VENICE – An archaeologist excavating mass graves of plague victims in Venice has discovered the skull of an alleged vampire!
Matteo Borini of the University of Florence removed the skeleton from a mass grave dating back to 1576. The skull has a brick shoved into the mouth, which grave diggers often did of suspected vampires. At the time, many citizens believed the plague was being spread by vampires.
The myth of vampirism was spread during the Middle Ages because of the lack of understanding of decay. A bloody substance was often expelled from the mouth after death, causing the shroud to sag in and tear.
During the plague, gravediggers often dumped new bodies into old graves, allowing them to see these “chewed on” shrouds. This led to the belief that shroud-chewing was the mystical way vampires were spreading the disease. The brick was to keep them at bay.
This is the grave where Borini discovered the skull:
While these circumstances can explain vampirism away in Italy, surely this can not discount vampire legends as far away as Africa, the Americas and even Asia?