Source - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2786765/The-vampire-graves-Archaeologists-uncover-medieval-corpses-buried-iron-stake-stop-joining-undead.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Archaeologists have unearthed what they believe to be a vampire burial site in Bulgaria.
The so-called 'vampire graves' contain skeletons which all have an iron rod impaled through their bodies where their heart would have been.
The discovery, made at the ancient temple of Perperion, south-east of the Bulgarian capital Sofia, is further evidence that people really did believe that vampires could rise from the dead if they were not buried properly.
The so-called 'vampire graves' contain skeletons which all have an iron rod impaled through their bodies where their heart would have been
In the 13th and 14th centuries, many Eastern Europeans held the belief that vampires were real, causing mass hysteria when people suspected someone of being one of the blood-sucking creatures.
Scores of people were killed because they were thought to be vampires, similar to witch-hunts elsewhere in Europe and North America.
However it may be possible that some towns had a ritual of hammering a stake into dead people's hearts to make sure they did not join the undead, even if there was no suspicion of them being a vampire.
The skeletons were found by 'Bulgaria's Indiana Jones', Professor Nikolai Ovcharov.
Last year his team found a 35-40-year-old male with a metal pole impaled through where his heart would have been at a nearby site.
Before that Professor Ovcharov had found 700-year-old corpses ‘nailed to the ground with iron staples driven into the limbs’.
Burial ritual: The technique of impaling a stake through the heart was believed to be the best method for killing a vampire
The site: This week's discoveries are the sixth and seventh vampires dug up in just two years in Bulgaria
The year before that, a group headed by the professor unearthed another 700-year-old skeleton of a man pinned down in his earth in a church in the Black Sea town of Sozopol.
This week's discoveries are the sixth and seventh vampires dug up in just two years in Bulgaria.
However, the phenomenon is not just Bulgarian. Last year Polish archaeologists unearthed four 'vampire graves' where the bodies had their heads removed and placed between their legs.
The discoveries near the southern town of Gliwice showed that different towns believed in different methods for killing vampires.