Who was Jacques St. Germain? An eccentric aristocrat, a charlatan, or maybe a vampire? There is very little historical information about the New Orleans legend. Conversely, an abundance of information exists regarding the Comte St. Germain of 1700’s France. Notable men such as Voltaire and King Louis XV claim to have known his acquaintance. Voltaire went so far as to claim that “He is a man who knows everything and who never dies.” Historic records indicate that he was born in 1710 and died in 1784. Yet, people claim to have seen the Comte as late as 1970. As was ever so fashionable in the 1700’s, the Comte was an alchemist and rumors claim he grew diamonds. To add to his character, legend states that he spoke six languages, was a violin virtuoso, and was a skilled artist. As wonderful as he may appear, records claim he died in 1784, so how did he come to live in New Orleans 200 years later?
Jacques St. Germain
Oral tradition marks Jacques as a French immigrant who came to New Orleans around the turn of the twentieth century (although a precise date has been elusive). He moved into a home off Royal Street and soon insinuated himself into his community. Jacques claimed to have been descended from the beloved Comte St. Germain. Like his supposed namesake, he also was quite the charmer. He threw grand parties and invited only the most prestigious of guests. His knowledge of history was quite extensive to the point of speaking as a witness to the greatest events of the world. Although his fetes were well catered with the best of food, Jacques never ate. Although plenty of his guests noticed this peculiarity, no one seemed to care. That is until events took a dark turn.
Vampire enthusiasts throughout New Orleans relate a sordid tale. During one of his popular parties, Jacques asked a lovely woman to join him on the balcony. Honestly, what woman wouldn’t join him on the balcony? While there, legend relates that he attempted to bite her neck. The shocked woman, in an attempt to escape, jumped over the balcony railing to the pavement below. She survived the fall and was found with blood trickling down her neck. She was in a state of terror and was quickly surrounded by passers-by and the police were fetched. The poor woman was taken to the hospital and all the while held to her story that she had been bitten by her mysterious host. Of course the police would not bather such an affluent man at such a late hour and asked him to come to the station in the morning to answer a few questions. He never arrived. That night Jacques St. Germain disappeared.
Most of Jacques’ belongings were left behind in his home. When the police arrived to search the dwelling, they were shocked at what they found. The second floor contained opened, yet corked wine bottles, filled with a mixture of wine and, as rumor states, large amounts of human blood. Further, police discovered many articles of clothing from different time periods all stained with blood. No food was to be found within his home, nor any utensils. Also missing was Jacques St. Germain. He never did return to his home.
According to a New Orleans city directory, a man by the name Jacques St. Germain lived in the city in 1895. Further, a Jean Jacques St. Germain died at the age of 27 in 1823 in New Orleans. Could they have been the same man? Yet another document details the immigration of a Jacques Germain, age 52, in 1890 to New Orleans. Further, his occupation is listed as an engineer. Sadly, after a through perusal of available online, Louisiana, historical newspapers, there is no mention of a Jacques St. Germain or the horrifying incident of the vampire’s kiss. Additionally, upon researching the chain of title for the supposed home for Mr. St. Germain, the results revealed that no such person ever owned the home. With no historical data to correlate with the legends, the story of the New Orleans vampire must, for the present moment, be relegated to the category of legend. But like all legends, there lies a seed of truth. For this legend, the Comte St. Germain of France is the driving force of this story and the story tellers who keep the memory alive.
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Link to historic property with chain of ownership: https://www.hnoc.org/vcs/property_info.php?lot=22915