flesh once they transform. In general, they act like a canine with rabies. A werewolf can temporarily turn back into a human by touching anything made of silver or gold. They can also be killed by beheading with weapons made of same material.

Werewolves in human form could be recognized by unibrows, hairy hand palms, and their index and middle fingers are the same length. Wolves in Slavic folklore were as much feared as it was worshipped.

The belief in werewolves is from all of the Slavic nations, but they became very popular in Europe alongside vampires.


Firebird Ivan Bilibin

Illustration to a Russian fairy tale about the Zhar-Ptitsa, by Ivan Bilibin (1899)

Zhar-Ptitsa (or Žar-Ptica, Rarog, Phoenix) is known well in all Slavic countries and in Euroasian folklore. In Slavic countries, they are imagined as tall, beautiful otherworldly birds that sleep during daytime and get out at nighttime. Its feathers glow like fire, although they do not burn like fire. They also can illuminate large areas similarly to the sun. It is believed that whoever catches it could be granted wishes and hope by Zhar-Ptitsa. Unlike the pop-culture Phoenix most people know very well, Zhar-Ptitsa did not cremate itself to be reborn, however, it is still represented as immortal bird.


Змей-Горыныч, или Бой Добрыни Никитича с семиглавым Змеем-Горынычем

Fight of Dobrynya Nikitich with the seven-headed Serpent Gorynych by Viktor Mikhaylovich Vasnetsov (c. between 1913 and 1918)

Zmaj (Zmaj or Dragon) is known in almost all of the World's cultures. However, in Slavic folklore, Zmaj is represented as a benign creature, created from the animals who lived up to 30 or 100 years. These species were roosters, carp, horses, oxen, rams or dogs. He always had either one head or an even number of heads, as well as traits from animal that it borrowed. He fought against Azhdaya and it was invisible to everybody, except to woman whom he falls in love with. Relationships between Zmaj and human women could bring zmajevite children (Dragonborn children) and they differed from humans with their large head, eyes, and tiny wings under their armpits.