Are you someone who likes to read horrifying fairy tales? Do you often find yourself returning to the dark side of literature, figuring out tales that make you sit on the edge of your seat? There is nothing more chilling to horror junkie than a tale that makes their flesh creep. What does that say about them? Does this make them a terrifying person? Well, the answer is no. In fact, it is a good thing.
Horror story could be the cause of extreme emotional stimulation. And you will feel good to get the heart pumping and a shot of adrenaline through your system. Reading horrifying fairy tale is some kind of escapism. It is a way of feeling alive without putting yourself in mortal danger like you just had a triple shot of espresso.
Russia has some horror fairy tales that should not be told at night and if you are curious about it, below are 4 most horrifying Russian fairy tales you must know. So, check it out.
1. Baba Yaga the Witch
Baba Yaga is an elderly man-eating witch in Russia. There are various versions of the tale of Baba Yaga the witch that she is either a single witch or a trio of witches. Most versions say that she flies around the wood in a giant mortar. She also uses that mortar along with its pestle to mill the bones of the people she is going to eat. When flying, she uses the giant pestle like a steering wheel.
She holds it in her right hand while she holds a broom in her left hand to wipe away her trail. However, there are a few tales that describe her using the traditional witches’ broom to travel around the wood. Baba Yaga the witch can also detach her hands from her body so that they can do the bidding for her.
It is told that Baba Yaga the witch lives deep in the wood in a wrecked hut that rests on giant chicken legs so that it can move around the wood, making it harder for anyone to find her. The windows work as eyes to watch over her area and the fence around the hut is built out of human bones and is adorned with human skulls.
Baba Yaga the witch has the power to help or hurt people who cross path with her. On some occasions, there are people who seek her wisdom, truth, and knowledge, but in order to do so, they must first complete several tasks. If they can finish the task, she will help them. However, if the tasks are not finished and they have not found a way to escape from the wood, she will cook and eat them.
2. Koshchey the Deathless Evil
Koshchey, also known as Koshchey Bessmertny, is an extremely antagonistic character. He is an evil wizard who kidnaps beautiful young women and keeps his soul or his death unattached from his physical body in a remote hard-to-reach place. He likes to go to war and every day, he steals a beautiful young lady, usually the bride of the hero. He then keeps his victims locked up in his castle.
Koshchey has the ability to fly and power over the elements such as dark clouds which appear out of nowhere when he arrives on the scene. He can also easily change his voice and use it to frighten his opponents with blood-curdling cries or to lure and induce sleep when needed. Sometimes, he turns himself into a storm or a whirlwind. In addition, he can see with his eyes closed and has a good nose of which it takes only seconds for him to smell someone far away.
3. Boginka the Evil Female Spirit
Boginka is a female personification of the wild force of the nature of Russian mythology. She often attacks women during childbirth, replaces the newborns with changelings, startles the horses, and destroys the fishing nets. She appears in many forms and versions like she could have been living in the swamp, river, forest, lake, or mountains.
In some of the folk beliefs, a woman who died during childbirth, committed suicide or murdered a child will be a Boginka after her death. Superstitious people also believe that witches can summon and pray to Boginka in order to get aid or wisdom. In other regional beliefs, Boginka could slide into a woman’s bed and whine under the bedclothes. She could also appear during a wedding party to serve the guests with poisoned vodka, or lure the brides into the dangerous swamp.
4. Mermaids and Vodyanoi the Water Killers
The Russian mermaids, also known as Rusalka, are those who died tragically such as drown people, those who commit suicide, or sometimes girls who died unmarried. At night, the Russian mermaid hides in the riverside bushes waiting for a victim. If the unlucky soul comes too close to the water, she will take them down and tickle them to death.
Vodyanoi is also the spirit of the rivers, lakes, and swamps. Vodyanoi is the master of the mermaid who could ascend to the sky and create new forms of water, as well as drown people, especially women who go swimming in the lakes after sunset. Vodyanoi usually takes the prettiest girls to drown and later makes them his wives.
So, those are 4 most horrifying Russian fairy tales you must know. In one form or another, Russia has existed since a long, long time ago. This country holds a plethora of paranormal stories and many of which are almost completely unknown to people outside the country. Yet, the stories of its evil spirits, creepy monsters, and weird aliens are just as diverse as the ones global readers are familiar with. Among the horrifying Russian fairy tales mentioned above, which one is your favorite?