The first great plague swept Europe in the 13th Century. Thousands upon thousands of disease-ridden bodies were piled up in huge mass graves, known as ‘plague pits’. When there became less and less room for more pits, gravediggers resorted to digging up old graves and filling them with more rotting corpses. Townsfolk were highly superstitious at the time, and some blamed the plague on vampires and curses. When old plague pits were re-filled, it is said that gravediggers came across bloated bodies that appeared to have chewed through the white shroud covering their decaying faces. Rumours spread and villagers believed that the ‘Nachzehrer’ were lurking among the corpses in the ground. Nachzehrer are a German breed of vampire, and are much like zombies, though they would become restless in their graves and chew through their burial shrouds. When the cloth was not enough to satiate their hunger, they would begin to eat themselves, and eventually crawl from their graves to devour their relatives.