The ancients were not playing around when it came to vampires, or what they believed to be vampires. Archaeologists in Poland discovered the remains of a centuries-old female “vampire” buried beneath the soil. She was fitted with a booby trap; a razor-sharp sickle device just above her neck to ensure she remained in the ground.
Professor Dariusz Poliński from Nicolaus Copernicus University found the intact bones as he and his team worked the dig site.
“The sickle was not laid flat but placed on the neck in such a way that if the deceased had tried to get up most likely the head would have been cut off or injured,” he told the Daily Mail.
Although the bloodthirsty immortals are evil characters from folklore, people in medieval believed in their existence. In fact, many cultures have documented paranormal events in which they believed the creatures were to blame.
One such event happened in Croatia in 1672. Villagers believed that one of their citizens who had died 16 years prior was coming back and feasting on their blood. They also said he was sexually assaulting his widow. An order was decreed that his corpse should be exhumed and a stake driven through his heart. For good measure, they beheaded him as well.
“Other ways to protect against the return of the dead include cutting off the head or legs, placing the deceased face down to bite into the ground, burning them, and smashing them with a stone,” Poliński told the New York Post.
In America, vampires seem to have only become a part of the pop culture’s bloodstream rather than supernatural societal nuisances. In 1922, director F.W. Murnau released the silent film Nosferatu in theaters. It was an adaptation of Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula. Stoker’s estate wasn’t happy about it and ordered all prints to be destroyed. Thankfully some copies survived for posterity.
Of course, almost 10 years later Universal Pictures would produce its own movie about the charismatic vampire named Dracula starring Bela Lugosi. This time they had the rights to the intellectual property and the widow Stoker’s approval.
The next iteration of the legendary monster will star Nicolas Cage as Dracula’s indentured servant in the film Renfield.
Far away from Hollywood though, in the 11th Century, the fear of vampires was a real concern among some European cultures. Slavic people were so convinced that vampires existed it became a pandemic of sorts. Much like the Salem witches, people were executed if they were believed to be vampires.
Graves like the ones shown above are not uncommon on archeological digs in some parts of Europe. Fear of the dead rising from their graves to terrorize villagers is equivalent to Americans’ belief in Bigfoot, perhaps moreso. Researchers at the Poliński site say putting booby traps in graves with the corpse was a way to protect everyone, including the deceased.
“When placed in burials they were a guarantee that the deceased remained in their graves and therefore could not harm the living, but they may also have served to protect the dead from evil forces. According to folk wisdom, a sickle protected women in labour, children and the dead against evil spirits. It also had a role in rituals designed to counter black magic and witchcraft.”
Marvel Studios’ Special Presentation: Werewolf By Night
Marvel’s Werewolf By Night has just released its official trailer and release date of October 7th. It looks like a fun/creepy retro horror special that will be streaming directly to Disney +.
A page for the special on Disney+ also reveals it’s been rated TV-14 and has been filed under comedy as its genre. Furthermore, the synopsis on the page teases the death of one Ulysses Bloodstone.
“On a dark and somber night, a secret cabal of monster hunters emerge from the shadows and gather at the foreboding Bloodstone Temple following the death of their leader,” the synopsis reads. “In a strange and macabre memorial to the leader’s life, the attendees are thrust into a mysterious and deadly competition for a powerful relic—a hunt that will ultimately bring them face to face with a dangerous monster.”
With confirmation the special is involving the Bloodstone Temple, that stands to reason the reports of Donnelly playing Elsa Bloodstone would be accurate. In addition to the eponymous werewolf and Bloodstone, the trailer also confirmed the involvement of Man-Thing.
‘Scream’ Vibes Prevail In Kevin Willamson Co-Penned Story ‘Sick’ Movie Clip
Kevin Williamson hasn’t been too busy over the last few years. But it appears his ideas have. The new movie Sick which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) was inspired by one of the stories he wrote.
Of course we know the Williamson brand. It was everywhere in 90’s horror. That slick storytelling mostly featured cat-and-mouse situations around final girls and unyielding slashers.
It looks like that sensation is back if we take anything away from the exclusive clip Collider proved today. According to the logline we are two getting young women holed up in a lake house during the pandemic. They think they’re alone, but it’s clear someone is out to get them.
Director John Hyams is behind the camera, and it seems he is sticking to that Craven/Williamson aesthetic where the camera moves seamlessly through the scene to focus on an object, dark colors are glossy and landscapes are uplit.
Sick is scheduled to release in Canada on Sept. 11, but that’s according to IMDb. As for the rest of the world, we’ll have to wait and see when it hits theaters.
New ‘Hocus Pocus 2’ Trailer Fills Out Characters and Plot; Plus Billy’s Back!
It’s been several years since we saw the Sanderson Sisters in Hocus Pocus. Thankfully this year, the original cast has reunited for a fun sequel. This latest trailer paints these characters with a broader brush including what looks like an origin story.
The new trailer also leans heavily on the spooky along with its signature Midler as Wini wit. Plus the Lon Chaney of our time, Doug Jones, is back as Billy.
The film is a Disney+ exclusive and will be released on the streamer on September 30.
It’s been 29 years since someone lit the Black Flame Candle and resurrected the 17th-century sisters, and they are looking for revenge. Now it is up to three high-school students to stop the ravenous witches from wreaking a new kind of havoc on Salem before dawn on All Hallow’s Eve.