Anna Maria von Stockhausen’s corpse, cross-strapped in order to keep her from coming back undead

Kane Khanh | Archeaology
October 11, 2023

In the annals of history, tales of the undead have often sparked fascination and fear, blurring the lines between reality and myth. One such intriguing account revolves around the story of Anna Maria von Stockhausen and the extraordinary measures taken to prevent her return as an undead.

The remains of Anna Maria von Stockhausen. After her death, she was bound  so that she could not escape from the grave... | VK

Anna Maria von Stockhausen, a historical figure from the 18th century, was believed to be a victim of the vampire hysteria that gripped Europe during that era. According to local folklore, she succumbed to an unknown illness, but her death was accompanied by mysterious circumstances and unexplained phenomena.

Cup3Tint3: Anna Maria von Stockhausen


Fearing that she might return from the grave as a vampire, villagers took drastic precautions to prevent such an occurrence. Anna Maria’s corpse was carefully cross-strapped, a peculiar ritual aimed at immobilizing the body to prevent any supposed postmortem activities.

The belief in vampires during this period was deeply ingrained in the minds of many, with people often resorting to ritualistic practices to safeguard their communities from potential threats. Cross-strapping was one such practice, where the deceased’s limbs were bound with ropes or leather straps in the belief that it would prevent the undead from rising and causing harm.

Angst vor Untoten: geköpft, gepfählt, gefesselt - DER SPIEGEL

While this account might seem extraordinary from a modern perspective, it offers a fascinating glimpse into the superstitions and beliefs that shaped the lives of people in the past. Anna Maria von Stockhausen’s tale reflects the complexities of human fears and the lengths to which people would go to protect their communities from perceived supernatural dangers.

Though our understanding of death and the afterlife has evolved over the centuries, stories like these continue to captivate our imagination, reminding us of the intricate relationship between history, culture, and the human psyche. The legend of Anna Maria von Stockhausen’s cross-strapped corpse stands as a testament to the enduring power of folklore and the enigmatic facets of our collective past.