While walking in New Orleans it’s easy to miss the large brick building with the bright red door at the corner of Ursuline and Royal street. In 1902, it would be home to one of the most infamous vampires in the world outside of the Vlad the Impaler. One could even argue Saint Germain far surpassed Vlad in his thirst for blood. In the dark streets of New Orleans, Germain hid in plain sight as an opulent member of the city elite. Jacques had a mysterious and colored past which he conveniently left behind before his voyage to the recently settled New Orleans which would allow him to lure many a soul into his home to their own peril.
While Germain moved into the New Orleans mansion in 1902, oddly enough he was rumored to had been born sometime late in the 17th century. Jacques Saint Germain claimed he was a descendant from Comte (Count) de Saint Germain. Details point to Comte being a prolific alchemist during the 1600s (far before his supposed birth). During the time, society became enamored with alchemy. Alchemy was the sibling to modern day chemistry and involved transforming matter into various materials, specifically base metals into gold. Another goal of the alchemist was the search for the Philosopher’s Stone; a stone that grants the wielder immortality. Many believed Comte was the holder of this stone. Supporting this theory, Jacques looked hauntingly familiar to his supposed ancestor.
The Undying Time Traveler
But if Saint Germaine was born in the late 17th century, why did people believe he was immortal? Well, sightings of the Count can be traced all the way back to the wedding at Cana during the time of Jesus Christ. Imagine being a witness to infamous water turned to wine transmutation! He may have also been present for the council of Nicaea in 325 A.D..
Regardless of rumored history, a handful of notable historical figures spoke regularly about a character eerily similar to the Count; these included Voltaire, Casanova, King Louis XV, Catherine the Great, and Franz Anton Mesmer, the father of hypnosis and hypnotherapy. To add to the err of mystery, New Orleans residents commented on the uncanny resemblance between the two and even started believing that Jacques could be Comte himself, ageless and immortal (an accusation Jacques would neither confirm nor deny).
The first record of his suspected immortality was at a party at the manor of Madame de Pompadour, then mistress of King Louis XV of France. The year was 1760 and a confused Countess von Gregory approached the man, thinking it was the son of the man she knew in 1710, whom she knew to be the Count de Saint-Germain also. On approach she discovered it was the same man who didn’t seem to have aged a day in the fifty years that had passed. It is noted that the Comte didn’t even deny that it was him, or play himself off as the son. It is even said that he joked with the Countess that he was indeed over 100 years old. – Mardi Gras: Celebrate New Orleans with Vampires, Parajunkee
There is a record of Comte’s death in 1784, however, he continued to be sighted across Europe. Each sighting he was reported to never appear a day over 45 years old, despite pushing at least a century and a half.
The Mysterious Stranger of Royal St
Why Saint Germain traveled to New Orleans is anyone’s guess, but when he arrived, he arrived with a bang. Upon moving into the home at Ursulines and Royal street, he threw a lavish party to essentially announce his arrival. Jacques had a mysterious past but it didn’t matter to the local elite since he was one of the wealthiest and cultured people in the city. He was charismatic, spoke numerous languages, and told engrossing tall tales of adventure. These parties became a regular occurrence for the new debutant. Despite never eating any of the food provided, and only drinking what appeared to be red wine, the public took to the charismatic new character of the French Quarter. But Jacques’ time in the Big Easy would be short lived.
A Bloody Turn
It wouldn’t be the rumors of his past history that would plagued Saint Germain in the end. Instead, it only took one jarring incident to truly immortalize the vampire of New Orleans.
During one of his extravagant parties, a young woman somehow coerced into a secluded area of the mansion, found herself exploring the luxe room. With her back to Saint Germaine, she was unaware of his intentions. She spun around to see him charge at her with alarming speed and ferocity. Upon pinning her to the wall he began biting into her neck, drawing blood.
Party goers looking to find their host ventured to the room and began pounding on the door, coaxing Jacques to come out and join the rest of the party. This startled Jacques and allowed for the woman to get away. Not seeing any other mode of escaping her attacker, she eyed a window leading out to a balcony, which she threw herself out of. Upon hitting the street she had broken bones in her feet and legs and cried out for help. Police arrived and the woman taken to the hospital. The explanation from Jacques? She was just drunk.
The police, not taking this justification at face value, told Saint Germain they would need him at the station first thing in the morning. Because all criminals should be allowed to get a good night’s rest, right? Morning came and Saint Germain was not at the station. The police immediately went to his home only to find that not only was Jacques Saint Germain no longer in the residence, neither were any of his belongings. Out of some of the trivial trinkets left behind police found no food, utensils to eat with, or any evidence of someone who consumed any sort of food. There was one macabre memento left behind; Saint Germain’s many bottles of red wine which upon taste were found to be partially mixed with blood. Upon further inspection police found rooms covered in blood stains, each seemingly having occurred at different points in time.
A bloody and violent history left behind, no one could ever track down the vampire of New Orleans, Jacques Saint Germain.