Skip to main content

Vampire Skeletons Unearthed in Bulgaria



Bulgarian archaeologists recently excavated the graves of two skeletons believed to be vampires from the Middle Ages, a discovery which helps shed new light on the development of the classic vampire myth.

Bulgarian researcher Bozhidar Dimitrov explained that the two skeletons, found near a monastery in the coastal town of Sozopol, had been stabbed through the midsection with metal stakes.  Surprisingly, this was not an uncommon burial practice during the Middle Ages.

According to popular beliefs at the time, people who were deemed to be evil during their lifetimes were often stabbed in the chest with an iron or wooden stake prior to burial in order to prevent them from returning from the dead.  Dimitrov explained that the stakes were intended to keep the corpses in their graves and to prevent them from crawling out of the ground at midnight and terrorizing the living, a myth which was prevalent among the pagan cultures of the period.

Dimitrov also explained that over 100 skeletons impaled with stakes have been found throughout Bulgaria, demonstrating just how popular this fear of vampires was at the time.  The Bulgarian researcher pointed out that most of these "vampires" tended to be aristocrats and clerics, and that all of the impaled corpses were those of males.  'The curious thing is that there are no women among them. They were not afraid of witches," said Dimitrov, in a story published on June 6 by the U.K.'s Mail Online.

(read the complete story here)

Popular posts from this blog

The Incest Capital of the World?

At the far eastern edge of Kentucky, nestled in Appalachia, resides Letcher County. In spite of its isolation and poverty (approximately 30% of the county's population lives below the poverty line), Letcher County has managed to grow at an impressive rate, from a population of just 9,172 in 1900 to a present-day population of nearly 25,000. However, even if Letcher County tripled or quadrupled its present population, there's still a pretty good chance that virtually all of the county's inhabitants would be related to each other-- thanks to one particularly fertile family whose astounding rate of reproduction can put even the friskiest rabbit to shame.

Around the year 1900, Letcher County was the home of a man by the name of Jason L. Webb, who made national headlines for having the one of the largest families in the world. According to newspaper reports of the era, Jason had 19 children, 175 grandchildren, and 100 great-grandchildren. Perhaps even more impressive was his b…

The Ticking Tombstone of Landenberg

If you look closely at a map of Pennsylvania, you'll see an anomalous semi-circular border at the extreme southeastern part of the state. This circle, known officially as the "Twelve Mile Circle", serves as the border between the Keystone State and Delaware. Much of the strange circle is surrounded by Chester County, one of the three original Pennsylvania counties created by William Penn in 1682. While there are many historical points of interest in Chester County, few are strange or as steeped in legend as the Ticking Tombstone.

Near the London Tract Meeting House in Landenberg is an old graveyard which contains a tombstone which is said to make eerie ticking noises, much like the ticking of a pocketwatch. Landenberg locals claim that the ticking is the result of two very famous surveyors who arrived in town during the 1760s- Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon.  A young child supposedly swallowed a valuable pocketwatch owned by Mason and later died, and the boy's head…

Jenny Hanivers, Mermaids, Devil Fish, and Sea Monks

Three centuries before P.T. Barnum attracted flocks of crowds with his mummified Fiji Mermaid (which turned out to be a papier-mâché creation featuring a monkey's head and a fish's body), sailors around the world had already began manufacturing "mermaids".  Known as Jenny Hanivers, these creations were often sold to tourists and provided sailors with an additional source of income.  These mummified creatures were produced by drying, carving, and then varnishing the carcasses of fish belonging to the order rajiformes- a group of flattened cartilaginous fish related to the shark which includes stingrays and skates.  These preserved carcasses can be made to resemble mermaids, dragons, angels, demons, and other mythical creatures.


Jenny Hanivers became popular in the mid-16th century, when sailors around the Antwerp docks began selling the novelties to tourists.  This practice was so common  in the Belgian city that it may have influenced the name; it is widely believed …