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Centuries Ago, They Buried Her With a Sickle and Padlock

17th-century locals in Poland apparently thought the woman was a vampire

(Newser) - Archaeologists who discovered a 17th-century grave in Poland found three telltale clues about the buried woman: She had protruding front teeth, a padlock around her big toe, and a sickle placed strategically over her throat. Conclusion: People thought she was a vampire and buried her with the lock and sickle...

Someone Just Paid $16K for This 'Vampire-Slaying Kit'

Wooden box from late 1800s contained all kinds of repellents against the blood-sucking undead

(Newser) - Someone apparently didn't think the crucifixes and holy water they had lying around were enough to contend with the undead—and so last week they paid nearly $16,000 for a late-1800s "vampire-slaying kit" up for sale at a UK auction house, reports Live Science . The sturdy wooden...

Man Seeks Help After Dozing Off in Bangkok Massage

And other odd requests to the British Foreign Office

(Newser) - The British Foreign Office handles serious matters—like helping to expel Russian diplomats after a poisoning on UK soil, or overseeing President Trump's controversial 2018 visit—but also fields queries on arguably lighter subjects ranging from Britain's available women to the plot of Braveheart to the possible danger...

Woman Stabbed Boyfriend Who Drank Her Blood: Cops

During an argument about vampires, no less

(Newser) - A 19-year-old Missouri woman allowed her intoxicated boyfriend to cut her arm and drink her blood while discussing vampires, and then stabbed him during an ensuing argument, according to police. The AP reports Victoria Vanatter pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of first-degree domestic assault and armed criminal action in...

How Villagers Buried Bodies to Ward Off 'Demons'

Experts revisit case of skeletons buried with sickles

(Newser) - Want to keep a demon-skeleton from haunting your rural settlement? Just bury it with a sickle at its throat. That's what researchers are saying about four skeletons from the 17th and 18th centuries found buried with iron sickles around their necks in a Polish cemetery, Discovery reports. Writing in...

Study: Vampires Are Real, and They Have a Big Fear

 Study: Vampires 
 Are Real, and 
 They Have a 
 Big Fear 
in case you missed it

Study: Vampires Are Real, and They Have a Big Fear

They drink blood, but live in fear of ... the doctor

(Newser) - This surely ranks among the more unexpected studies: Vampires are real, and they have a fear—"of Coming out of the Coffin to Social Workers and Helping Professionals," as the study's title reads in part. The study, published in the journal Critical Social Work , isn't talking...

More 'Vampires' Found in Poland

Number of skeletons buried in peculiar way now stands at 17

(Newser) - The four suspected vampires unearthed by archaeologists in Poland may have been in good company. Der Spiegel reports that the number of skeletons found buried with their head placed between their legs (so arranged to ensure that a possible bloodsucker couldn't find his head and come back to life)...

'Vampire' Graves Unearthed in Poland

The skeletons' heads were found between their legs

(Newser) - No word on whether they kept garlic or a crucifix nearby as they dug, but Polish archaeologists say they've unearthed four "vampire" skeletons. The remains were found with the head placed between their legs; folk tradition held that this burial arrangement would ensure that a possible bloodsucker couldn'...

Skeletons Found in Bulgaria Tell Tale of Vampires

Iron rods hammered through remains to keep dead from feasting on living

(Newser) - Bulgarian archaeologists say they have unearthed centuries-old skeletons pinned down through their chests with iron rods—a practice believed to stop the dead from becoming vampires. According to the head of the National History Museum in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, two skeletons from the Middle Ages were found in such...

Does Twilight Hurt Teen Brains?
 Does Twilight Hurt 
 Teen Brains? 

Does Twilight Hurt Teen Brains?

Conference exploring vampire novels' pull on young minds

(Newser) - A bunch of Twilight aficionados got together last week, but there were no squeals or Edward-induced fainting spells. Rather, a group of scientists, educators and authors met at Cambridge to explore how the vampire craze exemplified by the Twilight series may be shaping young minds, notes MSNBC . Sample session: "...

