Russia is one of Europe’s oldest and most culturally rich countries. It’s long history has seen many myths and legends, just like other nations. Each country has it’s own variety of dark and creepy legends and Eastern Europe is no different. Russian legends are unique and interesting enough to make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. Some of these legends emerged just a few decades ago, while some are thousands of years old. Russia doesn’t need legends to be creepy – their Soviet past is dark enough. This is a list of the ten most creepy Russian legends.


Black Volga


Copyright Wistula / (CC BY 3.0)

This is one of many Russian legends that first emerged in the Soviet era. Black Volga was the legend that a black car would be driven around Russian cities at night and be used to abduct children and take them away. The Black Volga was driven by the devil and he would take the children back to hell with him. The legend eventually spread to Mongolia. By that time the story had changed slightly. The new version told that the devil would abduct children so their blood could be used by devil worshipers in their rituals. The legend was likely born from truth as the Soviet secret police are known to have abducted people late at night. Also, Volga tended to only be used by the government.




Snake-Lubac is said to be an evil demonic figure who takes on the work of a giant snake. It’s more commonly known the “the fiery serpent” due to it descending to Earth in a huge ball of fire. But when it arrives on Earth it takes on the form of a human. More specifically, the form of a lost love to whoever it appears in front of. Maybe it’s a man’s widow, or a grieving young woman. The snake tricks them into believing their lover never died, and they were just imagining it. What happens next is different for each person visited but it always ends with them committing suicide.


Metro-2 Creatures


Metro-2 is the legend that the Soviet Union constructed a secret Metro system underneath Moscow. Apparently it’s construction was ordered by Joseph Stalin, and is said to be connected directly to the Kremlin. Russian legends surround the purported metro system. They describe strange hybrid creatures living there. The creatures were created in Soviet labs and contained there as they are too hideous to ever see the light of day. It’s a controversial issue whether the metro actually exists. There are several defectors from the Soviet Union who swore it was real, and many more urban explorers who claim to have visited it. They say it is still used by the Russian government for secret operations.


Old Woman Of Ostankino

Old Woman Of Ostankino

The old woman of Ostankino is said to be a ghost who appears in the Ostankino district of Moscow. The legend is old, with the ghost first being reported 5 centuries ago. It is the ghost of a wise old woman who visited several powerful Russian rulers to warn of coming danger. She would tell them of coming plagues or foreign invaders. But she would also tell them not to farm the land she appears on. Legend tells that one Tsar didn’t listen to the old woman. He ordered the land be farmed. This disturbed the spirits that occupy the land so they possessed dozens of local and forced them to kill themselves.


The Collector

brains in jars

Copyright techbint / (CC BY 2.0)

The Collector is a horror film but there are several Russian legends by the same name. Many streets in Russian cities are plagued by rumours that someone on that street is a ‘collector’. A collector is someone who collects human body parts and keeps them in glass jars. The typical idea is the the collector either steals them from people after kidnapping them, or they kill people for their organs. In the former example, the victim would wake up somewhere after being drugged and operated on. They would soon learn that their organs were missing. In the latter, the collector would kill local children for their body parts. The legend is thought to be based on the real life example of Anatoly Moskvin, who was arrested in 2011 for stealing 26 corpses and mummifying them.


Dyatlov Pass Incident


The Dyatlov Pass incident was an event in 1959 when nine people mysteriously died. They were travelling through the Ural mountains, in Northern Russia. They set up camp on February the 2nd. They all died that night. What we know is that they tore their tents apart in the middle of the night and ran out into the snow as if escaping danger. Their dead bodies were found not far from the camp, with signs of some kind of struggle. Some of the men mad crushed skulls, and one had brain damage with no damage to the skull. One of the women had her tongue removed. Authorities have never been able to determine what happened to them and the area was made a high-security zone for 3 years after. Legend tells that the group was murdered by the Yeti. Many people in this part of Russia believe in the Yeti and that it kills foreign visitors.


Golosov Ravine


Golosov Ravine is in a park in Moscow. It is well known for being home to a pagan shrine built around some ancient stones that are said to be “sacred and pure”. The ravine has been the setting of mysterious legends for centuries. One legend tells that a group of Mongol soldiers entered the ravine to explore it. A cloud of mist emerged and got more think as they moved further into the ravine until it completely surrounded them. The soldiers left the ravine a few minuted later, but they didn’t recognize what they found. One hundred years had passed while they were in the ravine, and they had been transported through time. The legend is that the ravine is a time portal that activates on misty days. There were a number of people who disappeared within the ravine during the 18 hundreds. One reported case describes police officers disappearing into the ravine. So maybe one day they will return to Moscow, not knowing they were even gone.


Baba Yaga


Baba Yaga is a terrifying creature from old Russian folklore. The creature has the appearance of an old woman who flies around in a big wooden tube thing. She lives deep in the Russian forests in a small house that only maniacs would ever approach. The Baba Yaga is known as an evil figure in Russian legends as she will do whatever she can to prevent a human from achieving their goal. Using her magic, she might put a spell on you which drives you insane and forever trapped in her forest.


Russian Sleep Experiment

Russian sleep experiment

This legend basically just emerged from the internet and isn’t that well known within Russia itself. It basically tells of an experiment into sleep deprivation done by Soviet scientists before the fall of the Union. After long periods without sleep, the test subjects were driven mad and gradually seemed less and less human. Versions of the story differ but they usually end with the test subjects murdering the scientists.


The Well To Hell

well to hell

The well to hell is now recognized as a complete hoax, but it still survives as a popular legend. The story is that the Soviet Union once drilled a hole so deep that it broke through into hell and vengeful spirits returned to Earth once again. The legend went further to describe how Satan murdered a group of miner who were drilling it as revenge for the souls who escaped.


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