Earlier this summer (June 2012) archaeologists in Bulgaria unearthed skeletons of what appeared to be none other than real vampires! The skeletons, which date back to the Middle Ages, had been pierced through the heart, and buried, an unmistakable sign that the buried individuals were- or at the very least were considered to be – vampires.

The corpses were discovered in the town of Sozopol, which is an ancient town (in fact, one of the oldest) located near the Black Sea in Bulgaria.

While at first these corpses seem unbelievable, researchers indicated that this practice was known to them as a method to prevent suspected vampires from rising – in fact, sometimes buried people who were believed to be vampires were actually dug up and pierced through the heart with iron or wooden rods (or stakes). In total over 100 similar “vampires” have been unearthed by researchers in Bulgaria.

Bulgarian vampire legends go back centuries, and are deeply rooted in the country’s folklore. You may hear them referred to as vipir, vampir, vepir, or vapir. Different types of Bulgarian vampires include the obur, a loud evil vampire, as well as the ustrel, which rose from the grave 9 days after being buried.