The skeleton of a "vampire woman" was found in Europe. Residents did not let her "rise from the grave"

A group from the Institute of Archeology at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń found a burial near

Bydgoszcz, a city in northern Poland. A group of researchers led by Professor Dariusz Polinsky discovered the body during excavations.

The burial dates back to the 17th century and is located in the village of Pen. It contained the skeleton of a young woman, according to a statement released by the university.

An anthropological study has shown thather front teeth stuck out. Scholars have speculated that her appearance prompted superstitious locals to brand her as a witch or vampire. A sickle was put around her neck, and a padlock was tied to her left toe. Apparently, people hoped that this would prevent her from rising from the grave.

“It can be assumed that those who buried the woman were for some reason afraid that she would rise from the grave,” the researchers write. “Maybe they were afraid she was a vampire.”

Experts are planning further research oncemetery, the university said. In addition, employees of the Institute of Archeology of the University of Krakow will conduct DNA testing of the remains to learn more about the woman.

Anthropological analysis of the skeleton by AliciaDrozd-Lipinska from the Institute of Biology, NCU Faculty of Biological Sciences. The sickle and lock are being conserved by Dr. Marek Kolyshko from the Institute of Archeology.

The concept of a blood-sucking spirit or demon,devouring human flesh, has been mentioned in mythology and folk tales of almost every civilization for centuries. One of the earliest depictions of vampires comes from the cuneiform texts of the Akkadians, Samarans, Assyrians, and Babylonians, where they mention demonic figures such as Leela and Lilith.

In the late 17th and 17th centuries, folklore about vampiresspread among many European ethnic groups. They have been described as the ghosts of evil beings, suicides, witches, corpses possessed by an evil spirit, or victims of vampire attacks.

In the 17th century, sightings of vampires in Eastern Europe reached their peak.

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Cover photo: Mirosław Blicharski/Aleksander Poznań