Author of all texts about mythology on these web-pages is Lidija Bajuk:

  1. PERUN
      - The Sky
      - The Mountain
      - Leluya
      - Ball lightning
      - Candlemen
      - Fairies
      - Witches
      - Water
      - Bogorodica
      - The Moon
      - Corn Spirit
      - Hair
      - Embroidery
      - Light
      - Forest
      - The Cap, Little Hat


gigantic creatures who, as it is believed in Medjimurje, the northernmost part of Croatia, come out during cloudy and foggy weather, at dusk or in the night. This makes them similar to gigantic creatures called Mraki (''the dark ones'').

Walking silently, they appear at all times of the year as a vast funeral procession of giants with a black horse carriage and men in long dark coats with indistinct faces and hats. Whoever sees them, dies instanlty or goes mad. Straha is also imagined as a raving coachman driving a large carriage pulled by a wild horse foaming at the mouth and with hot breath (here it is identified with the Thunderer). All the strange pits, hollows and rifts in the hilly part of northern Medjimurje are connected to the accidents of these carriages. Straha always sneaks behind travellers travelling alone or late at night. It comes alone or in a pair, between fifty and one hundred metres high, wrapped in a white sheet with a candle in its hand.

Strahe from Medjimurje remind of sluggish, often lazy and stupid giants and giantesses, i.e. huge and proud hajde. They can all move mountains. They don't attack humans unless they get really angry. There used to be a large number of giant cannibals just as there were huge, hairy, one-eyed and horned Wild men or Zviceri who used to devour each other. Pesjanek or P(e)soglavec, the guardian of Hell's gates, a lower, nature demon was similar to them. He was also a one-eyed cannibal.

People from Medjimurje who fought in the First World War spoke of cavalry of fire which appeared at dusk at the battlefield. This fiery cavalry of dead soldiers is the same as the gigantic, cursed army of the dead of which it is said in some parts of Croatia that they will fight the living on Judgement Day. Among Croatian mythological creatures there is also svećarec (''the candle man''), a huge man of extraordinary strength who walks around at dusk or in the night with a candle or a lamp in his hand. If his light is turned out in front of somebody's house, it means someone from that house is going to die within three days.

In Dubrovnik it is spoken of morski čovik (''the man from the sea'') a huge humanlike monster who occasionaly comes out of the sea screaming. It is actually a kind of a water man of whom it is said in a legend that, among other things, he is tall, heavy an strong. The forest vedi from Podravina are hairy and strong as water men. Similar to dwarves they have great knowledge (the Croatian word ''veda'' means ''holy knowledge'') and they live to be older than one hundred years. They put their dead in hollow trees.

Old people from Podravina speak of huge skeletons they found when they were cutting down trees. The bad ones destroy the crops with their tempestuous breath. The good ones are protectors, helpers and servants to people who offer them sacrifices (bread and wine for Christmas, a piece of cloth when weaving, etc.) Together with the water man, ovasar, a huge cretaure with a tail, lives around mills. It looks like the strong repac (''the tailed one'').

It is interesting that different frightening night creatures are called zmamorije in Istria. The name is an amalgamation of two words: zmaj (dragon) and mor(ij)a, i.e. zmija (snake). It is a well known fact that dragons are often represented as having more than one head. Triglav or Troglav (''the three-headed one'') is like that. It is a goodnatured giant with a veil over its head, placed there because it doesn't want to look at or hear about the sins of mankind. It brings spring, fertility and fruitfulness. Mountains Triglav and Troglav are named after it.

Evil giants (eg. Leđan) have taught people to be proud, gluttonous, disobedient, dishonest, thieving, wasteful, violent and cruel. Luckily, Perun chased them up north with his thunders, and turned the walls of their icy city into sluggish water. The three Croatian giantesses, called Bojana, (D)Ivana and Zorana, are sometimes very generous, giving light, warmth, life and plenitude to people and sometimes miserly and evil, like Morana, the fourth giantess. This means that giants, dogheads, different spirits, gleaming souls and apparitions, water men, dragons and snakes, as well as giant, stone, fiery or cursed armies come from the same origin. They were created becase people were afraid of the vengeance of fallen gods, or of dark, poverty, sickness, war and death.

They are always around, even when it is warm and there is enough food. But then, they are not as big or as strong and are not as dangerous as when it is cold. They are a constant reminder of the power of the nature and how pernicious excessiveness can be.

Further proof of the nature of such creatures are legromanti. Croats say that they are good when they are small and evil when they are big. They are always fighting for power. Creatures called Krsnik can also get very big. With their height and power they fight the werewolves. An old woman from Medjimurje said that in the old days children used to be father's (their foot was the size of a human body), today they are son's (they are the usual size) and in the future they will be spirit's (the size of the human foot). The genius of film-making, the Japanese director Akira Kurosawa says that same in his film titled ''Dreams''. All Croatian giants gather at the Divič-mountain. Human heroism has its origin in the tales of giants.