top of page
  • Writer's pictureTrevor McQueen

Vampires in New Orleans

Updated: Sep 21, 2022

The French Quarter has several spots containing vampire legends. Among them are three that stand out the most: the Casket Girls, Jacques Saint Germain, and the Carter Brothers. Be sure to take our tour so our guides can show you exactly where they are. In the meantime, here's a teaser for your vampiric journey through the city.

1. The Casket Girls

The Old Ursuline Convent is said to hold an attic full of vampires. Three hundred years ago, New Orleans was a frontier town desperate for women. France emptied the prisons of Paris and sent prisoners and prostitutes here. Around that time, France also sent the "filles a la cassette" to its colonies. These casket girls were young women of a higher class than their predecessors, famous for each bringing with them a container, or cassette, of their belongings to the new world. But what exactly were those containers? Were they simply trunks of belongings? Were they beds for the casket girls? Or were they beds for something else that made the voyage across the Atlantic Ocean with them?

2. Jacques Saint Germain.

A gorgeous home with a bright red door graces the French Quarter with its presence on Royal Street. A philanthropist, Jacques Saint Germain, is said to have lived there in the early 1900s. He threw lavish parties everyone loved Jacques for it. But he would make outrageous claims, such as being 500 years old or Transylvanian royalty. And then there was his exclusive red wine that he never shared or identified...

Circa 1700, the Comte de Saint Germain was born in Europe. He grew into a member of European high society and became known as an adventurer, philosopher, musician, and alchemist. Mystery surrounded this man. He always deflected his origins by making wild claims, such as being 500 years old or being Transylvanian royalty. Coincidence?

3. The Carter Brothers.

In the years of the Great Depression, John and Wayne Carter made their livings in New Orleans as best they could. But one day, a young woman with cuts on her arms burst into the police department claiming that John and Wayne had kidnapped her and cut her to drink her blood! The ensuing police confrontation with John and Wayne resulted in a fight that required multiple officers to subdue each brother and arrest them. Further police investigation discovered dead bodies in the brothers' apartment! John and Wayne were executed and once pronounced dead, locked away in their family tomb.

At least for a while. A year and a day passed before the tomb was reopened. You can guess who was nowhere to be found...

4. What drew so many vampires to New Orleans over the years? The lavish parties? No shortage of prey coming and going from the port? Perhaps we should turn to Anne Rice to find out!

"This was New Orleans, a magical and magnificent place to live. In which a vampire, richly dressed and gracefully walking through the pools of light of one gas lamp after another might attract no more Notice in the evening than hundreds of other exotic creatures - if he attracted any at all, if anyone stopped to whisper behind a fan, 'That man... how pale, how he gleams... how he moves. It's not natural!' A city in which a vampire might be gone before the words had even passed the lips, seeking out the alleys in which he could see lie a cat, the darkened bars in which sailors slept with their heads on the tables, great high-ceilinged hotel rooms where a lone figure might sit, her feet upon an embroidered cushion, let legs covered with a lace counterpane, her head bent under the tarnished light of a single candle, never seeing the great shadow move across the plaster flowers of the ceiling, never seeing the long white fingers reached to press the fragile flame."

Rice, Anne. Interview with the Vampire. New York

Ballantine Books, 1976.

Films and books about vampires can no doubt be traced back to the writings of Anne Rice. She published Interview with the Vampire in 1976, the first of the Vampire Chronicles series. Nowadays, we have (at least) 2 vampire events on Halloween weekend, one being thrown by the Anne Rice Vampire Lestat Fan Club. This club has been operating for over thirty years! The books' settings often return to New Orleans and flatter the city with Rice's vibrant descriptions. Interview with the Vampire was adapted into a movie in 1994 and will soon become a TV show this fall.

May Anne Rice rest in peace, for she passed too soon in 2021. But her vampiric legacy remains strong in New Orleans, and will for years to come. Other vampire projects in New Orleans include The Originals, Black and Night, and Dracula 2000. We also argue that she made vampires sexy ;)

37 views0 comments


bottom of page