MYTOLOGICAL WATER GHOST
According to records of ethnologists and beliefs to the present day, water ghost exists. He is a dwarf, about a meter high and completely reminds of Snow White’s seven Dwarfs from Disney’s cartoons, with bloated cheeks, long beards to the belt, and red round nose. His ears and legs are as goats and in the middle forehead there’s a horn.
There are exactly 100 Water ghosts. Tartor is the leader among them and they also call him the “old man”. The remaining ninety nine are his assistants. Tartor carries a whip, for punishing his assistants and catching the drowning men, taking them to the bottom of a river. Always carrying the drum to publish news and invite to their annual celebration. Among people this day is known as the infernal day.
People have always feared of him, and did not want to mention his real name. They called him Drake. But the name hasn’t changed that belief. There are still stories that Tartor has a glass castle in all the waters and each drowning man is his victim. In wells and creeks in the shallowest swamps or deep rivers, there is a huge transparent building at the bottom. Tartor does not have to leave it, and, whenever he whishes a man fall to his feet. Satisfied with his booty, he’s showing his generosity to the people from that region.
That is how it is believed that the sacrifice of drowning man is for the general good, for leniency towards the living. On the Danube, in the vicinity of Donji Milanovac there is a small lake, which almost never has swimmers, although water is very pleasant. Indigenous warn the tourists not to swim. To those who are stubborn, they talk about the victims that disappeared without leaving a trace and ended in the glass castle, which was built in the lacustrine mud.
The brave entered the water, but later had some strange changes in life.
Today is believed that if Tartor doesn’t take his victim immediately, he calls three times during the night. Those who don’t respond to a call avoid instructions where and when to come. But there are others, succeed to propitiate him. They, it is believed, serve him for a long time, followed by luck that suddenly stops with great damage in the home or tragedy.
Only for him people perform various rituals today, to propitiate him for the benefit of the community.