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Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Vampire Legends of New Orleans

New Orleans is an eerie place. It’s so Gothic in one sense. So dangerous in another. Altogether, it’s highly mysterious. I mentioned in my last note that I had gone on a vampire tour in the French Quarter, so I felt it mandatory that share with you what was given to my ears. Why? Being frightened is better when you can share the experience, and seeing how it is Saturday, and I am back in Baton Rouge with nothing better to do, I thought I would write these stories down.

A certain mysterious man walked the streets of New Orleans a few decades ago. But for the subject matter at hand, our story stretches further back to France in the illustrious 1700’s. For there was also a certain, mysterious man who charmed the courts of Europe. His name was the Comte Saint Germaine. –A very strange, extraordinary, enigmatical character. He was a master of the piano and the violin. Could converse in 6 different languages. His skills as a conversationalist were unrivaled. (a skill that is nowadays a lost art.) His wealth unfathomable; He carried gems around in his clothing. And no one knew how he came into such wealth. No one knew anything about his family, where he came from and who he was. One of his greatest passions was alchemy. And he was believed to have an extraordinary talent for not aging. Maybe it was his vast knowledge of cosmetics and herbs. The philosopher Voltaire called him, “the man who knows everything and who never dies.” No one really knows his age. He looked about 40. And continued to do so for over half a century. As charming and engaging as he was, and how he graced the dinner table of many dukes and kings even, no one had ever saw him eat anything. Only sip his wine, exquisitely, and ramble on about everything from history to chemistry. To this day, this mysterious figure has his own occult following. From theosophists to complete way-out-there mystics. He was purported to die in the year 1784, though no one ever really saw his death. And some claim to have seen him many years after this date. But nevertheless, he disappeared from court life (I would too if I knew that the French Revolution was coming; which some people claim he did have knowledge of).

Fast forward to the 1920’s in the jazz-raving city called New Orleans and there appears a man by the name of Jacques Saint Germaine. And in almost every caliber of description this same character matches that of the Comte above. Around 40 years of age, with heavy, heavy money bags, and the most fascinating of dinner guests. And still a complete mystery as to who he was and where he came from. He would throw lavish parties and invite all the proper and elite. Everyone would sit there divulged in the conversation and the food, and curiously enough, this Jacques would never eat a morsel, only sip his wine.
But one night he had a lady stay a bit late and out on his balcony this Saint Germaine grabbed her and tried to bite her neck. She escaped by falling from the balcony and then ran and reported the incident to the police. When the police actually decided to do something about it, Jacques Saint Germaine had entirely vanished. They searched his apartment and they found certain tablecloths and each of them laid out with large splotches of blood on them. They searched the kitchen. No sign of food or that food had ever been there. All they found where bottles of wine. And after pouring themselves a glass, drinking it, and then spitting it out, the authorities, vouched that this was not only wine in these bottles, but wine mixed with human blood.

New Orleans leads our nation’s murder rate. Not only that, but it has always been a notorious place for missing persons. –That is, people just disappearing and no one really knowing what has happened to them. It has been the influx of all the diverse culture that makes New Orleans what it is, that has enabled, perhaps some of the unlucky to be overlooked between the intermingling of the cultures. The blood of the French, the Spanish, the Indian, the African, the Creole, the English, all mixed together here where the mosquito is not so picky. Nor perhaps, other creatures.

John and Wayne Carter were brothers. Seemed to be normal in every aspect. Had normal labor jobs down by the river and lived on a street in the French Quarter. It was the 1930’s and times were hard. So a man worked all he could and rested when he could. One day, a girl was reported to have escaped from the Carter brothers’ apartment, and ran to the authorities. Her wrists were cut. Not enough to cause immediate death, but more so, to drain slowly of that red source of life, over the course of several days. The policemen ran to this 3rd story apartment and found 4 others tied to chairs with their wrists sliced in the same fashion also. Some had been there for many days. The story was that both of these brothers had abducted each of them and would drink their blood at the end of every day when they came home from work. They also found about 14 other dead bodies. The cops waited that night for the return of the brothers and when they did, it took 7 to 8 of them to hold down these two averaged size men who had been doing manual labor all day. A few years later when they were finally executed, the bodies were placed in a New Orleans vault. Cemeteries in New Orleans are fanciful in their own making. Not only are they more ornate than the rest of our nation’s, but they recycle them using the same vault over and over again. The remains sift down into the back, bottom of the vault, when it is all rubble, and the new body is slid inside. After many years, they were placing some other Carter in this grave and what they found in the vault was nothing. No John or Wayne. They were gone. To this day, many sightings have occurred in the French Quarter that match the descriptions of these two brothers almost exactly. Years later, an owner of their apartment, saw two figures that resembled them outside on their balcony one night whispering to each other. Both figures jumped off the top of the 3rd story balcony and took off running.

