Pricolici & Strigoi – A Meet-cute From Hell – Extra Mythology


Myths are not stories that are untrue. Rather they are tales that don’t fit neatly into the historical record. which serve as a foundation to a culture This week’s tale written by our good friend Steven Van Patten begins at a graveyard in Romania Ancient headstones worn bare with time vines climbing over the statues of once great Lords dragging them back into the ground Here funerals are supposed to be a celebration of life But what if the life they’re supposed to celebrate was one of hate and rage when they die, legends say, their souls can travel to a fiery pit a place of pain and punishment. Where demons decide how best to torment them But what happens if a soul is so corrupt that it’s actually admired by the demons and devils that haunt this place Such a person could be brought back as a Strigoi. A seductive undead being whose only desire is to drink the blood of the living. Yet there are things even worse than a Strigoi. For the very worst of souls the demons gather and say, “Let him return Pricolici.” Scratching, clawing through the earth Rising from his grave. The Pricolici stands in the moonlight and lets out his first howel It is a low guttural wail. That frightens even the most fearsome predators. A flock of slumbering birds burst from a nearby tree It sounds like an explosion to the Pricolici’s wolf like ears. He’s agitated. He’s hungry. His first life was violent and so shall be his new undead one He wanders the woods his desire for slaughter guides him. A consuming thirst runs through his veins. Then memories come, he remembers everything. His execution, the demons arguing over what to do with him. His souls return but the thirst pulls him back. He finds a puddle and drinks. The water nauseates him. But he sees his face in the moonlit reflection. He is not Strigoi. Like the old tales they told to frighten children. He is something worse and better. suddenly in the air *sniffing* He catches a whiff of something that will slake his thirst blood. Away in a clearing is an old man and his grandson herding their flock of sheep They’ve lost track of time and now have to move their herd in the pitch dark of night At least they had the good sense to be carrying lanterns. Though such meager light is little protection against the true horrors that come with the setting Sun. The sheep sensing danger are agitated and alert, darting their gaze from one side of the grassy clearing to the next ignoring the commands of their Shepherds. Suddenly the sheep begin to run. For a moment the boy and his grandfather don’t know what to do. Do they attempt to round up their flock or do they make a break for home? Then they hear it: a growl, low and long. It’s behind them. They turn. It has the face of a wolf, but stands on two legs. and begins to barrel toward them with glowing red eyes and a slobbering fang filled maw. “Get back to the house!” the Grandfather screams Frightened the boy does as his grandfather says. Running towards home while the old man and the bleating sheep head off in the opposite direction. But being so young his sense of direction is not yet keen and in seconds he’s lost. Then the boy hears the screams of the sheep followed by his grandfather crying out But the cry is cut short the lantern begins to die and all his silent around him again Until the growl comes so close behind him. He turns sees the feral eyes and screams “Mama!” The boy’s eyes open replacing the vision of the dark woods with the sight of his own bedroom He’s safe in his home. The boy’s mother comes rushing in asking if he’s all right Embarrassed he realizes it was a nightmare. His mother sits next to him And asks if maybe listening to his grandfather’s tales were what brought on this bad dream, “I believe so mama,” the boy admitted, “He said that evil dead people sometimes return as Pricolici or Strigoi and I should be careful in the forest.” Though not terribly pleased with her father for scaring her son She realized he told him these stories as a way of discouraging him from wandering deep into the woods. Where many real wolves roam and hunt. She assures her son that everyone is alright and no Pricolici are lurking about. Then she kisses him on the cheek, tucks him back under his quilt, and leaves the boy to go back to sleep. Despite his mother’s comforting words. He still felt troubled, and he lay staring at the ceiling for some time. But then as he almost drifted off again He heard a scratching outside his bedroom window. When he turned to see what it was He saw that in the window where there shouldn’t have been anything but moonlight was a grinning face Pale to the point of luminescence with eyes that glowed red like two coals tossed in the snow though the features on the face were soft and inviting there was something blackish red smeared across the lips and chin and As the grin grew the boy gasped behind the smile was a mass of long razor-sharp teeth. “I heard your screams.” the thing whispered, “you’re afraid of the Pricolici?” *laughing* “You have nothing to fear. I can protect you from the monsters! Far better than your mother ever could!” The boy sat up slowly his eyes widening his entire body quivering. “Just open the window. We can go back to the woods, and play, and run, and skip forever. and you will never have to be afraid again.” *laughing* “S-strigoi?” *laughing* “I am your friend,” “The last friend you will ever need.” “And the only one you will want.” “and I want to play.” “WITH YOUUU” “Noo!” Lanterns lit up throughout the house then his mother father and grandfather all burst into his room. Terrified the boy could only point toward the now empty window and mutter the word again “St-str-strigoi.” His father tried to brush it off as yet another nightmare But the child’s grandfather spoke up saying it was unwise to ignore the whispers of Strigoi. So they grabbed their lanterns in sides and headed outside Circling the house and scanning the surroundings They found no monster But just as they were to come inside the lantern light reflected something thick and dark Spreading over the ground a sheep dead its throat torn open they would spend the rest of the night hanging garlic lighting candles and praying. and when at last Dom saw them safe the exhausted men Visited the cemetery to make sure the dead were staying in their graves. As for the boy, It would be some time before he’d be able to sleep soundly Until one day a young woman came by she was British the wife of a soldier Her name was Emily Gerard, and she was writing an essay about the folklore of the area So they told her about the Strigoi and the Pricolici And she wrote and wrote as the Sun was setting and their tails were finishing She thanked them and left when she got back to England She would publish the essay titling it Transylvanian superstitions And eventually it would make its way into the hands of a burgeoning horror author. An author, named Bram Stoker And soon it wouldn’t just be Romanian children frightened of these monsters outside their windows at night *meowing* No, don’t worry bud, you are not gonna become a Pricolici. *meowing* Jeez, don’t sound so disappointed. Though, you have lived an oddly violent life. So who knows? I mean dare to dream. Legendary thanks to patrons Ahmed Zia Dirk and Kyle Murgatroyd

