Water Demon, Lurer of Men, Temptress
Rusalki are generally depicted as young, physically attractive girls or women with long hair, dextrous feet and slim bodies. According to some sources, they can manipulate their appearance to conform to the ideals of those whom they wish to abduct.
- Are said to have emerged from the spirits of young women who either drowned themselves of their own volition or were forcibly drowned against their will (usually by husbands or male lovers)
- Lure young men into the depths of various waterways using their looks, voices, or both, whereupon they ensnare, submerge and ultimately kill their prey (cf. Greek sirens)
- Can render their skin sleek and slippery in an instant, preventing their prey from latching onto them as they ascend to the water's surface
- Possibly have influenced the idea of mermaids in modern culture