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Skeleton of female 'vampire’ discovered in Polish graveyard

The woman’s remains were found with a sickle around her neck and a triangular padlock on her foot.

The skeleton found in Poland. Photo: CBS News/Nicolaus Copernicus University

Skeleton of 'female vampire' found in Poland. Photo: CBS/Nicolaus Copernicus University

A vampire Stock image.

Neasa CumiskeySunday World

The remains of a female “vampire” have been discovered by archaeologists in a Polish cemetery.

The research team, led by Professor Dariusz Polinski of the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, unearthed the skeleton in late August at a grave in the village of Pień.

In an interview with CBS News, Polinski said the discovery left him speechless.

“Such a discovery, especially here in Poland, is astonishing, especially now — centuries later. Pure astonishment,” he said.

The woman’s remains were found with a sickle around her neck and a triangular padlock on her foot.

According to ancient beliefs, the tools were used to prevent a dead person thought to be a vampire from returning from the dead.

The remains also had a silk headdress, which was woven with gold or silver thread and indicated that the deceased was highly regarded in society.

Magdalena Zagrodzka, who represented the research team, told Polish press agency PAP that the sickle and padlock “may have protected against the return of the deceased, which was probably feared. In this context, these practices can be considered so-called anti-vampiric.”

A vampire Stock image.

Polinski added: “The sickle was not laid flat but placed on the neck in such a way that if the deceased had tried to get up most likely the head would have been cut off or injured.”

Research from the Institute of Archaeology at the University of Krakow are planning to conducted DNA testing on the remains to find out more information about the deceased woman.

Experts also hope to use new surveying technology to conduct further research at the cemetery.


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