Drekavac, South Slavic mythological creature

Drekavac, South Slavic mythological creature

The drekavac is a rather horrifying creature, evident from the fact that its name means “the screamer/yeller”.

These creatures are described as furry humanoid forest demon bearing long claws on the front limbs. But there is variability of stories among folks. Some of them say it’s depicted in form of a long-necked, long-legged creature with a cat-like head, others say it’s depicted as an apparition that can be seen in form of a dappled foal, dog or bird. But most commonly they are described as form of a creature having a dappled, elongated and thin body with a disproportionately large head and it’s believed to be the born from souls of dead, unbaptized babies.


His howl sounds like a mix of screaming, crying and wolf howling. He use his howl to scare people and he would attack people who pass near graveyard, or places which is “his” territory. According to legends, if anyone hear his howl it will bring death to him.It was popularly believed to be visible only at night (or very foggy weather) and in early spring, when other demons and mythical creatures were believed to be more active.

He would attack them by jumping on their backs and made them walk whole night until dawn, if they don’t obey his will, he would scream and scratch their faces.

They cannot be destroyed, since they are not baptized and don’t belong in heaven or hell. But you can protect yourself by having big source of light or dog on your side.

This legend is created mainly to scare children and stop them from going alone far from home.

Drekavac have big part in South Slavic mythology, also you can find short story about it in books written by Serbian writer Branko Ćopić (Бранко Ћопић): “Brave Mita and drekavac from the pond” (Cyrillic: “Храбри Мита и дрекавац из рита”) and mentioned in book “Eagles fly early” (Cyrillic: “Орлови рано лете”).


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