The New Student's Reference Work/Vampire
Vam′pire, according to a superstitious belief, which still prevails in some European a ghost which comes out of the grave at night and sucks the blood of men and women. In the mythology of the ancient Greeks beings of a similar nature existed, called the Lamias. These were beautiful women who allured youths to their embrace in order to feed on their flesh and blood. During the middle ages there was a prevailing belief that all persons who died under the ban of the church were sent forth by the devil at night to destroy other people; and it was thought that the only way to escape these vampires was by digging up their unwashed corpses and burying them.