Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/12/2013 (9 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Decapitated skeletons unearthed in burial grounds, proving fear of undead was real

Vampires are fun to read about and see in the movies - but there was a time when they were believed to be real and rural villages held them in great fear. Archaeologists have now unearthed what they believe to be a vampire burial ground in Poland.

The archaeologists say that apart from being headless, there was no trace of any earthly possessions, such as jewelry, belts or buckles.

The archaeologists say that apart from being headless, there was no trace of any earthly possessions, such as jewelry, belts or buckles.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/12/2013 (9 months ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: Vampires, Poland, burialgrounds, folklore, Eastern Europe


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Graves containing four decapitated skeletons, their heads placed between their legs were found near the southern town of Gliwice. Removing the head of a suspected vampire was common practice in medieval times as it was thought to be the only way to ensure the dead stay dead.

The archaeologists say that apart from being headless, there was no trace of any earthly possessions, such as jewelry, belts or buckles.

"It's very difficult to tell when these burials were carried out,' archaeologist Dr Jacek Pierzak told local newspapers. The remains have been sent out for further testing. Initial estimates suggest the suspected bloodsuckers died sometime around the 16th century.
 
It comes a year after archaeologists in Bulgaria claimed to have discovered two "vampire" corpses in excavations near a monastery in the Black Sea town of Sozopol. In that case, the 800-year-old remains were pierced through the chest with heavy iron rods.

Bulgaria's national museum chief Bozidhar Dimitrov said as many as 100 such "vampire corpses" have been found in the country in recent years. "They illustrate a practice which was common in some Bulgarian villages up until the first decade of the 20th century," he explained.

Today, fears of vampires remain real threat for many villagers in some of the most remote communities of Eastern Europe. Garlic and crucifixes are readily wielded and bodies are exhumed in order for a stake to be driven through the suspected vampire's heart.

The vampire legend goes back thousands of years and was common in many ancient cultures, where tales of these reviled creatures of the dead abounded.

Archaeologists recently found 3,000 Czech graves where bodies had been weighed down with rocks to prevent the dead emerging from their tombs.

For some, vampires became the antithetical opposite of Jesus Christ - evil creatures resurrected from the dead who spilled blood only to feed their thirst.

In medieval times, the fear of vampires was omnipresent. In some cases, the dead were buried with a brick wedged in their mouths to stop them rising up to eat those who had perished from the plague.

Vampire folklore largely flourished in Eastern European countries and Greece, where they did not have a tradition of believing in witches. The vampire, much like a witch, became a scapegoat for the community's ills.

The "civilized" world came to learn of vampires in the 18th century as Western empires expanded and their peoples traveled to remote parts of Central and Eastern Europe.

---


Pope Francis calls for your 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women:
That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lord’s invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.



Comments


More Europe

Pope Francis Easter Vigil Homily: Where is My Galilee? Encountering Jesus Watch

Image of Pope Francis: To return to Galilee means above all to return to that blazing light with which God's grace touched me at the start of the journey. From that flame I can light a fire for today and every day, and bring heat and light to my brothers and sisters. That flame ignites a humble joy, a joy which sorrow and distress cannot dismay, a good, gentle joy.

By Pope Francis

Galilee is the place where they were first called, where everything began! To return there, to return to the place where they were originally called. Jesus had walked along the shores of the lake as the fishermen were casting their nets. He had called them, and ... continue reading


Urbi Et Orbi: Pope Francis Gives Easter Message to the City and the World Watch

Image of The message flows from his entire pontificate of loving service.True and lasting peace comes through reconciliation and love. God is Love. He sent His Only Son to offer all of us the path to peace and the plan of loving salvation.

By Pope Francis

The message which Christians bring to the world is this: Jesus, Love incarnate, died on the cross for our sins, but God the Father raised him and made him the Lord of life and death. In Jesus, love has triumphed over hatred, mercy over sinfulness, goodness over ... continue reading


LOCH NESS MONSTER - FOUND? Amazing new photos appear Watch

Image of Cutting-edge technology may have just added credence to a long-standing legend in Scotland's Loch Ness.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Cutting-edge technology may have just added credence to a long-standing legend in Scotland's Loch Ness. A satellite orbiting Earth and using Apple's satellite map app may have provided proof that there's a Nessie to be found in the Scottish Highlands. The ... continue reading


UFO caught on film in England, but it's not a spacecraft... Watch

Image of This mysterious ring lasted for about three minutes in the air before dissipating, according to the eyewitness.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A bizarre black ring is baffling experts in England, after it was filmed by a sixteen year old girl in Warwickshire. The ring apparently hung in the sky for three minutes before dissipating. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Nick Pope, a former adviser to the ... continue reading


Russia continues to devour Ukraine Watch

Image of Russia's Prime Minister, and former president of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev said that Ukraine is on the brink of civil war.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Vladimir Putin has continued his land grab in Ukraine, making it ever more apparent that the Russian president wants to reunite the old Soviet republics and from a new Soviet Union, even at the risk of causing a major war. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Russia ... continue reading


Immune to poison, GIANT rats terrify Great Britain Watch

Image of Nationwide, councils have reported a rise in the number of rats being reported. Birmingham has the highest number of call-outs with 5,100 in the past year.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Rats -- the size of cats" is a lyric in David Bowie's classic rock hymn "Diamond Dogs." It's a terrifying, dystopian vision that unfortunately coming true in Great Britain today, with rodents as large as two feet in length. Even worse, these monster rats have ... continue reading


Pope appoints Lady Margaret Scotford Archer to head Pontifical Academy Watch

Image of Lady Margaret Scotford Archer was born in Grenoside, U.K., and holds a Ph.D. from the University of London. She is currently a professor at l'Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland. She previously taught for many years at the University of Warwick in Great Britain.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Lady Margaret Scotford Archer has been appointed by Pope Francis to be President of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences." The group consists of scholars dedicated to studying issues in the social sciences in order to offer reflection and advice to the ... continue reading


Dissenting Priest Defies Church of England's Teaching on Marriage, 'Marries' his Homosexual Paramour Watch

Image of An Anglican priest has defied the Church of England's insistence that marriage is between one man and one woman by openly dissenting from the Scripture and Christian tradition and wedding his longtime homosexual companion. The 58-year-old Canon Jeremy Pemberton, a divorced hospital chaplain, wed 51-year-old Laurence Cunnington this past weekend.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A practicing homosexual priest has defied the Church of England's ban on homosexual and lesbian clergy marrying by wedding his longtime male homosexual companion. The 58-year-old Canon Jeremy Pemberton, a divorced hospital chaplain, wed his long-term homosexual ... continue reading


Who Am I? Homily of Pope Francis on the Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion Watch

Image of

By Pope Francis

This week begins with the festive procession with olive branches: all the people welcome Jesus. The children, the young people sing, praising Jesus.But this week proceeds into the mystery of Jesus' death and his resurrection. We've heard the Passion of the Lord. ... continue reading


Pope Francis Gives Away New Testaments to the Faithful. Calls Catholics to Love the Bible Watch

Image of Pope Francis loves the Word of God and calls us to do the same

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Last month, at an Angelus prayer, Pope Francis asked the crowd how many of them read the Bible every day. The response was discouraging. He told them, "It is good to have a little Bible that you carry with you in your pocket or in your bag. Always carry a Bible ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 2:14, 22-32
14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven and addressed ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11
1 [In a quiet voice Of David] Protect me, O God, in ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 28:8-15
8 Filled with awe and great joy the women came ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 21st, 2014 Image

St. Anselm
April 21: St. Anselm Archbishop of Canterbury and Confessor APRIL 21,A.D. ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter