Meet Slovak Mythical Creatures

Take a look – Slovakia truly is a beautiful country. Towering mountains, deep forests, treacherous canyons, and endless meadows. There’s plenty to explore here. But before you embark on your adventures, allow me to introduce you to the Slovak mythical creatures that inhabit these places. I’m not making this up; I’m drawing from a book of folk tales from the early 20th century.

Slovak mythical creatures


1. Grgolica

A colossal forest woman with hands as large as shovels and a head as big as a barrel. Her wild hair billows over her head like a black cloud. If you wander alone in the forests and hear strange sounds resembling whistling, never repeat that sound. Like a storm, Grgolica will rush towards you and suffocate you between her tits. Quite a peculiar demise. Honestly, I look forward to Hollywood discovering this mythological character…

grgolica in Slovakia


2. Vodník

A creature living in lakes and deep rivers. His favorite pastime? Drowning swimmers and people who get too close to the water. He keeps the souls of his victims in small jars in his underwater hide.

vodník from Slovakia


3. Smrtka

Smrtka is an old woman – the personification of death. She’s draped in a black cloak and instead of feet, she has duck legs. Occasionally, she wears paper shoes. Besides taking people’s lives, she enjoys scaring them as well. Sometimes she might ask you for a ride on your cart or to carry her across the water. One moment she’s as heavy as a sack of lead, and the next she’s light as a feather…



4. Svetlonos

If you find yourself wandering through the woods and darkness catches you, stay put. It’s safer that way. You won’t stumble into any pits, caves, or swamps. And that’s exactly what the Svetlonos is trying to trick you into. It’s a dark silhouette carrying a lantern or a flickering flame. Its light might easily be mistaken for a distant home or village light. But if you follow it, it’ll lead you straight into the nearest swamp, where you’ll drown.

svetlonos Slovakia


5. Kone bez čeľustí

Jawless horses sometimes graze on the edges of forests. You might encounter them mainly at night. If you saddle up one of these demonic creatures, it could easily carry you off into the water, where you’ll drown. But if they’re in a better mood, they’ll transport you wherever you need to go so quickly that you’ll never forget it for the rest of your life. It’s said that jawless horses are actually disguised devils. Jawless horses are one of the rarest Slovak mythical creatures.

jawless horses in Slovakia


6. Mora

The Nightmare is a spiritual entity that primarily inhabits places where something bad has happened before. If you sleep in such a place, you’ll experience dreadful dreams and often suffer from sleep paralysis. Your mind may wake up, but your body will remain immobile and terrified for a while.

nightmate from Slovakia


7. Čert

A lesser demon who roams the earth trying to steal human souls. He’s always ready to promise you anything, as long as you sign his contract with your blood—a contract crafted by the finest lawyers of hell. Sometimes he looks like a typical demon, other times just like an ordinary person. Sometimes, his horns or horse hooves will expose him. Some devils are cunning and wicked, while others are foolish, unsuccessful, and unhappy.

čert from Slovakia


Go meet the demons

If you haven’t had the luck—or perhaps misfortune—of meeting any of these creatures, you can always go out and look for them.


Zmok is a household demon that can bring you a lot of money and fulfill many wishes. You might stumble upon it by chance, looking like a drenched little chick, or you can raise one yourself. If you have a black hen at home, take one of her dark eggs and keep it under your arm until it hatches into a zmok. It will either look like a black chicken or like a flying, fiery chain in the sky. The biggest problem with a zmok is that it’s very hard to get rid of. If you fail, you’ll pay for its ownership with your own soul. The advice from older generations is to be creative and give it a task that it cannot complete. Then it will disappear.

zmok from Slovakia


Luciin stolček

I bet sometimes some of your female friends or lovers seem like real witches. In Slovakia, we have a way to verify your suspicions. The tool is called “Lucia’s stool.” Here’s how to make it: Start on December 13th, St. Lucia’s Day, by crafting a small wooden bench at home. This bench must not contain a single nail or piece of iron. Work slowly and finish your creation by Christmas, December 24th. Take Lucia’s stool to the midnight mass at church and sit on it. At that moment, you will reveal all the witches in the church. The problem is, they will also see you and will try to silence you—usually by killing you. So, when fleeing from them, prepare to scatter poppy seeds from your pockets along the way. They cannot catch you until they have picked up all the seeds. However, if they catch you and you do not swear to secrecy, they will break all your bones, and your body will end up looking more like mud. A terrible way to die.

luciin stolček

Source of information about Slovak mythical creatures: Na krížnych cestách: Poverové rozprávanie slovenského ľudu, 1991, Tatran

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