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.
The Strigoi Rise at Night to Drink the Blood of the Living
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.
A Pricolici Is a Giant, Terrifying, Undead Wolf
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.
Baba Yaga Lives in a Hut That Stands on Chicken Legs
Baba Yaga is a mainstay of Slavic mythology. She's your classic "old witch in the forest" character, complete with iron teeth and a nose so long it touches the ceiling of her hut, which stands on chicken legs, has a rooster's head on top, and is surrounded by a fence of human bones.You'd be forgiven for thinking that, with the iron teeth and bone fence and whatnot, Baba Yaga is just straight evil. Actually, her personality varies from tale to tale. Sometimes she's benevolent, sometimes she's cruel. Baba Yaga is morally and ethically ambiguous, so don't depend on her to save you if you're ever lost in the forest. She might just take away your only means of survival and leave you to die instead.
The Hastrman Knits Clothes for the Souls He Steals
The hastrman is an equal opportunity monster. In Polish mythology, the hastrman (also know as the bubak) steals and eats both children and adults. He does this by wandering along riverbanks on the night of a full moon, wailing like a hurt child.
But he's not all bad: when he's not stealing and eating people, he knits clothes for the souls he's taken. And he has a cart pulled by cats. If he weren't so terrifying, he'd actually be pretty adorable.