Maybe it's because the season premiere of True Blood is upon us that makes this latest discovery about vampires extra intriguing ... archaeologists have discovered a fresh batch of vampire skeletons dating back to the Middle Ages First a lady vampire skull and now this! This is fabulous news, not only because for those of us who love our vampires it proves that the blood-suckers might really have existed, but because it also turns an old bit of widely held vampire lore totally on its head.
Vampires through the ages have always been portrayed as pretty much invincible and seem to survive just about anything -- being thrown into a vat of acid, fires, bombs, dismembering, disembowelment ... But a simple stake through the heart, and they are goners. Why is that? Where did that come from?
Well, the Bulgarian discovery seems to provide a clue. The stakes may have not been so much about killing the vampire, as much as it was a restraining device use to prevent them from rising and stalking humans.
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The two skeletons found in the Black Sea town of Sozopol were both stabbed through their chests in the heart, pinning them to their graves. The belief is that the stakes would prevent the vamps from rising from the dead and leaving their graves to feast on human blood.
So I guess after their human death, the people would turn into vampires in their grave and just lay there, totally unable to move in excruciating hunger and desire for human blood, until their flesh just rotted away and they became skeletons. That would take a long time. It's not hard to see why literature and later Hollywood had to tweak that drawn-out process for something a little more dramatic and bloody, huh?
Are you fascinated by vampires? Do you believe there is some truth to this ages old legend?
Image via milan.boers/Flickr