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They wore shrouds and were often described as bloated and of ruddy or dark countenance, markedly different from today's gaunt, pale vampire which dates from the early 19th century.
Vampiric entities have been recorded in most cultures; the term vampire was popularised in Western Europe after reports of an 18th century mass hysteria of a pre-existing folk belief in the Balkans and Eastern Europe that in some cases resulted in corpses being staked and people being accused of vampirism.
Blood was often seen seeping from the mouth and nose when one was seen in its shroud or coffin and its left eye was often open.
The causes of vampiric generation were many and varied in original folklore.
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.
In different regions, animals can be revenants as lugats; also, living people during their sleep. Evidence that a vampire was active in a given locality included death of cattle, sheep, relatives or neighbours.
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).
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.The Oxford English Dictionary dates the first appearance of the English word vampire (as vampyre) in English from 1734, in a travelogue titled Travels of Three English Gentlemen published in The Harleian Miscellany in 1745. Czech linguist Václav Machek proposes Slovak verb "vrepiť sa" (stick to, thrust into), or its hypothetical anagram "vperiť sa" (in Czech, the archaic verb "vpeřit" means "to thrust violently") as an etymological background, and thus translates "upír" as "someone who thrusts, bites". Cultures such as the Mesopotamians, Hebrews, Ancient Greeks, and Romans had tales of demons and spirits which are considered precursors to modern vampires.