A spooky mass burial pit containing the skeletal remains of hundreds of suspected ‘vampires’ has been discovered by road workers.
The nightmarish find was made by construction engineers working in Luzino, in northeast Poland, and contained remains that had been decapitated and posed in odd positions.
Some of the 450 skeletons had coins placed in their mouths or their skulls placed between their legs, which Europeans in the 19th century believed would lift the ‘vampire curse’ after death.
Archaeologist Maciej Stromski oversaw excavations of the disturbing site. He said: “We discovered examples of belief in the dead returning from the grave, which could only be stopped by decapitation.
“It was believed that if a member of the deceased’s family died shortly after the funeral, then he or she could be a vampire. Therefore, after burial, the grave was dug up and the deceased’s head was cut off, which was then placed in the legs.
“We also discovered an example of a woman after decapitation. The skull of a child was laid on her bosom.”
Around a third of the graves contained skeletons with bricks placed beside their legs, arms and heads, reports the MailOnline.
Just last year, a woman who had been suspected of vampirism, was discovered with a sickle pinning her throat to the ground at a village cemetery in Pien. She also had a padlocked toe, which superstition said would prevent her coming back to life.
Her head was covered with a silk cap, which suggested she may have been a noble woman.
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Grave sites like the one found in Poland aren’t uncommon in Europe due to widely held superstitions and folk legends of the dead returning to life and sucking the blood of the living, the Mirror reports.
At many similar sites, skulls had metal rods hammered through – which they believed would make sure the dead stayed that way. A few months earlier, a vampire-slaying kit once belonging to a British lord sold at auction for more than £13,000.
The lockable box dating from the 19th century included tools and holy items used to ward off any bloodsuckers, including two brass crucifixes on the lid.
Inside are more crucifixes, as well as pistols, holy water, rosary beads and a bible. It also has the most crucial of all items used to destroy the undead – a wooden mallet and stake to drive into their heart.
The box, which once belonged to former administrator of India Lord William Hailey, had an estimate of £2,000 to £3,000, but finally sold for £13,000 as interest soared.
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