We all know about vampires and werewolves, or at least we think we do. The legends and myths that inspired these monsters are sometimes surprisingly different, but no less chilling. In this series of posts, Monster Monday, we’ll investigate the monsters that have informed our modern notions, as well as some lesser known monsters. Today, we talk about Lady Midday.
Lady Midday, also known as Poludnitsa in Russian, is spirit in Slavic folklore. She is usually depicted as a beautiful woman wearing a white dress, though sometimes she appears as an old hag or a young girl. Sometimes she also carries a scythe or shears and travels in a cloud of swirling dust.
She appears in agricultural fields during the hottest part of the day in the summer months and accosts people while they are trying to work. She asks difficult questions, and if she doesn’t like the answers she will make the person ill with heatstroke or even try to kill them with her shears. She has also been known to drive people mad. In addition, she abducts children who wander into the fields of tall grain and get lost and is used by parents to scare children away from crops.
Czech composer Antonín Dvořák wrote a symphonic poem called The Noon Witch based on the Lady Midday legend.