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Mysterious Balkan Creatures: Entering the Woods

If you thought that water can hide some secrets, then you never went deep into the Balkans forest. Woods are the excellent place to pick some berries or go for a hike, but once you know what lives in there, you might change your mind. No, I am not talking about bears or wolves, these creatures are much more mysterious than you can ever imagine.

Let us see what beings you can encounter in the depths of the Balkans woods.

Trees

V0043494 Old oak tree (Quercus species) in Winsor Forest. Charcoal dr Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images images@wellcome.ac.uk http://wellcomeimages.org Old oak tree (Quercus species) in Winsor Forest. Charcoal drawing by G. B. (or B. G.), 1852. 1852 By: G. B.Published: - Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

No wonder that many fairies, demons, and other creatures chose to live in the woods since the trees in them can have magical properties too. Depending on their mood, part of the year, or even human behavior, trees can be more or less inclined to people. There are even links between zodiac signs and some types of trees. For example, fairies that live in Tilia are friendly towards the people born under the sign of Aquarius.

All trees have a bit of magic in their structure, and some of them are even inhabited by the souls of dead. The most powerful ones are often the biggest and oldest. Just think of The Lord of the Rings. Well, not all of them are good like the ones in the movies, but they are all very obscure, that’s for sure.

Fairies

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Everybody knows how fairies look (think of Tinker Bell) and the ones from the Balkans are not that different. Unlike other parts of the Europe, the Balkans is not so inhabited with these creatures.

At the time when other areas had Fairylands, fairies from the Balkans went north, leaving only women behind. So-called Large Migration of Fairies brought a majority of these creatures to the northern countries. The interesting thing about these magical beings is that they are prone to weight gain, so don’t be so harsh on yourself – If they can have a few extra kilos, so can you!

Forest Mothers

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Forest mothers are nothing but old and lonely fairies. Because of different reasons they left fairy society and now wander alone through the woods. They wanted to become mighty and powerful and that led to experimentation with all kinds of magic herbs and medications, even with ones that are forbidden to fairies. Even though forest mothers rarely die, they can get old. Because of that, these beings can appear both as pretty women and ugly old ladies.

These ex-fairies have often very contradictory behavior. Forest mothers know all about the herbs, so they can help pregnant women, but also, be evil and mean to them. It all depends on their mood. All in all – moody fickle creatures.

Lesnici

Besides Danube demons, Lesnici are the oldest demonic creatures on the Balkans. Lesnici, or so-called silvani, have human form, but they are all covered in hair. They have white fur and due to bad hygiene, these demons became yellow and stinky. Even though they are all covered in hair, lesnici don’t have eyebrows and eyelashes.

Favorite thing for silvani to do is to make noise and yell, but on the other hand, they can play the fife wonderfully. Especially when they’re in love. Since we are on that subject, lesnici are not too picky. Their favorite “preys” are shepherdesses, but if they are not around, lesnici will flirt with sheep or even deer.

The closest relative to silvani is Pan, the Greek god of the wild, shepherds and flocks.

Woods can be pretty creepy if you walk alone. But on the other hand, you are never alone in the forest. If you thought this part is scary, just wait and see what is next on the menu – it cannot go scarier than that. Stay tuned and mysterious!

Wanna take a walk in the forest?

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