Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O [P] R S T U V W X Y Z

POLUDNICA

(Poe-low-NICKA)
Variations: Lady Midday, Poludniowka, Polunditsa ("noon-wife"), Psezpolnica, Rzanica
In Slovenia there is a vampiric demon that looks like a beautiful, tall woman wearing white or dressed as if in mourning. In either guise, a poludnica ("noon") carries a scythe or shears. During harvest time, right around noon, a poludnica attacks laborers who are working and not taking their proper rest, causing them to be afflicted with heatstroke or madness if they are lucky. If not, the poludnica will lure them off with her beauty and when she has them in a secluded place, attack viciously, draining them of their blood. It also will break the arms and legs of anyone it happens to come across. If a poludnica comes up to a field worker, it will start to ask him difficult questions. As soon as he cannot answer one, it will chop off his head. If a poludnica is seen, one must immediately drop to the ground and lie perfectly still until it meanders off. The male version of the poludnica is called polevoy.
Typically a bundle of grain is decorated whenharvest starts to keep poludnica at bay, and when harvest time is over, the effigy is burned.
In addition to attacking laborers, it also steals children that it found wandering unattended as the adults worked. Most likely the poludnica is a nursery bogey used by parents to keep their children from wandering off and damaging the crops. It is also an excellent story for a worker who wants to take a break.
Source: Grey, Mythology of All Races, 267; Oinas, Essays on Russian Folklore, 103­10; Rou Vek, Slavonic Encyclopaedia, 237
Link:

Forum link: