As recently as one hundred years ago, in parts of the Eastern European countryside, fear of vampires ran so high that corpses had iron stakes driven through their hearts. One wonders what events provoked such a practice. Via the Washington Post:
Bulgarian archaeologists say they have unearthed centuries-old skeletons pinned down through their chests with iron rods – a practice believed to stop the dead from becoming vampires to feast on the blood of the living.
According to Bozhidar Dimitrov, head of the National History Museum in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, two skeletons from the Middle Ages were found in such a state last weekend near the Black Sea town of Sozopol. He said Tuesday that corpses were regularly treated in such a way before being buried in some parts of Bulgaria, even until the beginning of the last century.
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