Mythology

Once you arrive to the region of Bilogora, you will not be able to avoid legends and stories about mythological creatures that once inhabited the entire region. These stories are part of the culture of this area and are still passed down from generation to generation, so you will surely hear about Glođan (a legendary evil creature), small hunters or forest lasses (dekle).

Forest lasses (dekle) are small mythological creatures with girlish faces that live in the forests of Bilogora. Their body is covered with hair, they have long arms and legs, they are afraid of people, but according to tradition, they would still happily enter the yards of the locals. Unlike them, fairies are not covered with hair, they are dressed in white, wear veils on their heads, and can turn into a flower, bird or butterfly. Their fellows, witches, or as the Kajkavian population of the area call them, “coprnice”, turn into dogs or cats and are not as polished and approachable in appearance. Even more dangerous than them are the Sene. The Sena is a terrible creature that, according to stories, comes out of the ground at night, flies above the ground and steals people and takes them underground to eat them or turn them into its servants.

One of the creatures that people, especially children, are most afraid of is the Glođan. This being is compared to a dark shadow without a human form that hides in dark places and stalks children. Disobedient children were also afraid of the old lady, Babaroga, who, according to tradition, had a hut in the middle of Bilogora where she took wayward children. Adults, on the other hand, were afraid of the Mora (Incubus), creatures that enter sleep and bring nightmares, devils who wanted to turn them away from their faith and ensure their place in hell, and giants called Svećarci (Candlemen) who, if the candle in their hands went out, would herald death someone close. Pintars or coopers also foreshadowed death to a person who would hear a sound similar to a cooper’s banging. Terrible mythological creatures are the darkness, which is equated with an evil spirit and attacks primarily women at night, but also men, the waterman who lives in Česma, Ilova and Bjelovacka and pulls people into whirlpools, and small hunters who were not particularly dangerous, but caused fear and restlessness in people.

However, not all Bilogora mythological creatures caused fear among the locals. Peasants quarreling over the land would seek help from the Induljers, who were known as surveyors, or the loud giants, the Vedi, helped them with chores around the house, three women known as Suđenice (Judges) came to homes when a new-born was born to determine what kind of a life the child would have and how long they would live, and bearded dwarves known as earth spirits stayed out of their way and worked hard in the mines below the village.

Mythological creatures and stories about them are a large part of the history and tradition of the Bjelovar-Bilogora region. Even today, the inhabitants cherish them and gladly share them with everyone who arrives in their area, so there is even a Trail of Strange Creatures. It is an educational trail located at the Vlajnić family’s excursion site “Na malenom brijegu”, which contains educational information about the mythological creatures of Bjelovar and Bilogora that you don’t want to miss.

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