While our modern idea of vampires has been codified by Count Dracula, stories of dead people returning as blood-sucking monsters have been around since ancient times. The legend varied by place, at least until Hollywood got hold of the idea. We don't know exactly who first told tales of vampires or vampire-like creatures, but it seemed to have happened in a lot of different places. The ancient myths seem to have arisen as a convenient way to explain why bad things happen. But there are natural phenomenon that added layers to the vampire myth.
Also, historical figures have been accused of vampirism, whether the tales are true or not. In the last couple hundred years, literary vampires added to the monster legends and give us a thrill- and a cool Halloween costume. Read about ten things that contributed to vampires as we know them today at Cracked.