“I must digress, mesdames, to explain that the vourdalaks, or vampires, are, according to local opinion in Slavic nations, dead bodies that rise from graves in order to suck blood from the living,  Although their habits are similar to vampires of other countries, vourdalaks prefer to suck the blood of close relatives and friends, who die and become vampires also.  In Estonia and Herzegovina entire villages may be composed of vourdalaks.  Indeed, the Abbot of Augustine Colliné, in his curious book on ghosts, indicates terrible examples of this phenomenon.  Moreover, commissioners appointed by German emperors to investigate cases of vampirism have printed evidence of vourdalaks, who, being pierced through the heart with ash stakes, were buried in the village squares.  Testimony offered by those officials who had been present at the piercings assure us that they heard the corpses moaning as the stakes struck their hearts.  I might add that all such testimony was delivered under oath and backed by signatures and authoritative seals.”

from The Family of a Vourdalak by Alexis Tolstoy, trans. Fedor Nikanov