~The Vampire~

Compte d' Saint Germain

Above is a portrait of the historical Compte d'Saint Germain, artist unknown.

The Tale of St. Germain

Of all the monsters and demons from the darkest corners of the human mind, none captures the imagination more than the vampire. Eternally young, irresistibly beautiful yet deadly, civilizations from as far back in human history as ancient Sumer record encounters with this breed of monster. In Europe, vampire epidemics have been reported as recently as the 1930s. And as a former European colony, it should come as no surprise that Louisiana would have its own legends concerning the undead. Perhaps the most remarkable legend is that of Saint Germain. Making his first appearance in the court of Louis XV of France, the Comte d’ Saint Germain endeared himself to the aristocrats by regaling them with events from his “life.” An alchemist by trade, he claimed to be in possession of the “elixir of life,” and to have been over six thousand years old. Contemporary accounts from the time record that despite being in the midst of many banquets and invited to the finest homes; he never ate at any of them. After a while, he left the French court and moved to Germany, where he was reported to have died. However, people continued to spot him throughout Europe even after his death.

In 1903, a handsome and charismatic young Frenchman named Jacques Saint Germain, claiming to be a descendant of the Comte, arrived in New Orleans, taking residence in a house at the corner of Royal and Ursuline streets. Possessing an eye for the ladies, Jacques was seen on the streets of the French Quarter on a nightly basis, with a different lady on his arm every night. His incursions came to an abrupt end one cold December night, when a woman’s piercing scream was heard coming from Jacques’ French Quarter home. The scream was quickly accompanied by the woman herself, who flung herself from the second story window, to land on the street below. As bystanders rushed to the aid of the young woman, she told them how Saint Germain attacked and bit her, and that she jumped out of the window to escape. She died later that evening at Charity Hospital in New Orleans. By the time the New Orleans police kicked in the door of Saint Germain’s home, he had escaped. However, what they did find was disturbing nonetheless. The stench of death greeted the nostrils of the policemen, who found not only large bloodstains in the wooden flooring, but even wine bottles filled with human blood. The house was declared a crime scene and sealed off. From that evil night to the present day, no one lives in that home in the French Quarter. It is private property and all taxes have been paid to date, but no one has been able to contact the present owner or owners. The only barrier between the valuable French Quarter property and the outside world is a small lock on the door. Whispers of Jacque sightings are prevalent, and people still report seeing him in the French Quarter. Could it be the enigmatic Saint Germain, continuing to protect his property until such time as he chooses to return?

* The story is paraphrased from to the book Journey Into Darkness...Ghosts and Vampires of New Orleans, as well as the account related on the Haunted History Tour in New Orleans, LA. In addition, Reed and Brandon both work with a lady at the Broadmoor Branch who lived in the Vieux Carre in New Orleans for many years who acknowledged hearing this tale.

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