The Estrie: A Jewish Vampire legend

estrieThe Estrie was a female vampire that was known to prefer men as her prey.  Her name was said to have originated from the French strix, a term for a night owl.  Legend states that the Estrie were much like the Succubi, (a female demon or  supernatural entity).  Both were known to be beautiful bloodthirsty females, though the Succubi were known to  prefer infants as their prey.  Another similarity     between the two is that they both had the ability to materialize in human or spirit form at will, it was said though that the Estrie could also manifest as birds, cats orother animals.   The Estrie was also known to have the ability of flight as long as her hair was free, to bind a n Estrie to the ground, her hair must be bound.

The Sefer Hasidim, a book on Jewish piety, reflects on two accounts of encounters with the Estrie, one in 1465 the other in 1466.   The latter of the two I find compelling as the author quotes Biblical scriptures in reference to an attack:

There was a woman who was suspected of being a estrie, and she was injured when she appeared to a Jew as a cat and he hit her. The next day she asked him to give her some of his bread and salt, and he wanted to give it to her. An old man said to him (Ecc. 7:16) “Be not overly righteous.” When others have sinned one must not show kindness, for if she lives, she will harm people. Thus the Holy One, blessed be He created her for you [as a test].”

Further reference to the Sefer Hasidim reveals that the Estrie may be injured and while they prefer the night.  It is unknown that the curse of the sun afflicted the Estrie as it did with other Vampires as other typical means of defense did not seem to repeal them.  Religious iconography had no affect on the Estrie, it was further said that they had the ability to walk into holy places in order to seek blessings from religious people that were seeking to do good.  She would in sense trick the unsuspecting soul into sinning as blessing a Estirie was seen as an evil act.

If injured, the Estrie was known to have the power to heal herself, this could be accomplished by drinking the blood of the one the injured her or from consuming bread and salt given to her by the same.  Apparently, methods for killing the Estrie were fairly conventional, however a typical burial was not sufficient to prevent her from rising again.  Tradition states that the Estrie must have her mouth packed with soil prior to burial or she must be decapitated or burned.

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4 Responses to The Estrie: A Jewish Vampire legend

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  2. Very nice article, exactly what I wanted to find.

  3. Wedding says:

    Many thanks for an Interesting and informative article

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