Padlocked, restrained female ‘vampire’ discovered in 17th-century graveyard

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Watch out – you’re scared.

The remains of a “female vampire” have been discovered by archaeologists in a 17th-century cemetery in Pień, Poland.

Professor Dariusz Poliński and a team of researchers from Nicolaus Copernicus University were conducting the excavation when they discovered the skeletal remains of the woman, who had been pinned to the ground with a sickle to her throat.

The popular agricultural tool was often used in the 17th century by superstitious Poles to try to restrain a deceased person who was thought to be a vampire so that they could not return from the dead.

“The sickle was not laid flat, but placed in the neck in such a way that if the deceased had tried to stand up … the head would have been chopped off or injured,” Poliński told the Daily Mail.

The professor also noted that the dead woman had a padlock wrapped around her toe — reinforcing the theory that she was considered a vampire at the time of her death.

Sickles were often used by superstitious Poles in the 17th century to try and restrain a deceased person who was thought to be a vampire.
Miroslav Blicharski / Aleksander
"The sickle was not laid flat, but placed on the neck in such a way that if the deceased had tried to stand up...the head would have been chopped off or injured," explained Poliński.
“The sickle was not laid flat, but placed in the neck in such a way that if the deceased had tried to stand up…the head would have been chopped off or injured,” Poliński said.
Miroslav Blicharski / Aleksander

Poliński claimed the lock would have been used during the funeral process to symbolize “the impossibility of returning”.

The investigators have not disclosed the presumed age of the deceased, but said a silk cap on her skull indicates she had high social status.

According to Smithsonian magazine, residents of Eastern Europe initially feared vampires in the 11th century, believing that “some people who died would scratch their way out of the grave like blood-sucking monsters terrorizing the living.”

By the 17th century, “unusual burial practices became common throughout Poland in response to a reported vampire outbreak,” Science Alert reported.

There is still no scientific consensus on how humans were classified as “vampires,” but according to Poliński, they were often violently executed in different parts of the continent.

By the 17th century, "unusual burial practices became common across Poland in response to a reported vampire outbreak."
By the 17th century, “unusual burial practices became common throughout Poland in response to a reported vampire outbreak,” Science Alert reported.
Miroslav Blicharski / Aleksander
The investigators have not disclosed the presumed age of the deceased, but said a silk cap on her skull indicates she had high social status.
The investigators have not disclosed the presumed age of the deceased, but said a silk cap on her skull indicates she had high social status.
Miroslav Blicharski / Aleksander

And even after their deaths, their bodies were further mutilated to ensure they would not return to ravage the local villagers.

“Other ways to protect against the return of the dead include cutting off the head or legs, laying the deceased face down to bite into the ground, burning them and crushing them with a stone,” he said. Poliński.

The discovery of the “female vampire” in Pień – located in the south of the country – comes seven years after the remains of five other suspected vampires were unearthed in the town of Drawsko, 210 miles away.

The excavation was carried out in the town of Pien, in southern Poland.
The excavation was carried out in the town of Pień, in southern Poland.
Beata Zielinska-Golembiewska

All five found there were similarly buried with sickles across their throats.

Meanwhile, The Post reported in 2013 that archaeologists had discovered a “vampire grave” outside the town of Gliwice, where multiple skeletons were found decapitated with their severed heads by their legs.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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