In Romanian mythology, strigoi (same form singular or plural) are either witches or the evil souls of the dead rising from the tombs (or living) that transform into an animal or phantom apparition.
Names are derived from striga, which in Romanian means witch or barn owl, cognate with Italian strega, which means witch, and descends from the Latin word strix, for a shrieking vampiric bird. Strigoi viu (plural: Strigoi vii) is a living vampiric witch. Strigoi mort (plural: Strigoi morti) is a dead (undead) vampire. They are most often associated with vampires or zombies.
- By Slovenian mythology a "štirga" is most likely a woman but there are exceptions when she is a male.
- According to Romanian mythology a strigoi has ginger hair, blue eyes and two hearts.
- Also, strigoi can leave its body at night in the form of an animal or a small spark of light that can be seen flying through the air. Sometimes it was said that a Strigoi Viu took animal form by stealing the form from the animal.
- In most ways, the Romanian Strigoi Morti resemble the undead vampires found in other Eastern European countries. They were frequently blamed as the cause of death in cases of epidemics.
- The Strigoi Vii join together in covens and meet with the Strigoi Morti on special Sabbath nights, such as the Eve of St. George April 22nd
- The Strigoi Viu is not a blood drinker, but its powers include what could be called psychic vampirism, as it can steal the vitality of his neighbours' crops and animals to enhance its own.
Tudor Pamfile in his book Mitologie românească compiles all appellations of strigoi in Romania strâgoi, Moroi in western Transylvania, Wallachia and Oltenia,vidmă in Bucovina, vârcolacul, Cel-rau, or vampire.
- strigoi vii are live witches who will become vampires after death.
They can send out their soul at night to meet with other witches or with Strigoi mort, who are dead vampires.
- strigoi mort are the reanimated bodies which return to suck the blood of family, livestock, and neighbours. They are most often associated with vampires or zombies.
- A strigoaica (singular feminine form), or Strigoica, is a witch. Strigoi are also known as "moroi" in some parts, especially rural areas. They are close relatives of the werewolves known as "pricolici" or "varcolac", the latter also meaning "goblin"
How to become a strigoi?
A person born with a caul (a veil of fetal membrane still attached to the head), tail, born out of wedlock, died an unnatural death, or died before baptism, was doomed to become a vampire. As was the seventh child of the same sex in a family, the child of a pregnant woman who didn't eat salt or was looked at by a vampire, or a witch. And naturally, being bitten by vampire, meant certain condemnation to a vampiric existence after death.
Other people doomed to become a strigoi are:
- unmarried people (their corpses should be stabbed in the hart with a sickle to protect their families).
- corpses walked over by cats. To get rid of them, a wine bottle must be buried next to the grave, then six week later has to be exhumed and relatives and drank by relatives.
- a person filled with pain and regret will turn into a cat or dog after death, then return as a strigoi. Piercing a body with a needle will prevent it from leaving the grave.
Strigoi are not necessarily evil though they are feared for their appearance bodes ill and they are omens of misfortune and sickness.
How to ward off a Strigoi
- a remedy against a strigoi to leave its grave is to bury a bottle of whiskey with the corpse: the strigoi will drink it and not return home
- Strigoi may be destroyed after exhuming their dormant bodies from the grave by such typical means as impaling them with a stake or by cremating them.
- the Gypsy remedy to kill a strigoi is the following: dig up the corpse, remove its heart, cut it in two, then dig a nail in the forehead, place garlic under its tongue, smearing the body with the fat of a pig killed on St. Ignatius’ day. Then placing the corpse face-down back in the coffin.
- It was believed that if a strigo was not destroyed within seven years after burial, then on the seventh year it would no longer have to dwell in its own grave and could pass as a normal mortal human. According to one source, the strigoi also then loses his need to prey upon humans and, eventually, even animals. Like the Serbian vampire at such a stage, it would then depart to another region where it could not be recognized, marry, and have children. But each week, from Friday night to Sunday morning, such a strigoi would either have to rest in a grave in a nearby cemetery or meet with the local strigoi for supernatural social activities. The children of such a vampire were all "living vampires", destined to become undead themselves.
In 1887, French geographer Élisée Reclus details the burials in Romania: "if the deceased has red hair, he is very concerned that he was back in the form of dog, frog, flea or bedbug, and that it enters into houses at night to suck the blood of beautiful young girls. So it is prudent to nail the coffin heavily, or, better yet, a stake through the chest of the corpse. "
How to kill a Strigoi
- One of the ways for ending her powers is to expose her to public after witnessing her powers.
- Folklore superstitions also says she can't be killed unless killed while she is feasting on the life-force of the prey.
- The latest edition of the Warhammer Fantasy Battle game gives the name Strigoi to a bloodline of monstrous vampires, similar to Count Orlok.
- Underground adventure game, Ben Jordan: Case 3 features a Strigoi who goes by the name of Zortherus
- The term is used to describe vampires in general in the book series The Hunt by Susan Sizemore.
- THE LOST by Jonathan Aycliffe - a marvellous story about Strogoi in post Ceausescu Romania.
- The term is used in a song from the black metal band Dark Funeral the song is called Ravenna Strigoi Mortii and is on the album Vobiscum Satanas.
- The Strigoi play a central role in Graham Masterton's 2006 book, The Descendant.
- The Strigoi play a central role in Dan Simmon's 1992 book, Children of the Night.
- A group of strigoi appeared in the episode Bite Father, Bite Sonof American Dragon: Jake Long.
- In the Dracula (2000) movie, Count Dracula calls his wolf pet by the names of "strigoi" and "moroi".
- One of the villains in the 30 Days of Night (2007) film is listed as "Strigoi" in the end credits.
- Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series features Strigoi as villains.
- The videogame Ace Combat 6 features an enemy squadron called "Strigon", which insignia & paintscheme contains death motifs.
- The 2007 Video Game The Witcher based on the novels by Andrzej Sapkowski, features a vampyric female creature known as a striga.
- A Strigoi appears in Philologos; or, A Murder in Bistritia by Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald in the February, 2008 Fantasy and Science Fiction
- 1999 The Strigoi are the featured enemy in the Hercules: The Legendary Journeys episode Darkness Visible.
- On the T.V. show Supernatural, season 1, first aired in 2006, there was an episode titled Something Wicked and the term 'shtriga' was mentioned and seen in the show.
- In the 2008 video game Soul Calibur 4 the French fencer Raphael Sorel has a move called the Strigoi Envelopment.
- In the 2008 adventure video game A vampyre story one of the more prominent characters is named Madam Strigoi and all though she is not herself a vampyre (as far as we know) she has great insight into vampires.
- Guiley, Rosemary Ellen The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves and Other Monsters
- Perkowski, Jan Lewis The Roumanian Flokloric Vampire in in The Vampire: a Casebook, Alan Dundes, ed. Madison, University of Wisconsin Press, 1998.