Vampires are fodder for movies, books, and Halloween costumes but for thousands of years, vampires were scapegoats for disease. The vampires are quite similar to Dracula. They are dead humans that are said to return from the grave to harm the people living. These vampires have Slavic origins only a few thousand years old. But other, older, versions of the vampire were not thought to be human at all but instead possibly demonic, supernatural, entities that did not take human form at all.
Archaeologists have seen to have found the skeletal remains of a female vampire in a 17th-century Polish graveyard. The skeleton had a sickle across her neck to prevent her from rising from the dead and harming people.
Team leader Professor Dariusz Poliński from the Nicholas Copernicus University discovered the skeleton during archaeological work at a 17th-century cemetery in the village of Pien. They found the skeletal remains of the vampire had a silk cap on its head, and a protruding tooth indicating she had held a high social status.
“The sickle was not laid flat but placed on the neck in such a way that if the deceased had tried to get up… the head would have been cut off or injured,” Poliński said. He added, “The padlocked big toe on the skeleton’s left foot likely symbolized the closing of a stage and the impossibility of returning.”
“Other ways to protect against the return of the dead include cutting off the head or legs, placing the deceased face down to bite into the ground, burning them, and smashing them with a stone,” Poliński said.
The people of Eastern Europe reported fears of vampires in the 11th century. They began treating their dead ones with anti-vampire rituals, according to Smithsonian magazine, believing that “some people who died would claw their way out of the grave as blood-sucking monsters that terrorized the living.”
Science Alert reported such burial practices “became common across Poland in response to a reported outbreak of vampires.” by the 17th century.
What do you think about this?