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Archaeologists exhume "vampire" skeletons in Bulgaria

Illustration for article titled Archaeologists exhume vampire skeletons in Bulgaria

Every culture has its way of dealing with monsters. The people of 8th century Ireland curbed zombie uprisings by ramming rocks into the mouths of their dead. In medieval-era Bulgaria, people staved off vampires with a rail to the chest. According to the BBC:

Archaeologists in Bulgaria have found two medieval skeletons pierced through the chest with iron rods to supposedly stop them from turning into vampires.

The discovery illustrates a pagan practice common in some villages up until a century ago, say historians.

People deemed bad had their hearts stabbed after death, for fear they would return to feast on humans' blood.

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According to Bulgarian historian Bozhidar Dimitrov, the rods may also have been used to keep potential vampires pegged inside their graves, the way a butterfly collector might pin a specimen inside a display case.

Via BBC News. Photo via AP.

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Pagan? Bulgaria wasn't Christian in the middle ages?