Famous Witch: Baba Yaga

Baba Yaga is one of the most famous characters in Slavic mythology. The old crooked-nosed hag is as evil as she looks. She is both a force of nature and a cruel old woman who eats people who dwell into the deep forest. Her name comes from the Slavic word for grandmother “Baba.” The meaning of the word “Yaga” is not certain but some think it means “wicked.”

Baba Yaga

In some myths, Baba Yaga gives tasks to her victims and, depending on the successful completion of their mission, they are either eaten or rewarded. She is not only an evil villain but, in many cases, she could even help them, like in the Russian story of “Vasilisa the Beautiful,” where Baba Yaga gives Vasilisa tasks to accomplish in trade for help.

Vasilisa outside of Baba Yaga’s hut.

Read more about Baba Yaga at Baba Yaga – The Mythical Forest Witch from Slavic Folk Tales.

She’s dead as earth

King Lear Weeping over the Dead Body of Cordelia ,1786-8, James Barry (1741-1806)
Tate Gallery UK

KING LEAR:
Howl, howl, howl, howl! O, you are men of stones:
Had I your tongues and eyes, I’d use them so
That heaven’s vault should crack. She’s gone for ever!
I know when one is dead, and when one lives;
She’s dead as earth.

King Lear, Act V, scene iii
Shakespeare