Posted August 20, 2011 by Greta in / 0 Comments

Rusalka or Rusalki (plural) are water nymphs.

Folklore Origin: Slavic Folklore

Creature Origin:

  • According to folklore they’re the souls/spirits of young women or girls who died an unatural death, such as:
    • Murder: If they were murdered near a body of water, they will inhabit said body of water.
    • Suicide: If young women commited suicide because they’d been jilted by their lovers or were unmarried, pregnant women, they’re doomed to live out their rest of their designated time on earth as spirits
    • Drowned Unbaptized Children: Those children whom were born out of wedlock and then drowned by their mothers for that reason also became Rusalki


  • Appear as human women
  • Some of them have tails
  • They have translucent skin

Power(s) & Task(s):

  • Ability to shape-shift into horses and other sea-creatures at will
  • Ability to consume their victims energy in the manner of a succubus
  • Ability to lure and bewitch young men with their voices, much like sirens
  • Ability to kill a human with their shrill laughter
  • Ability to walk on land
  • They are tasked with being nymphs of the seasons


  • Are described as lonely beings
  • They lure young men to the water, where they drag them under and drown them
  • If there are no men to feed their anguish, they will lure children using bowls of fruits and nuts
  • Frequently sun-bathe on nearby rocks or branches
  • Can be found dancing in meadows or clearings in the woods when there’s a new moon
  • They are not considered invariably malevolent


  • Live in lakes and rivers


  • A rusalka’s fate can be undone by avenging her murder
  • ‘Baby’ rusalki wander the forest begging to be baptized so they may rest in peace. However, they are not entirely benevolent and may attack any human that approaches them in anguish
  • The rusalki were considered most dangerous during the Rusalka Week (Rusal’naia) in early June. Swimming during this week is strictly forbidden. A ritual banishment or burial of a rusalka was held at the end of the week.


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