100 Replies to “Pricolici & Strigoi – A Meet-cute From Hell – Extra Mythology

  1. We need that hunter who defeated the wendigos to get rid of the Pricolici
    Crossover-time!!!
    I'd also love to see more of the irish, indian, south asian and oriental tales

  2. when I wait day after day.
    starts to give up hope on mythology
    new vid comes out
    me: Hyperventalates and starts having seizures of happiness

  3. I've never heard of a werewolf being called a "Pricolici", I've always heard it called "Vârcolac".

    Must be a different type.

  4. Nicely done imagery on this one. For an art style that isn't scary…. this one actually got a bit frightening. Nice work, guys!

  5. This was such a good video, and as soon as you said the name Bram Stoker my jaw dropped about three meters; I'm starting Dracula and having this video tie into that was something supremely cool that I wasn't expecting. You guys knocked this out of the park!

  6. I heard that the strigoi looked more like zombies with vampire fangs and long tongues. But I might have heard wrong idk

  7. and no i'm not afraid of anything, except of course God the father, said just written fear not those who can kill the body but cannot kill the soul but rather fear him that is able to destroy both body and soul in hell

  8. Can someone explain the various monsters in Philippine Folklore, i mean we made a movie about it, but i still don't get it

  9. This was absolutely terrifying–as it was meant to be when told to children to keep them from wandering! I don't want to wander much either now. I love your storytelling!

  10. Dear extra credits team I have some possible ideas about incoming episodes; Sâmi myths, Turkisch myths, (if possible Turkisch scare story), Armenian myths, Arabic myths (i success Gulyabani), Rum myths (Greek people of Anatolia) and İnuit mythology.

  11. It is good to hear the variant of the myths from our northern neighbors :-). On the soutehrn side of the Danube in Bulgaria our Pricolici are called vyrkolaci and are actually the souls of those who were betrayed and killed in the woods and/or far from human settlements. They hunger for revenge and hunt down their murderers and their murderer's kin. If they are prevented to exact revenge (if their murderer dies not by their doing and has no kin) they are consumed by their hunger and start hunting everything that bleeds. The hunters can spot their lair by the unnatural quiet around as all living beings have been killed. They can take the shape of the wolf but it is not mandatory and not their preferred form. They can change into anything and anyone.

