Variation: Stryga Vel Masca, Stryge, Stryges, Strygia, Strygie, Strygis, Strygon, Stryz, Stryzga, Strzyzyz
The Roman poet Ovid (43 B. C.­ A. D. 17) wrote about the stryx in his poem Fasti. Prior to this poem written about the various Roman holidays, there is no mention of this VAMPIRIC WITCH. However, Charlemagne recorded in his Saxon Capitulary of A. D. 781 a law that all stryx when discovered were to be criminally prosecuted and condemned to death.
The stryx was able to shape-shift into an owl and then fly out into the night sky looking for a child it could attack with its beak and talons so that it could drink up its blood. To prevent a stryx attack, the parents would need to appeal to the goddess Crane. If their prayers were answered, the goddess would then go herself into the home and perform the sacred rites to prevent the stryx from entering, including placing a branch of HAWTHORN in the child's sleeping area.
Source: Davenport, Sketches of Imposture, 276 ­77; Hurwitz, Lilith, the First Eve, 78; Stoneman, Greek Mythology, 163; Stuart, Stage Blood, 68

Encyclopedia of vampire mythology . 2014.

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