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The Shtriga (ultimately from the Roman strix; compare also Romanian strig√£ and Slavic 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. The shtriga will refuse to eat anything spiced or containing garlic.

In the beliefs of people of Ancient Rome, these are evil female creatures. They manifest as birds with female faces that would steal small children left unattended. They were a type of vampire and also used as a very evil Nursery bogie to control the behavior of children. This word now denotes a witch in modern Italian folklore.

In Supernatural, the boys ran into a Shtriga in Fitchburg, Wisconsin. It fed on the spiritus vitae, draining the life force of its victims and leaving them in comas while their condition deteriorated and they eventually died. It usually attacks children, working its way through all of the siblings in a family before moving on to the next. The first time the boys came upon it, Dean was nine, and blames himself for letting it attack Sam and then get away. His father wasn't able to kill it, but seventeen years later they found it again and finished the job.

Rose, C. Giants, Monsters, & Dragons: An Encyclopedia of Folklore, Legend, and Myth. Norton Publishing Company. 2001.