‘Vampire’ Burials Mystery Solved
Archeologists have unearthed an unusual burial of skeletons with large rocks and sickles between the skulls and necks in a cemetery in Poland.
The find confused the experts with some claiming that the rocks and sickles were intended to prevent the body from ‘reanimating’.
Lesley Gregoricka, a bio archaeologist at the University of South Alabama, claimed the sickles were intended to decapitate corpses if they tried to rise from the grave, while the rocks pinned their jaws shut so they weren’t able to feed on the living.
According to Dr. Gregoricka, contrary to the hypothesis that the ‘vampires’ were immigrants to Poland, scientists found that they were all locals and that they died from a cholera epidemic, and the sickles were a way of stopping the disease from spreading.
“People of the post-medieval period did not understand how disease was spread, and rather than a scientific explanation for these epidemics, cholera and the deaths that resulted from it were explained by the supernatural – in this case, vampires.”
The research, published in the online journal Public Library of Science ONE, states that cholera epidemics were common in Eastern Europe during the 17th century, and rituals like this became regular practice.