“Let Them Eat Sausage!” Polish Vampire Burials Surprise Workers

By: The Scribe on Friday, July 12, 2013

Imagine the surprise of some local construction workers in Poland, minding their own business and doing their jobs, when suddenly they happen upon an ancient burial ground… but not just any burial ground, of course. These… were vampire burials.

polishvampireFour skeletons were found at the site in Gliwice, and all four individuals had been buried with the head cut off and placed between the legs. Polish folk beliefs from this area state that placing a deceased individual’s head between the legs for burial would prevent a potential vampire from finding its way through the ground’s surface and back to the living world. Apparently the vampire would be so preoccupied with finding its head, it wouldn’t bother anyone else.

Archaeologist for the dig, Dr. Jacek Pierzak, told a Polish newspaper that “it’s very difficult to tell when these burials were carried out,” though preliminary thoughts are that the burials took place during the early modern period (Late Middle Ages through to around 1800). Tests will be conducted on the skeletal remains to determine a more precise date.

None of the bodies were buried with any goods or objects—which is quite unusual, and further supports the assertion that the individuals were buried in accordance with folkloric beliefs for preventing alleged vampires from rising and attacking the locals.

The last known instance of a vampire burial in Poland, according to the archaeological record, was found in 1914—and again, the deceased had been decapitated and the skull buried between the knees.


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