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03rd Sep 2022

Remains of ‘vampire’ discovered pinned down with sickle across throat

Charlie Herbert

Remains of vampire discovered pinned down with sickle across throat

It’s not the first time this sort of burial site has been discovered

Archaeologists in Poland have been left bemused after they discovering the remains of a woman who had been dubbed a ‘vampire’.

Researchers were digging at a 17th century cemetery in the village of Pien when they found the bones – with the skeleton also found with a sickle directly over her neck.

The Daily Mail reports that along with the farming tool around the neck, the woman’s toe has also been padlocked to ensure she couldn’t rise from the dead, which is why she was dubbed a ‘vampire.’

But she also had a silk cap on her head, which experts believe shows she had a high social status at the time of her death.

(Miroslaw Blicarski/Aleksander Poznan)

The research team’s leader Professor Dariusz Poliński from the Nicholas Copernicus University said the type of burial was unusual for the era.

He said: “Ways to protect against the return of the dead include cutting off the head or legs, placing the deceased face down to bite into the ground, burning them, and smashing them with a stone.”

“The sickle was not laid flat but placed on the neck in such a way that if the deceased had tried to get up most likely the head would have been cut off or injured.”

The padlock on the toe of the woman’s left foot symbolised “the closing of a stage and the impossibility of returning.”

Myths about people returning from the dead date as far back as the 11th century in eastern Europe.

Burial sites have previously been uncovered where a metal rod or steak has been hammered into the skull of the deceased.

But this is also not the first time archaeologists have discovered a similar use of the sickle.

Researchers in the village of Drewsko, roughly 130 miles away from Pien, uncovered the remains of several men who also had a sickle pressed to their throats.

The researchers said back in 2015: “When placed in burials they were a guarantee that the deceased remained in their graves and therefore could not harm the living, but they may also have served to protect the dead from evil forces.”

“According to folk wisdom, a sickle protected women in labour, children and the dead against evil spirits.

“It also had a role in rituals designed to counter black magic and witchcraft,” they added.

The latest discovery has since been sent to Torun where archaeologists will continue with their research.

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