THOSE WHO HAUNT THE EARTH: STRZYGA

A strzyga is a female demon in Slavic folklore. They are born to human parents, possessing two souls in a single body and are identifiable by their double hearts and sets of teeth. When a strzyga was recognized, it was chased away from the community, usually resulting in early death. One soul passes on, but the second remains with the body. After the strzyga’s corpse returns to life, it begins to prey on other living creatures. They hunt at night in the form of an owl, attacking travelers and those who wander into the woods, consuming their prey’s blood and internal organs. A strzyga could also be satisfied with animal blood, but only for a short period of time. When a person recognized as a strzyga dies, decapitating the corpse and burying its head separate from the body was believed to prevent the strzyga from returning to life; burying the body face down with a sickle around its head was said to work as well.
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