Graveyard Shift 16 Super Bizarre Eastern European Myths and Legends to Keep You Up at Night  

Jen Lennon
15.8k votes 3.8k voters 338.8k views 16 items

List Rules Vote up the scariest folk tales from Eastern Europe.

Eastern European myths are all about creepy creatures. Everyone knows that we have Romania to thank for vampire myths, but what about the lesser-known cryptids and creatures? As it turns out, there's a wealth of terrifying folklore from Eastern Europe.

Many of these legends are influenced by the unique landscape of Eastern Europe, drawing from the dense forests and barren lands to create richly detailed tales that are invariably terrifying. Read through this list of creepy Eastern European legends and vote up the scariest stories.

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The Strigoi Rise At Night To Drink The Blood Of The Living

The Strigoi Rise At Night To D... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 16 Super Bizarre Eastern European Myths and Legends to Keep You Up at Night
Photo: victorvonvlad/via Wikimedia

Come on, you knew all the myths from Romania were going to be pretty hardcore. And the strigoi might just be the most hardcore of all. The myth of the strigoi gave rise to legends about both vampires and werewolves. Like vampires, strigoi are night-dwelling supernatural creatures - but even worse, they can shape-shift into any creature they want. They can also make themselves invisible. And what do they want? Why, blood, of course.

In 2004, one Romanian girl claimed to have been visited by a strigoi that took the form of her dead uncle, so her family dug up his grave, cut his heart out, and burned it. Seems reasonable.

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The Gjenganger Is A Master Of Spreading Real-World Evils

The Gjenganger Is A Master Of ... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 16 Super Bizarre Eastern European Myths and Legends to Keep You Up at Night
Photo:  Thorvald Niss/Wikimedia Commons

A Gjenganger isn't like your normal, everyday ghost. While the Scandinavian spirit lacks a normal repertoire of paranormal facets (it can't float through walls or make the ceiling bleed), it has a body that occupies physical space in the human world, and is a master of spreading super horrific evils. Namely, the Gjenganger spreads sickness; if it touches you, your flesh begins to slowly rot away until the creature's virus has worked its way to your heart. It presents similarly to a vampire, only without any of the more popular creature's drawbacks. The Gjenganger can survive in sunlight, and kills out of preference, rather than necessity. 

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A Pricolici Is A Giant, Terrifying, Undead Wolf

A Pricolici Is A Giant, Terrif... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 16 Super Bizarre Eastern European Myths and Legends to Keep You Up at Night
Photo: Public Domain/via Wikimedia

This is another great creature from Romania. A pricolici is the soul of a particularly violent man that has come back in the form of a huge, terrifying wolf. Its goal? Mainly to kill people and cause chaos. It's kind of a werewolf/vampire hybrid - and since those are two things you should probably avoid on their own, you should probably be extra wary of the combination.

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Baubai Hide In Dark Corners Of Houses Waiting To Steal Children

Baubai Hide In Dark Corners Of... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 16 Super Bizarre Eastern European Myths and Legends to Keep You Up at Night
Photo:  Francisco de Goya/Wikimedia Commons

Baubai (or Baubas, if singular) are the Lithianian equivalents to the American boogeyman. These sinister creatures are amazingly gangly, and commonly take refuge in dark corners of houses. As is the case with the boogeyman, a Baubas's main goal is to kidnap unsuspecting children. If a child misbehaves, it's said that a Baubas will come steal them away as punishment. In case you weren't already afraid of the dark, here's one more thing to look out for while avoiding the space under your bed and in your closet. 

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