The Remains of a Female ‘Vampire’ Uncovered in a Poland Cemetery

The 1922 silent German film “Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror” is recognized as the first film adaptation of Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula. In 1979, Werner Herzog wrote and directed “Nosferatu the Vampyre.” While the vampire resides in the Transylvania area of Romania, some characters living near the castle speak Polish. This could be an Easter egg referencing the fact that, although the legend was forever linked to Romania by Stoker’s novel, the country of Poland may have the richest history of vampire legends … and real vampires. That connection rose up again recently as archeologists digging in a 17th century cemetery uncovered the remains of a woman buried in one of the traditional ways to bury an alleged vampire – with a scythe blade positioned over her throat to behead her if she attempted to rise out of her grave. The skeleton may have been from what locals believed to have been a rich and powerful vampire because those who buried her employed a second, less used vampire prevention device – a padlock around her big toe. Who was this feared female ‘vampire’ and why does Poland seem to have so many of them?

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