Vampire Discovered in Mass Grave

mg20126985200-2_300Although we are more familiar with the “stake through the heart” method for disposing of vampires, it would appear that the medieval Venetians preferred a brick in the mouth technique. Excavations of the 1576 Venice plague pits revealed a skeleton of a woman with a small brick lodged in her mouth. At the time the woman died, many people believed that the plague was spread by “vampires” which, rather than drinking people’s blood, spread disease by chewing on their shrouds after dying. Grave-diggers put bricks in the mouths of suspected vampires to stop them doing this.

Dr. Matteo Borrini of the University of Florence reported his findings last week at the American Academy of Forensic Sciences meeting in Denver, claiming the first forensic evidence of vampires. However, this claim has been challenged by Prof. Moore-Jansen who has reported similar cases in the graves of Poland. Last month it was Zombie outbreaks, but now we have vampires popping up all over the place


Filed under Research, supernatural

10 responses to “Vampire Discovered in Mass Grave

  1. I might, as Norfolk vernacular has it, be right thick and shit, but how in the name of Dracula is a brick in the mouth going to stop a determined vampire from chewing a shroud? Is it a garlic and holy water brick? And if chewing a shroud spreads the plague, to whom? The dead person is presumbly immune to the plague, or already had had it, or wouldn’t care if they got it.
    Lord, those Early Modern Period Venetians were as thick as mince.
    I need a nice cup of tea and a sit down, I think.

  2. brucehood

    Yeah and how do they know that the grave-diggers put the brick there. Maybe said undead felt peckish and wanted to snack on some stone.

  3. Or sharpen their fangs on it, perhaps.

  4. poietes

    Now, now, you two. It’s quite a lovely brick. Perhaps it went with her cape, and it would be good for sharpening fangs.

    In all of the pictures of abused corpses that I have seen (not that I have a collection), I would have to admit that this is my first brick in the mouth. And I do have to agree with WIB that a brick is hardly going to deter a vampire who is determined . . .

    In all seriousness, things like this kind of make me wish that I had stayed in archeology. Unearthing such bizarre finds would certainly make a job less mundane.

  5. Perhaps the brick was put there to stop her talking?

  6. I brick up my patients’ mouths every night after dinner. the only problem is if I forget to unbrick them again. I’ve stopped drinking at work now so I won’t forget again. that’s what I told the court anyway

  7. This historical stuff is interesting. At least the folks back then had reason to believe considering they had little scientific explanation or education to dissuade these beliefs. For the hard core believer you could always try this:


  8. brucehood

    Heh TDunkster.. that’s some weapon you have there and I see you do a line in anti-zombie defences too!

  9. So, technically, she could still have risen again and wandered aimlessly through the night…but she couldn’t have gone for anyone’s jugular. Hmm. Fascinating, really, since you’d think the whole stake-through-the-heart thing would’ve taken care of all possible outcomes!

  10. …funny an sad at the same time, the way I met your blog! ciao ciao

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