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YOKAI CASE FILE #4 – Baba Yaga

Christopher Tordoff Christopher Tordoff 13/05/2020 4 min read

“Creatures, Sprits and Monsters” from YOUR folklore is the theme for SMA14. But how do these mysterious creatures operate? What are their powers? What food do they eat?? Over the coming weeks and months throughout the entry period, we will publish a series of “Yokai Case Files” on several mythical creatures from around the world to help inspire your manga.

For today’s Case File, we delve into the dark and scary world of Slavic folklore! Baba Yaga is the original “Witch in the Wood”, beckoning lost children and heroic woodcutters aplenty to her chicken legged house in the foreboding forest. Much more complex than the Brothers Grimm would lead us to believe, the old crone in the woods is neither good nor bad, preferring to be as unpredictable as the elements she represents. Dare you go into the forest…?

Baba Yaga
Other names:
Country of Origin:
Russia / Eastern Europe
A deep, dark creepy old forest
A deformed, grotesque old woman.
Favorite Food:
Inquisitive children.
Untold of powers… can also to smell “Russians”.
The Firebird
About: A very ambiguous character from Eastern European mythology, Baba Yaga is the metaphorical descendant of the Slavic gods themselves! She will either help those who wander into her chicken legged house, or hinder them. Essentially a witch, Baba Yaga travels the skies, not on a broomstick but a giant mortar as she wields an equally large pestle. A hideous old woman with a large nose, the Slavic witch is either a single entity or one of three equally hideous sisters mirroring the Neo-pagan construct “The Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone”. Baba Yaga could also be the source of the Witch seen in many fairytales, including Hansel & Gretel, arguably the most famous fairy tale to feature a witch as the main antagonist, Hansel & Gretel follows the adventures of the two titular siblings after they are abandoned in an enchanted forest by their parents.

Christopher Tordoff

Christopher Tordoff