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Drekavac
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Background
Type Humanoid
First Sighting Unknown
Last Sighting 2020
Country Eastern Europe
Habitat Western Balkans
Possible Population Large

Drekavac (Cyrllic: дрекавац, Serbo-Croatian pronunciation: [drɛkaʋats], literally "the screamer"), also called drek, drekalo, ždrakavac, ždrekavac, zdrekavac, zrikavac, krekavac, cviljek, kukac, vriskavac and deravac is a cryptid in south Slavic lore.

Description

Drekavac comes from the souls of children who have died unbaptized.

The creature is not consistently described. One description is that its body is dappled, elongated and thin as a spindle, with disproportionately large head; yet another is that it is some kind of bird; a modern find of supposed drekavac body looked like a dog or a fox, but with hind legs similar to those of kangaroo. It may also appear in the form of a child and call for people passing near the cemetery to baptize it. One more modern description says that it is a kind of primate. The one feature everyone agrees about is its horrifying yell.

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Drekavac.jpg

Drekavac could be seen at night, especially during the twelve days of Christmas (called unbaptized days in Serbo-Croatian) and in early spring, in time where other demons appear most often. In the form of the child it predicts someone's death, but in the form of the animal, it predicts cattle disease. Drekavac rarely bothers its parents, as it is afraid of dogs.

Drekavac is often used as a child scare, in a similar way a banshee is in the West. It is probably more useful than banshees in rural areas, as children surely sometimes hear a sound of some animal and attribute it to drekavac, thus convinced it really exists; which would then probably prevent them from wandering far from home. In the cities, however, belief in it has faded, and Baba Roga, which more closely resembles western bogeyman, is much more used.

Sightings

Zlatibor forest, where the creature was sighted.

Though the creature is used as a scare tactic for children, there are adults who do believe in its existence. According to the guide of a reporter of Duga magazine, numerous villagers on the mountain of Zlatibor report seeing it, and almost everyone reports hearing it. It is commonly sighted all over Bosnia and Serbia and more rarely in Croatia, Montenegro and North Macedonia. It is most commonly sighted in the regions of Šumadija, Pomoravlje, Podunavlje, Posavina and Bosanska krajina.

Chronology of sightings

Kucin breg sighting

In an article released by the serbian newspaper ''Novosti Magazin'' in 2016, one person claimed that his grandfather saw a drekavac on Kucin breg (Kucin hill) near Lapovo in 1928. According to him, his grandfather was returning home in a horse-drawn carriage, when the horses suddenly started freaking out. He got out of the carriage to see what was wrong. He eventually sighted a small, black, hairy creature similar to a child, which was moving very fast. The creature attacked him and wouldn't stop until the roosters started singing (in serbian tradition, it is only safe to go outside once the roosters start singing). He told what happened to him to a priest, who told him that various other people reported the same thing.

Krvavica sighting

a fox carcass mistaken for a drekavac carcass by the inhabitants of Krvavica in 1991

In 1991 (or 1992 according to some sources) the villagers in the village of Krvavica, near Kruševac, found a carcass of an unknown animal. The villagers claimed that it was zdrekavac (drekavac). The animal was 80cm (31.5in) long, furless and similar to a dog. It had a snake-like head with long canine teeth, a long neck, long hind legs similar to that of a kangaroo and membranes between it's toes. One villager proposed a theory that the beast was made in a NATO lab and released into the wild. It is also worth noting that drekavac are thought to appear before the start of a war and less than a year after this sighting the yugoslav wars would begin. The most likely explanation for this creature is a fox.

Srebrno jezero sightings

In the late 90s it was rumored that drekavac as well as some other monsters were appearing near the Silver Lake (Srebrno jezero) in Serbia. the most likely explanation is either a fox or a jackal.

Tometino Polje sightings

In 2003 serbian newspapers reported that an unknown dog-like beast (which some people think is drekavac) had killed over 200 sheep in the period of 2 and a half years in the village of Tometino Polje at the foot of the mountain Divčibare. It is also mentioned that during the night screeches can be heard in that area. The most likely explanation is a fox.

Gvozdenjak sighting

In 2007 a man from Lapovo Selo claimed that he was attacked by drekavac on Gvozdenjak hill in the western part of the village. He said that he forgot his bag in the fields so he went back for it. It was late at night and he was very tired. He took the bag and started returning home when something jumped onto his back all of a sudden. He said that the beast sounded like a dog and looked like big child but heavier. He tried to fight of the beast but couldn't, so he fell to his knees and started praying to god, to which the beast dissapeared. Allegedly, at the place where he got attacked by the beast once was a turkish cemetary that the villagers destroyed.

