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It is difficult to make a single, definitive description of the folkloric vampire, though there are several elements common to many European legends.
Vampires were usually reported as bloated in appearance, and ruddy, purplish, or dark in colour; these characteristics were often attributed to the recent drinking of blood.
Burying a corpse upside-down was widespread, as was placing earthly objects, such as scythes or sickles, near the grave to satisfy any demons entering the body or to appease the dead so that it would not wish to arise from its coffin.
This method resembles the Ancient Greek practice of placing an obolus in the corpse's mouth to pay the toll to cross the River Styx in the underworld.
The charismatic and sophisticated vampire of modern fiction was born in 1819 with the publication of The Vampyre by John Polidori; the story was highly successful and arguably the most influential vampire work of the early 19th century.
Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula is remembered as the quintessential vampire novel and provided the basis of the modern vampire legend.
This increased level of vampire superstition in Europe led to mass hysteria and in some cases resulted in corpses being staked and people being accused of vampirism.
In modern times, the vampire is generally held to be a fictitious entity, although belief in similar vampiric creatures such as the chupacabra still persists in some cultures.
The dhampir sprung of a karkanxholl has the unique ability to discern the karkanxholl; from this derives the expression the dhampir knows the lugat.
A vampire is a being from folklore that subsists by feeding on the life essence (generally in the form of blood) of the living.
In European folklore, vampires were undead beings that often visited loved ones and caused mischief or deaths in the neighbourhoods they inhabited when they were alive.
In Slavic and Chinese traditions, any corpse that was jumped over by an animal, particularly a dog or a cat, was feared to become one of the undead.
A body with a wound that had not been treated with boiling water was also at risk.
Although not traditionally regarded as an apotropaic, mirrors have been used to ward off vampires when placed, facing outwards, on a door (in some cultures, vampires do not have a reflection and sometimes do not cast a shadow, perhaps as a manifestation of the vampire's lack of a soul).