Recently, vampirism has been channeled through the threats of ISIS, however, there was a time the threat was real for those afraid of the unknown. For hundreds of years, vampires were more than just stories that parents told children to scare them away from areas they shouldn’t go. Instead, they were mysterious people that lived in the communities and instilled terror those they encountered. Researched have recently exhumed the bodies from nearly 300 graves in a rural polish cemetery, where six lonely skeletons were found to have been buried with sickles placed above their necks and rocks placed in the crude caskets to weigh the bodies down. It is believed that the sickles were put in place to sever the necks of those that tried to sit up inside the coffin.
According to Metro U.K., the bodies have been buried since between the 1600s and 1700s, when vampires were at their height of fright. The sickles and large rocks were meant to lessen the risk the undead coming back to life and leaving their graves to feast upon those that buried them underground. The graves that contained the skeletons were larger than the normal graves. Despite the connection to the existence of vampires, scientists believe the skeletons to be victims of cholera, a highly infectious disease.
Dr. Lesley Gregoricka, of the University of South Alabama, explained.
‘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,’
News Week reported that the skeletons were determined to be locals, according to chemical elements found in the bones that are present only on the area. Some researchers, such as Leszek Gardela, an archeologist from the University of Rzeszow in Poland, feel that the term vampire is demeaning due to the condition that the individuals suffered. Gardela also stated that it was not only vampires that were buried in the strange manner, but also those accused of magical crimes or those that were too heinous to claim to be normal.
It is also believed that he bodies in the graves did not fit the now stereotypical image of a handsome vampire with the intellect and debonair of a gentleman. Instead, they were believed to be quite ill and disfigured with their diseases.
[Photo Courtesy: Newsweek]