The previous week in a monastery around the Black Sea city of Sozopol, Bulgaria, archaeologists excavated an ancient skeleton of a man, reportedly 700-year-old, buried with a metal stake pierced into his heart to likely keep him from changing into vampire.
This week the discovery of the skeleton triggered a spell of vampire-obsession across Europe. Thousands of tourists have already flocked to the churchyard grave site.
According to archeologists, anti-vampirism rituals are behind the discovery, turning this possible vampire and one more discovered at his side into an immediate media and tourist sensation.
According to reports, travel companies have been hit with a rush in "vampire vacations." People of Germany and Britain especially are reportedly showing increased interest in “vampire vacations.” Moreover, several vampire dishes including "vampire steak" and "vampire cocktail" are now part of the menus of restaurants and bars in the small Black Sea resort.
According to National History Museum head Bozhidar Dimitrov, these people would have been deemed bad in their lives and consequently, in accordance with pagan rituals, could turn into vampires after death. The dead bodies of the men were stabbed where their heart had been and the stomach, as the public of that time feared that they would rise from the dead as vampires.
"To prevent suspected would-be-vampires from turning into vampires, a group of brave men reopened their graves and pierced the corpses with iron or wooden rods. Iron rod was used for the richer vampires," Dimitrov said, according to a report in The Telegraph.
It is pertinent to mention here that as lately as around a hundred years back, Balkan peoples believed that pinning down the corpses of people who they considered immoral would stop them from rising from the dead.
As vampires were supposed to fear water, whole communities in the southeastern Strandzha mountain district shifted to the opposite banks of rivers in a bid to run away from vampires.
“Similar rites were recorded in recent ground studies by ethnology researcher Sashka Bizeranova, who found similarities between the anti-vampirism funeral customs in the villages of northwestern Bulgaria, northeastern Serbia and southern Romania,” according to AFP.