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Bulgaria's Latest Tourist Attraction: Vampires

The government wants to lure visitors to “the world’s largest vampire burial.”
A skeleton pierced with an iron rod on display in the National History Museum, Sofia.
A skeleton pierced with an iron rod on display in the National History Museum, Sofia.Stolen Nenov/Reuters

Come to Bulgaria this summer and enjoy our pristine mountains, sandy beaches, historic cities and piles of vampire corpses. That’s the message coming this summer from Bulgaria’s Ministry of Tourism.

The ministry is currently promoting one of Europe’s most ghoulish historical remains: the world’s largest “Vampire Funeral,” discovered 11 years ago in the 4th century ruins of Deultum, near the Black Sea Coast. In 2004, archaeologists discovered the burial place there of 17 adolescent skeletons. Their distinctive characteristic? Each body had had a nail driven through it to attach the corpse to its coffin.