The Smithsonian reports that archeologists have discovered a 13th century grave containing a skeleton with a stake through its heart. Villagers, (must have been villagers it’s always the villagers) in a fit of “anti-vampire hysteria,” rammed the stake through an already dead person who was already buried.
Awesome skeleton-with-iron-stake pic after the jump:
People who died unusually—from suicide, for example—were sometimes staked to prevent them from coming back from the dead… iron stakes through the heart of a corpse could prevent it from returning from the grave as a vampire… vampire hysteria commonly took hold of Slavic villages, with corpse-stakings occurring frequently.
Romanians believed that if you had an arm or leg resembling an animal’s, or if you were missing a finger, or were just plain ugly, you were “one who is dead.” (That’s a stakin’.) Russians believed you had a “vampire nature” if you talked to yourself. (You better believe that’s a stakin’) In the Balkans, people carried out the stakings until just a century ago.
But good news! If you were born on a Saturday, you have the gift of vampire hunting! So please get over to the Balkans and the Slavic lands and do your job already!