Vampires have been seen and documented throughout history. The history
of vampires goes further back in time than most people realize. The chaldeans,
who lived near the Euphrates river in the southwestern part of Asia more than
five hundred years before the time of Christ , feared vampire or creatures
similar to vampires enough so that they created charms to protect themselves
from being attacked by such creatures. The Assyrians and the Babylonians feared
a creature similar to a vampire known as an Ekimmu. These creatures known as
Ekimmus were believed by the Assyrians to roam the planet searching for food
although it was not always a persons blood but rather a persons\' vitality or
that persons\' energy force. It was believed that if such a creature would enter
someone\'s house that person along with his or her family would slowly weaken,
get sick and probably die. In the countries of Syria and Palestine references
were made to such blood sucking monsters on ancient carved tablets. In Ireland
the people believed in these creatures, which they affectionately came to call
"red blood suckers" . Due to their belief in these mythical creatures they began
the practice of placing stones on these vampires graves to kep them from
escaping.This then became standard practice and is still used to this day in the
form of a tombstone. Tombstones were used to control ghosts and other spirits
instead of their original use in controlling vampires.
Due to the fact that vampires seemed to be so commonplace around the
globe, there was a large variety of vampires that differed in shape, behavior
and method of becoming a vampire. All of these factors varied from region to
region. In the country of Bulgaria a vampire had only one nostril. This
Bulgarian vampire would rise out of it\'s grave nine days after death in the form
of a shower of sparks and remained in this shape for a period of forty days.
After the completion of these forty days the shower of sparks would regain it\'s
human form. Once human-like the vampire goes from playing childish tricks, which
it did in it\'s "spark" form , to more serious matters , such as the attacking of
humans and drinking of their blood. Vampires are well known for their craving
for blood but in many countries vampires were not limited to just that
substance as part of their diet, but would also consume foods that humans ate
such as eggs and rice. That, however, does not mean that their yearn for blood
was any weaker than before. Most vampires would attack their victims and suck
the blood from puncture wounds made in the neck (The Russian vampire would suck
the blood directly from the victims heart). Sometimes the vampire would gorge
itself until it had drained the victim completely while other times it would
take just enough to satisfy that night\'s thirst and come back the following
night and take a bit more. The method of drinking from the same victim night
after night would cause the victim to get weaker and weaker . Due to the fact
that the victim was indeed attacked by a vampire, that would mean that upon the
victims death they too would become "undead." (. Vampires p22)
Certain cultures around the globe also had systems to recognize vampires.
In some cultures vampires were distinguished due to the color of their hair. In
most Christian countries vampires could be recognized because they had red hair
like Judas Iscariot, the man who betrayed Christ in the bible, was said to have
had red hair. Eye color was another tell-tale sign used to identify vampires. In
Greece ,where most people have dark colored eyes, vampires were said to have
blue eyes, Rumania they were said to have had gray eyes, and in Ireland they had
black eyes.
Vampires have been around for centuries , in some cases they have been
recognized and feared by cultures that were around thousands of years before the
time of Christ, such as the Babylonians and the Assyrians. Throughout the ages
many medical explanations that could explain the vampire phenomena have been
overlooked. The first reason was the lack of education that many people, because
schooling was not an important part of these societies. Their lack of medical
knowledge about diseases, some of which are quite rare and hard to explain even
to this day was a large factor in the spread of vampire lore. Along with the
fact that very uneducated people have always had a tendency of being overly
superstitious also contributed to the vampire legend.