Two medieval skeletons with iron rods placed where their hearts once were have been unearthed in the Black Sea town of Sozopol, Bulgaria.
The bodies were pierced with the stakes in the belief it would keep them from turning into vampires, a historian explained.
He told the BBC: “These skeletons tabbed with rods illustrate a practice which was common in some Bulgarian villages up until the first decade of the 20th century.”
Around 100 “vampire skeletons” have been found in Bulgaria, the BBC said.
In additional comments made to The Mirror, Dimitrov added: “These people were believed to be evil while they were alive, and it was believed that they would become vampires once they are dead, continuing to torment people.
“The curious thing is that there are no women among them. They were not afraid of witches.”