A skeleton unearth from a mass grave site in Venice, Italy is being hailed as the earliest example of “vampires” commonly referred to in contemporary times.

Discovered by Matteo Borrini from the University of Florence, the skeletal remains was discovered with a small brick lodged in her mouth in a mass grave belonging to 1576 plague victims from the Middle Ages.

According to NewsScientist.com, the brick is the key link to vampire legend because “many people believed that the plague was spread by ‘vampires’ which, rather than drinking people’s blood, spread disease by chewing on their shrouds after dying.”

“Grave-diggers put bricks in the mouths of suspected vampires to stop them doing this”

“The belief in vampires probably arose because blood is sometimes expelled from the mouths of the dead, causing the shroud to sink inwards and tear.”

Source: NewsScientist