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Vampires Never Die: No one's been able to drive a stake through the heart of vampire legend, professor says

The tests to determine whether any dead man is a vampire, or not, are as follows:

1. His household, his family, and his live stock, and possibly even the live stock of the whole village, die off rapidly.

2. He comes back in the night and speaks with the family. He may eat what he finds in dishes and knock things about, or he may help with the housework and cut wood. Female vampires also come back to their children. There was a Hungarian vampire which could not be kept away, even by the priest and holy water.

3. The priest reads a service at the grave. If the evil which is occurring does not cease, it is a bad sign.

4. A hole about the size of a serpent may be found near the tombstone of the dead man. If so, it is the sign of a vampire, because vampires come out of graves by just such holes.

5. Even in the daytime a white horse will not walk over the grave of a vampire, but stands still and snorts and neighs.

6. A gander, similarly, will not walk over the grave of a vampire.

7. On exhuming the corpse, if it is a vampire it will be found to be:

a) red in the face, even for months and years after burial,

b) with the face turned downwards,

c) with a foot retracted or forced into a corner of the grave or coffin.

d) If relations have died, the mouth will be red with blood. If it has only spoilt and ruined things at home, and eaten what it could find, the mouth will be covered with maize meal.

—From “The Vampire in Roumania” by Agnes Murgoci, 1926

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  Updated 2014 October 13
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