The list of the traditional vampires contains examples from all over the world but nowhere has the vampire myth been more influential than in the Balkans. We basically get the “vampire image” we have today from countries like: Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria or Greece.
Even the term “Vampire” is first mentioned in Serbian. The same monster called “strigoi” in romanian and “vrykolakas”, “vorvolakas” or “vorvolaka” in greek.
An if originally these creatures had substantial differences [for example the drinking of blood was rarely associated with vorvolaka], the merge between the people from the Balkans made it possible for the conceptions to mix. Thus the vampire and the warewolf were born.
Let`s not forget the contribution [if we may so call it] of Bram Stoker, he who through the novel „Dracula” raised the vampire myth from a mere local story to a world wide spread phenomenon.
We must also pay tribute to the old slavic beliefs that were so strong that not even the Christianity was able to cast them into oblivion. Rather than that, christians inglobed those beliefs and they can still be found today in Eastern Europa.
That explains how the customs of these regions speak of a 40 days period when the dead are still present in some way and their kin are obliged to leave a cup with water and/or one with wine so that the spirit can quench it`s thirst. The windows and doors must remain unlocked and the things that the dead should have with him in the afterlife must be given away to the poor.
Not respecting these rituals may lead to the transformation of the relative in a vampires!
Different regions of the Earth supply their own descriptions of appearance, habits and ways to kill a vampire, however, one trait remains constant: the need for vampires to feed on another creature to sustain themselves. Some eat flesh [dead or living], some drink blood while others feed from a human being‘s aura energy.