The country of origin for vampires is completely unknown. They have appeared in legends and folktales around the world for thousands of years. The most common and well known version of the vampire is the one that comes from Europe. They are normally very beautiful with pale skin and sharp fangs. Others have hairy palms, long nails and red eyes. In some versions they are the undead, while in others they are blood drinking ghosts. A vampire can have the ability to transform into different animals as well as possessing the ability to control animals to use as familiars. They can also have hypnotic abilities and ooze sexual appeal in order to attract victims. A person is normally turned into a vampire by being bitten by a vampire before drinking the vampire’s blood, but black magic and committing evil deeds before death can also cause a person to return as a vampire. Another European belief was that people who committed suicide could return as a vampire.
Vampires are well known blood drinkers. They sleep in their coffins and/or graves during the day and rise at night to hunt for victims. They have been known to either kill a person with a single bite or spend days visiting the same victim over and over until they either die or turn into a vampire. There are signs that a person can display if they are being regularly fed upon by a vampire. They may have problems sleeping, suffer nightmares, become anemic, have difficultly breathing, lack any sort of appetite, suffer weight loss and, after many nights of being bitten, start having an aversion to garlic and light. The most tell tale sign of a vampire attack are bite marks on the neck but this is not always the case, some vampires bite on the arms, inner thighs and breasts.
There are hundreds of ways to kill and ward off vampires. The most common of which are: A stake through the heart, beheading, sunlight, fire and cutting out the heart. Vampires usually can only come into a house when they have been invited. They can be warded off with garlic and holy symbols, such as a crucifix. They are sensitive to iron and certain forms of magic can deter them. These only really work on the common European form of vampire, if it is a different type of vampire it might require something else in order to kill it. See the vampire section for other types of vampires from different countries.