The Armenian Vampire

In the book, “Transcaucasia: Sketches of the Nations and Races Between the Black Sea and the Caspian,” (1854) A travel guide of the Baron von Hauxthausen told him a story about an Armenian vampire. Peter Neu said that this particular type of vampire has a different way of killing its victims and usually dwell on the upper mountain.  The vampire was named Dakhanavar.  Based on the recollection of Hauxthausen:
 “There once dwelt in a cavern in this country a vampire, called Dakhanavar, who could not endure anyone to penetrate into these mountains or count their valleys. Everyone who attempted this had in the night his blood sucked by the monster, from the soles of his feet, until he died. The vampire was however at last outwitted by two cunning fellows: they began to count the valleys and when night came on they lay down to sleep, taking care to place themselves with the feet of the one under the head of the other. In the night the monster came, felt as usual and found a head: then he felt at the other end, and found a head there also. “Well,” he cried. “I have gone through the whole 366 Valleys of these mountains, and have sucked the blood of people without end, but never yet did I find any one with two heads and no feet!” SO saying, he ran away and was never more seen in that country; but ever after the people have known that the mountain has 366 Valleys.”

The name of the supposed vampire was said to be taken from the word dajan which means cruel.  Unlike the other vampires, where there were a lot of documented files that can be cited as a source, Armenian vampire has very limited resources.  They are often pictured out as incompetent compared to the other types of vampires where they can easily outwit their victims.  The “Dark World of Supernatural Beings That Haunt Us, Hunt Us and Hunger for Us” describe the vampire as:

“The Dakhanavar is ferociously territorial and will assault anyone who tries to make a map of its lands, or even count the hills and valleys in the region, correctly fearing that a thorough knowledge of the landscape would reveal all of its secret hiding places. Even today some travelers in Armenia, particularly those going into the region of Mount Ararat, generally take precautions against evil beings such as Dakhanvar. Often, they put small cloves of raw garlic in various pockets or mash it up and rub the paste on their shoes. At night, if camping out of doors, these travelers build a large fire and toss garlic bulbs into the flames. The combination of garlic aroma and a blazing fire will drive almost all of the world’s many species of vampires away.”


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