Myth of the Week

Rusalka (Slavic)

Chances are you know óf the Rusalka albeit not by this name or even identified as a Slavic myth! She is an evil water nymph usually represented as a beautiful young woman who appears in or around pools, small lakes and other waterways. She will tempt young farmers or fishermen to come and enter the water with her and then drown them.

Their providence is somewhat of a mystery, but connaisseurs seem to agree on the idea that they came from young women who drowned themselves after being jilted by a lover. 

Rusalka are usually represented as young, scantilly clad women with an extremely pale, almost translucent skin and green, glowing eyes. They are most dangerous in the first weeks of June. Sallant detail: in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine it was forbidden to swim during this week and the Rusalka week (early June) was still celebrated in Belarus, Russia and the Ukraine when the spirits are ritually banished, right up until the 1930's.


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    Here you can find the latest updates on the European Ghost Literary Project. Every week we will add news on the progress of the project. Everything from new writers, stories that came in, questions that concern us all, decisions that were made, publication of the stories and all the less exciting details of the project.


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    History of the European Ghost Project

    It has been a little quiet on the European Ghost Project lately, but you will excuse me since I have been busy in my private life lately. I hope from now on things will quiet down a little bit and I have some more time to spend on the Project. In the meantime, let me tell you a bit about the history of the Project.

    The Project actually started as a brain wave in 2004 with the conviction that the European Union could never function as the United States of Europe. For over 2000 years we have been developing our sense of self, creating a communal identity through culture and mythology. Sometimes we 'borrow' myths from other peoples, sometimes we invent them ourselves, but in whatever way they enter our pantheon, they are part of our cultural identity. And 2000 years of living next to each other (and sometimes warring with each other) have strengthened our identities and engraved them firmly into even our personal identities. A formula of cooperation like the one of the United States of America will therefore not work. Our separate cultural identities are simply too strong. What will come into being instead will be an economical, military and political symbiosis. This will be culturally intermingled, perhaps, due to migration, but never made into one communal European Culture. And neither should we want to. The differences is what makes it so great.

    I left the idea since I was convinced someone with more intelligence, money, time and/or opportunity would have the same idea. Instead I traveled the world. For 3 years I travelled from St. Petersburg to Hawaii and from Venezuela to Norway. When I came back in 2007/08 the European Ghost Project was very far from my mind. Lots had happened in the meantime and I didn't think about it again until in 2008/2009 the economical crisis really hit. I was (and still am) appalled by the rate of which the European politicians were (and are) shoving changes down the throats of Europe's citizens and the way they are dividing the very people they are supposed to unite!

    Not a politician and not being paid to make world-alternating decisions, I decided to do the only thing a lowly citizen can do: start an internet project. I taught myself some tricks of the trade and started to reach out to cultural communities throughout Europe. With alternating results: sometimes it was met with applause, other times I ran into a wasps' nest of political discussions and a few times I stumbled upon some very seedy communities whose political ideas should never see the light of day.

    But it also brought some major successes, like the stories we have on display in the Stories section and dozens of followers who were waiting for the next one to arrive.

    Partly because of the alternating results and partly because my private life was getting more and more demanding, in 2011, I decided to leave the project for a while until I found a more productive way of approaching the writers and the public. 

    For two years my mind stayed blank and leaving the project never sat right with me. So, in the winter of 2013 I picked it back up, dusted it off and here we are, picking up from where we left off, with (pretty much) the same writers and hoping for more.

    So, if you know of any writers willing to rewrite a popular or unknown myth, please let him or her drop us a line at!

    In the meantime, keep on writing!