Friday, October 31, 2014

Vampire Grave Found in Bulgaria

Here's a story from earlier this month that seems tailor-made for Halloween. In Eastern Europe, belief in vampirism was common in the middle ages. Individuals who died under the right set of circumstances were thought to rise from the grave and prey upon the living. Archaeologists recently discovered one such "vampire grave" in Bulgaria. A metal stake was driven through the chest, and one of the legs was removed and placed next to the body.

Archeologists in Bulgaria haved uncovered a 13th century staked "vampire" at Perperikon, an ancient Thracian site in the south of the country, Archaeology reports. The remains once belonged to a man who was likely in his 40s. An iron rod had been hammered through his chest "to keep the corpse from rising from the dead and disturbing the living," Archaeology continues, and his left leg had also been removed and placed beside the corpse.

Clearly, this man's neighbors did not trust his remains to stay put. As Nikolai Ovcharov, the archeologist in charge of the dig, told the Telegraph: "We have no doubts that once again we’re seeing an anti-vampire ritual being carried out." At the time of the man's death, vampires were perceived as a real threat in many Eastern European communities. People who died unusually—from suicide, for example—were sometimes staked to prevent them from coming back from the dead, the Telegraph writes.

Many experts think that vampirism outbreaks in the middle ages were linked to a disease with which the modern world is familiar - "consumption" or tuberculosis. As the bacteria damage the lungs, victims slowly lose the ability to breathe and seemingly fade away, as if the life energy were being sucked out of them. At the same time, coughing brings up blood which congeals around the lips as if it were being drained in some fashion.

There's no evidence that corpses ever rose from the dead during the middle ages, though maybe that's because people took special precautions like this to prevent them from doing so. From their supposed powers, I'm inclined to think that if vampires really exist they are more like ghosts, "rising" in spectral form as the dark of the year grows closer and the veil between this world and the next reaches its thinnest point.

Like tonight.

Happy Halloween, everybody! Have a great spooky weekend!

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1 comment:

Melissa Lamb said...

His last meal was stake. zing!