Vampires are often regarded as having a pale complexion and having sharp fangs. In European legends, they were described as being bloated and ruddy, purplish, or dark in color. Blood seeping from their teeth, mouth, and nose was also a common feature. They may be wearing the linen shroud they were buried in and their teeth, hair, and nails may have grown.
Garlic is said to harm Vampires and mustard seeds sprinkled over the roof of one's house was said to keep them away. Sacred items, such as some holy water, a crucifix, or a rosary, are other examples of apotropaics (items that ward off revenants). Some cultures believed that mirrors were able to help ward off vampires while others believed that vampires' reflections could not appear in mirrors. Some cultures believed that vampires were not able to enter a house without an invitation from the owner(s). After the first invitation, vampires were able to go as they pleased. Though folkloric vampires were believed to be more active at night, they were not generally considered vulnerable to sunlight.
There are many ways to dispose of a vampire, but the most famous method to kill a vampire is a wooden stake through its heart (more commonly the mouth area in Russia and northern Germany and the stomach in north-eastern Serbia). Decapitating the head of a vampire and burying it between the feet, behind the buttocks, or away from the body was common in German and Slavic areas.