Poland, along with many eastern European countries, has a long history of belief in vampires. Just this week graves have been unearthed showing that suspected vampires were decapitated. You can read the full article here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2361883/Archeologists-Poland-unearth-vampire-graves-containing-decapitated-skeletons-heads-placed-legs.html
A number of "real life" stories from the early 1800s recount similar methods to rid the world of vampires. In The Vampire of the Carpathian Mountains, Dumas tells of driving a stake through the heart, then burning the creature in his scary (and only) vampire story.