Stories about vampires go back thousands of years and occur in almost every culture around the world. Their descriptions are different and vary from culture to culture. They have been described as red eyed monsters with green or pink hair in China to the Greek Lamia, that has the upper body of a woman and the lower body of a winged serpent. The vampires we know today are mostly based on Eastern European myths which originated in the far East.In ancient Rome and Greece there were festivals at set times of the year celebrating the return of the dead. In Rome it was the "Lemuria" and in Greece the "Anthesteria". Those festivals were lasting three days and sacrifices were made all with the purpose of making the dead welcome. The interesting thing about that was that at the end of the three day festival, both, Romans and Greeks householders held its own exorcism ceremony to rid the house of the returned souls and to ensure the blessing for the following year. The origin of Slavic myths developed during 9th century as a result of conflict between Christianity and pre-Christian paganism. Causes of vampirism between Slavs were: being conceived on certain days, excommunication, improper burial rituals, born with teeth or tail. In order to prevent vampirism, people were placing a crucifix in the coffin or blocks under the chin to prevent the body from eating the shroud. The thing that remained the same for all of those vampires are blood sucking, preying on humans at night, returning from death etc. Of course, we are also familiar with capes with tall collars, the fact that they are turning into bats and wear evening clothes is just something that has been much more recent inventions. Yet, in modern fiction and film, you can still find many features of the old myths. Such as the placing of millet or poppu seeds at the graveside in order to keep the vampire occupied all night counting seeds. Now-days, pretty much everyone is familiar with vampires, but in Britain very little was known of vampires prior to the 18th century. The word vampire came to English language in 1732 via an English translation of a German report of the much publicized Arnold Paole vampire staking in Serbia. During the 18th century there was a major vampire scare in Eastern Europe that even government officials were dragged into the hunting and staking vampires.