Our creature is lesser-known to the general public but at the same time we found the mention of it in almost every part of Croatia, so we gathered as much information as we could and even found some mentions of Slota amongst the older local population. As always let's start with the basics.
So what is Slota? Well, it is a nocturnal supernatural creature. Although there are mentions of it being a metamorphic being often appearing as a pig or a chicken; Slota is mostly described as a gray tall figure that is walking on to cow-like feet. It is said to be extremely silent and can mostly be found on farms or amongst animals. Slota was blamed for the epidemics amongst both humans and animals.
In some parts, Slota is even linked to the plague and is blamed to have caused devastating nature fires. If a farmer would find the dead animal in the morning Slota was mostly blamed for Today, we would blame wolves, foxes, or other predators, but in the past, people used to blame something supernatural for their misfortune.
On the other hand, there are mentions of Slota's attacking humans if they found themselves in their path. One such story can be found in Croatian zagorje and it goes like this -
Real Story of Slota
Approximately a hundred years ago, in a small farming community, something weird started happening. A farmer woke up one morning to find the dead chicken. He was sad as every animal meant food on the family's table, but he didn't think it was strange as animals sometimes just died without probable cause.
On the next morning, he found two more dead chickens that had no feathers missing, no bite wounds, and were just fine the evening before when he closed them in the hen house. He was afraid to eat the meat not knowing what the cause of their death was, he had to bury them. As he was cursing and digging a hole his neighbor overheard him and came to check what was wrong. To his surprise, his neighbor said that he also had some problems and that three of his chickens and the rooster were dead in the morning despite them being fine the evening before. Two men agreed to wait until the next day to see if it would happen again. And it did. They found dead animals and went around the neighborhood asking other neighbors if they noticed something. Of course, everyone reported at least one animal dying in their household.
So the men decided that a few of them would sleep in the barn to see what was going on. As the next morning came men who slept in the barn didn't return home. The families were worried, so they went to look for them. To their shock all men were dead, covered in black spots and bleeding from the mouth. All except one.
The man who survived managed to stay alive only to say that the creature they all thought was an old wives tale was the cause of their death. Slota; the gray headless creature and brings illness.
It is said that the Slota visited the village every night until the last animal was dead. After that, when new animals were brought to the household not a single one died of unnatural causes ever again. It is interesting to mention that a few months back we came across the footage from America and this Croatian mythological creature is somehow very similar in appearance.
So are Slota and nightcrawlers one and the same thing? Who knows. Slota, myth, or reality? Can epidemics be blamed on something supernatural or is mother nature to blame for the catastrophic disease outbursts? It is up to you to decide and remember there is always something lurking in the darkness waiting to make you sick.