The Shtriga (ultimately from the Roman strix; compare also Romanian strigă and Polish strzyga), in Albanian folklore, was a vampiric witch that would suck the blood of infants at night while they slept, and would then turn into a flying insect (traditionally a moth, fly or bee). Only the shtriga herself could cure those she had drained (often by spitting in their mouths), and those who were not cured inevitably sickened and died.

Edith Durham recorded several methods traditionally considered effective for defending oneself from shtriga. A cross made of pig bone could be placed at the entrance of a church on Easter Sunday, rendering any shtriga inside unable to leave. They could then be captured and killed at the threshold as they vainly attempted to pass. She further recorded the story that after draining blood from a victim, the shtriga would generally go off into the woods and regurgitate it. If a silver coin were to be soaked in that blood and wrapped in cloth, it would become an amulet offering permanent protection from any shtriga. It is often said that an iron wrought round may kill a shtriga but only when the shtriga is eating [ Durham, Edith: "High Albania" (London, Phoenix Press, 2000), pp. 87–88. ]

The shtriga will refuse to eat anything spiced or containing garlic. Fact|date=February 2007

The Shtriga in Popular Culture

* The TV series "Supernatural" features a shtriga in the season 1 episode "Something Wicked". In a homage to the Simpsons the shtriga in 'Supernatural' was said to have moved through Brockville, Ogdenville and North Haverbrook, the same towns taken in monorail conman in the episode "Marge versus the Monorail".


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