Vampires in Poland?




Imagine my surprise to see the headlines the other day: 

"Researchers Discover Skeleton At Polish Cemetery That's Straight Out Of A Horror Film" (HuffPo) [1]

"Skeleton of woman suspected of being a vampire in 17th century found in Poland" (CBS via YouTube) [2]

"‘Vampire’ grave shows 17th-century fear of women who ‘didn’t fit in’" (Washington Post)[3]


Looks like an archaeological dig in a cemetery in PieĊ„, Poland uncovered the 17th-century grave of a young woman with a sickle placed over her neck so that she could not rise up from the grave. There was also a padlock on her toe!

People of past ages could be superstitious and sought to give themselves peace of mind, particularly during times of trouble, by taking these extra steps. Villages suffering from illnesses such as consumption or food shortages due to drought have been known to think supernatural elements were at the root of their suffering. 

“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,” said Dariusz Polinski, a professor from Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Poland. [3]

But why THIS particular woman? 

According to Bethan Briggs-Miller, a British folklorist and paranormal historian [3], women who were a little different were often singled out. This could include refusing to marry, having a miscarriage, or even not menstruating. And apparently social status does not matter, either, graves like these having been found that come from richer or poorer families. While we may never now the story of this particular woman, some of these reasons may help explain her eternal predicament.

At any rate, it's pretty gruesome!

So what do you think about this? And do you have any favorite vampire stories, either "real" or fictional? Drop a comment below!



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Vampires in Poland?

Imagine my surprise to see the headlines the other day:  "Researchers Discover Skeleton At Polish Cemetery That's Straight Out Of A...