Baba Yaga is one of the most evil witches in folklore who originated somewhere in Russia and is immortal. Russians call her “Baba Yaga Kostianaya Noga” which translates to Baba Yaga Boney Legs. Baba Yaga is said to have iron teeth and a ferocious appetite. Most times Baba Yaga is said to be a single witch while other stories tell that there are three witches, all named Baba Yaga. Baba Yaga is said to guard the fountain of the Waters of Life and of Death.
Baba Yaga travels in a mortar in a crouched position with her knees touching her chin while pushing across the forest floor using a pestle, and this mortar can also allow her to fly. Following Baba Yaga’s arrival, it is said that fierce winds can be felt while shrieking and wailing can be heard. When finished with her business, she uses a silver birch broom to remove all traces of herself.
What makes Baba Yaga special from other evil witches is her hut hidden deep in the forest. The hut has huge chicken leg appendages allowing the hut to move freely and often. The creepy looking hut is said to have windows that serve as eyes. The back of the hut is said to be facing the visitor if they stumble onto it. The hut moves in a spinning motion and can only be stopped by reciting a secret incantation resulting in the hut halting suddenly with a loud creaking and groaning sound. When the visitor says the incantation, the hut stops, turns to face the visitor while lowering down on those huge chicken legs, the hut door will then be thrown open with a large, loud crashing sound. Additional stories tell of a bone fence surrounding the hut which has illuminated skulls whose eye sockets light up the darkness.
When this visitor enters the hut, Baba Yaga asks one simple question; "Did you come here of your own free will or were you sent here?" There is only one right answer to this question.
Baba Yaga has no power over those who are pure of heart or blessed. Pure of heart means that the visitor is protected by the power of love or virtue while blessed signifies the protection of a mother’s blessing.
Baba Yaga has power over the elements and commands the White Horseman, the Red Horseman, and the Black Horseman. Baba Yaga said that these horsemen signify "My Bright Dawn, my Red Sun and my Dark Midnight."
Other servants of Baba Yaga include a pair of menacing disembodied hands that she refers to as "my soul Friends" or "Friends of my bosom." Another servant is the Sorcerer Koshchey the Deathless aka Koshchey the Immortal. In Russian, he is known as Koshchey Bessmertny meaning deathless or immortal. Koshchey rides naked on his magic steed through the Caucus Mountains with a sabre. He is also a shapeshifter who can take the form of a whirlwind or storm wind. He represents the destructive force of nature.
Baba Yaga Appearance
- Thin as a skeleton
- Old, ancient looking woman
- Large long nose
- Iron teeth
- Travels in a large mortar
Baba Yaga Servants
- The White Horseman
- The Red Horseman
- The Black Horseman
- A pair of disembodied hands referred to as "soul friends" and "friends of my (Baba Yaga) bosom."
- Sorcerer Koshchey the Deathless aka Koshchey the Immortal
Baba Yaga in Movies and TV Shows
- Showtime’s/Syfy’s Lost Girl TV Series
- Dracula Untold (2014)
- Baby Yaga, Death Witch (1973) aka Baba Yaga