Folklore: Drekavac

Little dead peeps

Today’s real-world horror letter will be about a creature from Slavic mythos, the Drekavac.

This creature differs depending on who is doing the telling, and where they are from but fundamentally Drekavac are little dead people who jump on the backs of living people and tell them predictions, usually cheerful predictions about their deaths and the deaths of their loved ones and, oddly enough, farm animals. Though I suppose back in the day if your farm animals died then you died so that was an epic deal.

As I said the myth differs depending on who you talk to, some people say they are babies, other people think they are undead men, some say dead soldiers. In a few places, they are animals, cats, dogs, foals etc., all dead of course.

There’s an odd one that says they are dead dogs that walk on their hind legs. A really weird one says they are long-necked creatures with a cat head, a cat giraffe, kittyraffe. Last odd one, some places think the creature is something very thin (think slender man levels of thin) but with a huge head and wings, apparently this is the soul of a dead child, sounds more like an emaciated fly to me.

The two things they seem to have in common is that they are all dead and they predict horrible bullshit. Although some say the human forms predict people death and the animal forms predict animal death.

The myths that have the creatures appearing as children all mention them being unbaptised, as a result of this they popped up a lot during Christmas time as the twelve days of Christmas are also known as the unbaptised days. Personally, I feel sorry for the whole unbaptised baby thing, a lot of different cultures have unpleasant things happening to them and its just mean, poor babies didn’t choose to be baptised or not. Personally, I get the impression these stories are a way to scare parents into getting their kids connected to the Church but I’m a bit cynical when it comes to things like that.

The Drekavac pop up in a few pop culture references, mostly in books and short stories although they have been known to pop up in role-playing games and videogames, such as Magic: The Gathering and Eve Online and, my personal favourite, they pop up in the Devil May Cry remake.

Have you come across them?

I'd love to hear what you think, please comment below.

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