In most cases, vampires are revenants of evil beings, suicide victims, or witches, but they can also be created by a malevolent spirit possessing a corpse or by being bitten by a vampire.
Belief in such legends became so pervasive that in some areas it caused mass hysteria and even public executions of people believed to be vampires.
The lugat cannot be seen, he can only be killed by the dhampir, who himself is usually the son of a lugat. One method of finding a vampire's grave involved leading a virgin boy through a graveyard or church grounds on a virgin stallion—the horse would supposedly balk at the grave in question.
In different regions, animals can be revenants as lugats; also, living people during their sleep. Evidence that a vampire was active in a given locality included death of cattle, sheep, relatives or neighbours.
Folkloric vampires could also make their presence felt by engaging in minor poltergeist-like activity, such as hurling stones on roofs or moving household objects, Other apotropaics include sacred items, for example a crucifix, rosary, or holy water.