History of Vampires by George Ripley 1872
VAMPIRE, a fabulous creature, which was widely believed in previously to and during the 18th century in Greece, Hungary, Moravia, Silesia, Poland, and Russia. Vampires are defined by Dom Calmet as persons "who have been dead a considerable time, sometimes more, sometimes less; who leave their tombs, and come and disturb the living, sucking their blood, appearing to them, making a noise at their doors and in their houses, and often causing their death." They usually, he informs us, visit their relatives and those in the prime of life and full health and vigor. The belief in vampires is probably of oriental origin; the ghouls of the Persians and Arabians seem to belong to the same family, though the superstition had been modified by Christianity. In the latter part of the 17th. and the first half of the l8th century, the plague and other fatal epidemics had prevailed in the countries we have named; and the sudden death of many persons from languor and exhaustion was attributed by their relatives and others to the blood having been drawn from them by these vampires, who had themselves died shortly before of the prevailing diseases. In hundreds of cases, the bodies of alleged vampires were disinterred, and in some the body was found not decayed, the complexion fresh, and liquid blood still in the veins. A sharpened stake was driven through the body, the heart taken out and the head removed, and both reduced to ashes. It was alleged that in some cases the body uttered a shriek when the stake was driven through it. The undecayed condition of the bodies, which was probably the result either of their burial alive, which often happened during the prevalence of severe epidemics, their peculiar condition after death from plague, resisting ordinary decay, as has been demonstrated in yellow fever, or the presence of antiseptic qualities in the soil in which they were buried, was regarded as positive proof of their having been vampires. In Poland, the name given to these night visitors is upior, in Russia, googooka; in Slavonia, oopir.—See Ranft, Tractat von dem Kauen und Schmatzen der Todten in Grabern (Leipsic, 1734); Dom Augustine Calmet, Dissertation sur les vampires (1747), which passed through 5 or 6 editions prior to 1757, and was reprinted in London in 1850 as the second volume of "The Phantom World," with notes by the Rev. H. Christmas; Lenglet-Dufresnoy, Traite historique et dogmatigve sur les apparitions, &c. (Avignon, 1751); and the marquis de Maffei, "Letter on Magic."