The mythology of vampires is well-known throughout the world. Most countries have some variation on the vampire legend. Remarkably similar, too, are the ways in which vampires can be dispatched, or at least prevented from rising from the grave to plague the living. Modern science has usually dismissed these tales as folklore, however, recent evidence has emerged showing that our ancestors did indeed take these stories seriously. Over the past few decades, an increasing number of medieval burials have been excavated showing incredible brutality performed on the corpses that exactly matches the methods folklore said must be used to keep a vampire safely in its grave. And these graves are not only being found in the vampire’s traditional home of Eastern Europe and the Balkans, but in Western Europe too. Here are 8 of the best-attested cases of medieval vampire burial.
1. Prostejov, Slovakia
In 1991, an archaeological investigation of the ancient church of the Holy Trinity in Prostejov discovered a crypt burial in the presbytery. The body had been buried in a coffin reinforced with iron bars, held to be one method of keeping a vampire buried, since vampires allegedly could not tolerate the touch of iron. In addition, stones had been placed on the victim’s legs, and the torso severed from the legs. The find has been dated to the 16th century. The burial is considered somewhat unusual because of its location in a church, but it has been argued that the extra sanctity of the church may have been thought by those who buried the victim to have been more likely to have kept the corpse in its grave.