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For many, New Orleans is synonymous with that which is otherworldly, ghostly, or macabre. The legend of vampires is no different, making itself at home right here in the city.
Having discovered her own familial ties to Vlad the Impaler, one of the most infamous of all vampire legends and the basis for Bram Stoker’s 1897 gothic horror novel Dracula, New Orleans resident Marita Woywood Crandle (author of Josie Arlington’s Storyville: The Life and Times of a New Orleans Madame) looked no farther than the twelve square blocks of the French Quarter to discover three legendary vampire tales. Seeking to dispel the myths surrounding these stories, she fleshes out the characters who were thought to be vampires over the centuries, either because they themselves said so or because the locals thought their behavior was mighty suspect.
Read about the Casket Girls, a mysterious group of young women who arrived in the French colony in the 1700s, nicknamed for the unusual casket-like shaped boxes they brought with them. In the early 1900s, an enigmatic man came to make his home in the French Quarter only for the neighbors to realize his name and appearance bore a striking resemblance to an Englishman who had died 100 years prior. And a Depression Era report of two brothers who had an appetite for living human blood.
Demystify the origins of vampire lore, a legend that has persisted across numerous cultures for centuries.