If there is an origin, a starting point for the presence of real vampires in Europe this may be it. The valley, situated north west of Garmisch in Bavaria, has no name, but does contain the four settlements of Altengen, Uhrfezen, Ehrlingen and Valgermehn.

The first mention of its existence is a book published by Anton de Tellenbarch, however it’s not known how much time passed between publication and the events of 1206 described in the book.

A group of heretics about to be burned at the stake, an over-zealous bishop wanting to make sure the victims perish, an unknown substance, probably red sulphur, thrown onto the fires and a cataclysmic explosion that destroys bishop, bystanders, heretics, village and valley.

Today, the valley is invisible to humans. Roads and tracks pass through the area, but at an undefined altitude vampire and human worlds separate in a scaled-up version of the Schroedinger’s Cat experiment; the collapse of a geographic superposition.

The southern edge of the village of Altengen. (photo taken by Elaine Daley)

In Toten Herzen Malandanti, the Bamberg witch Lena Siebert-Neved goes to great lengths to find the valley, seeing it as a place to conceal Malandanti activity. In Who Among Us… Frieda Schoenhofer follows Lena’s footsteps, unaware of what Lena was looking for. The valley is only accessible to the undead, but is generous in bringing about the circumstances necessary to gain access!

To date, no scientific studies have been carried out on the area, the cataclysm being too long ago and subject to too much supernatural speculation to generate the same interest as the Tunguska event. But as Toten Herzen become associated with the valley and its story, academic curiosity may soon follow.