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We all know that New Orleans is a city filled with the supernatural. From The Originals on CW to Anne Rice’s novels to AHS: Coven on FX and all the books, movies, shows, museums, and stories in between, they sure showcase that. But if you're planning a trip to the Big Easy yourself, first grab a copy of New Orleans Vampires by Marita Woywod Crandle. Instead of the made-up, TV-perfect vampires we know and love, Crandle will take you into the world of real vampires in New Orleans. And while they may not always be as glamorous, or as beautiful, as our favorite vampires of TV and books, they are the real, truthful, traditional vampires of New Orleans—and it's best to know who to look out for on your nightly strolls through the French Quarter.
The book itself is split into four main sections with subsections contained within each story. How Crandle only picked four stories out of the millions of vampiric lores circulating New Orleans is unknown to me, but I can tell you that each of the four stories are well-known, well-documented, and well-researched. And you'll most likely hear the stories reiterated while in New Orleans yourself. I won't ruin the stories for you, in case you decide to read the book yourself or visit New Orleans and immerse yourself into the vampiric culture.
Story 1 focuses on the group known as The Casket Girls, which were a group of girls who came to Louisiana to be brides to the men trying to settle New Orleans. These girls had a terrible journey across the ocean, and it is believed that somewhere along the way they became vampires. What happens when they get to New Orleans though? That's up to you to discover and decide.
Story 2 is on the Comte St. Germain, who is a supposed vampire that was living in New Orleans after escaping from France when the King's Court became suspicious of his never-aging form. How was the Comte St. Germain discovered? Was he ever caught? Or is he still lurking the French Quarter to this very day?
Story 3 is on the Carter Brothers, who (big surprise!) were brother vampires who would kidnap and bleed their victims in the French Quarter. How they did so and their eventual undoing is the best part of their story though, so read on and discover.
Finally, the last story is about vampire evolution throughout the centuries. It focuses on the many ways vampires have come to settle in New Orleans, and how they became such a huge tourist attraction for the city. There are examples of vampire stores, bars, museums, and other fun attractions to check out during your vampiric journey.
For those few remaining skeptics...
For those of you who have read this far, and are still skeptical about Crandle's vampire knowledge and the authenticity of her book, look no further than the afterward of her book. In it, she explains her own, personal vampiric experience within the confines of her shop, Boutique du Vampyre, which I also suggest checking out if you take a trip! Crandle explains how she is sure she met a real-life vampire in her shop and how it inspired her to write this novel as a way to deeper explore her love of the New Orleans vampire culture.
However, if you don't want to take the trip, here's a list of some New Orleans vampires to learn from...
- Any of Anne Rice's vampire books! They're creepy, bloodthirsty, and totally New Orleans.
- If you don't feel like reading, Interview with a Vampire is also a movie.
- If you have a teen who is obsessed with vampires (because who isn't?), chances are you've heard of The Originals, so watch it with them and discover just how deep vampire tradition gets down in the Big Easy.
- Probably the easiest way to discover some New Orleans vampire lore without leaving your house is to go onto YouTube and search "New Orleans vampire," then just head down the rabbit hole. By the time you emerge, you'll be a full-fledged vampirologist.