Baba Yaga

Baba Yaga, as depicted by Ivan Bilibin (1902)

In Slavic Folklore (mostly Russia, but also Croatia, Serbia etc.), the Baba Yaga (Russian: Баба-яга) is a supernatural being or witch that takes the form of a hideous old woman.

Baba Yaga is usually described as wearing a cloak or dress, with bright red eyes and teeth of sharpened stone or metal. It is said that she lives in a hut deep in the woods that stands on chicken legs (or one chicken leg), surrounded by a fench of bones taken from her victims, and that she flies around in a mortar wielding a pestle.

There are sometimes shown to be three Baba Yagas, who are sisters. In those cases, they all have the same name.


Baba is a word meaning 'old woman'. It can also be applied to various animals, phenomena, and inanimate objects. It is not fully known what Yaga means.

Baba Yaga can be a maternal figure, as the word Baba also means grandmother.


Baba Yaga's House

In Popular Media

  • Baba Yaga is a monster in the mobile game Monster Legends.
  • Baba Yaga appears in the Anastasia prequel, Bartok the Magnificient, where she is accused of kidnapping Prince Ivan and Bartok is sent to rescue him; having to gather three items for Baba Yaga to prove his worthiness before she shows him where the Prince is.
  • Baba Yaga appears in the Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated episode “The House of the Nightmare Witch”. She and her house are an exhibit at a Russian museum before being shipped to Crystal Cove, California, where the museum curator disguises himself as the Baba Yaga to steal fabergé eggs.