It’s easy to walk through the night when you are under the city lights, surrounded by people. But, would you dare to take a lonely walk in the middle of the night through the woods? Or cemetery? I didn’t think so. There is a reason why the old folks back in the days avoided certain places. Maybe you should too.
Alright, so far we’ve learned who and what places to avoid (well, at least some of them) when passing through the Slavic region. But, if you thought you know all the secret hideouts of odd and demonic creatures, you are mistaken. Let’s walk for a bit, and look around, we might find even more spots for creatures to lurk or maybe even catch you.
Even though watermills are very useful places, they are also very dangerous. During the day you can grind some wheat, but when the night comes, you better stay away from them.
Slavic people believed that watermills were invented by the devil himself. They gathered demons, vampires, werewolves and other scary beings. Water near watermills is usually inhabited with vodenjaci, demonic creatures that drown people (see vodenjak). People from Serbia are very familiar with Sava Savanović, the most famous vampire in Serbian folklore. Sava lived in an old watermill where he killed and drank the blood of the millers who came to mill their grains.
It is believed that water near watermills contains some kind magic, so witches and sorcerers used it to cast a dark spells and destroy innocent lives.
In the old days, Slavic people used to bury their loved ones under the doorstep, believing that deceased will protect their home. This tradition couldn’t live for a long time in a society that developed fast, but a part of it still lives. Later on, people, instead of deceased, buried some of his remains underneath the doorstep. That’s why, for example, an old tradition in Bosnia says that the nails of the deceased should be buried in a hole of the doorstep so that peace and harmony always remain in the home.
Cemeteries are the homes of unholy spirits and all the demonic creatures you can imagine.They become active when the night comes, so if you walk by a cemetery during the night, never ever respond if someone is calling you from it. On the other hand, if the humans are hunting you, you can always hide in the cemetery (who on Earth would dare to search for you in the middle of the night in the cemetery?).
When burying someone, the worst thing that could happen is that the soul of the dead follows you back home. That is why the funeral procession comes to the cemetery one way and returns the other, and thereby, the soul is deceived.
Caves and Pits
Just like water all across the Slavic area, caves and pits also hide a lot of demonic creatures. And why wouldn’t they? Dark and scary, often hidden deep in the woods, pits and caves are the perfect spots for werewolves and drekavac to hide and rest in between the hunt.
But, besides that, these places hide something else too. It is believed that caves and pits are actually the entrance to the underworld. Usually, there is some hidden door that leads to the underworld and just true and real heroes can find them. Of course, there is also a fact that no one alive and sane should ever look for that entrance.
We all know human race is a very curious one, but there are some borders we shouldn’t pass. Especially if we love to live. When it comes to mysterious places all over the Slavic region, you need to be careful, you never know what waits in the dark. Pick up the pace and don’t look around, and you just might get out alive.