Pisadiera & Baba Yaga


Picture of Baba Yaga by Viktor Mikhailovich Vasnetsov, circa 1917. Public domain

These are two entities with a number of similarities: They’re both women, often described as crones or hags, and there’s no clear origin point for either of them. But they’re very different as well. They come from different parts of the world. One has a scientific explanation; the other has a fantastical and colorful story that persists and has spread far beyond her origins.

Holly's Research:

  • Afanasʹev, A. N. and Leonard Magnus. “Russian Folk-tales.” London : Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., ; New York : E.P. Dutton & Company. 1916. Accessed online: https://archive.org/details/russianfolktales00afan_0
  • Schwarm, Betsy. “Pictures at an Exhibition.” Encyclopædia Britannica. November 09, 2017. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Pictures-at-an-Exhibition#ref1175480
  • Davis, Susan. “Sleep Paralysis: Demon in the Bedroom.” WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/sleep-paralysis-demon-in-the-bedroom#1
  • De Sa, Jose F.R., and Sergio A. Mota-Rolim. “Sleep Paralysis in Brazilian Folklore and Other Cultures: A Brief Review.” Frontiers in Psychology. Sept. 7, 2016. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5013036/
  • Forrester, Sibelan. “Baba Yaga: The Wild Witch of the East in Russian Fairy Tales.” University Press of Mississippi. 2013.
  • Hufford, David J. “The Terror That Comes in the Night: An Experience-Centered Study of Supernatural Assault Traditions.” University of Pennsylvania Press. 1989.
  • Shepard, John w. Jr. MD, et al. “History of the Development of Sleep Medicine in the United States.” Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Jan. 15, 2005. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2413168/
  • The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. “Baba-Yaga.” Encyclopædia Britannica. February 16, 2018. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Baba-Yaga

Topics in this Podcast: Halloween episodes, South American history, Brazil, sleep paralysis, Sleep Disorders, mythology