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Kikimora: Mythical Creature

Kikimora: Mythical Creature

Kikimora is a legendary creature from Slavic mythology. She is a female house spirit that is usually depicted as a helpful or malevolent entity, depending on the behavior of the homeowner. In some versions of the myth, Kikimora is portrayed as a woman with a chicken’s beak or duckbill.

According to Slavic folklore, Kikimora is a creature that settles in a house and does not want to leave, making the lives of people who live there unbearable. She is usually blamed for sleep paralysis, nightmares, and anything bad that happens to food at night. Kikimora is well-known in the territory of Ruś, but she is also known in several Slavic countries.

Despite being a popular mythological figure, Kikimora remains shrouded in mystery. The origins of this creature are unclear, and different versions of her story exist in various parts of Slavic culture. Nonetheless, Kikimora’s legend continues to fascinate people, and her presence in folklore serves as a reminder of the rich cultural heritage of Slavic mythology.

Origins and Etymology

Slavic Mythology

Kikimora is a mythical creature that originated from Slavic mythology. According to the ancient Slavic belief, Kikimora was a household spirit that lived in the corners of the house and was responsible for the upkeep of the home. Slavic mythology also suggests that Kikimora was a shapeshifter who could take on different forms, such as a beautiful woman, a bird, or a snake.

Name Meaning

The name Kikimora has a disputed origin and meaning. Some scholars suggest that the name Kikimora is derived from the Finnish word “kikke mörkö,” which means scarecrow. Others suggest that the name comes from the Slavic word “mora,” which means a nightmare or a bad dream. Some even suggest that the name is derived from the Finnish word “käki,” which means cuckoo.

Despite the different interpretations of the name’s origin, the meaning of the name Kikimora is generally associated with the idea of a female household spirit who brings bad luck or misfortune to the household. The name is also associated with the idea of a shapeshifter who can take on different forms and cause mischief in the home.

Physical Description


Kikimora is a female spirit from Slavic folklore and mythology. She is often described as a small, ugly, hunchbacked, thin, and scruffy old woman with a pointed nose and disheveled hair. The swamp kikimora is said to use moss and grass as clothes. She is often depicted as a household spirit, associated with the home and domestic life. Kikimora is believed to live in the corners of houses and barns, and are often associated with spinning and weaving.


Kikimora is a fascinating and enigmatic spirit deeply rooted in Slavic mythology. In differing versions of her stories, there are two kinds of spirit, one generally helpful and the other hurtful, both depicted as a woman sometimes with a chicken’s beak or duckbill. She is believed to frighten people, knock travelers off the road, or even drown them. She also kidnaps children. Kikimora can be either helpful or evil depending on the owner’s actions.

In Slavic folklore, Kikimora is associated with the home and domestic life. She is often depicted as a household spirit who helps with domestic chores. Kikimora is also believed to be a guardian of the house and its inhabitants. She is said to protect the family from evil spirits and bad luck. Kikimora is also associated with spinning and weaving, and it was believed that she could help with these tasks.

Folklore and Legends

Tales and Stories

Kikimora is a legendary creature in Slavic mythology. According to tales and stories, she is a female house spirit who lives in the corners of the house and helps with household chores. She is usually depicted as a small, haggard-looking woman with a long nose, unkempt hair, and a hunched back. Some stories describe her as having chicken or duck feet, while others depict her with a thimble for a head.

One popular story tells of a woman who neglected her household duties and angered the kikimora. The spirit grew angry and began to cause chaos in the house, making it impossible for the woman to complete her chores. In another tale, a man who was kind to the kikimora was rewarded with good luck and fortune.

Cultural Significance

Kikimora has a significant cultural significance in Slavic folklore. She represents the importance of keeping the household in order and respecting the spirits that live within it. In some cultures, kikimora is believed to be a symbol of fertility and prosperity, while in others, she is seen as a harbinger of bad luck and misfortune.

In modern times, kikimora has become a popular subject in art and literature. Her image has been used in everything from children’s books to horror movies. Despite her scary reputation, kikimora remains a beloved figure in Slavic folklore, representing the rich cultural heritage of the region.

Kikimora in Popular Culture


Kikimora, the mythical creature from Slavic folklore, has made appearances in various works of literature. One notable example is the novel “The Master and Margarita” by Mikhail Bulgakov, where a Kikimora is depicted as a mischievous house spirit that causes chaos in a Moscow apartment. Kikimora has also been featured in short stories by authors such as Nikolai Gogol and Ivan Turgenev.

Film and Television

Kikimora has been portrayed on screen in several films and TV shows. In the Russian horror film “Viy” (1967), a Kikimora is shown as a terrifying creature that haunts a remote village. The creature has also made appearances in the TV series “Supernatural” and “Grimm,” both of which feature supernatural creatures from various mythologies.

Video Games

Kikimora has been featured in several video games, often as a boss or enemy character. In the game “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt,” Kikimora is depicted as a spider-like creature that attacks the player in the swamps of Velen. The creature has also appeared in the game “Pathfinder: Kingmaker,” where it is described as a spirit that haunts abandoned houses.

Overall, Kikimora has become a popular figure in popular culture, appearing in various forms of media such as literature, film, television, and video games. Its appearance and characteristics may vary depending on the medium, but its status as a legendary creature from Slavic folklore remains unchanged.

Beliefs and Superstitions

Kikimora is a female house spirit in Slavic mythology that is believed to bring good luck to the household she inhabits. However, if she is mistreated or disrespected, she can become malevolent and cause chaos in the home. According to superstitions, Kikimora is known to cause nightmares, sleep paralysis, and other misfortunes to those who disrespect her.

One of the most common beliefs about Kikimora is that she is responsible for the cleanliness of the home. It is believed that if the house is kept clean and tidy, Kikimora will be pleased and will bring good luck to the household. On the other hand, if the house is dirty and unkempt, Kikimora will become angry and cause chaos.

Another belief about Kikimora is that she has the power to control the weather. It is said that if Kikimora is pleased with the household, she will ensure good weather and a bountiful harvest. However, if she is displeased, she will cause storms, floods, and other natural disasters.

In conclusion, Kikimora is a fascinating and enigmatic spirit deeply rooted in Slavic mythology. Whether she brings good luck or bad luck to the household depends on how she is treated. Therefore, it is important to show her respect and keep the household clean and tidy to avoid any misfortunes.

Comparative Mythology

Similar Creatures in Other Cultures

Kikimora is a mythical creature that is unique to Slavic mythology. However, there are some creatures in other cultures that share similarities with Kikimora. One such creature is the Scottish Brownie, which is a household spirit that is said to help with chores and tasks around the home. Similarly, the German Kobold is a mischievous spirit that is said to live in homes and cause trouble for the inhabitants.

In Greek mythology, there is a creature known as the Lamia, which is a female demon that preys on children. While Kikimora is not known to harm children, it is interesting to note the similarities between the two creatures. Additionally, the Japanese Kappa is a water spirit that is said to pull people into the water and drown them. While Kikimora is not associated with water, both creatures are said to be mischievous and unpredictable.

Overall, while Kikimora is a unique creature in Slavic mythology, it is interesting to note the similarities between it and other creatures from around the world. These similarities suggest that there may be some shared cultural beliefs and traditions that have influenced the creation of these creatures.