Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

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COFFIN

(Cof-fin)
Variations: Casket, Kophinos, Pall
The words coffin and casket are often used interchangeably, but in truth they are two different things. Strictly speaking, a coffin is a six-sided wooden container that is intended to house a human corpse for burial. Acasket has four sides and can be made of metal or wood.
Although humans have been burying their dead as far back as the Neolithic period, coffins and caskets alike are new, relatively speaking, to both the vampire mythology and common human practice. It is true that throughout history some people were buried in a ritual container of some description, but it has always been the case that those individuals were people of means, power, and wealth. Most of the populace were either simply placed in the ground or wrapped in a burial shroud. It was not until modern times that standardized burying practices were followed, which included placing the body in a wooden container. As mankind and his culture evolved, so did the vampire mythology. As coffins became more and more common, vampires began to use them.
Source: Bunson, Vampire Encyclopedia, 49; Colman,
Corpses, Coffins, and Crypts; Metcalf, Celebrations of Death
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