In China, vampires had long, hooked claws and red eyes. They were known as ch’iang shih, which translates to “corpse-hopper.”
A Sumerian and Babylonian myth dating from 4,000 B.C. describes an ekimmu—a spirit that isn’t buried properly that returns to suck life from the living.
During the 16th century, it was believed that vampires fed off the bodies of plague victims, and that female vampires spread the plague. Those suspected of being vampires were even buried with rocks wedged in their mouths.