First Evidence in England of Burning Dead Bodies to Keep Them From Rising

We've read about excavations in Ireland and other places where precautions were taken to ensure the corpse didn't reanimate as a vampire or zombie. It turns out that England may have been afraid of the same thing. An archaeological dig at the abandoned medieval village of Wharram Percy in North Yorkshire had led a group of researchers to pose that theory.   

In the 1960s, when archaeologists worked to excavate the village, they found a strange group of human bones. These bones were buried outside the churchyard, near the end of one row of buildings. There were 137 bones in the excavated pit, belonging to at least 10 people, ranging in age from 2 or 3 to 50.

For many years, no one knew exactly what to make of these bones, but now a team of archaeologists from Historic England and the University of Southampton have published a new theory about them: these bodies were burned and mutilated after death to keep them from becoming reanimated corpses.

What led them to this idea? Read about the research at Atlas Obscura. 

Come to think of it, we've also posted a lot of stories about people being buried alive. No wonder people thought residents of graveyards might come back. It reminds one of an old joke.

(Image credit: Paul Allison)


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