Imagine you’re a child, running around outside and playing with your friends, only to sit down on a mound of dirty on a hillside and accidentally discover a human skull?
As was the scene in Griswold, Connecticut in 1990, when several children led police to a gruesome site. As investigators probed the area for clues, they initially placed blame on a serial killer, suspecting it was perhaps a dump site for victims. However, with further testing, it was discovered that the remains were centuries old. The children had unwittingly stumbled onto an unmarked colonial era graveyard; a frequent occurrence from the period to which the burial site was dated.
The discovery of the cemetery isn’t the most interesting part of this story. As state archaeologist, Nick Bellantoni dug further into the tombs, he discovered a crypt that was unlike the others.
Up to that point, the graves his team had unearthed housed the corpses of simple farmers, whose plainly dressed remains contained no jewelry and were laid to rest with their arms to their sides or crossed on their chests in simple, wooden coffins.
This coffin was painted red and had brass tacks pressed into the wood of the lid; spelling out the initials “J B”.
Furthermore, the coffin had been tampered with; its seal broken. Upon removing the lid, they discovered the corpse was beheaded. The skull rested on a broken rib cage with his thigh bones forming a cross beneath the skull. Forensic testing revealed that the corpse’s damage occurred posthumously.
Curious to wonder if the seal was broken from the inside first, prompting the beheading.
With a little more research, Bellantoni discovered many similar graves had been found in New England. This revelation supports a belief that our ancestors from the colonial era feared vampires strongly enough to exhume the bodies of their dead and perform vampire killing rituals upon their corpses.
It’s not mere coincidence that the discoveries of these vampire graves in America are identical to those found in Europe. One can only imagine what unknown contents were transported in those ships sailing from the old world to the new.
Maybe not all of what Bram Stoker wrote was fictional after all.