Dating a vampire 101

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.Other methods commonly practised in Europe included severing the tendons at the knees or placing poppy seeds, millet, or sand on the ground at the grave site of a presumed vampire; this was intended to keep the vampire occupied all night by counting the fallen grains, indicating an association of vampires with arithmomania.Similar Chinese narratives state that if a vampire-like being came across a sack of rice, it would have to count every grain; this is a theme encountered in myths from the Indian subcontinent, as well as in South American tales of witches and other sorts of evil or mischievous spirits or beings.

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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.It is difficult to make a single, definitive description of the folkloric vampire, though there are several elements common to many European legends.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.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.

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