In ancient Greece, the vrykolakas were a varied vampiric creature that had strong holds in the Christian faith in later centuries.
At first, the vrykolakas were not feared; instead, they were often seen as the dead returning “to complete unfinished business with a spouse a family member, or someone close to him or her in life” (Melton 306).
Accounts of vrykolakas became more and more elaborate, some of which tell of the dead returning to resume their lives. However, the Greek Orthodox Church created the popular belief in the vrykolakas, where a curse was placed upon those who were excommunicated to keep the body from decaying and the soul from progressing: “The church developed an explanation, claiming that the devil inhabited the body of the dead and caused it to move” (Melton 307).
Melton, J. Gordon. The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead. Canton, Michigan: Visible Ink Press, 1999.