Sometimes reality trumps fiction and the story we present below is a good example of that.
A team of anthropologists from the University of Florence discovered the remains of a species of vampire that was buried with a brick in its mouth, between its jaws.
This is a spooky story and perfect for a Halloween night.
The skull, of a woman, was found in the excavation of a mass grave where victims of a bubonic plague epidemic were buried on the island of Lazzaretto Nuovo, near Venice, in the 16th and 17th centuries.
According to experts, this incredible find confirms the theory that during medieval times vampires were thought to transmit plagues such as the Black Death.
The religious documents and medieval medicine discovered so far, explain that vampires spread plagues by absorbing the little life that was left in some corpses. It was their way of subsistence until they returned to the streets.
Matteo Borrini of the University of Florence said objects were placed in the mouths of alleged vampires at the time to prevent them from feeding on the corpses of people buried nearby, strengthening themselves and attacking the living.
Borrini, who presented his findings at the 61st meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences in Denver, United States, said that at the time of the epidemic, many believed that the disease was spread by vampires.
Let us remember that the succession of plagues that took place in Europe between the years 1300 and 1700, was a great lure that confirmed the existence of vampires.
A belief also supported by the lack of knowledge about the process of decomposition of human corpses.
During that distant time, when gravediggers opened a grave, it was common to find bodies swollen with gas, with hair that seemed to continue to grow, and with blood coming out of some mouths.
All these signs were irrefutable proof that many of the dead were still alive.
Suspects were often identified by signs such as “chew marks” on the fabric in which the bodies were wrapped.
According to Borrini, these marks were caused by blood and other bodily fluids that were sometimes expelled from the mouths of the dead, causing the tissue to appear to sink between the jaws and rupture.
According to him, at the time of the plague epidemic, the gravediggers constantly reopened the ditch to bury the bodies of new victims and found corpses that they suspected were vampires.
Borrini said that this could be the first ritual of
confirmed by archaeological evidence and analyzed with medical knowledge and forensic techniques.
However, Peer Moore-Jansen, an expert at Wichita State University in Kansas, says he has found similar skeletons in Poland, indicating that the discovery is not groundbreaking.
Venice was greatly affected by the so-called Black Death, which hit the city mainly between 1630 and 1631. It is estimated that the epidemic killed up to 50,000 people out of a population of 150,000.
A legend as mysterious as it is fascinating, which has nothing to do with the stories of vampires originating in Eastern European folklore, and which reached their height of splendor during the 18th century.