Archaeology & History
Scientists recreate the face of a real-life 18th-Century 'vampire'
By T.K. Randall
November 1, 2022 · 8 comments
The man most likely died of tuberculosis. Image Credit: Virginia Commonwealth University
This is the face of a man who, two centuries ago, was buried with his leg bones crossed to stop him rising from the dead.
He was certainly no Count Dracula and most likely had absolutely no interest at all in drinking human blood, but this unfortunate individual certainly stoked a great deal of fear among the local populace back in the 1700s.
More than 200 years after his death, his remains were found buried in Griswold, Connecticut with his femur bones arranged in a peculiar criss-cross pattern.
There was evidence, in fact, to suggest that he had been dug up and reburied.
"The remains were found with the femur bones removed and crossed over the chest," scientist Ellen Greytak told Live Science
. "This way [suspected vampires] wouldn't be able to walk around and attack the living."
Far from being a vampire, however, this poor gentlemen had actually been suffering from tuberculosis - an ailment that often led to unfounded accusations of vampirism from superstitious locals.
Now scientists at Virginia's Parabon NanoLabs and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) have joined forces to use his DNA to reconstruct what he looked like when he was alive.
Thought to be around 55 years old when he died, he likely had fair skin, brown eyes and brown or black hair.
The image is a fascinating look back to a time when a fear of vampires was a very real thing indeed and people were willing to commit unspeakable acts to protect themselves from them.
Exactly how the situation might have played out for this man at the time, we will likely never know for sure.
Source: Live Science
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