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Vampire Graves in Bulgaria

Bulgaria has been in the eyes of the world recently following the findings of two skeletons of what were presumed to have been vampires buried over a century ago.

Apparently these will join part of a collection of around 100 skeleton vampires in Bulgaria. Thinking that the vampire/Dracula myth was solely part of the history of Romania, I decided to gather a few ‘facts ‘on the subject.

This is what I ‘unearthed'!

1. A vampire is an entity which survives on the life source of other living creatures, mainly human beings, the victim's blood being the main source.

2. The vampire myth was a widespread belief and a strong part of the folklore of Eastern Europe and the Balkan regions including Greece, Romania and Bulgaria.

3. A vampire can be destroyed by driving a wooden or metal stake through the heart, by being burnt in a fire and by being exposed to direct sunlight. Garlic, Holy Water and Crucifixes are believed by some countries to be alternative ways in which to maim or kill.

4. Vampires do not cast a shadow and mirrors show no reflection of one. This must explain the bad hair style and poor dental condition.

5. Contrary to point 3, it was believed that driving a stake through the heart was usually practiced after the death of a so called ‘bad person' and this was in an attempt to prevent them from becoming a vampire and rising from the grave to seek victims. The stake or rod would then pin the corpse into their coffin in a bid to stop them escaping.

6. The vampire ritual is thought to have been carried out in some Bulgarian villages up until 1910.