A new report details a finding from the 1950s that send chills down my spine.
A skeleton was discovered in Southwell, Notts in the UK with a number of stakes through various parts of it’s body. Apparently, administered post-mordem, they were to keep this criminal/deviant from rising from the grave as an undead to feast on the life force of the living!
The Telegraph writes:
The discovery of a skeleton found with metal spikes through its shoulders, heart and ankles, dating from 550-700AD and buried in the ancient minster town of Southwell, Notts, is detailed in a new report.
It is believed to be a ‘deviant burial’, where people considered the ‘dangerous dead’, such as vampires, were interred to prevent them rising from their graves to plague the living.
In reality, victims of this treatment were social outcasts who scared others because of their unusual behaviour. Only a handful of such burials have been unearthed in the UK.
The discovery is detailed in a new report by Matthew Beresford, of Southwell Archaeology.
The skeleton was found by archaeologist Charles Daniels during the original investigation of the site in Church Street in the town 1959, which revealed Roman remains.
Mr Beresford said when Mr Daniels found the skeleton one of the first things he did was to check for fangs in a light-hearted way.
“In the 1950s the Hammer Horror films were popular and so people had seen Christopher Lee’s Dracula so it would have been quite relevant,” said Mr Beresford.
In his report, Mr Beresford says: “The classic portrayal of the dangerous dead (more commonly known today as a vampire) is an undead corpse arising from the grave and all the accounts from this period reflect this.
“Throughout the Anglo-Saxon period the punishment of being buried in water-logged ground, face down, decapitated, staked or otherwise was reserved for thieves, murderers or traitors or later for those deviants who did not conform to societies rules: adulterers, disrupters of the peace, the unpious or oath breaker.
“Which of these the Southwell deviant was we will never know.”
Read more at telegraph.co.uk