Transylvania never existed, however Romania does. They are famous for soccer and Vlad the Impaler. How did the stories start? It wasn't with Vlad Dracul. Many people in that region began to tell tales of people that would not decay in their graves while others would die. Thinking that people rose from the dead because they didn't decay, they thought they stalked people in the night killing. After so many people had died - people started digging up graves to see if zombies "vampyres" were the primary suspects.
Of course people back in the day didn't know about the stages of death and didn't know that some people decayed slower than others so rumors started - nails, hair, and skin pallor all fresh as if they just went to sleep. Vice versa, medicine wasn't high tech and some people were buried alive who died of asphyxiation or the box caved in from to much pressure.
Since then, if appearing "alive" while in the coffin - they would pronounce that person as a vampire, run a stake through their heart, nail the box shut and seal it with metal, ring bells, rebury the person and then hang garlic on the window sills. THEN came along Dracul, Vlad's father who bore Vlad Dracula.
Of course, there are tales around the world that also tell of stories of Zombified people almost similar to vampyres however most people were mistaken for dead and buried alive because of poor documentation and medical treatment.
Fangs, drinking blood, and the rest of it didn't come until Hollywood. Vampires were thought to be zombies that just killed people yes by blood, but then Hollywood played it up as strictly drinking blood and romanticized them.
Written by Katie, Copyright 2010