From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Notsnitsa in Slavic mythology, is a nightmare spirit that also goes by the name kriksy, plaksy, plachky, plaksivicy, kriksy-varaksy, kriksy-plaksy, night hag, night maiden. She is referred to as Načnica in Belarusian , Nocnica or Płaczka in Polish, горска майка (gorska majka), ношно (nošno) in Bulgarian, Шумска маjка (Šumska majka), бабице (babice), ноћнице (noćnice) in Serbian, mrake, vidine in Croatian, nočnine, mračnine in Slovene.

The Notsnitsa is also present in Russian and Slovak folklore. She is known to torment children at night, and a stone with a hole in the center is said to be a protection from the Nocnitsa. Mothers in some regions will place a knife in their children’s cradles or draw a circle around the cradles with a knife for protection. This is possibly based on the belief that supernatural beings cannot touch iron. In the Roman tradition, an incubus is a demon in male form who, according to mythological and legendary traditions, lies upon sleeping women, in order to engage in sexual activity with them. Its female counterpart is a succubus. Salacious tales of incubi and succubi have been told for many centuries in traditional societies. Some traditions hold that repeated sexual activity with an incubus or succubus may result in the deterioration of health, mental state, or even death. [1]


The Nocnitsa is known to sit on one’s chest, drawing "life energy". Because of this, many refer to Nocnitsa as a type of vampire. The Nocnitsa will often continue visiting. According to some folklore, night hags visit when one sleeps on one’s back, with the hands on the chest (a position allegedly called "sleeping with the dead"). According to some folklore, night hags are made of shadow. She might also have a horrible screeching voice.[citation needed] She might allegedly also smell of the moss and dirt from her forest of origin.[citation needed]

The Nocnitsa is almost certainly linked to the common apparition seen during the hypnagogic state of sleep.

In popular culture[edit]

  • A creature, considered by the characters to be a nocnitsa, is depicted in a 2017 horror movie Slumber.[2]
  • There was a nocnitsa in the Supernatural novel 'Night Terror' by John Passarella.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Tom McGowen (1981). Encyclopedia of Legendary Creatures. Rand McNally. p. 43. ISBN 978-0528824029.
  2. ^ Murray, Noel (30 November 2017). "Routine thriller 'Slumber' boasts Maggie Q, but little else". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 February 2018.