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The Oxford English Dictionary dates the first appearance of the English word vampire (as vampyre) in English from 1734, in a travelogue titled Travels of Three English Gentlemen published in The Harleian Miscellany in 1745. Czech linguist Václav Machek proposes Slovak verb "vrepiť sa" (stick to, thrust into), or its hypothetical anagram "vperiť sa" (in Czech, the archaic verb "vpeřit" means "to thrust violently") as an etymological background, and thus translates "upír" as "someone who thrusts, bites". Cultures such as the Mesopotamians, Hebrews, Ancient Greeks, and Romans had tales of demons and spirits which are considered precursors to modern vampires.
Despite the occurrence of vampire-like creatures in these ancient civilizations, the folklore for the entity we know today as the vampire originates almost exclusively from early 18th-century southeastern Europe, when verbal traditions of many ethnic groups of the region were recorded and published.
A vampire is a being from folklore that subsists by feeding on the life essence (generally in the form of blood) of the living.
In European folklore, vampires were undead beings that often visited loved ones and caused mischief or deaths in the neighbourhoods they inhabited when they were alive.
The success of this book spawned a distinctive vampire genre, still popular in the 21st century, with books, films, and television shows.
The vampire has since become a dominant figure in the horror genre.
They wore shrouds and were often described as bloated and of ruddy or dark countenance, markedly different from today's gaunt, pale vampire which dates from the early 19th century.
Vampires were usually reported as bloated in appearance, and ruddy, purplish, or dark in colour; these characteristics were often attributed to the recent drinking of blood.In Slavic and Chinese traditions, any corpse that was jumped over by an animal, particularly a dog or a cat, was feared to become one of the undead.A body with a wound that had not been treated with boiling water was also at risk.In Albanian folklore, the dhampir is the hybrid child of the karkanxholl (a werewolf-like creature with an iron mail shirt) or the lugat (a water-dwelling ghost or monster).The dhampir sprung of a karkanxholl has the unique ability to discern the karkanxholl; from this derives the expression the dhampir knows the lugat.