In the Middle Ages, Bulgarians Vampire-Proofed their Dead
by Sydnee Griffin, age 15
Near the Black Sea, in the small town of Sozopol, Bulgaria, residents once practiced a method of vampire extermination, which involves skewering bodies of the deceased with sharp objects.
Researchers recently uncovered a pair of skeletons buried at a local church gravesite with sharp metal plowing tools driven through their lower stomachs and ribcages. Archaeologist Dimitar Nedev of Sozopol Archeology Museum uncovered the corpses and dated them back to the 14th century. During this time, Bulgarians commonly impaled corpses in this manner to prevent the dead from escaping their graves and returning as vampires.
Bulgarians followed the Manichean Bogomilism faith in the Middle Ages. This sect was critical of the political power the Christian Church held. They sought a return to early Christian ideas and also practiced Pagan rituals, many of which are maintained today, said Nedev.
Sozopol is not the only Bulgarian town that took caution against vampires. Some 100 additional vampire burial sites have also been uncovered.