I hope you’ll forgive the late blog post. The last couple of weeks have been quite busy. I spent a few days in New Orleans, then came home and finished laying out the summer issue of Tales of the Talisman Magazine. After that, I had a busy and wonderful weekend at Las Cruces Comic Con. While in New Orleans, I dropped by the Boutique du Vampyre on St. Ann Street in the French Quarter and had a nice visit with the owner, Marita Crandle. While there, I picked up a book, New Orleans Ghosts, Voodoo, and Vampires by Kalila Katherina Smith.
Like a lot of books recounting hauntings in a region, this one gave a number of unsubstantiated accounts. As a skeptic, nothing really convinced me of the existence of ghosts or real vampires. That’s not to say it was a poor book. In fact, I learned a lot of New Orleans history and there were many compelling accounts. The book convinced me that it would be fun to take one of the Haunted New Orleans tours when I next make it back to the city.
Perhaps the most compelling story in the book was about a fellow named Jacques St. Germaine. As a fan of vampire fiction, I’m well acquainted with Chelsea Quinn Yarbro’s vampire the Comte de Saint-Germain. Her character was inspired by a real man who lived in the eighteenth century. The real Saint-Germain pursued interests in science and music. Legends surrounded him claiming he didn’t age and pursued alchemy.
According to New Orleans Ghosts, Voodoo, and Vampires, Jacques St. Germaine occupied a house at the corner of Ursuline and Royal Streets in the early twentieth century. He claimed to be a descendant of the legendary Count Saint-Germain. Just to note, I’m using the spelling of Jacques’s name from Smith’s book. I’ve seen some authors who spell the two versions the same.
It is said that Jacques St. Germaine threw a party for the elite of New Orleans, serving the finest food and drink, but didn’t eat a bite himself during the party. He did drink what appeared to be red wine. It turns out Jacques never really fit in with New Orleans society, and began hanging out in the bars on Bourbon Street.
Some weeks later, a woman threw herself out of Jacques’s upstairs window and shouted for the police. Her legs were broken in several places. When they arrived, she claimed that he had brought her home from a pub, then attacked her, trying to bite her neck. The police then investigated his house and found mysterious blood stains and no sign of food in the house. It seems that Jacques disappeared soon after this.
In recent years, some tourists have mentioned encountering a man dressed from head to toe in black, often with a black leather jacket, even on hot, steamy New Orleans nights. In one case, he approached a woman with seeming high speed and asked her to light his cigarette. He told her, “It’s a good night for Jack.” Others have reported seeing a similarly dressed stranger, also calling himself Jack. This has led some to suspect that “Jack” could be Jacques St-Germaine, still wandering the French Quarter.
This is a great month for vampire tales. Not only are we in the run-up to autumn and Halloween, but my novel Dragon’s Fall: Rise of the Scarlet Order is half off this month while Lachesis Publishing celebrates their anniversary. Vampires of the Scarlet Order is only 99 cents.