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‘Anti-Vampire’ Device Found In Child’s Grave From 17th Century, Poland Officials Say


Around four centuries ago, an intriguing burial practice was carried out in a Polish cemetery involving a young child. Archaeologists have now uncovered these remains, which could provide insights into the superstitious beliefs that once gripped Europe.

This revelation comes from a news release by Nicolaus Copernicus University on July 28. The unearthed 17th-century grave is situated in an ancient cemetery near the village of Dąbrowa Chełmińska.

The child’s partial skeleton, aged between 5 and 7, was discovered in an upside-down position beneath layers of soil. By placing the child face down, those responsible for the burial aimed to restrict any movement, preventing it from harming the living in case of an unlikely ‘Vampire’ revival.

A triangular padlock was found near the child’s feet, likely intended to further hinder any posthumous activity.

Intriguingly, the child’s remains were found near the grave of a woman buried with a padlock and a sickle around her neck.

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“The sickle was not laid flat but placed on the neck in such a way that if the deceased had tried to get up… the head would have been cut off or injured,” Poliński stated.

This woman, discovered last year, was associated with the concept of a vampire. Vampires, perceived as animated corpses that fed on the living, held a significant place in Slavic folklore dating back to at least the 11th century, as noted in a 2014 study in the Cambridge Archaeological Journal.


In an era marked by limited scientific understanding, the notion of vampires served as an explanation for puzzling diseases and untimely deaths, bolstering the prevailing Christian social order.

Ongoing research, encompassing DNA analysis, is underway for both the child’s remains and those of other individuals interred in the same cemetery.

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