Dullahan is a recurrent enemy in the Castlevania series. He is a cursed headless man eternally in search for his lost head. It appears sometimes as a skeleton and other times as a ghostly armored knight.


The Headless Horseman Pursuing Ichabod Crane by John Quidor (1858).

In Irish and Celtic mythology, the Dullahan (or Gan Ceann, "without a head" in Irish) was a type of unseelie (dark) fairy, often represented in the form of a headless man riding a black horse and carrying his own head in his arm, which he often used as a lantern to light his way, and sometimes as a ball to indulge in macabre ball games. His eyes would be massive and darting, while his mouth would constantly display a frightening smile touching both sides of his face.

The ancient Irish believed that when a Dullahan stopped riding, a person would die. He would call out the victim's name and kill them by taking away their soul. The only way to be saved would be to present him with gold. Being scared by the material, he would flee.

This monster inspired the famous Headless Horseman from the 1820 Gothic novel The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, who would track down Ichabod Crane at the end of the story, as the latter leaves the village of Greensburgh.


Dullahan's appearance varies depending on the game. He is sometimes seen riding a horse or wielding a shield.

He first appeared as a rapier-wielding headless skeleton in Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse (called the Headless Hunter). This form was used again in Super Castlevania IV, where his skull (or an unsuitable one) is carried in one arm. In Symphony of the Night, translated as Dhuron, he gained the ability to raise his sword in the air and have it charged by electricity, making him more dangerous.

In Castlevania: Lament of Innocence, he appears as a regular armor without a head, armed with a sword and a shield with a face on it that breathes fire. This sword and shield armored version returned as a boss (although now decorated with some furs and a red coat) in the subsequent Curse of Darkness, Akumajō Dracula: The Arcade and Pachislot Akumajō Dracula II.

There are a few differences between all four of these versions of Dullahan, however. Dullahan in Lament of Innocence had a normal silver sword and his shield was decorated with a face. In Curse of Darkness, Dullahan's sword and shield are glowing and purple, and as stated before, he wears furs and a red coat and is much more agile. The Arcade version of Dullahan looks much like in Lament of Innocence but lacks a shield. Pachislot II's Dullahan looks like the Dullahan from Curse of Darkness, but with no shield, a different sword and riding a horse.


Castlevania: Rondo of Blood

This enemy first appeared as a boss in Rondo of Blood, where it is shown as a ghostly knight wearing heavy armor with no helmet and armed with a giant lance. Its zombie-like head floated about the room. This style boss returned in Dracula X and Portrait of Ruin.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Dhuron is encountered as a lesser enemy in the Long Library. It is a purple skeleton wielding a rapier in one hand and his own head in the other. He only uses his sword to attack, although he can also cast a lightning bolt on his sword to boost its attack strength and strike faster at Alucard (his sword will be shining and its power doubled from 15 ATT to 30 ATT in the powered-up state).

Castlevania: Circle of the Moon

See also: Dead Warrior

In Circle of the Moon, Dullahan rides half of an undead horse that is missing its hind quarters. He holds his sword above his head while charging back and forth. His design, including garments and a cape, is reminiscent of the Headless Horseman.

Castlevania: Curse of Darkness

Dullahan is fought in a large square room in the Infinite Corridor, the walls of which are covered in alcoves containing heads in glass boxes.

The enemy himself is a large suit of armor, with a fur-lined neck and red coat. He wields a glowing purple sword and a glowing purple shield. Both armaments are covered in ghostly purple human faces and the sword emits a trail of what seems to be souls.

He will attack using sword slash combos and shield rushes. He will occasionally leap into the air and slam his sword into the ground, emitting several shockwaves. It can be stolen from when he is in the air and just after he hits the ground.

He also has two charged up attacks:

  1. He will hold his sword outwards above his head with both hands, where it will emit a blue glow from the tip and slam it into the ground, surrounding himself in a damaging blue aura.
  2. He will charge his sword pointing straight above his head, where several blue rings with appear around the sword, and swing it down, firing a laser out of the tip. Dullahan will spin around to cover the whole room with the laser.

Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin

Dullahan is the first boss in the game; he is a gigantic, headless knight who has his head floating around him. If the head attaches to his body, it will unleash a series of heavy damaging dark energy rays, each aimed to the player's current position and with slight homing capabilities. After he vomits about five of these, the head will detach and float about again. Damage can only be done to his body, while attacking the head will have no effect.

Castlevania: Order of Shadows

Concept art for a skeletal Dullahan boss was provided on the website for the game, although the boss did not make it into the final version of the game.

