Jonathan Weiss is not your average French Quarter tour guide; you may start to believe that he knows what he’s talking about on an uncomfortable level, which makes his roving story all the more enticing. I took a trip through the French Quarter that I thought I knew so well for the Deluxe Vampire Tour one steamy evening with Jonathan and an intrigued, unsuspecting family of tourists. As Jonathan led us from the eerily quiet Pirate’s and Pere Antoine’s alleys through the busy streets, he told us tales that would make your skin crawl; they’re so terrifying because you know they’re true.
Jonathan taught me that my very favorite home in the Quarter was actually the scene of a gruesome crime committed by a man that may very well have been a creature of the night. He was a real guy, and he did seem to live an extremely long, storied life. Jonathan also taught me that something strange has been lurking in the attic of the Ursuline Convent for a very long time, and what’s in there should probably be a concern for everyone in the city.
As the night drew on and the hair was standing tall on the back of my neck, those of us who weren’t of legal age slowly walked home to bed, and the rest of us continued our evening by sneaking through the streets to a secret vampire bar (no, I can’t tell you where it is, but if you ask the proprietors of the Boutique du Vampyre, they may let you in on the secret). There’s a password to get in, but those in this tour receive a complimentary glass of wine. We lounged in the dim, sexy rooms with cushy furniture and oddities all around. I couldn’t help but get a Love Potion drink while I took in the strange, intoxicating art. I also enjoyed peering at the peons on the street below from the gorgeous balcony that seemed alive with all of the fragrant herbs they were growing for their drinks. I think I’ve said too much.
What makes this trek so intriguing is Jonathan’s delivery of the terror tales. It’s obvious that he’s been trained as a classical actor, so he knows precisely how to draw you in and manipulate your perceptions to give you an experience that you won’t soon forget. His stories of the secretive, scary nature of the French Quarter will certainly haunt your dreams.