Salaš Noćajski sightings

In 2008 in the village of Salaš Noćajski an unknown beast killed 54 sheep and goats and around 100 poultry in the span of 2 months. One villager noted that the animals that this creature was killing were between 60 and 70kg (132.3 and 154.3 lb) in weight, while another villager said that the beast entered his barn through a window that was at a height of 1.6 meters (20 feet). The most likely explanation is either a fox or a jackal.

Burovo sighting

In 2009 it was reported that a group of drekavacs had settled in the attic of a cottage in Burovo, near Lazarevac. They are described as small and loud with long cat-like bodies, long squirrel-like tails and with similar patterns to those of a panda bear on their faces. A local old lady thinks that the cause for the drekavac appearing is a nearby ww1 tomb (which is empty because the bodies were relocated), while Vera Ivanić ,the owner of the cottage, says that they come from a local pond where girls, who were raped by austrian soliders during ww1, would throw their babies. The most likely explanation for the creatures are either ferrets or weasels.

Poljanica sightings

In 2010 a solider killed an unknown beast that terrorised the inhabitants of Poljanica. The beast would kill cattle, tear into it with its claws, suck out its blood and eat its intestines. The beast would climb trees and make weird hissing noises. It had thick fur, big claws and a pointy head. The most liklely explanation for this creature is a badger.

Svojnovo sightings

In 2011 weird screams started being heard in the village of Svojinovo, near Paraćin. One villager said that one night he saw something fly over him before he turned arond and saw the creature. He described it as having a head similar to that of a small child, large eyes, long legs, small ears and a human-like nose, but wider. A possible explanation for this is an owl.

Drvar sightings

In 2011 in the town of Drvar in Bosnia and Herzegovina loud screeches started being heard during the night. Eventually the screeches became commonplace for the inhabitants of the town. One guy, who went into the forest with his friends one night, claims he saw a black, hairy creature pass by him. A possible explanation for this is either a fox, a jackal or a dog.

Polača sighting

A front leg of an unknown animal, found in Polača in 2012, which some people think belonged to a drekavac.

In 2012 a front leg of an unknown animal was found in Polača, near Knin, Croatia. It looked like a human hand, but covered in dark hair. Some people thought that the hand belonged to a drekavac. A likely explanation is that the leg belonged to a badger.

Potkozarje sightings

In 2013 screeches started being heard in Potkozarje, Bosnia. The locals think that it was drekavac.

Kantari sightings

In 2013 screeches started being heard by the unhabitants of the hamlet of Kantari in the village of Gornja Dragotinja, near Prijedor, Bosnia. Some people think that a drekavac was making those noises. A likely explanation is that it is a fox.

Crnča sightings

In 2014 in the village of Crnča in Bosnia, villagers started hearing weird screams during the night which they think are made by a drekavac. Some people who saw the creature described it as being white and large. They tried to hit it but it escaped with incredible speed. Possible explanations are that the creature is a fox or a dog while some people think it is a human.

Bribir sighting

A drawing of drekavac drawn by the croatian youtuber Dennis Domian after he allegedly saw the creature

The drawing of drekavac drawn by croatian youtuber PIKO 4 years after him and his brother Denis saw the creature

In 2016 a croatian youtuber called ''Dennis Domian'' released a video titled ''SCARY BEDTIME STORIES | sa specijalnim gostom!'' (SCARY BEDTIME STORIES | with a special guest!). In the second half of the video he claimed that two years ago (specifically on the 27. of december 2014. according to him) he and his brother saw a drekavac in front of their house which is in the village of Bribir, Croatia. It was late at night, when Denis and his brother heard their dog barking outside, so they went outside to see what's the problem. At first Denis didn't see anything, however then he noticed a strange creature standing in the road staring at him. He started approaching the creature, but then his brother shouted at him to return inside. When they went back inside they started disscusing what they saw. Eventually their parents woke up and asked them what was wrong to which they told them what they saw. Their mother belived them right away while their father was sceptical, so he separated them into two different rooms and told them to draw what they saw. Their drawings were allegedly almost identical, although we are only shown Denis's drawing in the video. Denis also states that they only learned about drekavac after their encounter with the creature. In 2018 Denis's brother Piko released a video titled ''DRAW MY HORROR STORY (English subtitles)'' in which he went over his version of the story. The only notable difference is that Piko claimed that the drekavac was in the garden while Denis claimed it was on the road. He also mentioned that the creature moved like it was made out of rubber. He also made a quick drawing of the creature.

