Alright boys and gals, grab your thick cloaks, your wooden stakes and crosses for it’s time to go back to the traditional land of the vampire, Romania. This time to learn of the most common vampire species in the country, the Strigoii.
The strigoii are a breed of undead vampire (compared to the Romanian living vampire, the moroii). The ways to become a strigoii is like most traditional vampires: you got suicide, witchcraft, criminal acts, blasphemy, being the seventh son, death at the hand of another vampire, being born with caul, having a cat jump over one’s corpse, having a vampire stare at a baby still in the womb, or dying unmarried with an unrequited love. Whew, that is quite the list. When it comes to looks a strigoii is said to have red hair and blue eyes. They also move very slowly, with their right eye closed but they left eye always open. In one version of the myth the left eye was always blood red, not blue. Sometimes the vampire would look bloated with blood.
The strigoii drank blood like most vampires but it could also eat normal human food. It is said to also be able to draw energies from people, leaving them weak, sickly and helpless. Other than attacking people the strigoii would also spread disease. It would travel house to house spreading death and desolation.
Now, when it came to tracking down a strigoii to destroy the beast there were an assortment of methods. One of these was to look for a blue flame, like a candle. It was said this blue flame would burn a little above the ground where a strigoii is buried. Another method was to take a 7-year-old boy, dress him in white, set him on a white horse and let the animal loose in a graveyard. Wherever the horse stopped is where the vampire lay. And finally, it was thought that a vampire needed to breathe in its grave, so it would poke holes in the earth to air it out. So if you see a grave with holes, there may be a strigoii underneath your feet.
When it comes to destroying the fiend or simply protecting yourself from it there are many things to do. Wine! Yes, wine; drink it if you want protection from this vampire. Wine is said to be a powerful shield against the vamp, especially cheap wine for it tainted the blood making you undesirable to the strigoii, eating onions was also said to taint your blood. Other means of protection is to scatter the grave of a strigoii with poppy seeds. Like many other vampire species the strigoii are thought to be incredibly obsessive and if you leave poppy seeds (or mustard seeds or many other kinds of things) at its grave then it will have to stop and count each one before it can move on. Counting all the tiny little seeds will take it all night which leaves the humans safe from its wrath. As for killing it, cutting off its head and stuffing the mouth with herbs would do the trick. Exposing a strigoii to sunlight would also kill it.
And there you go, Romania’s most famous vampire species.