As a small child I remember listening to a recording of Bram Stoker’s Dracula and being frightend half to death. For a considerable time afterwards I had nightmares about vampires lurking in the spare room and I had to summon up all the courage at my disposal to enter even during the day.
Today’s Daily Mail contains an article about the discovery of two skeletons with stakes through their chests. The skeletons where discovered near a monastery in Bulgaria and according to a Bulgarian archaeologist there have been around 100 such finds over the years.
During the middle ages belief in vampires was common and people believed to be vampires would be buried with stakes through their hearts in order to prevent them from returning from the grave and terrorising the living.
I was under the impression that the only method for killing vampires was to drive a stake through the heart. However a recent discovery of a corpse dating back to the 16th century in Venice with a brick in it’s mouth indicates otherwise. Apparently the brick was inserted to prevent the vampire from feeding off the corpses being generated as a consequence of the plague.
Of course all of the above is so much bunkum, however to those like myself with an interest in superstitions the beliefs revealed by the article are truly fascinating.
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