Unusual Vampires

Writers sometimes shy away from vampire characters because they’re so common. Fortunately, folklore is full of bloodsucking beasts. Here are a few unusual vampires that might make good characters.

The Dakhanavar

This vampire comes from Armenia, and he’s got a couple of unusual attributes, starting with a foot fetish—rather than bite his victims’ necks, he sucks blood from their toes. In fact, legend says two men successfully evaded the Dakhanavar by sleeping head-to-foot, which convinced the vampire he’d encountered a very strange human with two heads and no feet. Secondly, the Dakhanavar’s got some protective instincts. He defends his homeland from invaders by only attacking travelers.

For more: Dakhanavar on Wikipedia 

Next up, we have the Gierach

This vampire hails from Prussia, and kills in an unusual way: he climbs to the top of bell towers and speaks his victim’s name. Most people hear a bird calling, but the future victim hears their name and despairs. This is what the Gierach feeds on: not blood, but psychic energy, especially anguish and sorrow.

And finally, we’ve got a case where undead really means un-dead: Living vampires

Vampires are often created by conditions at death, whether it be an especially violent end, death in a state of sin, or death due to predation by another vampire. But there are also vampires created by conditions at birth, which cause people to spend their lives as vampires, pre-death. A partial list includes children born with a caul, the seventh child of a seventh child who are all the same sex, or a child born during the 12 days of Christmas (Dec 25-Jan 6). You can also have living vampires created by their own actions, such as sorcery, deals with the devil, or just being really evil.

Want some vampire writing prompts? Check out my Weird Wednesday blog posts about the Irish vampire Dearg-Due and how to Outwit the Undead. 

You can also read my free queer vampire romance Tollense: a history professor falls in love with his best friend, a 3000-year-old vampire.


Guiley, Rosemary Ellen. The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters. Checkmark Books, 2004. On Goodreads

Maberry, J., & Kramer, D. F. (2009). They bite: Endless cravings of supernatural predators. Kensington Publishing Corp.  On Goodreads 

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