Benandanti, roughly translates to "good walkers", were demon-hunters, who evolved into general-purpose evil hunters. They would target any supernatural but out of all supernatural creatures half-demons were their most frequent targets, because they have demon blood and demons were the benandanti’s original target.
The benandanti have the ability of persuasion, sensing trouble, natural fighting capabilities, as well as repelling trouble with a shout as forceful as a sonic boom.
The Benandanti, who included both males and females, were individuals who believed that they ensured the protection of their community and its crops. They believed themselves to have been marked from birth to join the ranks of the Benandanti. They were participants in the lingering remnants of an ancient agrarian cult in northern Italy, which came to the attention of inquisitors in the late 16th century because of the cult's nocturnal battles with witches over the fertility of the crops and livestock.
The 'doers of good' retained their anti-witchcraft stance until around the year 1610. Shortly afterward, they came under persecution by the Inquisition, and were identified as witches. They maintained that they were an army for Christ in the war against evil. As a result the local beliefs underwent a profound transformation, and by 1640 the Benandanti themselves were acknowledging that they were in fact 'witches'.
Maya Delaney and Daniel Bianchi are sent to a library to read a specific section of a book about the Benandanti in The Gathering:
"The whole two-page spread was about this cult. The benandanti, which translated to "good walkers." Apparently, they believed that, on certain nights of the year, their spirits left their bodies and went out to protect the crops by fighting evil witches.
This wasn't just a myth, either. Like some people claimed to be skin-walkers, some claimed to be benandanti. Or the did before the Inquisition, when they were rounded up and executed as witches. If they insisted they had supernatural powers, then they were also witches, and it didn't matter that they were supposedly using these powers for good and for the benefit of the Catholic Church. They were evil. So they were hunted and killed."