Baba Yaga (Campfire edition)

This was a story that my informant heard while he was on a camping trip with his friends near Los Angeles. Rather than telling scary stories, which was the usual tradition, the theme was just interesting stories that they found interesting that someone told them.

Once there was a Russian witch named Baba Yaga. She had a house in the middle of the forest on stilts with chicken feet attached to them. One time, an orphan bot was wandering in the forest and he saw this house. He opened the gate and it creaked. Then he saw Baba Yaga who caught him and put him in a cage so she could eat him. Then he came across a hungry cat who asked “Can you feed me?” When the orphan boy does that, the cat becomes satisfied and asks him for anything he wished. The boy asked if he could open the lock. So the cat did. Then while he is running to freedom, he comes across a rug which seemed very dusty. He decided to dust it since Baba Yaga was nowhere in sight. At this moment, the carpet comes to life, thanks the boy and flies away. The boy, too terrified about Baba Yaga, decided to keep running to the gate. On his way, he decided to grab a stick of butter, thinking that it might come in handy at a later time. When he reached the gate, he realizes the gates were creaky so he decided to oil them. The gate also comes to life, thanks the boy, and allows him to go out. But on his way out, he encounters Baba Yaga coming out of the forest. Her teeth glistened in the sun and at the reflection she started to chase the orphan on her flying broomstick. But the carpet comes back and aids the boy, who gets on his back, and flies across a lake. Baba Yaga, being unable to control her broom, falls into the water and melts. But she somehow manages to revive through remolding herself at the lake’s edge. But by that time the boy had already ran far enough that she couldn’t chase him. She shook her fist then went back in the forest.


The story seems like a regular campfire story, which implies that there are some exaggerations and changes involved in the story. The story seems to be based off the Russian folktale of Baba Yaga, which can be found here ( But in this version, there seems to be some other stories mixed in. For example, the flying carpet can be traced to an Arabian origin, while the three trials was an addition from Propp. But there also seems to be some additions from the original tale, like the forest and her cannibalism. Nevertheless, this story seems to have a mixed origin and reflects a garbled story which is told at a campfire for entertainment.