Monster Monday: Estrie

We all know about vampires and werewolves, or at least we think we do. The legends and myths that inspired these monsters are sometimes surprisingly different, but no less chilling. In this series of posts, Monster Monday, we’ll investigate the monsters that have informed our modern notions, as well as some lesser known monsters. Today, we talk about the Estrie.

Scene from the vampire novel Carmilla
Scene from the vampire novel Carmilla

An estrie is a female vampire in Jewish folklore. She generally prefers to seduce men so that she can suck their blood, but she is not overly picky in her victims. She prefers the nighttime, but it is unclear in the legends whether daylight will cause her harm.

She can appear in human form or spirit form, or as an animal, usually a bird or a cat. She is undeterred by religious iconography and can enter into holy places. She can fly if her hair is unbound. Binding her hair will keep her on the ground. If she is injured she can heal by drinking blood or by eating bread and salt given to her by the person who injured her.

An estrie can be killed by burying her and packing her mouth with earth or by beheading her or burning her body.

As many other vampire-like creatures, the name estrie comes from the Latin strix, this time through French, meaning “night owl.”

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