Strigoi - Vampires in Romania
Strigoi is a character from Romanian mythology. In Romanian strigoi means to scream. There are blood parasites called Strigeidida. The original story came
from Ancient Greek and Roman legend of Strix creature, a bird of ill omen which fed on human blood and flesh. They are also known as vampires.
Strigoi or vampires are considered lethargic and drowsy during day and active during the night. They attack their victims during the night leaving teeth
marks on the corpses. Many vampire myths started in Romania, in the area called Transylvania. It is the birthplace of the most famous vampire Dracula.
You can tell if someone is a strigoi vampire if the dead body was freshly preserved or swelled and turned black before burial, has a small hole in
headstone so that he can get out and in his coffin, lying in the coffin facing down with blood near him, never eat garlic etc.
It is believed that they have superhuman speed and strength, shapeshift ability, immortality, astral projection, and invisibility.
In this legend one can become Strigoi by suicide, cursed by a witch, born with extra nipple or tail, have a life full of sin, died alone and unseen, be
born as the seventh son of the seventh son, or seventh daughter of the seventh daughter, child born out of marriage, born to early, died before baptized,
was bitten etc.
Strigoi can manifest as a poltergeist, a troublesome ghost, spirit, which make physical disturbances like moving and destroying objects, loud noises, and
tripping, hitting, touching and biting people. They haunt a particular person, not the place.
There is a different type of stories. It is known as a vampire who drain victims blood.
It can be a witch. They can be alive people, living strigoi, sorcerers with magical powers, like invisibility and transform into an animal. It is believed
that they have two souls or two hearts. They send the other soul out at night to be with other Strigoi and drink human blood. Male strigoi can have
children with a human. Dhampir is a half vampire and half human. Female strigoi will try to have a normal life, get married, but soon they sexually exhaust
and kill her husband.
It can be a dead strigoi, troubled spirit of the dead rising from the grave, returns to his family, behaves like nothing happened and weakens family
members until they die. They don’t have a soul, their body is just the outer shell.
Romanian legend says it is a good way to protect from vampire to kill a pig on St. Ignatius day. If someone could be strigoi the prevention was to strike a
stake through the chest of the dead, or take out his heart and burn it, or beheading the dead at putting the head in the coffin face down, or to seal the
coffin with nails heavily.
You repel a vampire by place thorns across thresholds, paint crosses on doors, put garlic everywhere, stay inside with lights on and pray.
Gypsies believe in exhuming the dead body of the person believed to be Strigoi, remove its heart and cut it in two, put a nail in its forehead, put garlic
under its tongue so it won’t rise, cover strigoi’s body with pig fat killed on a particular gypsy holiday and put its body face down. If he ever wakes up,
it would be headed to the afterlife.
30th of November, Saint Andrew’s day, is the beginning of winter in Romania, and it is believed that strigois are going to compete to bring sadness and
misfortune to humans. They compete in who will disturb the most people.
Series of hideous crimes, suspected vampire attacks were reported. Jure Grando, a villager from Croatia, lived in the 17th century, was the first real
person described as a vampire. He was called strigoi, a local word for vampire. From the 18th century, striga was mentioned in legends in Transylvania and
Moldavia. Petar Blagojevich, a peasant from Serbia, lived in the 18th century, was believed to transform into a vampire after his death and to kill his
fellow villagers. In the 19th century, strigoi story was more placed in Transylvanian folklore.