True Blood Stars Get Naked, Bloody for Rolling Stone

Show's creator: Vampires are 'all about sex'

(Newser) - This week Rolling Stone puts three True Blood stars on its cover—stark naked and streaked in blood. In a preview of the sure-to-be-buzzed-about cover story, creator Alan Ball says his show, unlike other vampire franchises (ahem, Twilight ), is all about sex. "The idea of celibate vampires is...

Introducing the Vampire Facelift
 Introducing the Vampire Facelift 
weird trends dept.

Introducing the Vampire Facelift

Sadly, it won't make you look like a Twilight character

(Newser) - So you’ve already bought the Edward Cullen panties , and you’re not sure how to continue expressing your love for all things vampire? Consider a "vampire facelift." No, it doesn’t make you thirst for blood, but it does take blood from your body and injects it...

Woman Crashes Car, Blames Vampire

Encountering the undead in the middle of the road is startling

(Newser) - Attention motorists: Be on the alert for vampires in Colorado. One woman who crashed into a canal Sunday night after throwing her SUV into reverse has a perfectly reasonable explanation for the accident: She saw a vampire in the middle of the road! Neither the undead creature nor the car...

The Wealthiest Fictional Characters

'Twilight' vampire tops Forbes list; cartoon superheroes fare well

(Newser) - Upheaval in the financial sector has widespread implications—it even affects the annual Forbes rankings of the wealthiest fictional characters. Entering the list at No. 1 is Carlisle Cullen, the Twilight vampire patriarch, who has a serious advantage in that he's undead and has had 370 years to accumulate his...

'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter' Doesn't Actually Suck

Lincoln-vampire mashup offers lively metaphor for slavery

(Newser) - Writer Seth Grahame-Smith landed a six-figure deal for a book called Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Does it suck? Surprisingly, no, says Time 's Lev Grossman. This mashup of history and horror may lack "richness and subtlety," but does not want for color. Grahame-Smith's writing is "lively" and...

Man Bites Teen Girl After New Moon Screening

She said he was acting creepy from the get-go, bit her on way out

(Newser) - A Michigan teen came away from a showing of New Moon with a bite on her neck, courtesy of the 40-something man sitting in front of her. “Every so often he would lean back and make a sexual comment that was very unnecessary,” Erin Westrate tells WZZM13 . Afterwards,...

How Twilight Rescued Hot Topic
 How Twilight 
 Rescued Hot Topic 

How Twilight Rescued Hot Topic

Goth retail mainstay is relevant again thanks to books, films

(Newser) - Like much of America, Ylan Q. Mui had forgotten all about Hot Topic, the mall mainstay for baby Goth merchandise—and then Twilight came along and made the store relevant again. The uber-popular vampire franchise “accomplished what the store had tried but failed to do: It made goth mainstream,...

Thirst Is the 'Anti- Twilight '
 Thirst Is the 'Anti-Twilight
movie review

Thirst Is the 'Anti-Twilight'

This is a vampire flick for adults

(Newser) - The Twilight series found its remarkable success in subverting the traditional vampire story, turning the monsters of legend into symbols of teenage narcissism and self-pity—another “youth tribe” like jocks and geeks, writes Brendan O’Neill at Spiked. If that treatment leaves you well, cold, check out the "...

Brits Eat Up Steamy Yank Vampires

Fangs a lot, gush new True Blood fans

(Newser) - The sizzling TV vampire series True Blood is ringing just as true with British audiences as with American fans. Why? Brits love the "gripping blend of southern American small-town mentality and hideous murders" in the series peopled by "Daisy Duke" Anna Paquin and her "chisel-cheeked" lover played...

Gentlemen Prefer Zombies
 Prefer Zombies 

Gentlemen Prefer Zombies

Vampires are sensitive wimps

(Newser) - Give a guy a good, old-fashioned zombie any day over a vampire. "Dudes don't dig bloodsuckers because vampires pretty much look like girls," writes John DeVore in The Frisky . "We prefer zombies, because we love chainsaws, flamethrowers, and samurai swords." But primarily, guys realize their "...

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