Korićani sightings

In 2015 something started terrorising the inhabitants of the village of Korićani, near Kragujevac. During the night they would hear screams, get stones thrown at their windows and hear knocking on their doors. One day the villagers found a cross with two chicken heads and a pair of chicken legs hanging from it. The most likely explanation is that a person is doing this. The attacks started shortly after St. Basil's day (Vasiljevdan).

Kukavica sighting

In 2015 a couple was attacked by an unknown creature in a forest on the mountain Kukavica. They described it as looking like a bear but smaller, but shortly after as being similar to a dog. They also mentioned that older people from the village would tell them stories of omaj, a demon from slavic mythology. A possible explanation is that this creature was a dog or a fox.

Laktaši sightings

In 2017 in the villages of Maglajani, Mrčevci and Petoševci, near Laktaši, an unknown beast started killing livestock (specifically a couple of sheep, pigeons and rabbits). There were three people who claimed to have encountered the beast. The first one was allegedly so shaken by the event that he doesn't even know how to describe what he saw, the second one who saw the creature says that it was a two meter tall, hairy creature with a large head, long legs and claws on its feet while the third one describes it as walking on all fours, being 70cm tall, hairy and making sounds similar to that of an owl.

Vranovac sightings

In 2018 screeches started being heard in the village of Vranovac, near Jagodina. One villager who saw the creature when he was young described it as being quite big and having glowing eyes. He was returning home when he saw it, he tried to light a match because old people told him that if he ever sees a demon he should light a fire, but the match wouldn't light itself, so he said ''Oh lord please get this thing out of my way'' at which point the creature jumped into a nearby bush. When night fell he lit a torch, but when he was passing by a local creek the torch suddenly went out, after which he saw the creature next to the creek. After that a very loud splash was heard as the creature jumped back into the water. He then ran back to the village because according to serbian tradition it is only safe to go out when the roosters start singing.

Debeljača sightings

A golden jackal, mistook for a Drekavac by the inhabitants of Debeljača in 2018

In 2018 a mysterious creature started being seen around the town of Debeljača. According to descriptions, the creature was similar to a dog, had strong legs and could move extremely fast. Eventually someone managed to take a picture of the beast, which turned out to be a golden jackal.

Tri Pipe sighting

A screenshot from a video by the croatian youtuber Dennis Domian in which you can see a thing which he claims is a drekavac (zoomed in)

In 2019 a croatian youtuber called ''Dennis Domian'' released a video titled ''PROVEO SAM NOĆ NA UKLETOM MJESTU! / SBS SPECIJAL'' (I SPENT A NIGHT IN A HAUNTED PLACE! / SBS SPECIAL). In the second half of the video he goes to a place called Tri pipe (Three pipes) between the villages of Blaškovići and Bribir, Tri pipe are three pipes next to a road which is surrounded by a forest. The place is famous for strange things happening such as people having their vehicles stop working, hearing crying and screeching and getting rocks thrown at them from the forest. When he got there it was past midnight on friday the 13th. When he got there he could hear screeching from the forest, which he atributed to a jackal. He looked around for a bit before entering his car. He would spend the rest of the video in the car reading his fans paranormal experiences. The rest of the video went by without anything weird happening, however when he posted the video fans started commenting about a strange thing that can be seen through the window of his car at 24:37. Some people thought that the thing was an alien while others thought it was an utvara (a type of ghost from slavic mythology), however around a year later Denis would make a video in which he would say that he thinks that the thing was a drekavac. He would go on to say that the thing looked very similar to the drekavac that he and his brother saw in front of their house, which is just a few kilometers away from Tri pipe, a few years earlier.

Belgrade sightings

In July 2020 people in Belgrade started hearing wierd noises similar to a gong during the night. The sound was heard by people living in Karaburma, Zvezdara, Grocka, Mirijevo and Vračar. Some people thought it was aliens, some that it was 5G and some that it was drekavac. A possible explanation is that the sound is due to the emptying of the district heating system.

Similar creatures

Bukavac, recorded in Srem, a six-legged monster with gnarled horns that lives in water, coming out of it during the night making noise, and to try to strangle people and animals.

Jaud (pronounced [jaud]), similar to drekavac, from a vampirised premature baby.

Myling

Nav, the soul of dead child that died before its third age.

Nekrštenac

Plakavac, recorded in Herzegovina, is a small vampire, a newborn strangled by its mother, which will rise from its grave at night, return to its house and scream around it, but otherwise can't do any harm.

Svirac

Mátranovák Treeskinner, a fast and agile, thin, but muscular bodied hominid cryptid from Hungary which is eerily similar to the description of Drekavac. Known for it's howl that sounds like the thin scream of a woman turning into a death rattle and to be noctural and afraid of bright lights.

Koko

Beast of Ljig

Rijeka Reaper

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