Vampires unearthed

Fact or Fiction?

Katie Morrison

Our culture has embraced the supernatural beings Hollywood doles out year after year. We have the oh-so-popular Twilight series, Harry Potter, and essentially all of the horror movies. Even TV shows are infiltrated by things that go bump in the night. The CW Network alone is home to popular shows like the Vampire Diaries, Supernatural and The Originals. Lots of viewers have told me personally how they love Vampire Diaries for its suspenseful twists and unique storylines.

Another viewer, senior Kristina Hammer, enjoys the romance side of the show. “Elena and Stefan will always be the most complicated perfect couple,” she says.

Our culture’s obsession with this supernatural world makes Nikolai Ovcharov’s discovery so shocking.

In the beginning of October while working in Bulgaria, Ovcharov and his team unearthed what appeared to be a vampire burial ground. One of the corpses, a 700-year-old skeleton of a male estimated to be around forty years old, had been skewered as well as having his leg removed and buried beside him. This was a widely known precaution taken to ensure the undead would not revive.

Surprising to most people, discoveries like this have been made before. According to a 2012 BBC report, at least 100 “vampire” graves have been discovered. In fact, just a few months ago, a man named Slawomir Gorka led a team in Poland that resulted in a supernatural find from the 13th century. Several different factors pointed to a vampire burial. In this situation, all of the skeletons’ teeth had been pulled and a rock piece had been placed in their mouths. Instead of the leg being removed, it had simply been staked to the ground to prevent resurrection. In other instances, suspected vampires were decapitated before burial.

The fear of vampires and other mythological creatures, while mostly based in the Middle East, took flight and became a widespread European hysteria. The height of the paranoia occurred during the 13th and 14th centuries.

It was believed that the kind of person you were or the circumstances surrounding your death could influence the changing upon death. The most popular candidates for becoming a vampire were thieves, drunkards, and murderers. Those who committed suicide seemed suspicious as well, as though they were welcoming the change they expected to take place. The myth of vampire existence was simple: they would appear normal during the day, civil and living together in towns; but at night, they would scour the hills and streets in search of blood.

The next time you’re settling in for an episode of The Vampire Diaries, keep in mind that these used to be the common person’s nightmare. Imagine dealing with that this Halloween!

Katie is a junior studying business administration.