Skeletons dating from the Middle Ages with iron rods through their chests have been discovered by archaeologists in the Bulgarian Black Sea town of
Bozhidar Dimitrov, head of the National History Museum in Sofia said that in some parts of Bulgaria corpses regularly had iron rods hammered
through their hearts before being buried, even until the beginning of the last century.
Apparently the Bulgarians had a fear that the dead would return to feast on the blood of the living.
The earliest references to blood drinking demons date back to ancient Mesopotamia, with Persian pottery depicting demons attempting to drink the blood
of men. Babylonian legend gave rise to Lilitu, synonymous with the Hebrew Lilith who survived by drinking the blood of babies. Even older than Lilith
was the Mesopotamia Lamashtu who would watch a pregnant mother very closely until she went into labour. After delivery, Lamashtu would snatch the
baby, drink its blood until it was drained and devour its flesh.
A wave of vampire hysteria swept Europe in the first half of the 18th century, based largely on supposed attacks by vampires in East Prussia in 1721
and in the Habsburg Monarchy from 1725 to 1734. Two famous Serbian cases of vampires also fuelled the hysteria.
Peter Plogojowitz allegedly returned from the grave and asked his son for some food. His son refused and the father was found dead the next morning.
It seems possible that the man had merely been entombed while alive and had somehow escaped from his premature burial. Lack of oxygen may also have
caused brain damage.
Arnold Paole on the other hand was suspected to be a fully fledged vampire. A former soldier, Paole was apparently attacked by a vampire but appeared
to suffer no ill effects. When he died a number of years later however, people began to disappear leading to Paole being suspected as the culprit. It
could be observed however that the vampire case of Paole was merely circumstancial with no direct evidence apart from Paole stating he had been
attacked by a vampire.
Nonetheless, all of the above vampire episodes were well know and well believed across Europe in the 18th century.
Arguably our own culture to this day has a dread of the dead returning.
Consider how large and sturdy the bolts are on a modern coffin.
To keep the dead well locked in perhaps?
edit on 6-6-2012 by ollncasino because: Spelling and other changes