Strzygoń i jak sobie z nim radzić


THE STRZYGOŃ
and how to deal with him A strzygoń is a man with two souls. After death, one leaves his body,
while the other remains behind to revive the corpse, so it may
walk about, frightening people. Strzygońs usually roam around
by night, at midnight. At cockcrow, some say that they
dissolve into a puddle of tar. Others claim that they
return to their grave. Occasionally, strzygońs even
wander around in daylight, lying in wait for people lost in thought,
infuriated men, or drunkards leaving taverns… to strangle them. When a strzygoń meets someone,
he will try to blow into their mouth to steal the life away from them. Sometimes, strzygońs will
break candles in church. In order to lead priests
into temptation in their parsonages, they are fond of pretending
to be young girls, for instance. A married strzygoń will visit
his wife, help with her chores, cut straw, chop wood and may
even have children with her. A child will become a strzygoń
if born with all his teeth… or two rows of teeth. One can recognise a strzygoń later in life, since he appears
as a pale-faced man who talks to himself. When dead, he can be recognised
by his bloody fingernails, his hairless armpits, and saggy, bendy body. If a wise man should meet a fearsome strzygoń,
he must immediately slap him with his left hand. He will then vanish, never to reappear. If the ground splits open over somebody’s grave,
the corpse buried there must be a strzygoń. Then, beneath his tongue you must place
a piece of paper bearing the name of Jesus, turn his body face downwards and strike him on his behind. If nothing else helps, then
clerical assistance must be sought. Once a priest has severed
a strzygoń’s head, it must be placed at his feet. Then never again will he
rise up from the grave. Narrator
Adam Strug Texts chosen by
Łukasz Kozak Animation, sound and editing by
Kajetan Obarski This animation was commissioned by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute
as part of the Upiór Project aimed at increasing
awareness of Polish folk mythology. English subtitles
Mark Bence © 2019

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