While excavating a mass grave of 16th century plague victims on the island of Lazzaretto Nuovo off the coast of Venice, anthropologist Matteo Borrini found the remains of a woman who may have been a suspected vampire.
Photo: Matteo Borrini/New Scientist
According to a recent story in Live Science, Borrini's team found the woman's skull with a stone stuffed in its mouth – which, according to superstitions of the period, was a method of preventing the undead from chewing through their burial shrouds. The scientist theorized that gravediggers may have reopened the collective grave at some point and found the woman's body in a less advanced state of decay than the others – leading them to conclude the corpse may be capable of coming back to life.
Borrini also pointed out that decaying corpses may have oozed “purge fluids” from their noses and mouths, which made them appear as if they had been recently drinking blood.
If this story sounds familiar, that's because it's eerily similar to the discovery of another alleged vampire grave in Poland earlier this year.