Was Yorkshire Village Plagued by Vampires? May 1, 2017 21:04:45 GMT -5
Post by Joanna on May 1, 2017 21:04:45 GMT -5
Was Yorkshire Village Plagued by Vampires?
Mutilated corpses have been uncovered in an abandoned North Yorkshire village called Wharram Percy. Apparently, the medieval English villagers exhibited widespread belief in the undead’s returning as revenants or reanimated corpses and fought against the risk of vampire attacks in an incident that wouldn’t be out of place in Dom Augustine Calmet’s Treatise on Vampires and Revenants in Eastern Europe in the early 18th century, or a scene from The Walking Dead.
I find this story of particular interest. First, I have often questioned how old vampires really are and given the matter some serious thought. Second, while England was responsible for the first fictional Romantic vampire – thanks to Lord Byron and John Polidori – accounts of historical vampirism in England are extremely rare. I’ve always been interested in the Southwell Nottingham Vampire and because of my childhood roots in Cumbria, I have long been fascinated by tales of the Renwick Bat and Croglin Vampire.
Deviant burials and the sustained mutilation of the dead in certain villages in Bulgaria now indicate a much earlier belief in vampirism and revenants in Europe than had previously been known. Now The Independent reports archaeologists and “scientists” have discovered the medieval remains of the first English vampires at the ruins of St. Martin’s Church (above) in Wharram Percy. While The Daily Mail suggests a medieval belief in an English zombie apocalypse, The Guardian is characteristically on the fence as to whether we’re looking at zombies or vampires, preferring to use more general terms for the undead, but giving weight to the story that medieval villagers were mutilating the dead to prevent their rising from their graves. For my part, belief in vampirism seems a likely cause of the Yorkshire villagers’ crusade against devilry. Yorkshire is, of course, also home to the Hull Werewolf.
Source: Lucy Northenra, Open Graves Open Minds, April 3, 2017.