Production still from ”Salem’s Lot’ (1979) depicting Danny Glick returning as a vampire
The bones of a Polish child from the 17th century were recently unearthed by archeologists in the northern village of Pien, Poland. Though the sex of the child is unknown, the remains were discovered padlocked to the gravesite, presumably to prevent the body from rising from the grave and returning to the world of the living as a supernatural being.
A discovery like this seems cruel and archaic with the benefit of time and progress. But in the 17th century, there was widespread belief in vampires, zombies, werewolves, shapeshifters, and the like. Accordingly, such suspicions were taken very seriously, and this recent discovery marks a case of precisely that. Burials like this one are believed to have been a response to ancient superstitions that suggested the dead could rise from the grave to drink the blood of the living, among other things.
Sometimes it’s better safe than sorry when it comes to child vampires, as seen here in ‘Salem’s Lot’ (1979)
The remains were discovered buried face down, with a triangular padlock made of iron discovered under the child’s foot. The grave had been desecrated at some point and all of the bones, save for those in the legs, were removed from the gravesite.
Dariusz Polinski, who is a researcher at Nicolas Copernicus University, provided some context on this recent discovery, telling Reuters: “This is a cemetery for rejected people, who were certainly feared after death, and perhaps also during life … who were suspected of having contacts with unclean forces, people who also behaved differently in some way.”
Additional superstitious practices from that time period include placing stones on particular body parts of the human remains. Stones have been found in this graveyard on the neck, elbow, and larynx of those buried there.
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