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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.
The lugat cannot be seen, he can only be killed by the dhampir, who himself is usually the son of a lugat. One method of finding a vampire's grave involved leading a virgin boy through a graveyard or church grounds on a virgin stallion—the horse would supposedly balk at the grave in question.
In different regions, animals can be revenants as lugats; also, living people during their sleep. Evidence that a vampire was active in a given locality included death of cattle, sheep, relatives or neighbours.
Folkloric vampires could also make their presence felt by engaging in minor poltergeist-like activity, such as hurling stones on roofs or moving household objects, Other apotropaics include sacred items, for example a crucifix, rosary, or holy water.
Vampires are said to be unable to walk on consecrated ground, such as that of churches or temples, or cross running water.
Piercing the skin of the chest was a way of "deflating" the bloated vampire.
This is similar to a practice of "anti-vampire burial": burying sharp objects, such as sickles, with the corpse, so that they may penetrate the skin if the body bloats sufficiently while transforming into a revenant.
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.
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.
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.
Vampiric entities have been recorded in most cultures; the term vampire was popularised in Western Europe after reports of an 18th century mass hysteria of a pre-existing folk belief in the Balkans and Eastern Europe that in some cases resulted in corpses being staked and people being accused of vampirism.