A vampire is not exclusive to one region or locale; each country and culture has experienced and recorded its own encounter with a vampire. If you consider the evidence, you can join the dots...
The Sampiro - Albania
The most laughable of old folk tales apart from one element: a being with two hearts. See conspiracies - science & theory.
Albanian in origin, the Sampiro symbolised the moral outcome of those not adhering to local traditions. This is a classic case of cultural racism; anyone who dabbled with the Turks or had contact with them was destined to walk the earth as a Sampiro and not find peace in the afterlife.
This method of spreading fear was seen as a way of preserving the purity of the Albanian people.
The most ridiculous trait of this vampire was that it staggered around in high heels and made kissing noises. Maybe that's where the femme fatale came from.
Also known as: the Russian Oupir and largely responsible for plagues and epidemics.
New Mexico/Puerto Rico/South America, and beyond?
Well, this is the most intriguing of all the cases. Also known as the 'goat suckers' - see conspiracies. Basically, it's a red herring.
Google the following if you want to find a multitude of other sites, images, video, etc. I've wasted my time so you don't have to:
'Francisco Vazquez de Coronado, Luis Guadalupe sighting Puerto Rico, Inside Edition article enquiry 1999, bio energetic signatures, Dr Tsian Kanchen.
Physical Description: 3-5 feet tall when standing on its hind legs, grey facial skin, coarse hair, black/yellow/reddish eyes, canine like snout and 3 fingered clawed hands. Also known as the mummified, anaemic dog (see below). I'm not ruling out animals as carriers, but this is as far as I go with this one.
The Alp - Germany/Mountainous region of Austria and Switzerland
Most of the Grimm fairy-tales of today originated and were adapted from ancient folklore about mythical woodmen/demons who lived deep within the woods. Otherwise, you're wasting your time. Next...
The Aswang - Phillipines
A beast that sucked up your blood and stored it in their breasts. Manipulative. Deterred by salt mixed with urine. Also known as the tik-tik or wak-wak. You decide if this is real or the evolution of the mosquito.
More on Asian vampires to follow, but since I don't live in Asia, what would be the point in me devoting my life to Asian vampires when I'm dealing with a problem in London?
Dybbuk - Hebrew, Judaism
One interesting notion about these creatures is that they could suck the life force from within you just by being close; if you consider the idea of natural magnetic fields and osmosis then there is a degree of plausibility here. There is a suggestion that this story had moral merit within Judaism. The new age conspiracies dabble a bit more in the realm of energy fields. Plausible, but I am not going to wow you with science, this is for you to judge. The moral of this story is this: don't associate with people who suck you dry of energy and decrease your faith.
It's worth mentioning the role of vampires in relation to religion. All religions that I studied talked of vampires as the product of sin. You must remember that I am not just talking about Christianity, we have an instilled ideology that vampires can only be defeated by a man carrying a cross and who has faith, but this is the product of Western Cinema and naturally we have come to love the narrative conventions of binary opposition; good versus evil, light versus dark, God versus the devil.
But faith is an amazing thing, and those who have an unshakeable belief can be stronger than you and I. By feeling empowered by God's presence it is possible to overcome darkness and refute devilish beings.
Scandinavian Spirits - Norway
A big area to cover, there is some link to beings lurking in graveyards which is probably why the vampire link occurs. Research Nordic gods and demons.
Sorry Norway, you don't deserve a mention since Thor has stolen your thunder.
The Penanggal (Phillipines)
A floating head that would lure its victims into bushes. A naturally aggressive spirit, it was also described as a Langsuir or woman dressed in green. The films of Cathay Keris tried to rival the Western Hollywood stereotypes. Worth investigating for fun.
I have not covered vampires of the entire world, only the ones that will help you try and decipher the truth from the myth.
Rakshasa - India
Also known as the Churels, these were the spirits of women who died at childbirth during the festival of Devali.
Often described as temptresses, they craved the blood and semen of village men. Also described as Pisacas, after tempting their victims towards graveyards they would reveal their skeletal form and dump the bodies in local water supplies.
There is a link to the Indian god Ravana, lord of the underworld, who was killed by Rama with an arrow through the heart.
So, that explains everthing right? Wrong.
Are the dots connecting?
Tokoloshe/Tikoloshe - Africa
This is a classic morality tale/fable, probably used to warn against the dangers of not controlling sexual desires, oh and it has roots within witchcraft.
The Tokoloshe often takes on the guise of a man and has a voracious sexual appetite. It is also described as a baboon like creature. It would often charm or offer assistance to lone women and if they refused advances, then the beast would take it by force.
The increased accessibility of porn on the internet has certainly led to a rise in sexual assault and perpetrators could always try blaming this baboon-like excuse for a vampire.
Jaracaca - Brazil (also known as Lobishomen)
An animal-like creature that often took on the guise of a snake. It could cause weakness by feeding on blood and breast milk. Hmm, serpents and evil, have we had this link before? Perhaps the real garden of Eden was close to a beach near the Copacabana?
The saliva of this creature would turn its victim in to a nymphomaniac (pishtaco) causing them to crave (in order of preference) semen, fat and then blood. That's a lot of calories. Men were most at risk. Brazilian remedies included herbal mixtures, including garlic which was used to taint the blood and discourage attacks. Failing that you could always leave white stones outside of your door. Yawn.
See also Iara, or Mboiacu - a shape changing witch with hypnotic red eyes. Jungle based.
What is it with men and their snakes?
The Strigoii - Romania
So, this is where everyone thinks vampires come from. The Strigoii are hugely based on Romanian Gypsy Folklore. They are described as pale, hairless beings who subsist on blood.
Females were called the moroii. You became one of these as a punishment for not following religious morals. I feel like we've done a loop.
Strigo or Striga were also the inspiration for Nosferatu (1922).
You can research the following: Peter Plogojowitz, Arnold Paole, Giuseppe Davanzati and Dom Antoine Augustin Calmet. Don't forget Vlad the Impaler!
In summary, myths are a good way of throwing real hunters off the trail - remember 'The London Vampire' saved you time!