The Sickle And The Padlock
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Polish archaeologists recently came across the skeletal remains of a 17th-century “female vampire,” the New York Post reported.
Located near the village of Pien, in southeastern Poland, the alleged vampire was found buried with a sickle across her throat and a padlock wrapped around her toe.
Archaeologist Dariusz Poliński said the burial was very common for the time: The sickle was placed “in such a way that if the deceased had tried to get up… the head would have been cut off or injured,” he noted.
He added that the padlock symbolized “the impossibility of returning.”
Poliński and his colleagues did not note the age of the woman but suggested that she was of high social status after finding a silk cap on her skull.
The discovery comes seven years after another archaeological team found the remains of five other presumed vampires in the town of Drawsko, 130 miles away.
The burial also underscores the superstitious methods that ancient Eastern Europeans used to deal with the supernatural.
The fear of vampirism emerged around the 11th century, when Eastern Europeans worried that “some people who died would claw their way out of the grave as blood-sucking monsters that terrorized the living,” according to Smithsonian Magazine.
By the 17th century, these strange burial practices became common across Poland over alleged outbreaks of these mythical bloodsuckers.
It isn’t clear how the accused were classified as “vampires”, but the methods to get rid of them were extremely brutal.
“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,” Poliński said.