In A. D. 1300 in Poland, more precisely in the region of Kashubia, was coined the term "nachzehrer" to define the female vampire, or "chewing the shroud" or "devourer of the night." 

The Nachzehrer would be a special kind of vampire who lives in a constant state of numbness in his grave, without understanding what is happening around and just like a child, chewing spasmodically his dress.

Martin Böhm wrote in 1601: "We have seen in times of the plague how dead people especially women - who have died of the plague make smacking noises in their graves, like a pig that is eating, and that while this smacking is going on the plague becomes much worse, usually in the same family, and people die one after the other."

The theologian Philip Rohr's in 1679, in his presentation at the University of Leipzig, "Historico - Dissertatio Philosophica de Masticatione Mortuorum" also known as "chewing Mortuorum", describes in detail the behavior of these dead.

In his dissertation Philip Rohr's conceived for the first time the link between vampires (from oupiro, leech), and the great medieval epidemics, especially the Black Death. The huge spread of the infection pestilential should have been, according to the Dominican theologian, just the phenomenon of vampirism.

During the Middle Ages, the lack of scientific knowledge of the plague, determined the frantic search by the populace of "carriers" of the disease, which in turn were identified in weak subjects and especially among women. Therefore, those of them who died uttering a stream of blood from the mouth (hemoptysis), a feature of the pneumonic form of plague, were considered "vampires."

According to popular belief, the lesions around the mouth were created feeding on the blood of plague victims, and then escape from the grave and so spread the infection. For this reason the burial was effected placing a brick or coins in the mouth, in order to prevent their nutriment.

The remains of a woman of the Middle Ages, found with a stone in his mouth, according to an established ritual to prevent her from eating corpses of neighbors and spread the plague, were recently discovered by the group of Matthew Borrini University of Florence, in the New Island Lazzaretto, an area of great historical interest in the Lagoon of Venice. In this area, in 1468 by decree of the Senate of the Serenissima, a hospital was established called "Novo" to distinguish it from the existing to the Lido, where were admitted cases of plague with the task of preventing infection.

According to Michel Ranft's "De Masticatione mortuorum in tumulis", published in Leipzig in 1728, it is exclusively in times of plague that these corpses devour their own shrouds, noisily chewing on them. Their loud and uncivilised behaviors have earned them the name "Schmatzenden Todten". They are said to grunt like pigs inside their graves. And while they are to chewing away on their shrouds - through some mysterious kind of vampirism - their surviving relatives grow weaker and weaker, until they die as well. 

In 1484, Pope Innocent VIII issued an edict, Summis desiderantes affectibus, where declared that many men and women were in collusion with the Devil.  At this time was very dangerous oppose to the Inquisition. A Dutch physician, Johann Weyer, 1515 - 1588, criticised the Malleus Maleficarum and the witch hunting in: De Praestigiis Daemonum et Incantatiponibus ac Venificiis (On the Illusions of the Demons and on Spells and Poisons, 1563), De Lamiis Liber (Book of Witches,1577). In  De Irae Morbo et ejus curatione Medica et Philosophica 1580, Weyer was the first to use the term "mentally ill" to designate the woman accused to practice witchcraft. (Abstract).

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