14. VENETIAN VAMPIRES
In the 16th century, the decomposition of bodies was not common knowledge. The Venetian plague of 1576 led most people to foster belief in vampires. Upon digging graves and finding bodies bloated and still growing hair, it caused panic. “Vampires” eventually became commonly known in Venice as “shroud-eaters.” This nickname stemmed from the fact that the shrouds covering the deceased faces were found decayed, revealing the corpse’s teeth.
It was believed that these shroud-eaters would go from grave to grave spreading pestilence to suck the little life left of corpse’s and gain strength to walk the streets again. To stop the disease being spread, a brick would be inserted in the mouth of the deceased. Of all the vampire tales out there, this one certainly has a unique spin.