A CREEPY "female vampire" skeleton has been found with a blade pinned across her throat to "stop her returning from the dead".
The remains of the woman were unearthed by archaeologists on a dig at a 17th century graveyard in the village of Pien in Poland.
She was found with a sickle across her throat and a padlocked toe to "prevent her returning from the dead".
Researchers found the woman had a silk cap on her head – indicating a high social status – and a protruding tooth.
Team leader Professor Dariusz Poliński from the Nicholas Copernicus University in Torun said the form of burial was unusual.
He told the Daily Mail: "Ways to protect against the return of the dead include cutting off the head or legs, placing the deceased face down to bite into the ground, burning them, and smashing them with a stone.
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"The sickle was not laid flat but placed on the neck in such a way that if the deceased had tried to get up most likely the head would have been cut off or injured."
He said the padlocked big toe on the left foot strengthened the theory she was considered a vampire at the time of her death and likely symbolised "the impossibility of returning".
Residents in Eastern Europe started becoming fearful of vampires in the 11th century – believing people who died would claw their way out of graves.
And by the 17th century, unusual burial practices became common across Poland after an apparent "outbreak" of vampires.
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Poliński said alleged vampires were violently executed across Eastern Europe at the time.
People who died in untimely ways – such as by suicide – would often have been suspected of vampirism – and their bodies would have been mutilated to stop them "rising from the dead".
The discovery has been sent to Torun where archaeologists will carry out further research.
In 2015, archaeologists in the village of Drewsko 130 miles away reportedly found five skeletons buried in a similar way at a 400-year-old cemetery.
Sickles were found pinned against the throats of a man and a woman, while an older woman was discovered with a sickle across her hips.
The researchers said at the time: "When placed in burials they were a guarantee that the deceased remained in their graves and therefore could not harm the living, but they may also have served to protect the dead from evil forces.
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"According to folk wisdom, a sickle protected women in labour, children and the dead against evil spirits.
"It also had a role in rituals designed to counter black magic and witchcraft."
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