Rusalki are malicious spirits dwelling at the bottom of lakes and rivers where they once as young women died an unnatural death. Some committed suicide by drowning, wishing to escape violent marriages. Others were brutally murdered by their husbands, often because they became pregnant with an unwanted child. Having not lived out their designated time on earth, their wrathful souls return to haunt the place of their parting as vengeful rusalki and lure men into watery depths with eerie laughter or by imitating the crying of infants. Rusalki use their own hair to entangle the feet of men foolish enough to follow a rusalka into the water and submerge themselves, causing the victim to suffocate under the waves. After the retribution for her mortal death is carried out, the rusalka
may move onward peacefully and no longer haunt that body of water. With faces pale like the moon and red or green hair, which is described as perpetually wet and measuring twice the length of their bodies, rusalki resemble water nymphs but their luminescent, cadaverous skin and sad, fathomless eyes shining with spiteful fire betray their horrible origin.