Vampire based on a True Story
The Vampire of New Orleans was active in a cluster of communities in Louisiana, for a period of one year, beginning in 1918. During the height of public panic, the suspect mailed a letter to a newspaper, in which he claimed he was not human. He boasted he had the power of invisibility. His crimes were not motivated by robbery. Items never disappeared from the homes of his victims. Instead, the victims themselves disappeared. Some parishioners of Saint Beatrice church, approached the priest, in fear of the trouble in Louisiana. Whole families were disappearing, like dust in the wind. “Father Jette,” they pleaded, “protect us
from the vampire”. It was 1911, and of criminal insanity, the
public was blissfully ignorant. Father Henri Jette comforted them, and he promised he would investigate. Henri’s first thought was to seek the advice of his friend, who was not a Catholic, but was a physician living in his parish. The doctor’s name was J.J. Aubochon. He was also known as John. Whether the culprit was a member the Roman Catholic parish, the men did not discuss, but Henri agreed with John that the suspect was most likely not a vampire. “It cannot be,” the doctor protested. Henri replied, “However if it is, it must
be exposed to sunlight.” The suspected vampire always entered the homes of his victims in the same way. He used a chisel to remove a panel from the door, then unlocked the door by reaching inside. With a piece of chalk John marked on a map, the homes of the nine missing families. A pattern formed, a trail which followed the path of the railroad. Then the physician and the holy man, waited on a bench, every night, outside of different railroad stations. At one station they witnessed four policemen rousting a vagrants’ camp, which was hidden in the forest, just beyond the railroad. But the police were looking in the wrong place. John believed the suspect to be an employee of the railroad itself. When they had already visited dozens of railroad stations, they surveiled the station at Cheneyville, which was along the suspect’s route, but was not yet implicated in any of the disappearances. Cheneyville was due for a visit from the vampire… or was it the home town of the culprit? They observed the movements of train personnel. They observed the arrival of a porter, of
middle age and red hair. His appearance was a match to the description of two witnesses. Within 24 hours they knew his name, Auguste Delagrange. He was an employee of the T&NO train, and they found his home address. It was a shack in the Bayou… no neighbors. When they knew him to be at work, they searched his house. A chisel was found, which matched the marks left on the doors. Now the two investigators knew they had to return when Delagrange would be at home. It was night when they returned. Henri laughed because he realized, that he and the doctor had no weapons. At the sound of laughter, Delagrange burst from his hovel. But they were ready for him. John wrestled him to the ground. The priest held onto his legs. No one knows how the two men managed to restrain the suspect throughout the long night. No one since then has ever asked them, what did actually happen to the vampire, when the sun appeared? Did he burst into flame, or did he crumble
into ash. This is the story they tell, and you may ask, where is the evidence. But there is evidence… at the vampire museum, on the fringe of the French neighborhood, the public may view the skeletal remains of Auguste Delagrange, including his mummified heart.