17 skeletons buried with the skulls severed and placed between the knees or hands found in Poland. That, say archaeologists, is how vampires used to be interred, to stop them rising from the dead.
Construction workers building a road near the town of Gliwice in southern Poland this month came across four skeletons buried in a bizarre way. Their skulls had been cut off and placed between the knees or hands of the dead. Later, a further 13 skeletons arranged in a similar way were found.
Adding to the mystery, nothing — no jewellery, remains of clothing or coins, not even a button — was found on the bodies.
Archaeologists now believe that the bodies date from the 15th or 16th centuries, when the fear of vampires was widespread in Eastern Europe. Lukasz Obtulowicz, an archaeologist from the monument protection office in the nearby city of Katowice, said there were clear indications that this was the site of a vampire burial, noting that stones had been placed on the skulls. “All this served to prevent the vampires from returning to life,” he said in a television interview.