People have long believed in the existence of vampires.
Ancient people were convinced these scary blood-sucking creatures were extremely dangerous.
Accounts of vampires occur in mythology and folklore worldwide, and there are also some historical as well as archaeological accounts relating how people dealt with those they believed rose from the grave.
The skeletons were found by roadworkers digging into the ground in Luzino in northeast Poland. Credit:
As previously mentioned on Ancient Pages, “stories of these blood-sucking beings have been told by many people in various countries.
“Early vampire accounts in Medieval and European folklore appear in the chronicles of 12-century English historians Walter Map and William of Newburgh, though the vampire proper did not appear until the 17 and 18 centuries. The first account of a real person being described as a vampire occurred in the region of Istria in modern Croatia in 1672.
Jure Grando of the village Khring near Tinjan was reported to be a vampire who caused panic among the villagers. Jure had died in 1656, but the villagers claimed he returned from the dead to drink human blood and sexually harass his widow.”
Archaeologists have found so-called vampire graves in many countries. For example, in Italy, the “discovery of a 10-year-old’s body at an ancient Roman site in Italy suggests measures were taken to prevent the child, possibly infected with malaria, from rising from the dead and spreading disease to the living.”
An interesting “vampire” grave was also discovered in 1990 Griswold, Connecticut. The burial contained the remains of a man with his arms in an X shape were unearthed. This particular burial practice was believed to prevent blood-suckers from rising from the grave to feed upon the living,
Bioinformatic DNA analyses revealed the middle-aged man, John Barber, suffered from tuberculosis.
Symptoms of tuberculosis include sweating, losing weight, a swelling neck and coughing up blood — which may have led paranoid locals to suspect vampirism.
There are many such examples, and now scientists report they have unearthed a mass grave containing hundreds of decapitated “vampires” in the Kashubian village of Luzino in Poland. The discovery was made by road workers who were digging up a road. Suddenly they noticed bones hidden in the ground.
Some of the 450 skeletons had had their heads removed and placed between their legs. Credit:
Maciej Stromski, an archaeologist, called in to excavate the bones and scientists found an enormous grave site with the skeletal remains of 450 people who had been buried after being suspected of vampirism. These people had been decapitated, and some had a coin in their mouths and skulls between their legs. One of the coins was from 1846.
In the 19th Century Europeans believed such burial procedures would reverse the “vampire curse” and prevent the dead from rising from the grave.
“We discovered examples of belief in the dead returning from the grave, which could only be stopped by decapitation.
“It was believed that if a member of the deceased’s family died shortly after the funeral, then he or she could be a vampire,” Stromski said.
“What is rare, we also have examples of decapitation after death. It was believed that if a member of the deceased’s family was dying shortly after the funeral, he or she could be a vampire.
The strange beheading practice was said to help remove the ‘vampire curse.’ Credit:
Therefore, after burial, the grave was dug up and the deceased’s head was cut off, which was then placed in the legs.
We also discovered an example of a woman after decapitation. The skull of a child was laid on her bosom,” the archaeologists added.
As reported by the First News, “the church where the human skeletons were discovered was built at the beginning of the 18th century, and then it was expanded after 1945.
At some time, the church’s old graves were liquidated and places were designated in the cemetery where large quantities of bones were deposited in ossuaries.”