|Powers and Abilities||Can extend its life by feeding on the spiritus vitae (life force) of others. Invulnerable except when feeding on a victim.|
|Vulnerabilities||Consecrated iron rounds while feeding.|
|Appearance||Humanoid with wizened features and long, tapered fingers. Can appear human.|
|Episode(s)||1.18 Something Wicked|
According to Albanian folklore, a shtriga was a vampire-like witch who was said to suck the blood of infant children while they slept, and then turn into a flying insect.
– Pad of Definitions (1.18 Something Wicked), Official Website
The shtriga is described as an Albanian witch, but with legends about them going back to ancient Rome. It feeds on the spiritus vitae, or life essence, of others -- mainly from children. This leaves the children comatose and with a weakened immune system, which leaves them vulnerable to illnesses like pneumonia that can kill them. It tends to work their way through the siblings in a family. Shtriga are very difficult to kill, as they can only be harmed while in a vulnerable position (feeding), and when shot with consecrated wrought iron rounds. If not exposed and unaware of impending danger, the rounds will have no affect on it. Once a shtriga is killed, all those currently affected by it will return to full health.
Powers and abilities
- Long lived – Due to their consumption of spiritus vitae, shtrigas can be long lived, with one shtriga known to have been around since 1890's. Shtrigas are difficult to kill..
- Lifeforce consumption – Shtrigas feed on the life force of others to extend their life. Upon their death, the spiritus vitae is released back to their victims.
- Shapeshifting – A shtriga can shapeshift from a crone to a more passing human form.
- Superhuman strength and speed – Shtrigas are stronger and faster than humans.
- Consecrated iron – Consecrated wrought iron is the only known object to have an effect on shtrigas. The iron is only effective while the shtriga is in the midst of feeding on a person's spiritus vitae.
1.18 Something Wicked
Sam cannot find any lore on what kills them, but Dean says John found out they were vulnerable when feeding to being shot with consecrated wrought iron, buckshots, or rounds. Sixteen or seventeen years ago, John Winchester was hunting one in Fort Douglas, Wisconsin. While he was out, Dean left Sam alone briefly and the shtriga attacked Sam. John took the boys to stay with Pastor Jim, but when he returned he couldn't track the shtriga. Dean blames himself for it escaping, and all the deaths its caused since.
Sam researches the shtriga's appearances back from Fort Douglas to:
- "... Ogdenville. Before that, North Haverbrook and Brockway. Every fifteen to twenty years, it hits a new town. Dean, this thing is just gettin’ started in Fitchburg. In all these other places, it goes on for months—dozens of kids, before the shtriga finally moves on. Kids just languish in comas, and then they die."
Finally, he tracks the shtriga back to Black River Falls in the 1890s. While Sam had thought it would be disguised as a feeble old woman, this one is disguised as Dr. Hydeker - who is working at the hospital in Fitchburg, but is also seen in the 1890s photo. Dean suggests using Michael, the brother of the shtriga's most recent victim, as bait to trap the shtriga. Michael at first refuses, but later decides to do it, even though Dean can't guarantee that his little brother, Asher, will get better when the shtriga is dead. Dean and Sam set up a CCTV system to observe Michael in bed, as they need to wait until the shtriga starts feeding before they attack. The shtriga attacks Michael and the boys storm in, only killing the monster when it tries to feed on Sam.
After the shtriga is killed, Asher and the other children still in the hospital recover.
4.17 It's a Terrible Life
When Sam's is memory replaced and his identity changed to Sam Wesson, he begins to have flashbacks of monsters he hunted with Dean, including the shtriga he killed in Fitchburg.
- Jeannie Epper portrayed the Shtriga.
- In the spin-off novel Supernatural: One Year Gone, Sam and Samuel hunt a Shtriga during Dean's year with Lisa and Ben. However, this Shtriga has noticeable differences to the one that Dean killed in Fitchburg and it is killed by Sam who uses Samuel as bait against his will.