Archaeologists have discovered the skeleton of a 10-year-old child at an ancient Roman site in Italy with a rock carefully placed in its mouth.
This suggests those who buried the child—who probably died of malaria during a deadly fifth century outbreak—feared it might rise from the dead and spread the disease to those who survived.
"This is a very unusual mortuary treatment that you see in various forms in different cultures, especially in the Roman world," says Jordan Wilson, a graduate student in bio-archaeology at the University of Arizona who studied the remains.
Pretty much every culture on Earth has some version of a vampire (or proto-vampire) myth.
Chinese folklore has the Jiang shi, [corrected] which are reanimated corpses that rise from the grave to prey on the living; one type has sharp fangs, the better to bite into the neck of said prey.
Russian, Albanian, Indian, and Greek folklore have similar undead monsters.