In past centuries, people in Russia often met with evil spirits and did not hesitate to tell about it

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A sore point for the study of anomalous phenomena is the so-called problem of trust. How reliable modern stories of people who claim that they have been in contact with aliens, dwarves, elves or evil spirits?


If the study of folklore, we can read about many similar stories in the past century. And when people talked about it, they swore that it was true. Each storyteller is know and indicate when, where and with whom the event occurred. And very often this happened to neighbors of the witness, his relatives or on themselves and thus in the stories had a lot of detailed parts.

В прошлые века люди в России часто встречались с нечистой силой и не стеснялись рассказывать об этом

Folklorist V. Zinoviev from Irkutsk, the compiler of a collection of «Mythological stories of the Russian population of Eastern Siberia» has collected many such stories. Here he talks to one farmer. The first thing he said to him:

— I’m a believer, and then we have to believe.

And then sets out creepy and mysterious accident, witnessed by his countrymen. Are called specific names. Thus, it is possible to check the validity of the message by cross-examination of witnesses. What Zinoviev immediately does. And make sure: the testimony of the witnesses coincide in detail. That is, these people are telling the truth.

Recounting dozens of stories about encounters with evil spirits, Zinoviev says one of them: the narrator sketched on paper the plan area, «it also said how it happened, who was where and where the meeting happened. All this gave the story an undeniable authenticity, truly fascinated». Folklorist breeds in disbelief with his hands: «How to reconcile the undoubted atheism of the narrator with the content and style of the story?»

In the story of Turgenev «Bezhin meadow» farm boys tell each other what they had heard from adults little stories about mermaids, hobgoblins, and other evil spirits

В прошлые века люди в России часто встречались с нечистой силой и не стеснялись рассказывать об этом

Another well-known collector of folklore, P. Bazhov in his essay «the old mine» tells the story of a conversation with the elderly Urals Vasily by Malininym. The conversation took place on the steps of the sentry-box near mine a wood stock.

Khmelenina heard a few stories about the antics of evil spirits in the vicinity of the mine, Bazhov asks him a question, saying, not empty if the tales of it all? No, the old man answered, «not fairy tales, and tales Yes polivalina surnamed. Otherwise, listen-to, and to talk to everyone you can, with caution necessary.»

Bazhov immediately says: «Man, as can be seen, and he wanted to count all for the truth. He said as if he really saw and heard. When I mentioned the place, visible from the guardhouse, Khmelinin showed his hand: «get Out of that place and fell…» Khmelinin — emphasizes Bazhov knew the life of the mine in all details.»

Folklorist P. Rybnikov describes a scene on the banks of the river Onega: «And how often do you people go to evil spirits?» — I asked for Shui-Navolok. In response to my question the people of Zaonezhye brought me dozens of examples from past and recent days, I nakasali cases which were heard or which they had seen».

Folklorist Maksimov in the book «evil, unknown and the power of the cross» highlights the most important feature of the Russian reports of encounters with strange creatures. He writes: «Stories of this kind are extremely common, and striking an amazing monotony of the particulars of the phenomenon.»

At the same capture their attention and V. Propp «the Historical roots of the magic tale»: «the Likeness is much wider and deeper than it seems to the naked eye.»

Folklorist N. Onchukov recorded at the beginning of the XX century a lot of «contact plots», similar often even in the smallest details. By summing them, hell, he writes: «As can be seen from the stories in these incidents there is nothing especial, extraordinary, and all the incidents and meetings with the devils, the devils, dead ever happened, or by the narrators, or with a well-known or quite close to them by the people.»

E. Pomerantseva from the University of Moscow, the head of many modern folklore expeditions, also claims that any message about the contact with the evil spirit «always has the character of testimony: the narrator either tells about his own experiences case, either refers to the authority of the person from whom he this case was heard.» Pomerantsev insists every story like this «is the artless testimony».

She cites, for example, is the testimony of one of the peasant about her meeting with evil: «I saw this big pribolshoy. Hat on him Bolsena such broad».

And also such evidence: people told about how he at the age of ten saw hell, says: «by God, was such a case!»

Again, Zinoviev read: «I do not believe anything, and then they heard the voice, the he saw.» The veracity of the incident, the participant of the event no doubt.

В прошлые века люди в России часто встречались с нечистой силой и не стеснялись рассказывать об этом

The history of this kind a long time ago was called the Russian people the true stories, baladine, polyvalente.

Folklorists and B. Y. Sokolov wrote in the early XX century: with legends of this type «connect a known amount of faith in the reality of the incident. No wonder they are sometimes called «true stories»».

Pomerantsev points out: «the Word «bilicki» was overheard by the brothers B. and J. Sokolovym have Belozersky peasants, used and commented upon in the famous collection and with their put into practice of Russian folklorists. A kind of «lyrical hero» little stories is «witness.» His potrasenoy meeting with beings of the other world always it is there».

«Man Kuzmin has told me and swore», — noticed oath devoutly man (say, all this is true!), faced with evil, folklorist P. Efimenko in the book «Demonology of the inhabitants of the Arkhangelsk province», published in 1884.

«Data on true stories passed down to us from the first half of the nineteenth century, said Zinoviev, is also have the character of ascertaining the representation of the people of hell».

N. Onchukov as the brothers Sokolov, noted that stories about evil spirits, in contrast to fantastic tales, character information about the real accidents and are called by the locals «stories».

I. Karnaukhova, collected and published in 1934, «Tales and legends of the Northern territory», also insists on nevydumannye reports of encounters with unknown creatures. «The term «byvalschiny» — she said, — suggests that the narrator considers the true event about which it narrates».

The same conclusion is drawn by another famous collector of folklore D. Balashov who has released in 1970, «Tales of the Tersky coast of the White sea»: «Every bilicki… always starts a sort of «real» intonation: who, where, when, and with whom it happened, who told».

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