The skeletal remains of a female “vampire” were found in a 17th-century Polish graveyard — with a sickle across her neck to prevent her from rising from the dead.
Professor Dariusz Poliński from Nicholas Copernicus University headed the archaeological dig that led to the discovery of the remains, which were found wearing a silk cap and with a protruding front tooth, the Daily Mail reported Friday.
“The sickle was not laid flat but placed on the neck in such a way that if the deceased had tried to get up… the head would have been cut off or injured,” Poliński told the Daily Mail.
In the 11th century, citizens of Eastern Europe had fears of vampires. They started treating their dead with anti-vampire rituals, according to Smithsonian magazine, believing that “some people who died would claw their way out of the grave as blood-sucking monsters that terrorized the living.”
By the 17th century, Science Alert reported such burial practices “became common across Poland in response to a reported outbreak of vampires.”