Werewolves in Russia

In Russia, there are actually two different types of werewolves, and they are very different indeed.

The first is known as the wawkalak. This type of werewolf has seriously angered the Devil and because of that, has been turned into a werewolf. However, wawkalaks were not considered to be evil, or even vicious. They would simply return to their village and lick the hands of the ones they knew to show their love for the people. Their friends and family would always recognize the wolf, and would feed him to keep up his strength. The biggest curse that the wawkalak would have placed upon him (with the exception of now being a wolf) was that they could not stay in any one place for too long because they would need a constant change of scenery. So, they would roam from house to house looking for food, shelter, and love. Aw, sounds kind of sweet doesn’t it? Besides the whole pissing off the Devil thing?

The other type of werewolf that’s known in and around Russia is the bodark. This type of werewolf was once a person, but instead of being made to transform into a wolf, the person who becomes a bodark actually wants to be one. To do so, they would need to run into the forest and stab a copper knife into a tree. Still holding the knife, they are then to repeat this chant:

“On the sea, on the ocean, on the island, on Bujan,
On the empty pasture gleams the moon, on an ashstock lying
In a green wood, in a gloomy vale.
Toward the stock wandereth a shaggy wolf.
Horned cattle seeking for his sharp white fangs;
But the wolf enters not the forest,
But the wolf dives not into the shadowy vale,
Moon, moon, gold-horned moon,
Cheek the flight of bullets, blunt the hunters’ knives,
Break the shepherds’ cudgels,
Cast wild fear upon all cattle,
On men, on all creeping things,
That they may not catch the grey wolf,
That they may not rend his warm skin
My word is binding, more binding than sleep,
More binding than the promise of a hero!”

Once the tree had been stabbed, and the incantation chanted, the person would then run off into the forest, changing into a werewolf as he did so. Whether or not these wolves would look for humans to feast on and harm is unclear. But I know I’d much rather run into a wawkalak than I would a bodark!

– Kate


  1. Could you please put all the information about werwolves in east europe and russia together?
    I would like to compare it with some information ive found about werewolves in the south-west of europe

  2. Love Russia culture. They are pretty different, and this history is very good! I liked it ^~

    Awesome job Kate

  3. i’m writing a story that involves werewolves in russia and if you have any other type of legends or information that i could use, please send it to me.

  4. um.. one question i want to becom a bodark and do bodarks stand up on there hind legs or do they just look like a plain old wolf because i want to become one and befor i do i just dont want to have hair on my face and walk around like tht i want to hav a (snout,claws,)etc.

    1. Don’t know if you’ll get this, but no worries, bodarks are like, normal wolves. But the bodark ritual has to take place in Sibera, to a certain type of tree. Copper knife and incatation proper, but it is illegal in russia, even if they say it does nothing. Curious, huh.

  5. Most of the legends seems to end up with the werewolf being hunted and killed. The Russian ones can go home and get fed. Sort of fits though, if you think about how the people of Moscow interact with their stray dog population. (You know – the ones that catch the subway and all).

    Excerpt from wiki – you should read the whole article as it talks about different behaviours to getting food etc.


    Among the general human population, the dogs are simultaneously viewed affectionately and as a problem, and at worst are generally tolerated. Many people choose to feed them and some people will build basic shelters for them in winter. They have come to be considered by many a component of the city’s character.

  6. Lol – then there is this about the Moscow dogs:

    In 2001, a woman who was on her way home with her terrier used a kitchen knife to stab to death a dog named Malchik, a black stray who had made Mendeleyevskaya station his home, guarding it against drunks and other dogs, because he had barked at them. The incident, which occurred in front of rush-hour commuters, provoked outrage among celebrities and the general public. The woman was arrested, tried and underwent a year of psychiatric treatment. Funds were raised to erect a bronze statue of Malchik in memoriam, which now sits at the station’s entrance. Passersby are known to rub the statue’s nose, “for luck”

  7. The thing is about bodark. They can fuck around with ghosts but it only makes their death certain

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