There is a link at the bottom of the thread, If You are too lazy to read the information, that will help You understand it better, and will help You shake off some nasty things TV makes You belive in. Well If You belive in such it's not really the TV's fault, but I'll try and be nice :D
I bet this one ( thread ) will be popular, like the picture of prince Harry ( apologies to the royal family for the comparison ) XD
This story is about belief in vampires in Balkan peninsula folklore, which is according to anthropology and sociology is the earliest source of ever documented vampire, as an undead ghostly creature that may or may not feed on blood. The only ( possible ) earlier source speaks of such creatures in Ireland. So the homeland of vampires is with no dust of doubt Europe, not Egypt ( thanks Anne Rice, You should have realized that fluffies will take Your fiction as scientific text >.< ) nor from Persia, or Mesopotamia.
If You wish to know why is it not so, look up "vampire" in dictionary. You will the various bloodsucking deities or even some bloodsucking spirits simply do not fit. Albeit, some may appear somewhat similar, they are not vampires!
In order to understand properly the myth of vampires, You need to have a solid grasp on history , folklore and psychology of European people , mostly Eastern and ( utmost ) West European. Only then may You find it easy to distinguish the glittery and appallingly y mind insulting Hollywood fantasy form the actual folk lore. And then You will also come to understand, how and why vampires are feared, and part of everyday worries in remote ( usually mountain ) parts or Eastern Europe.
Before I give the link , which inspired me on all this rambling, it is important to state few things about vampires that are part of actual tradition, and had not become corrupted by explotation of the myth, even on it's indigenous grounds.
* In Eastern Europe, Vampire is considered to be an ghostly ( not corporeal ) entity that may suck blood or rather ( more prone ) draw vital energy to sustain their physical body, and prevent it's decompositionn. Hence, why the bodies of the vampires are alleged to be "intact" . Yet it's never the body alone that rises.
If You take a look on this , form perspective of occultism as an science ( and this has been done by man renewed occultists, from Dion Fortune to Franz Bardon ) You will recognize in description of an vampire as "barely tangible, more not that yes" ( folk description ) and ethereal shell, or an ethereal body. Hence, the occult theory that vampires are people whose astral cord ( silver cord ) had not been destroyed by the act of physical body death stands firmly. Energy and blood they steal serveth for sustaining the physical body and thus keeping the astral cord intact.
Furthermore, many western occultists differentiate two form of vampiric appearances:
1) In etheral body - when they suck blood, resulting in becoming extremely swollen, akin to large balloon with tiny limbs. Folk say that perforating swollen vampire with a needle will be the end of them. This can be very true considering that the ethereal body is somewhat tangible, yet dozens of times more fragile than physical.
2) In astral form - vampires in astral body appear in dramatic sense - they emanate from walls , appear from all sort of "spheres" , fly and are ghostly ( transparent ) in appearance, and cannot be physically affected, nor can they physically affect the living, yet drain energy from them, by causing fear, and havoc.
* Vampirism is not spread by infection >.< that's one of the world's most pathetic clich?s. Heck, even the author of "True blood" could not embrac e such an idiotic concept.
In Eastern Europe people were believed to be driven to death, by systematic and constant haunting(s) by vampires, and as such were more prone to become one. People that left this world "not by G'd will" were held as high risk factor group, in Eastern European folklore. Hence the tormented souls would sometimes become tormentors themselves. This is often case in basic human psychology, were the victim m identifies with their abuser, and becomes akin to it. But again , this does not mean that vampires are infectious >.<
*Vampires do not posses superhuman powers. They can not do anything that You Yourself , when ethereally or astraly projected could not do Yourself. They do not have superhuman strength, and can not hypnotize You. It's safe to assume that with all the terror tales surrounding them, a half-brain vampire would know how to use that in their favor, and manipulate people, thus make them appear hypnotized, more s o fearful and superstitious peasant s. They can however in astral form assume shape of an animals, and their physical body can show some phenomenon of incorruptibility, as long as sustained intact in state that it was buried, non perforated, and while supplied with energy and according to some accounts occasional blood d supplies.
Now, having read all of the above You should be well shod with knowledge to read this illustrative article on how the myth survives in Eastern Europe even in modern days, and are then welcomed to speculate on why and how
Part of tradition, tourist beaconing hoax , pranks or something else :) Feel free to comment and make me an "owner" of a popular thread :)