A Vampire Culture That?s to Die For
Oct 31 2018

A Vampire Culture That’s to Die For

By: Kimmie Tubre

During the mid-1970s, Anne Rice released her first book, Interview with the Vampire, which would later be the first of a series of books titled The Vampire Chronicles. These books mostly revolved around the character Lestat, originally a French noble who eventually made his way to New Orleans after becoming undead.

A Vampire Culture That’s to Die For

Rice’s books had an audience of their own, and New Orleans was really put in the forefront when Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, and Kirsten Dunst all came together for the 1994 adaptation of her famous first novel. At that time, their characters became the best-known fiction vampires of New Orleans. 


New Orleans and its History of Vampire Culture

After Rice, other Louisiana vampire tales arose, including The Originals, which is set in New Orleans, and True Blood, a TV series based on another series of novels titled The Southern Vampire Mysteries. These stories took place in the fictional town of Bon Temp, Louisiana.

While all of these characters are made up, there is something to be said about why vampire culture is so huge here. Undeniably creepy, New Orleans is old, gracefully decaying, and considered to be one of the most haunted cities in the United States. All of these aspects set New Orleans up to be the Transylvania of America. 

While we can agree that Rice certainly put the city’s vampire culture on the map, New Orleans has a history of vampire activity that is sure to turn your fictional beliefs into facts. 


Could it be the Count Saint Germain?

Let’s begin this journey with the eerie mystery of Jacques Saint Germain. During the early 1900s, the mysterious yet charming Jacques moved into a luxurious corner home in the French Quarter. Jacques welcomed himself to the city by throwing a fancy dinner party, inviting the city’s most elite to attend. While Jacques served his prestigious guests a multi-coursed feast, he was never seen eating any of the prepared meal; in fact, he was only seen sipping red wine. If you think that’s weird, it gets weirder.

A Vampire Culture That’s to Die For

Jacques’s name, appearance, demeanor, wealth, and suspicious behavior were very similar to that of the Count Saint Germain of France, who allegedly died in 1784. Despite local records stating his death, no one actually officially saw him die, and many claimed to see him around Europe after his recorded death. 

As for Jacques Saint Germain, it’s said that he was a mysterious man who likely murdered several prostitutes and consumed their blood. After one of his victims escaped, she reported to the police that he had tried to bite her neck and had a force and strength unlike anything she had ever experienced. After that incident, he vanished, never to be seen nor heard from again. But even today, people claim to occasionally see him roaming the streets of the Quarter. You may even get the pleasure of meeting a man several centuries old. If you do, be sure to protect your neck.


Then There Were the Carter Brothers

Our second stop on this vampire journey takes us to the bizarre events that occurred after a bleeding woman entered a police station with slit wrists, accusing two brothers of draining and drinking her blood. The injured woman led those police to the brothers’ apartment, where they found several other living victims, tied up and bleeding. Along with the living victims were a number of dead ones. 

When the brothers arrived home, legend states that it took many officers to apprehend the two medium-built brothers and that their strength was not human. The brothers, John and Wayne Carter, popped up during the Great Depression. They worked normal labor jobs and got an apartment in the French Quarter, where they’d retire every night drinking a cup of blood as a nightcap. Due to the struggling era, finding victims was easy for them.

After their execution, the brothers were buried in a family vault. Several years later, that vault was opened, and their bodies were allegedly gone!

The Carter brothers went on to become two of the most feared vampires in the city’s vampire history. And they are said to look exactly the same today as they did then. Be sure to watch your back when you lurk in the Quarter’s streets at night. 


What Ever Happened to the Missing Casket Girls?

The final tale on our vampire journey is said to be pure legend. This might be true, but either way, the story is still a vital part of vampire history. 

During the late 70s, two journalists disobediently snuck into a secured part of a convent to get a better view of some mysterious casket-looking suitcases. The next morning, the two were found decapitated, with 80 percent of their blood drained, and their camera and equipment lay abandoned on the city’s streets. Who did this to the two journalists and why? 

A Vampire Culture That’s to Die For

Well, no one can confirm, but legend has it that in the beginning, it was very hard to get French women to come to New Orleans. When they did find a few brave broads, the women boarded the ships with the weirdest-looking luggage. The luggage looked like small coffins, and the women supposedly kept their belongings in there. When the ship arrived in New Orleans, the women were missing, but the casket-shaped suitcases were there—empty. Or were they? Many believed these casquettes carried vampires. These suitcases were sent to a convent where they had to be nailed shut because they kept mysteriously opening.

Years later, those nosey journalists came through and faced the ultimate consequences for their actions.

Whether based on fiction or fact, our fascination with vampires in the city is absolutely real. From vampire tours to the many books, shows, and movies, the vampire culture of New Orleans is sure to never die.  

Culture

How Do You Describe New Orleans?
The Rose Collaborative: Revitalizing St. Rose de Lima's Buildings