Un'illustrazione di un drekavac
. Crediti: www.markovicdusan.com

The drekavac: limbo between reality and myth

Translated from the Serbian “the screamer“, the drekavac is a mythological creature of the South Slavic culture. It can also be called in other ways, including drekalo, depending on the area you are in.

It isn’t known exactly how it’s born, but many versions share the following theory: they’re wandering souls of the sinful dead people, for example soldiers or suicides, or children unbaptised, who can’t find peace and torment the lives of their relatives.

The creature occurs only at night near cemeteries, water, caves and forests. It’s believed to appear mostly in the Twelve Days of Christmas, a period when demons and other creatures would be most active.

It can appear in two forms: if it takes the form of a child, it leads the victim to suffer from unknown diseases and to a terrible death; on the other hand, if it appears as an animal, it’s a sign of misfortunes of various kinds, including epidemics and wars. However, its animal appearance has divergent descriptions. These are mentioned:

  • The drekavac resembles an owl and emits frightening screams. In addition, it has large eyes and a round head with a baby-like face with a small, wide nose.
  • Its body resembles a hairless dog with a snake-like head. The fangs and neck are long, and the hind legs of a size comparable to that of a kangaroo

In the past it was believed that drekavac tormented or strangled even through dreams, especially of children. However, over time this “role” passed to babaroga and bauk, other mythological figures which existence also is between reality and myth.

Sightings

There have been many sightings throughout history, but only recently have the media documented them. Among them, many tell of attacks on various cattle and screams, similar to crying. In recent months on TikTok, videos of the creature’s alleged screams have gone viral in no time. I leave the link below of a video which, in my opinion, is one of the most truthful:

Theories

To all intents and purposes, there’s no definite evidence for the existence of drekavac, so reality or myth. Indeed, skeptics expose different hypotheses for various points.
Starting with the sounds, the screams could belong to:

On the basis of the stories, however, it’s hypothesized that the body may approach those of:

Despite everything, many believe the stories and fear meeting him. And what do you think: does it exist in the reality or is it just a myth?

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