The idea that evil spirits take possession of the bodies of the dead in order to prey upon the living and exist by sucking the lifeblood of their victims is common in the Slav world and the Balkans. It would appear to be related to some primitive ritual of blood drinking. Vampires in general behaviour are not unlike ghosts as conceived by the Greeks in Homeric times. The assumption that vampires remained immune from corruption appears to be of post-Christian origin. The remedies, such as piercing with a stake and burning, and the use of sprays of garlic, are frequently mentioned in European folklore and myth, and in the records of witch trials.

Who’s Who in non-classical mythology . . 2014.

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