FOLKLORE & URBAN LEGENDS: Baba Yaga
The woods may be deceptive. If you find yourself lost, the environment quickly turns from a place of beauty, to one of dread. Some are able to regain a sense of direction; unfortunately others are doomed to wander endlessly through the trees.
If lost, some paths lead to places you thought never existed. The trees twist and warp in strange ways. Something feels off. The Home of Baba Yaga has an unnatural effect on the forest surrounding it. Endlessly leading travelers back to its location.
Baba Yaga, The Witch of Wilds, is the most widely known spirit in Slavic Folklore. Her appearance is of an old emaciated woman, with a long nose and sharp iron teeth,
The legend has influenced many writers and artists over the centuries. What we know about modern versions of the witch, originated from the stories of Baba Yaga.
After dark, she leaves her home in search of children who have wondered into the woods. She flies though the air in a large mortar, using a pestle to steer. Once she finds an unfortunate child she will devour them, using her iron teeth to crunch through their bones.
Sometimes Baba Yaga will bring children back to her small hut, where she uses them in dark rituals. The hut stands above the ground, resting upon two large chicken legs. As she sleeps, it walks in circles throughout the night.
Surrounding the strange home is a fence decorated with human skulls. Those who have ventured into the area say the skulls burn with an unnatural light and cast a feeling of dread over the area.
Stories from folklore always have a designated villain, someone acting as the personification of evil. However, Baba Yaga personifies the Unknown. Depending on whom she encounters, she will act as either the wisewoman, or the witch. We can only speculate if there is a larger goal in mind.
She is said to know the deepest secrets of the universe, secrets that drive any normal person to madness.
For hundreds of years, Baba Yaga has lived in her hut. Helping some, while devouring others. Her knowledge includes ways to open the gates of the afterlife, allowing her to avoid death.
Allowing here to travel the forests eternally.
Message me on Facebook or Instagram to let me know of any other Folklore, Myths, or Urban Legends you want to see!
You can follow my process creating the illustrations on Instagram: @JeffersonMuncy
Looking for more strange stories? Check out the legend of the Manananggal!