The rusalka is a malicious female entity in Slavic mythology frequently associated with water. The term "rusalka" was a title used by Slavic pagans who linked them with fertility and did not consider rusalki evil before the 19th century. They came out of the water in the spring to transfer life-giving moisture to the fields and thus helped nurture the crops.
In 19th-century versions, a rusalka is an unquiet, dangerous being who is no longer alive, associated with the unclean spirit. Young women, who either committed suicide by drowning due to an unhappy marriage or who were violently drowned against their will, must live out their designated time on Earth as rusalki. However, the initial Slavic lore suggests that not all rusalki occurrences were linked with death from water.
The soul of a young woman who died in or near a body of water would come back to haunt that specific waterway. This undead rusalka is not malevolent, and would be allowed to die in peace if her death is avenged. Her main purpose is, however, to lure young men, seduced by either her looks or her voice, into the depths of said waterways where she would entangle their feet with her long red hair and submerge them. Her body would instantly become very slippery and not allow the victim to cling on to her body in order to reach the surface. She would then wait until the victim had drowned, or, on some occasions, tickle them to death, as she laughed. A rusalka is generally considered to represent universal beauty, making them highly feared yet respected.
While lore often says that the rusalki could not completely stand out of water, some fiction works tell of rusalki that could climb trees and sing songs, sit on docks with only submerged feet and comb their hair, or even join other rusalki in circle dances in the field.
"Origin: Slavic Region. They are what becomes of drowned women. They lure people in with their songs and beauty to drag them underwater. When the season shifts from spring to summer, they go onto land. There, they enjoy dancing and riddles. Those who can't answer will laugh to death."
—Shin Megami Tensei A-Mode DDS Dictionary
Megami Ibunroku Persona
Rusalka begins appearing in groups in the SEBEC Building basement.
DemiKids Light & Dark
"A water-demon that looks like a fountain at first sight. Loves to dance under the sun."