Archeologists in Bulgaria have unearthed two medieval skeletons pierced through the chest with iron rods to supposedly stop them from turning into vampires, according to BBC.
Widespread superstition led to iron rods being hammered through the chest bones and hearts of those who did evil during their lifetimes, the Huffington Post noted, for fear they would return from the grave to feast on the blood of the living.
"These skeletons stabbed with rods illustrate a practice which was common in some Bulgarian villages up until the first decade of the 20th Century," Bozhidar Dimitrov, head of the National History Museum in Sofia, told BBC.
Dimitrov added that people believed the rod would pin the dead into their graves to prevent them from leaving at midnight and terrorizing the living.
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The skeletons found in Bulgaria are estimated to be 800 years old.
These are not the first vampire skeletons to be found in Bulgaria. Dimitrov told the Daily Mail that over 100 corpses have been found in this condition.
"I do not know why an ordinary discovery like that became so popular. Perhaps because of the mysteriousness of the word 'vampire'. These people were believed to be evil while they were alive, and it was believed that they would become vampires once they are dead, continuing to torment people," Dimitrov said.
Dimitrov also told the Daily Mail that those believed to be vampires were often aristocrats and clerics, however no female corpses were ever found in this condition. "They were not afraid of witches," Dimitrov said.