Akumajō Dracula: The Arcade

External videos:

Pachislot Akumajō Dracula II

The headless Dullahan appears mounted on a horse and armed with a sword in Pachislot Akumajō Dracula II. In order to be defeated, he must first be knocked off of his horse and then slain.

Castlevania: Harmony of Despair

Dullahan looks like he did in Portrait of Ruin. He is not a boss, but instead, he is an advanced enemy. Instead of his body being vulnerable and head invincible, it is the opposite; his head being the only weak spot and his armor invulnerable.

Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls

Dullahan appears as a boss in Grimoire of Souls. He appears way bigger than previous appearances and retains his appearance from Portrait of Ruin, which is implied to be the result of the Grimoire text it occupied being rewritten to such an extent that it became abnormally powerful due to Hermina's meddling. Because of this, Jonathan Morris was left in danger of being killed by it (and indirectly endangering the catalogue version of Charlotte Aulin, thanks largely to her ties to the era the Grimoire represented).

Enemy Data

See: Dullahan/Enemy Data

Item Data

Item Data: Dullahan
Image Name - Game
Type / Users Attributes / Consume Statistics / Sell Found Notes
Hide Cuirass Icon.png Hide Cuirass (Leather Breastplate) - Symphony of the Night [edit]
Tanned leather cuirass Body (Body Armor)
DEF +2
Find: Alchemy Laboratory
Drop: Dhuron
Rapier Icon.png Rapier (jpn) - Symphony of the Night [edit]
Long bladed sword Short Sword (Rapier)
Attrib: Cut
ATT +5
Drop: Armor Lord, Dhuron
Special: ↓↘→ + [Attack] for repeated strike (ATT = 15)
Platinum Armor Icon.png Platinum Armor (Platinum Plate) - Circle of the Moon [edit]
Plate armor made of platinum Body (Body Armor)
DEF +150
Drop: Dark Armor, Dullahan, Holy Armor
Thunderbird card.gif Thunderbird - Circle of the Moon [edit]
The legendary Thunderbird is said to have been able to release lightning. Has the power of Electricity. Attribute Card
Attrib: Electricity
Drop: Were-Panther (1.1%), Dullahan (1.4%)
Magical Ticket.png Magical Ticket - Lament of Innocence [edit]
If you use it, you will be taken to the front of Rinaldo's house. Leon Belmont  Sell: $100  Buy: $200 Find: Castle Entrance, Rinaldo's shop
Drop: Dullahan
Wine LoI.png Wine - Lament of Innocence [edit]
1000 years old, millennium vintage. Recovery Item
Leon Belmont 
HP +80
Sell: $790 
Drop: Axe Knight, Dullahan
Purple Glitter.png Purple Glitter - Curse of Darkness [edit]
A crystal that glows a strange purple. Very rare, said to fall from the sky. Material
Sell: $300  Steal: Dullahan Lv.49
Crest.png Crest - Curse of Darkness [edit]
All stats increased. Pick-Up
Trevor Belmont 
ATK +5, DEF +5, HP +50, Hearts +5
Find: Aiolon Ruins, Dracula's Castle
Drop: All bosses, excepted Isaac's second fight, Death and Dracula.
Conditions: Item disappears if the player does not pick it up before leaving the Boss Room. 
Relic PoR Icon.png Acrobat Cube (jpn) - Portrait of Ruin [edit]
Spring off partner's shoulders to jump again in midair. Relic
Jonathan, Charlotte 
Find: City of Haze
Vol Confodere Icon.png Vol Confodere - Order of Ecclesia [edit]
A powerful rapier glyph. Glyph
Attrib: Slash
Consume: 10 MP 
ATK +11
Drop: Dullahan (10%)
Iron Cuirass Icon.png Iron Plate - Harmony of Despair [edit]
Standard breastplate made of iron. Chest (Body Armor)
Soma, Alucard, Jonathan, Julius, Richter 
Attrib: Lightning -25
DEF +6
Sell: $750 
Rarity: **
Bullet Soul HD Icon.png Dullahan - Harmony of Despair [edit]
Unleash a vengeful spirit. Bullet Soul
Consume: 15 MP  ATK +12
Rarity: ***
Steal: Dullahan (2.8%)


  • Headless Horrors from Altered Beast
    (Sega, 1988)

    The Dullahan-type enemies from some Castlevania titles bear an uncanny resemblance to the "Headless Horror", an enemy from the 1988 mythological-themed, side-scrolling fighting game Altered Beast. In Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse, a similar enemy was introduced, known at the time as the "Headless Hunter". The similarities go as far as portraying him holding his skull in one hand and attacking with the other (although in the Castlevania games he was given a rapier). His clothing, however, is almost identical, consisting of an old and ripped purple robe.

See also

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