The ruthless Count Dracula’s fame is about to be overshadowed by an unusual and a bit horrifying discovery, made these days in the sunny Black Sea resort of Sozopol. The archaeologists found the remains of two skeletons – a male and a female one during the excavations of an ancient monastery near the old walls of the town. However, the strange thing was that during the burial both bodies had been stabbed with iron stakes and their canines had been beaten out! Scientists say that this was the well-known ritual against vampires that was quite spread across these lands. More than 100 funerals of this kind throughout the entire country testify for that.
Probably the spirit of dark Vlad Tepes that has been portrayed in so many horror movies is now green with envy, since everyone talks about the Sozopol vampires. The unusual family is a subject of a great interest, shown by Bulgarian media, while producers and screenwriters from the BBC and the Russian RTV race on the making of movies about the unusual discovery. The skeletons were found in the apse of the temple, i.e. in the most spiritual place, designed only for high-ranked people. The question is how the mortals judged that a person was a vampire or that might turn into one after the death? It was considered that evil people that abused their power and harmed others while being alive could become vampires after their death and continue to harm the community. That is why their bodies were stabbed with iron stakes, ethnologists say. However, often highly intelligent people also disturbed the others with their lore and were pronounced vampires for no other reasons. By the way the custom, related to stabbing is well researched by Bulgarian ethnologists in the similar funerals, found across the country. The only difference is that till now the discoveries haven’t been commented so much by the media. On the other hand, the Sozopol vampires turned into real celebrities. Both bodies have been placed carefully next to each other, so that they can share their common faith in both life and death.
“Archaeologists suppose that the female skeleton belongs to the wife of the dead man,” says Director of the National Museum of History Bozhidar Dimitrov. “Her destiny shouldn’t be a surprise, since even nowadays people think that many of the harmful decisions of politicians are inspired by their wives. Remember what happened with Elena Ceausescu. Apparently people were not ready to compromise in the past too. The discovery is dated most likely to 13 – 14 c. AD. However, there have been other similar ritual burials, dated to more ancient times. Ethnologists say that this is a very old tradition, preceding Christianity and most likely related to the beliefs of proto-Bulgarians. Some of the ancient customs penetrated Orthodox beliefs and the church gradually had to resign and get those into its own rituals.”
Most likely we will never understand for sure whose the skeletons found were. What is doubtless however is the fact that obviously the family did bother the people around with its evil manners or… erudition. The thing is that these days the husbands separated for a first time over the last 7-8 centuries. The female skeleton is more fragile and quite broken into pieces and had to undergo an examination at the history museum in Sozopol. Its partner on the other hand arrived in Sofia with security and will be cleaned, decontaminated, treated with special solutions and displayed to the audience. The vampire is exposed in a secured showcase at the National Museum of History, where it already welcomes many curious people. Experts recommend that every one of those should carry some garlic. Just in case!
English version: Zhivko Stanchev