VampireThe myth of the Vampire can be found in many countries around the world but the legends most of us know come from the European cultures.

Different cultures even within Europe had different beliefs as to what caused Vampirism but some were also remarkably similar.  Causes ranged from the most known; being bitten by a Vampire, to ways that would be considered upsurd in today’s society.  Some of these include; being born with teeth to being the seventh child of the same sex born into a family.  Then there were the spiritual beliefs; someone who had been excommunicated would become a Vampire upon death or a child who was born out of wedlock (hence the need for obstinance before marriage). 

Out of the many beliefs, recognizing a Vampire was a remarkably similar among cultures.  Most included the death of a family member or death of livestock as ways of knowing a Vampire was at large.  Others included; holes in the earth above a grave, distributing garlic to a congregation as Vampires can not eat garlic.  Some cultures went as far as exhuming their loved ones at a time designated after death to examine the body.  Bodies that showed bloating or growth in the hair and fingernails were considered to be Vampires as well as bodies that had blood around the mouth.

There were however, ways to ensure that your dead loved one did not become a Vampire.  Many cultures believed that preparation of the loved ones corpse was a key preventative factor.  Other burial beliefs varied from driving steel needles into the corpse in various areas to putting cloves of garlic into its mouth.  To prevent a Vampires bite, wear a necklace of garlic or with a cross close to the neck.

Everyone knows that you kill a Vampire by driving a stake through its heart but some cultures believed that decapitating the Vampire would also kill it.  Other cultures went as far as dismembering the corpse and burning all of the body parts, or by pouring Holy Water on the grave of the Vampire.

Today’s society if fascinated by myth and legend, Vampires being one of the many.  The show Buffy the Vampire Slayer has only heightened this interest.