The rumor is that if a vampire drinks of your blood 7 nights in a row, then and only then can you become a vampire. Some of those kidnapped in the Carter brothers apartment had been there over 7 days. One warped fellow, named Felipe, went on to become one of the nation’s biggest serial killer. And of course, he would do more than just kill them, he was believed to drink all 32 of his victims’ blood.

During the early colonization days of New Orleans, France was having a hard time getting women to go over there. (One of the necessities for building any colony). This was mostly due to the fact that the men originally sent to New Orleans were all sorts of thieves and murderers, and culprits of every type and cast. (Not to mention all the snakes, the alligators, mosquitos, and humidity). Eventually some women were sent, (some sources say they were almost nuns, some say they were prostitutes) but nevertheless few of them made it. Many of them stayed in Mobile, Alabama when their voyaging ship ported there and they were told what type of riff-raff they were almost tricked into marrying. However, these girls had the most interesting of portmanteaus. They were shaped like little coffins. So, to the New Orleans men’s dismay all that arrived in New Orleans were 300 of these coffin-like suitcases. Some stories say they are empty, some say they contained the undead. To this day they are reported being kept in the attic in a convent in the French Quarter where the windows to this attic are nailed shut because they have a strange way of just opening by themselves. Years and years later, in 1978, two amateur reporters demanded to the priest to let them in and see these coffins. The priest, of course, denied their entrance. So one night these two men attempted a stake out on the convent premises. They climbed over a wall with their entire recording equipment and set up their workstation. The next morning, on that very street was found strewn about, the reporters’ equipment. And there on the front porch of the convent’s door steps were found the almost decapitated bodies of these two men. 80% of their blood was gone. This is scientifically impossible for any normal murderer to accomplish. It baffles investigators to this day and this crime is still completely unsolved.

Such are the stories that were told to me a few nights ago, and the reason it was hard for me to get to sleep. We were also shown certain settings of the movie “Interview With A Vampire” which was set in New Orleans. An intriguing movie based on a New Orleans author Anne Rice.


Blogger Damien said...

You can make lots of information easy & fun to read. You have a gift!
Grace to you, Damien

1:26 PM  
Anonymous the author said...


10:33 PM  
Anonymous Rachel said...

Jeez, I went on the same tour and tried to explain it to my husband back home, and forgot most of it. I'll just send him the link because you pretty much nailed it word for word.
This was SUCH an AWESOME tour!

3:30 PM  
Anonymous Eva Campos said...

None of these stories are true. I have access to old newspapers, city directories, census data and nothing. St Germaine is not a New Orleans French name and the stories about the founding of the city are also false. Go to the library and check it out.

12:19 PM  
Anonymous eva campos said...

I guess you could say that these people didn't submit to the city directories or the census but their crimes would have been in the newspaper and I checked - there is nothing. If you would share your sources for these stories I would be happy to retract my accusation

12:24 PM  
Anonymous frankie said...

You pretty much nailed each story ...except that when Jacques Saint Germaine attacked the hooker .... yes she was a hooker.they were inside the house she was faceing a mirror when she seen him move faster then any human. About that time is when he bit her neck 2 of his friends around the same time knocked on his door to have him return back to the party. Thins gave the hooker a chance to escape.That is when she jumped through the window.And fell to the street below.She did not run to the cops. Her leg was broken the people in the french quarter heard her screams and called the police.When the police got to the house they found Jacques Saint Germaine standing near the Hooker.They asked him what happened and he replied that she was drunk and fell.The police being the most trust worthy people at the time (grin)told Jacques Saint Germaine if you pay us this will go away.They then told him he could come down the next day to make a statement it wasn't until they got the girl to the hospital did they find out what really happened.Before she died.Thats when they went back to Jacques Saint Germaine house and no traces of him were found.There were no blood stains on the table cloths they found the blood under the area rugs.They then tried to find a murder weapon but were unable to find one.Jacques Saint Germaine had no knives in the kitchen or food they only found many bottles of this wine he always drank.The police took the wine aw part of there evidence.The chef of police took one bottle home.When he took a sip of the wine at dinner that night he was surprised to find out it wasnt wine at all but blood.He threw up on the table....

1:21 AM  
Anonymous CASIE said...

I went on this tour and I thought i was a great experience. I wish i could go back. I enjoy reading these stories every once in a while. P.S you made this english class interesting.



12:31 PM  
Blogger Crystal Parsons said...

I wanna be a vampire! Comte come adopt me!! :)

7:04 PM  

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