Archaeologist Professor Nikolai Ovcharov, who is known as the Indiana Jones of Bulgaria, thinks it was to stop the corpse rising up from the dead to feed off the living. This action was often used on people who died in an unusual way such as suicide.
Perperikon, an ancient Thracian city located close to the Greek border, was discovered 20 years ago and is thought to be the site of the Temple of Dionysius, the Greek God of wine and fertility.
In another story from May this year, psychology lecturer Dr Emyr William from Glyndwr University in Wrexham, Clywd, reported his research on the creatures of myth. He claimed that the subculture exists in every country, especially in the West. He maintained they lived by certain rules that govern who blood can be taken from, are forbidden from taking too much.
He said the Twilight films were fiction, but real vampires hold meetings regularly all over the world, including the UK. He advises against labeling them as mad, bad or dangerous, only interested in Gothic culture and graveyards, and issued the plea to find out more about them.
From How Stuff Works.
People have been dreaming up horrible monsters and malicious spirits for centuries. The vampire, a seductive, "undead" predator, is one of the most inventive and alluring creatures of the bunch. It's also one of the most enduring: Vampire-like creatures date back thousands of years, and pop up in dozens of different cultures.
The vampires in contemporary books, movies and television shows are incredibly elaborate creatures. According to the predominant mythology, every vampire was once a human, who, after being bitten by a vampire, died and rose from the grave as a monster. Vampires crave the blood of the living, whom they hunt during the night. They use their protruding fangs to puncture their victims' necks.
Since they're reanimated corpses -- the living remains of a deceased person -- vampires are often referred to as "the undead." They can still pass as healthy humans, however, and will walk undetected among the living. In fact, vampires may be attractive, highly sexual beings, seducing their prey before feeding. A vampire may also take the form of an animal, usually a bat or wolf, in order to sneak up on a victim.
Vampires are potentially immortal, but they do have a few weaknesses. They can be destroyed by a stake through the heart, fire, beheading and direct sunlight, and they are wary of crucifixes, holy water and garlic. Vampires don't cast a reflection, and they have superhuman strength.
This vampire figure, with its particular combination of characteristics and governing rules, is actually a fairly recent invention. Bram Stoker conceived it in his 1897 novel Dracula. Other authors reinterpreted Dracula in a number of plays, movies and books.
But while the specifics are new, most of the individual elements of the legend have deep roots, spanning many regions and cultures.
Mortal Ice by Serena Zane will be released on Oct 30th. The novel can be pre-ordered on: Amazon UK Amazon US
The plot is delivered with plenty of punch in an easy-to-read style. Intensely sexual in places, the voice of the main characters carried me into their supernatural world. Shawna accepts her new detective partner, always unsure if he'll back her up, especially during daylight hours. She blithely carries on alone, while considering a growing attraction to him that becomes irresistible despite her self-imposed co-worker rules.
Shawna's strength and confidence make sense as the story unfolds to reveal her true nature. The plot involves more shadowy creatures than the usual vampire novel and makes me wonder if myths are actually based on reality. The gripping story ends in a satisfactory way which leaves the future open.