Armenia, Vampires in

Armenia, Vampires in

(pop culture)

Armenia is an ancient land situated between Turkey and Russia. It was the first land to make Christianity its state religion. The Armenian church is similar to the Eastern Orthodox churches, but did not follow the development of Orthodox theology through the fifth to seventh centuries. Late in the nineteenth century, Armenia was the location of a number of massacres by occupying Turkish soldiers. Throughout most of the twentieth century it was a part of the Soviet Union until that country broke up in the early 1990s.

Little has been written about vampirism in Armenia. Its place in vampire history is due to an account in an 1854 text by Baron August von Haxthausen that was mentioned by Montague Summers. Von Haxthausen visited Mount Ararat in the Caucasians. According to local legend there was a vampire, Dakhanavar, who protected the valleys in the area from intruders. He attacked travelers in the night and sucked the blood from people’s feet. He was outwitted by two men who heard of the vampire’s habits and slept with their feet under the other’s head. The vampire, frustrated by encountering a creature that seemed to have two heads and no feet, ran away and was never heard of again.

Sources:

Summers, Montague. The Vampire in Europe. London: Routledge, Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., 1929. 329 pp. Rept. New Hyde Park, NY: University Press, 1961. 329 pp.
von Haxthausen, August. Transcaucasia. London: Chapman and Hall, 1854. 448 pp.

Asasabonsam see: Africa, Vampires in

Asema see: South America, Vampires in