Archaeologists have found two skeletons whose chests were pierced with iron rods to supposedly stop them from turning into vampires.
The medieval remains, found in the Black Sea town of Sozopol in Bulgaria are examples of a pagan practice common in some villages up until a century ago.
"These skeletons stabbed with rods illustrate a practice which was common in some Bulgarian villages up until the first decade of the 20th Century," the state-funded BBC quoted head of Bulgaria’s National History Museum Bozhidar Dimitrov as saying.
People believed that the rod would pin the dead into their graves and stop them from leaving at midnight and terrorizing the living.
Similar archaeological sites have been found in other Balkan countries where supposedly bad people were stabbed in their hearts after death so that they would not return to feast on human blood.
According to historians, Bulgaria is home to around 100 known "vampire skeleton" burials.