Here’s a weird historical story for Halloween. Earlier this month, the UK Telegraph reported at a “vampire grave” had been found in the ruins of ruins of Perperikon, an ancient Thracian city located in southern Bulgaria.
The evidence that the grave had been believed to be the resting place of a vampire was a metal stake driven through the man’s chest. Professor Nikolai Ovcharov unearthed the body while doing excavations in the city.
Perperikon was discovered 20 years ago and believed to be the site of the Temple of Dionysius, who was the Greek God of wine and fertility. Perperikon is also located near Bulgaria’s border with Greece.
“We have no doubts that once again we’re seeing an anti-vampire ritual being carried out,” Professor Ovcharov is quoted in the newspaper. “Often they were applied to people who had died in unusual circumstances – such as suicide.”
Ovcharov explained that the stake was supposed to stop a bad person from rising from the dead. This particular “bad” person was a male between 40 and 50 years old when he died in the first half of the 13th century. A piece of ploughshare has been hammered through his chest. The lower left leg had also been removed from the body and placed beside it. The newspaper doesn’t note whether this happened before the man died and was, perhaps, the reason he died, or whether it was an extra precaution taken after death.
This is the third vampire grave discovered in Bulgaria in recent years. Two other graves were discovered in 2012 and 2013 in Sozopol, about 200 miles east of Perperikon. The inhabitants of these graves were called “the twin vampires of Sozopol”, according to the Telegraph.
Overall, about 100 vampire graves have been found in Bulgaria, which is the country south of Romania. Dracula was said to be from Transylvania, which is part of Romania.
Also, last year, skeletons were found in Poland with their heads removed and placed on their legs. Archeologists believed that this was done as part of a ritual to keep them from rising from the dead.
“Sometimes they would be decapitated, while another punishment involved hanging from a gibbet until decomposition resulted in the head separating from the body. In both cases the head was then laid on the legs of the victim in the hope that an inability to locate their head would hinder the progress of those intent on rising from the grave,” the Telegraph reported.
These bodies were found on a construction site. Although quite old, archeologists were having trouble dating the bodies because there were no cultural clues found in the graves.
Here is the link to the Bulgarian vampire story: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/bulgaria/11153923/Vampire-grave-found-in-Bulgaria.html