Your Cart ( 0 )

You are £100 away from the FREE GIFT!

You may also like

Grown-up Lucky bag
Grown-up Lucky bag
£39.99 GBP
Mystery Knife
Mystery Knife
34.99 £34.99 GBP
Pewter Mjolnir Pendant
Pewter Mjolnir Pendant
14.99 £9.99 GBP
Single Ball Flail
Single Ball Flail
£54.99 GBP

Skeleton of female "vampire" unearthed at cemetery in Poland

September 12, 2022


Skeleton of female "vampire" unearthed at cemetery in Poland

During excavation works at a 17th-century cemetery in the village of Pień, archaeologists discovered a skeleton with a sickle across her neck ready to decapitate her should she rise from the grave following her death, along with a padlock was put around her big toe. This discovery sheds light on a period in European history where many people were affected by ‘vampire-hysteria’.

Professor Dariusz Poliński, from the Nicholas Copernicus University, told a correspondent from the Daily Mail the form of burial was unusual: “Ways to protect against the return of the dead include cutting off the head or legs, placing the deceased face down to bite into the ground, burning them, and smashing them with a stone.”

He 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.”


Bizarre but not unheard of 

While the discovery at Pień can be called bizarre, if compared to modern burial rituals, hundreds of vampire burials just like it have been discovered throughout Eastern Europe.

In 2015, archaeologists digging in the village of Drawsko, Poland, found five skeletons that had been pinned to the ground in a similar manner to that seen in Pien. Four of those skeletons – two women in their 30s, a man in his aged 30 to 40, and an young girl – were buried with sickles tightly lodged across their throats. An older woman, who would have been around 60 years old when she died, was buried with a sickle laying across her hips, and a medium sized stone at her throat.

With all this being said it is however possible that these sickles weren’t put in place to protect the living from the dead but to protect the dead from something perceived as much worse. According to folk wisdom, a sickle could protect women in labour, children and the dead against evil spirits. Sickles also played a role in rituals designed to counter black magic and witchcraft.





Between the 16th and 18th century, people across Europe feared that the dead would rise from the grave as blood-sucking monsters. This ‘vampire-hysteria’ led to executions of people thought to be vampires. 

The panic began with an outbreak of alleged vampire attacks in East Prussia in 1721 and in the Habsburg monarchy from 1725 to 1734, which then spread to other localities. Two infamous vampire cases, which were the first to be officially recorded, involved two men from Serbia. After their deaths, many people in the area died from exsanguination, severe blood loss, among the alleged victims was the son of one of the deceased.

These cases are infamous because of the direct involvement of local authorities and official documentation by physicians and officers, who believed vampires to not only be real but to be the cause of these unusual deaths. Nowadays, many believe due to the physicians inadequate understanding of corpse decomposition lead them to the conclusion that vampires were real and at large. Nevertheless, these events led to a mass vampire hysteria in Europe which lasted for decades.


Social Elite

As well as the extreme burial practices, the team found that the woman was buried with a lot of care. Buried wearing a cap made of silk, which would have been an expensive accessory in the 17th century. This implies she was regarded as someone with high social status within the community.

It seems being from a high social class did little to protect the unnamed woman from accusation of being a supernatural creature, the presence of a large protruding tooth may provide some clues to what may have caused such rumours of vampirism.

After many centuries the alleged vampire has risen from her tomb, but not to seek her next victim but to be transported to Nicholas Copernicus University in Torun, where archaeologists will carry out further research.

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.