Bulgarian archaeologist uncovers 'vampire grave'

A "vampire grave" of a 13th-century man with an iron stake driven through his heart has been discovered at the ancient city of Perperikon in Bulgaria.

By Ben Hooper
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KARDZHALI, Bulgaria, Oct. 14 (UPI) -- A Bulgarian archaeologist said he has uncovered "a vampire grave" from the 13th century featuring the bones of a man with a stake driven through his chest.

Nikolai Ovcharov, an archaeologist nicknamed "Bulgaria's Indiana Jones," said he discovered "a vampire grave" while excavating the ruins of Perperikon, an ancient city near the border with Greece.


"We have no doubts that once again we're seeing an anti-vampire ritual being carried out," Ovcharov told The Telegraph.

He said the skeleton, believed to be a man between the ages of 40 and 50, had a heavy iron stake hammered into his chest after his death to prevent him from rising from the grave.

"Often they were applied to people who had died in unusual circumstances -- such as suicide," Ovcharov said of anti-vampire rituals.

Bozhidar Dimitrov, head of the National History Museum in Sofia, said about 100 medieval "vampire" skeletons have been found in Bulgaria.

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