The Russian Rusalki are one of the few classes of spirits/demons/elementals who actually have a whole week celebration in their honor. Check it out.
Rusalka are a variation of your standard mermaid myth, though with some differences. They can go around on land for long periods thanks to her magic comb that she uses to get the tangles out of her sea green hair. There are different theories to the origin of the Rusalki. Some say they are the spirits of drowned women, or unbaptized babies who died. Others think no, they were never human at all, but elemental spirits who were born as princesses of the water.
Everyone pretty much agrees that you don’t want to go on a date with one. She’s always on the lookout for someone to join her in her games, but being a little short in the brain department, she forgets humans can’t breathe underwater.
Plus, green hair.
If you do end up ‘playing’ with a Rusalka, make the sign of the cross and she’ll let you go. Rumor has it you can also catch one in a magic circle if you’ve got the magical chops.
- Keightley, Thomas, The World Guide to Gnomes, Fairies, Elves, and Other Little People. Avenel Books, New York, 1880
A Field Guide to Demons, Fairies, Fallen Angels and Other Subversive Spirits
by Carol K. Mack, Dinah Mack