Could there have been vampires in Iron age Yorkshire?
It is certainly the case that Eastern Europeans would use sharp objects to pierce the bodies if suspected vampires or revenants. The piercing allowing gases to escape, making the bloated corpse deflate and look more ‘dead’. Which, obviously, led to the ideas in Vampire stories about a stake through the heart. The story here seems to suggest something similar in the UK during the Iron Age.
The Eastern European belief is that plagues and bad luck in an area were linked to the restless dead feeding. So, to end the bad luck they would dig up the last person buried (as the most likely candidate) and perform various rituals to lay them to rest – including using iron nails and even fence posts to impale them. Most of the time they would find a corpse that looked like it had gained weight and was showing signs of hair and nail growth*, which added to the evidence that they were still alive and feeding on the blood of the living. Piercing of any form would release the gases and the corpse would look more like you would expect it to. If the bad luck didn’t go away, they would go back and do more rituals that went up to cremating the body.
Is this case an example of the same thing? This is certainly a bizarre burial. The corpse was found pierced with 9 spears – some bone, others iron. There are theories. One being that it was because he did not die in battle – the postmortem injuries inflicted as a way to ensure a warrior’s death. Though this does not explain the head injury described in the article. Another theory is that it was a ritual killing similar to the bog burials, where the victim is knocked unconscious or killed with a blow to the head before being ritually murdered. However, the theory that is catching the imagination of most people is the vampire one – that there was some reason they feared his return as a revenant. Or even went back to perform the stabbing ritual after he was buried due to some bad luck or plague, the same as the Eastern European folklore. This, along with the sacrifice option, may explain why the spears were left in place – to ensure he did not get up.
We may never know the real reason why this bizarre ritual was performed but it does highlight some interesting parallels in folklore. Similar ideas appear in different cultures. Obviously, the conspiracy theory answer to this is ‘Vampires are real and many cultures encountered them’ but more likely this was because there was actually more travel and communication between cultures than used to be considered possible. Briton at this point may have been primitive but Rome (due to invade in another 250 years or so) was already a Republic and starting to form an Empire. Burial could in theory spread over Europe. It is, however, very likely too much of a stretch to link this practice with that of Eastern Europeans in the 1800s.
Instead, let us consider the coincidence of an iron age vampire being found in the same county as Whitby – the place where Bram Stoker had Dracula’s ship land on his journey from Transylvania.
*Due, as we now know, to the skin shrinking back from the hair follicles and nail bed rather than any actual growth.
We previously reported on a study that involved both the United States and the U.K. that stated that half of those surveyed in both regions believed in ghosts and the paranormal.
Recently a similar analysis has arisen that focuses on British people that identify as part of the Christian religion and the results while not too shocking do show a change in the belief systems in the Western world.
The analysis was published on YouGov on March 26th and focused on YouGov profiles of twelve-thousand users who identify with the Christian religion and a control group of Thirty-nine-thousand British subjects to represent the overall population.
Results are rather interesting as there seems to be in the data a definite push away from traditional religion as well as showing a sample of how the British feel about ghosts and other paranormal activity, in relation to one of the largest Western faiths.
Christopher Garetano, award winning film maker and the man behind the documentary Montauk Chronicles, is seeking crowd sourced funds for another project, with will delve into the mystery of the creature known as Bigfoot.
The film, which went into production in October of 2015 and is reported to be at least twenty-five percent complete, will feature accounts of encounters with Bigfoot ranging from former United States President Teddy Roosevelt‘s account of a Bigfoot sighting from his 1893 book The Wilderness Hunter and the infamous ‘Patterson Film.’
*Update at bottom of post, the pic used has been debunked, which does not bode well for this whole story, plus honestly from the get go it has not been published by any other ‘major’ source online.*
What image pops up in your head when you think of Satan, the lord of darkness, master of fear and deception?
Horns, red skin, tail and a goatee?
What about what looks like the illegitimate love child of Marilyn Manson and Vampira with too much eye make up?
According to one Ashton Black of Tampa, Florida, he is now Satan and we all have till August, 24th, 2015 to accept him as our master or we all die.
All because he encountered the man himself when he walked into a pay day loan store.
You can’t make stuff like this up, read on if you want to live…
This is reblogged from my Lurking Musings blog where it featured as part of my Vampire Month special event. On Thursday this week, Johnathon will be talking in more detail about the Vampire Killing kit that the museum has in its collection.
Today we have an interview with Jonathan Ferguson, Curator of Firearms at the Royal Armouries in Leeds. He recently gave a talk entitled ‘How to kill a Vampire’ which I was lucky enough to attend and it was this talk which led me to approach him about a slot in Vampire month.
For millennium, people across the globe have been interacting with forces that can’t be explained. Things science has yet to fully acknowledge. Creatures that are not just part of our present, but our past. You will never read their tales in an academic history book.
However, they have always been part of our cultures. This is what I call Paranormal History.
It was a dark and stormy night in 1735 when Mrs. Janet Leeds gave birth to her thirteenth child. Upon finding out she was pregnant she stated that this child would be the devil. Despite her curse, she gave birth to a healthy and normal looking baby boy.
Suddenly the innocent appearing child transformed into a beast with the head of a goat, wings of a bat, hooves for feet, and a forked tail. With a growl and a scream, it murdered the midwife that birthed it before flying out the chimney and into the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. This is a popular version of the legendary Jersey Devil, a creature that is said to have been stalking the state of New Jersey for the last two and a half centuries.