Six people given a vampire’s burial over 200 years ago have been discovered in a Polish graveyard, some barricaded in the earth with sharp sickles, some weighted by stones on their necks, possibly to keep them from chewing through their burial shrouds.
The above is an extract from an article in USA Today ‘Vampire Graves Shed Light on the Fear of the Undead’, 29th November. You can view the article here Vampire Undead Graves Discovered in Poland. I posted on an earlier story Vampire Graves Unearthed in Bulgaria some time ago and commented on the number of vampire graves that have been unearthed in recent times (seven sites in two years). These vampire graves are certainly giving food for thought on the ‘Reading the Vampire’ MA I am teaching. We are lucky to have an archaeologist Matt Beresford on the OGOM team who can offer another perspective on vampire studies. I’d be interested to hear any comments on these practices and their representation in the press. Is it only now when vampirism is still enjoying a vogue that we are viewing these corpses as vampires?
I’ve been following this case with interest. As you might suspect, I am very hesitant to call these burials ‘vampiric’. I prefer referring to them as deviant burials. It seems inappropriate to apply the term ‘vampire’ regardless of the historical and cultural precedent of the incident in question. But then that is my pet peeve.
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