June 14, 2012

'Vampire' Graves Discovered at Bulgarian Monastery

Archaeologists excavating a monastery near the city of Sozopol, Bulgaria, discovered the 700-year-old remains of two males who had been stabbed through the heart with iron rods — an indication that their 14th century contemporaries believed them to be vampires. The sensational discovery was made during the excavations of St. Nikolai Chudotvoretz Monastery, which was built at the harbor (St. Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors) and existed in the 10th-12th centuries. The find was discovered in a necropolis close to the semicircular building part.

More than 100 such “vampire” graves have been discovered in Bulgaria recently, all of them containing male aristocrats or clerics whose bodies had been repeatedly stabbed or nailed into their coffins after death.

Bojidar Dimitrov, head of the Bulgarian National History Museum, told the Sofia News Agency that ”these people were believed to be evil while they were alive, and it was believed that they would become vampires once they are dead, continuing to torment people.”

“The curious thing is that there are no women among them. They were not afraid of witches,” he added.

Prof. Bojidar Dimitrov supposes that the found skeleton belongs to the legendary pirate Krivich, the superintendent of the Sozopol fortress, or his heir. Nearby is the Church of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, where a woman in fact was found buried in the same manner.

The findings have sparked intense interest among vampire-lovers in Europe, Asia and the United States and could transform Bulgaria into a “tourism gold mine,” according to CNN.