For centuries, vampire folklore has included tips and tricks to ensure that recently deceased people do not rise from the grave and sink their teeth into the living.
But just recently, archaeologists from Nicholas Copernicus University discovered a bizarre example of the age-old practices.
In a seventeenth-century Polish cemetery located near Bydgoszcz, the researchers found a female skeleton buried with a padlock on her left foot’s big toe and a sickle across her neck.
The circulation of vampire legends and widespread fear of their blood-sucking practices were far from uncommon during this time period.
In fact, tales including vampire-like beings actually date back to ancient Mesopotamia– where the Assyrians claimed a demon goddess named Lamastu would kill babies in the womb or in their cribs.
Hebrew texts also spoke of a similar being named Lilith, who was known to steal babies and unborn children.
And even though these descriptions may sound far off from the more modern depictions of vampires, these beliefs were the predecessors of the Greek legend of Lamia. That tale spoke of an immortal monster who feasted on the blood of young children.
So, with the supposed existence of such a horrid creature in their midst, many different cultures implemented various approaches to basically make sure that the dead remained dead.
During the Middle Ages, for example, people in Russia would actually exhume any suspect corpses and destroy them either by decapitation, cremation, or thrusting a wooden stake through the heart.