With all the bad weather recently, a demon of storms felt appropriate. I think the Ala may have been hungry.
The Ala / Hala
The ala is a female creature of springtime wind, hail, and thunderstorms, belonging to Macedonian, Bulgarian, and Serbian folklore. She is thought have a serpentine appearance, and great wings. Regionally her description varies. Some say that her tail dangles from the clouds, and that seeing her head can cause insanity. Some tales give her a horse head, and some give her three serpent heads, and other tales say she is the sister of the dragon. Its nemesis was the imperial eagle, or the dragon, who would fly up into the rain clouds and chase the ala away.
The ala is said to devour everything in its path, destroying crops, and uprooting fields because of her insatiable hunger, and even took bites out of the moon. Other stories say she can disguise herself as a human or an animal, and only men with six fingers can see her true form.
Other stories say she can posses humans. People exhibiting the properties of the ala were called Aloviti men in Serbia. These men possessed great hunger, and unusual strength, and could only be killed with gold or silver bullets.
The ala is sometimes associated with the Baba Yaga, of eastern Slavic mythology. Baba is thought to have come from the name of a proto-slavic deity, associated with wind, darkness, and rain.
- Ala (demon) – There is an impressive list of references and footnotes to this Wikipedia article, though most are not in English.
Related Creatures: baba yaga, bad weather spirits
Region of Origin: Macedonia/Bulgaria/Serbia
Interestingly there is a counterpart to the Aloviti men. Just like people could possess properties of the Ala, people could possess properties of the dragon, its nemesis. Man the story possibilities there…
I hope all of you affected by Sandy are doing okay! Sending warm wishes.