The Domovoi (dom meaning “house”) is a guardian spirit in Russia. He is referred to as “Grandfather” behind his back. Known to be shy, he is not given to make public appearances and is rarely seen, but can be heard nightly in odd groans and creaks. When he does scurry out from behind the stove and across the kitchen floor at night, he is usually with fur and has been mistaken for a cat or a dog. This is his most frequent form, but once in a while he will take the shape of the master of the house and can be seen as a doppelganger ( a double). Reports of the Domovoi as a very old man with a bread are frequent.

When the Domovoi is not in the kitchen, he will wander into the stable, and is said to even groom the horses in the middle of the night. He is fond of horses and cows and can converse with them.

He is usually a domesticated presence, vital to the intrnisic health of the household. But, like all demonic species, he is volatile, impulsive, and subversive by nature. When a Domovoi is aggravated by homeowners, or thinks he has not been paid proper respect. For example if there is salt in his porridge offering, dishes left in the sink, or simply no special treat left for him he can quickly erupt in a violent tantrum. He throws pots at the head of household. He spreads manure all over the front door and stoop. He ties horses to the stalls so they cannot get to their food and slowly starve to death.