10.31.2014

The ‘Vampire of Vratsa’ ...


In July Bulgarian archaeologists " a medieval vampire burial site had been found during excavations of an ancient fortress near Vratsa" ...

Archaeology: Bulgaria’s ‘Vampire of Vratsa’ | The Sofia Globe:
Unlike the previously well-known method of disposing of vampires by driving a stake through the heart, the funeral ritual of the “Vampire of Vratsa” ... involved a boulder from the mountain. ... archaeologists have found the grave of an elderly man of a unusually tall height for the time, 1.8 metres. The burial site testifies to the special treatment of the deceased. On his heart, archaeologists found a deliberately placed processed white stone, said to be part of rituals against vampirism.
Archaeologist Alexandra Petrova told Bulgarian National Television that placing a stone on the chest, notably the left side where the heart is, was part of such a practice, that could also involve stabbing with a stake or iron knife. The aim was to prevent the deceased’s return to the world of the living, which in turn also could be done by putting a pet cat or chicken across the body. Such rituals would be carried out if the deceased was a stranger to the community, or loner or who had no one to watch over him at night. Another reason could be if the man, while alive, had been evil, thus prompting precautions against him coming back to cause mischief. In the case near Vratsa, there was apparently double insurance. This involved tying the feet to make the dead stumble if trying to return to the world of the living.