Between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, in northwestern Poland, there were a series of funeral rites different from the usual ones in order to avoid the risk of corpses becoming vampires.
They are called apotropaic funeral rites, a traditional practice aimed at avoiding evil or evil spirits. In the fiction of vampire stories, as well as in real life in cultures that include belief in vampires, apotropatic objects could also be crucifixes, garlic cloves, etc.
Excavations in a cemetery in Drawsko, Poland, have discovered six unusual tombs, with sickles across the bodies or rocks under the chins, which are likely to embrace this kind of rites (you can see an example in the photograph above) .
The striking thing, however, is what they have discovered Lesley Gregoricka and his colleagues from the University of South Alabama, as published in a study for PLoS ONE: it wasn't about immigrants, but about locals.
To reach this conclusion, teeth were used. Specifically, the proportions of radiogenic strontium isotopes of six-body tooth enamel. These proportions were then compared with those of local animals, which reflected that the bodies belonged to a predominantly local population, whose social identity or way of death probably marked them with the suspicion that they had been invaded or dominated by evil.
In such cultures, all "natural" deaths are treated as homicides, so a culprit of such death had always to be determined. When someone died, then, it was not so much that he was weak that something weakened him.
So the ideal is to identify, as responsible for death, a hypothetical person who carried out a magic from a very distant and uncertain place, or at least, that is what I have observed and that is how people He seemed to consider the process. In this way everyone can get away from death without having to start a fight with a known neighbor, which even has a biological reinforcement within evolutionary psychology.
Therefore, in addition to being considered vampires, another alternative explanation for this kind of burial could be derived from how cholera impacted the region, which hit Eastern Europe during the seventeenth century. According Gregoricka, "The people of the post-medieval era did not understand how it spread, and deaths from epidemics were explained from the supernatural (in this case, vampires)." However, death from cholera is only an alternative hypothesis, not necessarily the truth.