Archaeologists have uncovered disturbing evidence of a little-known practice involving so-called “vampires” in the Czech Republic. The remains of 14th-century skeletons, unearthed from a graveyard in the small town of Celakovice, reveal a gruesome history of individuals whose hearts had been burned and their teeth ripped out.
According to researchers, the bizarre ritual was intended to prevent the deceased from rising from the dead and attacking the living. The practice was based on superstitions about the undead that were prevalent in medieval Europe.
The excavated skeletons were discovered in 2018, but researchers have only recently published their findings in the journal Anthropologie. The study reveals that the victims were all men, and many of them were buried in unusual positions, including face-down or with their hands tied.
The analysis of the bones indicates that the individuals had likely died from the bubonic plague, which was ravaging Europe at the time. However, the evidence also suggests that their bodies had been desecrated after death in an attempt to prevent them from returning to life as vampires.
This is not the first time that archaeologists have discovered evidence of such practices. Similar vampire burials have been found in other parts of Europe, including Bulgaria and Poland. However, the discovery in Celakovice provides a unique insight into the morbid superstitions that were prevalent in medieval Europe.