Георгий Белащенко. Вий. 1897.
Viy by Georgy Belaschenko. 1897.
In East Slavic mythology, the Viy’s are creatures from the underworld, whose gaze kills. Their eyes are usually covered with large eyelids that they can not lift unassisted.
This Ukrainian depiction by Georgy Belaschenko is based on Nikolai Gogol’s short horror story "Viy".
According to Belarussian and Russian folk tales, the Viy’s eyelids could only be lifted by helpers with pitchforks. Whoever made eye contact with a Viy would die. In some versions whole towns and villages would turn into rubble upon the gaze of a Viy. It is considered that the creature is based on the folk idea of the evil eye, which can damage or kill whatever it rests its gaze upon.