Archaeologists in Gliwice, southern Poland have discovered a burial ground where the dead were laid to rest in accordance with practices for alleged vampires.
Four skeletons were found at the site, where mandatory digs were being carried out prior to the construction of a ring road.
In each case, the deceased had been buried with the head between the legs.
According to folk beliefs, this prevented a possible vampire from finding his or her way back to the land of the living.
There was no trace at the burial ground of any earthly possessions, such as jewellery, belts or buckles.
“It’s very difficult to tell when these burials were carried out,” archaeologist Dr Jacek Pierzak told the Dziennik Zachodni newspaper.
However, it is believed that they took place in the early modern period.
Tests are due to me made, so as to determine exact dates.
Archaeologists believe that the burials may have been done in such a fashion so as to protect locals from vampire attacks. Another theory is that the skeletons were the victims of cholera epidemic. Further research will be undertaken.
The last recorded instance of a vampire burial within current Polish borders was in the village of Stare Mierzwice, Masovia, in 1914. A corpse was dug up in the village, and the head was cut off and placed between the person’s legs.