  12. man, this scared the sh*t out of me! in broad daylight, in my room with coffee and what not 😀 i mean, i am from central europe, and also heard some stories, but eastern europe is just a whole another story…

  13. I'm a bit confused because it seemed like the Strigoi was fishing for an invitation to enter the house, but then opened the window by themselves anyway? Is the thing about vampires needing an invitation a later thing?

  14. I think the story begins in a graveyard that now is in the territory of Romania but back then it were in the Austro-Hungarian Empire if we're talking about Transylvania.

  15. This is such a… wholesome story? I'm not sure how else to describe it but it's that level of just campy enough horror to be really fun but also human enough that it feels genuine. Your writers are lovely. Good job guys!

  16. If you read the comment section before you watch the video, here is a warning:

    The video is the exact opposite of the thumbnail!

  17. Well this just made werewolves much cooler imo. Awesome music, btw. I gotta watch at least part of that again.
    .
    Edit: probably tonight.

  18. I asked my mom a few weeks ago what kind of storys was she listning to when young. When I heard of the Pricolici I was lile, pfff, that's seriously how they called them?? But aparently they where scarry, not like a complete warewolf, a bit more human. And they can become like thet while still alive, becouse of a curse, or evil spirit.

  19. Funny, in most legends the pricolici are some of the only creatures that can't really kill a grown man. Even the moroi, who are the vengeful spirits of infants, can actually kill a grown up if you meet them at midnight on Saint Andrew's night, but if you meet a pricolici at that time, the most they can do is bite you, and the wound will surely get infected.

  20. I quite liked how this one was told. Didn't expect the turns it made: first a dream, then a cautionary tale, then a history of a collection of tales, then an inspiration for a later famous tale (though I did suspect that last one).

  21. All your series like history and mythology should be separate channels to follow so it's easier to browse videos

  22. The writing on this episode was amazing. Thank you Steven Van Patten. I think you just became my new fave horror writer.

  23. I heard something at my window one time. I worked up the nerve and went to see what it was. It was a raccoon hanging off the screen of the window. Scared me almost to death.

  24. Even though I love all the Extra Mythology videos, I think this is the best one, so far!

    Great writing, great storytelling and great art!!

  25. Scrooge if he was Romainian would become a strigoi a forerunner to the vampire if he had not heeded the festive spirits warnings

  26. Southern Slavic nations (neighbours to Romanians with plenty of historic ties) have Vukodlak ("wolfhair") which is the same "evil person possibly not buried properly that comes back" original boogeyman that world folklore eventually got Werewolves and Vampires from (although the original ones are also often zombies or at least undead at the same time). In Southern Slavic regions (unsure about Romania and Bulgaria) they're part of stock phrases and folk-jokes. Like we say "povamipriti" ("to go vampire") when someone goes crazy with bloodthirst/greed/mania, or when something bad we thought we were rid of starts up again.

    But the best ever comes about because South-Eastern Europeans can be spookily hardy and long-lived. As long as you keep them away from alcohol, they're practically impossible to get rid of. So when someone asks about an older relatives health, "Jesi živa?" ("Are you alive?" – seriously that's how we ask someone how they're doing!) a common joke response (from the old person themselves!) is "Mala, neće to bez glogova kolca!", "Kiddo, it'll take a wooden stake (to see me off)!". And sometimes when they tell spooky stories to children, they don't say that if the kid misbehaves "a vampire" is going to come back from the dead – they say that THEY THEMSELVES will come back from the dead and scare them straight if they misbehave.

    Our folklore is morbid, self-depreciating and often hilarious ^^

  27. When I was but a boy / I dreamed of Strigoi,
    But never of Pricolici.
    In my adult bedroom / My dreams turned to Hume.
    But never to Friedrich Nietzsche

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