Fear Catcher

Lilit Mkhitaryan


Tsovinar Araqelyan is 39 years old and lives in Garni, which is 30km away from the capital. Everybody in the village recognizes Tsovinar as a fear catcher/ candle pourer. 

In Armenian villages and cities, the art of fear catching has been used for centuries. For some, fear catchers can take the place of doctors and psychologists. When a child gets scared, for example, many parents first reach out to the local fear catcher. They only visit a psychologist in extreme situations. 

Tsovinar says scared and stressed individuals come to her everyday. Her clients are not limited to family members and fellow villagers. Some people travel to Garni from other regions of Armenia to seek her help. 

Her clients praise her ability to help them. They credit her strong energy with helping them overcome their fears in a single day. For them, that makes her a better option than psychologists, who might require several sessions to solve a problem. 

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