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.It has been argued that instead, the coin was intended to ward off any evil spirits from entering the body, and this may have influenced later vampire folklore.The causes of vampiric generation were many and varied in original folklore.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.Despite the occurrence of vampire-like creatures in these ancient civilizations, the folklore for the entity we know today as the vampire originates almost exclusively from early 18th-century southeastern Europe, when verbal traditions of many ethnic groups of the region were recorded and published.In most cases, vampires are revenants of evil beings, suicide victims, or witches, but they can also be created by a malevolent spirit possessing a corpse or by being bitten by a vampire.Vampiric entities have been recorded in most cultures; the term vampire, previously an arcane subject, was popularised in the West in the early 19th century, after an influx of vampire superstition into Western Europe from areas where vampire legends were frequent, such as the Balkans and Eastern Europe; local variants were also known by different names, such as shtriga in Albania, vrykolakas in Greece and strigoi in Romania.
The lugat cannot be seen, he can only be killed by the dhampir, who himself is usually the son of a lugat. One method of finding a vampire's grave involved leading a virgin boy through a graveyard or church grounds on a virgin stallion—the horse would supposedly balk at the grave in question.
Similar Chinese narratives state that if a vampire-like being came across a sack of rice, it would have to count every grain; this is a theme encountered in myths from the Indian subcontinent, as well as in South American tales of witches and other sorts of evil or mischievous spirits or beings.
In Albanian folklore, the dhampir is the hybrid child of the karkanxholl (a werewolf-like creature with an iron mail shirt) or the lugat (a water-dwelling ghost or monster).
Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula is remembered as the quintessential vampire novel and provided the basis of the modern vampire legend.
The success of this book spawned a distinctive vampire genre, still popular in the 21st century, with books, films, and television shows.