Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

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STRIGAE

(STREE-gay)
Variations: Striglais
In ancient Rome there was a deformed and vicious vampiric, owl-like creature with the face of a woman called a strigae. At night it flew out into the night sky to attack children and drain them of their blood. By day, it shape-shifted into the form of an old woman. The strigae fell under the domain of Hecate. Offerings of honey-cakes and chicken hearts as well as puppies and black lambs would keep it at bay. King Stephen Iof Hungary (969­1038) made it against the law for strigae to leave their home at night or to do harm to any-one.
Source: Burns, Witch Hunts in Europe, 96 ­97, 195; Levack, The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe, 46; Russell, Witchcraft in the Middle Ages, 68­70, 132; Talasi, Acta Ethnographica, 129­69
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