The current obsession with vampires is no modern invention. Bulgarian archaeologists have discovered several medieval skeletons staked through the chest with iron rods, apparently to prevent them from becoming vampires...
If you were labelled as an evil person in life, you were buried with an iron rod through the heart, as people feared you would return from the dead and ransack villages, murdering the townsfolk. Altogether, over a hundred skeletons buried in this way have been found across Bulgaria. Astonishingly, in some small villages this practice was still carried out until the c20th!!
These burials led Bram Stoker to pen his famous novel, Dracula, published in 1897.