An archaeologist had unearthed a “vampire” grave in Bulgaria last week, Containing a skeleton with a metal stake in its chest. Yep Stake in the heart.
Nikolai Ovcharov, who’s been called the “Bulgarian Indiana Jones,” said the spooky grave was found during excavations at the ruins of the ancient Thracian city of Perperikon, in southern Bulgaria.
“We have no doubts that once again we’re seeing an anti-vampire ritual being carried out,” Ovcharov told The Telegraph, referring to the impaled skeleton. Stakes were driven through the corpses of “bad” people to prevent them from rising from their graves and haunting the living, according to Ovcharov.
“Often they were applied to people who had died in unusual circumstances — such as suicide,” he said.
This “vampire” grave is one of two unusual burials recently discovered by Ovcharov at Perperikon, according to the Bulgarian newspaper 24 Hours. The other reportedly contained a mother and child whose bodies had been positioned in such as a way that they resembled an image of the Virgin Mary and child. Ovcharov said this sort of ritual burial was used as a way to ward off the plague.
Both graves are estimated to date back to the first half of the 13th century, This isn’t the first “vampire” grave to be found in Bulgaria. In 2012, archaeologists discovered two 700-year-old skeletons pinned down with iron rods through their chests near the town of Sozopol. 100 “vampire” graves have been found in Bulgaria to date, and similar burial sites have been found in other Balkan nations. Vampire legends, the news outlet said, “form an important part of the region’s folklore.”
Bozhidar Dimitrov, head of Bulgaria’s National History Museum, told the Sofia News Agency at the time that “these people were believed to be evil while they were alive, and it was believed that they would become vampires once they are dead, continuing to torment people.”