The charismatic and sophisticated vampire of modern fiction was born in 1819 with the publication of The Vampyre by John Polidori; the story was highly successful and arguably the most influential vampire work of the early 19th century.
Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula is remembered as the quintessential vampire novel and provided the basis of the modern vampire legend.
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.
Early folk belief in vampires has sometimes been ascribed to the ignorance of the body's process of decomposition after death and how people in pre-industrial societies tried to rationalise this, creating the figure of the vampire to explain the mysteries of death.
Porphyria was also linked with legends of vampirism in 1985 and received much media exposure, but has since been largely discredited.
Belief in such legends became so pervasive that in some areas it caused mass hysteria and even public executions of people believed to be vampires.
Although not traditionally regarded as an apotropaic, mirrors have been used to ward off vampires when placed, facing outwards, on a door (in some cultures, vampires do not have a reflection and sometimes do not cast a shadow, perhaps as a manifestation of the vampire's lack of a soul).
This attribute is not universal (the Greek vrykolakas/tympanios was capable of both reflection and shadow), but was used by Bram Stoker in Dracula and has remained popular with subsequent authors and filmmakers.
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.