If you come on a tour with us, namely our 4N1 and Witch Pack tours, you’ll hear tales of vampires. Vampires have been a staple of New Orleans’ dark history for as long as the city has been established. Specific legends, such as the Jacques Saint Germain and The Carter Brothers, are known famously throughout the city for their various dark deeds.
Vampires are known for a set of specific traits. Namely, they drink the blood of humans in order to sustain their immortality. This feeding typically turns their victims into vampires and continues the cycle. They usually hunt at night, have an aversion to sunlight and in some cases, have been known to have an ability to alter the minds of others. They’ve also been written of in many ancient mythologies, typically following these same guidelines. But where did vampires come from?
The First Vampire
One of the earliest tales of a vampire can be found in Greek mythology. It is the story of an Italian man named Ambrogio. He visited the Oracle of Delphi and, during this visit, fell in love with the Oracle’s sister, named Selene. Unfortunately, the god of the sun, Apollo, also loved Selene. In an attempt to keep Ambrogio far from her, he cursed him so that he could never walk in the daylight again without being horribly burned. Ambrogio still wanted to be with Selene, however, so he then proceeded to make a deal with Hades to be granted immortality so that he could live with her forever.
Hades agreed to give Ambrogio immortality if he stole the silver bow of Artemis and left his soul in Hades. After attempting to steal her bow, Artemis cursed him so that his skin would burn on contact with silver. It seemed as though Ambrogio’s luck would never turn, as he was now burned by both sunlight and silver and still had yet to be granted the immortality he longed for. But Artemis felt pity for the cursed man, and gifted him with immortality, speed and strength. From this point on, Ambrogio was a full-fledged vampire. While he had the gifts granted by Artemis, he would always be hindered by the curses he also had.
The Vampire Clan
Ambrogio would later move back to his home country of Italy. The legend states that he settled down in Florence, where he created a vampire clan. This clan was a group of willing humans who wanted the power and immortality in return for their souls. As long as the vampires lived, their souls would stay in hell, where they would be trapped for eternity upon their deaths. Over the course of the centuries that followed, this clan grew in number and power and branched off into several more vampire clans. All vampires that exist in today’s time are descendants of this vampire clan.
When you take a New Orleans vampire tour, you’ll hear about the various vampire legends that have lived in the dark corners of the city. These terrifying creatures have stalked in the shadows for centuries, feeding upon the weak to gain immortality. But none of them would exist if it hadn’t been for Ambrogio, the man who sold his soul for the gift of immortality and strength. Perhaps Ambrogio is still alive to this day, roaming the world as an immortal being and living with his love, Selene…