Vampires and headless corpses

In Bulgaria archaeologists exhumed two medieval vampires.

Rusted iron stakes still lay driven through their bones, the desperate hope of a community that the dead person would not return. The belief was that the rods would pin the corpse in the ground preventing the body from rising from the dead and sucking the blood of the living.

The metal stake was meant to hold the “vampire” in its grave

It is a practice that continued right into the early part of the 20th century. Those deemed bad were buried with a stake driven through their heart and a stone left in their mouths

It is one of those creepy occasions when archaeologists come face to face with the black arts.

And it doesn’t just happen in Eastern Europe, a couple of years ago I was told of dig here  in South Africa.

During the dig one of the archaeologists unearthed a metal box.

The box was opened and  inside lay a skull.

No one had found the remains of a headless corpse at the site and it was thought that the box had been placed there later.

Perhaps the work of a witchdoctor, who had access to human corpses and used body parts for black magic.

The discovery was just too freaky and the box and its grisly content were quickly reburied and the dig continued.

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About Shaun Smillie

Journalist, with a love of bones, fossils and other things dug up. Fisherman and occasional beer maker.
This entry was posted in archaeology, science, stories behind the news and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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