Vampire Burial Site: Polish Archaeologists Stumble Upon Staked Skeleton

Wednesday, 28 May 2014 11:09 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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A possible vampire burial ground was uncovered by Polish archaeologists recently after they stumbled upon a skeleton with a brick in its mouth and puncture holes in its legs.

Researcher Slawomir Gorka and his team reportedly found the skeleton in Kamien Pomorski recently, according to Discovery News. The group immediately thought of a vampire burial site because of the puncture holes in the legs.

"People feared that those accused to be vampires would rise from their graves like zombies," Discovery News noted. "In some cases, to kill the undead creatures, they placed a stone or brick into the mouth so that the vampire would starve to death. According to Gorka, such vampire-slaying rituals were common in local graves between the 13th and 17th centuries."

Researchers told Discovery News that archaeologists have found such vampire or "deviant burials" not only in Poland, but throughout Eastern Europe as well. Last year, Polish researchers found a grave near Gliwice with skeletons whose severed heads were placed atop their legs.

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"Specific to Polish vampires is that they are known for eating their own flesh and burial garments when they rise from the dead," Titus Hjelm, who conducts a vampire course at the University College London, told CNN, possibly explaining the stone in the skeleton's mouth.

Hjelm told CNN that the Polish believed they had good reasons to be afraid of vampires.

"According to some sources, Poles thought that vampires were born, rather than 'made,'" Hjelm said to CNN. "They were normal people who could live normal lives, not aristocrats living in distant castles. The problems only started when these people died. They could come back to live with their families and even impregnate their wives."

Kamil Kajkowski, an archaeologist with the West-Cassubian Museum in Bytów in northern Poland, told CNN, though, that the strange burials may simply be punishment for criminals rather than suspected vampires.

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