There were many accounts of vampiric activity before, just no real names have been known.
Mezopotamia - called Lamaštu.
India - called vetala.
Africa - called adzeim or obajifoim.
China - kuang-shi.
Japan - kashei.
But these were all not the actual representations of what we, today, consider to be typical vampires.
Slavic mythology: from the Psalms of 1047.: Upir Lihi - meaning terrible Vampire by the name of Vladimir Jaroslavič was the first actual name we've encountered. But, not much about him is known.
Jure Grando - is th eoldest known documented european vampire - born in istra, Croatia. He dies in 1656 and exhumed and decapitated in 1672.
Why was he decapitated after death?
Because he terrorized the village for 16 years after his death. Killing the villagers every night.
At the end of the 17th and the beginning of the 18th century, Europe birthed the job description of the vampire hunter. They were payed by the 'head' of the vampire discovered and decapitated. So...we can see that those hunters may have just been doing this (pretending it was true) for their own gain...
In 1746, french theologist Augustine Calmet published a scientific paper on vampires.
Mary Therese sent her personal physician to investigate these claims and the he concluded that there was no such thing as vampirism.
Despite this, the Vampire has remained one of the most famous mythological folklore creatures of the Slavic people and the Europe as a continent.