A vampiric witch from Albanian folklore, a shtriga will drain the life and blood of children, newborns and beautiful girls while they sleep. When a child has been fed on by a shtriga it will become ill and will eventually die if the shtriga is not killed or forced to remove the sickness. In order to cure the child of the illness a shtriga must spit into the child’s mouth.
A shtriga is not a born witch. A woman can turn into a shtriga when she becomes so jealous that she turns evil. These women are usually childless or unable to have children and their envy of other women drives them into becoming shtriga and killing the children of other women. They are described as old or middle aged with grey, pale green or blue eyes and a crooked nose. They possess a stare that makes people uncomfortable and they have been known to have the evil eye which allows them to curse people. They are human during the day and able to turn into a small flying insect at night in order to get into children’s rooms.
There are many ways to ward off a shtriga. Holy figures and a strong belief in god can protect a family from a shtriga, along with salt, garlic and specially made puppets that are designed to trap evil. You can also trap a shtriga by making a cross out of pig bones and placing it on the door of the house the shtriga is in. It is believed that after a shtriga feeds it will go into the woods to regurgitate the blood it just drank. If you dip a silver coin in this blood and wrap it in a handkerchief you can use it as an amulet to protect you from shtriga. The easiest was to kill a shtriga is to kill it in its human form, if you are able to find it.
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