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Modern Mysteries

Female vampire found with sickle across her neck to stop her rising from the dead

By T.K. Randall
September 5, 2022 · Comment icon 8 comments

Vampires were once taken very seriously. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Musicalvienna
The 17th-Century burial was recently unearthed by archaeologists at a cemetery in Poland.
Vampires may be the stuff of fiction in today's world, but in centuries past, the threat of these undead night-dwelling horrors feasting upon the living was taken quite seriously.

In 17th-Century Poland, for example, such fears were so widespread that special measures were taken when interring the deceased to stop them rising from their graves.

This particular burial, which was unearthed by an excavation team headed up by Professor Dariusz Polinski from Nicholas Copernicus University, saw the body of a woman interred with a sickle placed across her neck to ensure a swift dismemberment if she had ever come back to life.
"The sickle was not laid flat but placed on the neck in such a way that if the deceased had tried to get up most likely the head would have been cut off or injured," Polinski told the New York Post.

The body had also been shackled to the grave by way of a padlock around her big toe.

These methods differed slightly from the more traditional 'stake through the heart' approach.

"Other ways to protect against the return of the dead include cutting off the head or legs, placing the deceased face down to bite into the ground, burning them, and smashing them with a stone," said Polinski.

Source: Science Alert | Comments (8)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by acute 2 years ago
Very prudent, in my opinion. You can't keep a good vampire down. 
Comment icon #2 Posted by ThereWeAreThen 2 years ago
So a murdered woman's remains was found with a sickle in her head?
Comment icon #3 Posted by Autistocrates 2 years ago
The sickle was placed on her neck, in attempt to prevent resurection. He who had the brilliant idea probably thought that she would behead herself, upon sitting up. I would instead have somehow mounted a set of spikes just above her eyeballs. in order to encourage her to stay put
Comment icon #4 Posted by Splendor Solis 2 years ago
I think another interesting story would be to find out how she died. Was she forced to the grave by a gang of bloodthirsty villagers who suspected she was a vampire purely based on a false reasoning? And how many people have met early demises because they were believed to be vampires, witches or any other
Comment icon #5 Posted by Nnicolette 2 years ago
So no mention of why the article claims she is a vampire?
Comment icon #6 Posted by Autistocrates 2 years ago
Probably because, this time around, she sunk her teeth into where they usually don't get sunk into
Comment icon #7 Posted by Autistocrates 2 years ago
Might healthy teeth envy be the cause of persecution?
Comment icon #8 Posted by TripGun 2 years ago
It worked?

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