Noonwraith, the rye lady, a woman with iron teeth. It doesn’t matter how you’ll call her, woe
unto you when you see her. This female demon carries with herself a deadly danger for those, who dared to work on the fields at noon.
She could take several forms. Sometimes she appeared as a wind vortex, the other time as a beautiful, pale woman dressed in white with loose hair. Some said, that this stunning corporeal shell is just a spell that has been cast on a victim and the fact is, that the real noonwraith was an ugly, emaciated old lady. Nonetheless, the unchangeable element that accompanied her, was a sickle, which she used to kill her victims and a backpack for kidnapped children. Sometimes, they were seen while lying and basking on the sheaves of hay.
It was believed, that noonwraiths were women, who died before or soon after their wedding. In best case, they were giving headaches and fainting to the reapers, but they had no resistance to kill. Noonwraiths also liked to ask riddles to their victims and in case of a bad answer, the wretch immediately loses his life. And if she caught a reaper, resting in the sun, sleeping without any shadow that could cover him, she choked him or severely burned.
“At noon the souls of young girls were walking among the cereals. They were dressed in white and had loose hair” (AKE UMCS, 1060).
“Even now, in the villages, there are sayings about the noonwraiths. They are walking across the fields at noon. These are women dressed in white. If somebody doesn’t want to come off the field at noon, then the people say: if you don’t come home, you’ll see, the noonwraith will banish you.” (AKE UMCS, 8)
Not only those, who were working on the fields were supposed to fear these demons, but also children weren’t safe. Noonwraiths loved to kidnap disobedient offspring that was moving away from their parents, next, to bury them alive. Is there any way to protect yourself from the noonwraith? Indeed, there is. The easiest from possible – is to avoid work during sunny days at noon, the hottest part of the day, and hide in the shadow or come back home. It seems to me, that it is more efficient than the holy water, which, for sure, was used by many christian missionaries to sprinkle the field.
Przeczytaj oryginalny polski artykuł o demonie Południca.