Researchers came across a spooky discovery when they unearthed a graveyard that appeared to contain the skeletons of four Poles suspected of being vampires..
Four skeletons were found at the site in Gliwice, a town in southern Poland, according to Polish Radio English. All four bodies had been beheaded and buried with their heads between their legs.
Decapitation was a common fate for suspected vampires among Slavic areas in the period following the introduction of Christianity, the Telegraph reports. The bodies were then buried with their heads between their legs in an attempt to prevent the skeletons from rising from the dead.
There is speculation that the bodies were buried in the 16th century, the Independent notes. However, many questions still remain.
“It's very difficult to tell when these burials were carried out,” archaeologist Dr. Jacek Pierzak told the Dziennik Zachodni newspaper, per Polish Radio English.
A devout Roman Catholic country, Poland is home to a vocal community of exorcists and vampire-believers. In 2011, a week-long exorcism conference focused on examining "the current fashion for vampirism in Europe and the world-over, schizophrenia and other mental disorders as well as the devil’s deceit during exorcism," according to Agence France-Presse.
One of the latest high-profile excavations of suspected vampires occurred in 2012 near the city of Sozopol, Bulgaria, according to Time. Archaeologists there discovered a pair of 700-year-old remains that had been stabbed through the heart with iron rods -- a Bulgarian burial customary for suspected vampires in the 14th century. Close to 100 so-called vampire graves were discovered in the eastern European country recently, the outlet notes.