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The Legend Of The Carter Brothers, New Orleans’s Sibling Vampire Duo

The Louisiana city of New Orleans is infamous for many things, like the streets filled with debauchery during Mardi Gras and infamous murderers like Madame LaLaurie. Its blood-soaked history is filled with monsters disguised as regular people, with tales of witchery, ghosts, and vampires around every corner. Two of the lesser-known fiends of New Orleans are actually a pair of brothers named John and Wayne Carter.

Legend has it that the two dock-worker brothers were vampires who snatched up more than a dozen victims in the 1930s, holding them captive in their shared home in order to drain and drink their blood. After one of their prisoners escaped their shared home and alerted police, the full scope of their mania was revealed. While the brothers were tried and executed for their crimes, many claim to see them still haunting the streets of New Orleans, taking their place in the grand lore of the city.

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  • In 1932, A Young Girl Ran Frantically Down The Street Until A Police Officer Spotted Her

    In 1932, A Young Girl Ran Frantically Down The Street Until A Police Officer Spotted Her
    Photo: Frances Benjamin Johnston / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    According to lore, one day in 1932 (or perhaps 1934), a young girl escaped from the house shared by brothers John and Wayne Carter. As she made her way down Royal Street, a New Orleans police officer stopped her and listened to her incredible story.

    Supposedly, she and others were tied up in the Carter home so the pair could drink their blood. The girl had her wrists cut to enable a long, slow bleed, and depending on the report, she either offered to take the officer back to her former prison on the corner of Royal Street and St. Ann Street or was rushed to the hospital

    Regardless of how, the police did make it back to the Carter home to investigate the girl's claims of vampires in the French Quarter.

  • Police Walked Into A Horrifying Scene At The Carter Home 

    Police made it to the Carter home and found that the residents were absent. Upon breaking in, authorities allegedly found upwards of a dozen bodies with wrists slit and blood drained. There were also at least four captives still tied up to chairs with bandaged but bleeding wrists. Some bodies were wrapped in sheets, and all appeared as though they'd been there for many days.

    The Carter brothers were nonchalantly working their dock job, unworried about their prey escaping and alerting authorities. Police decided to wait in the brothers' apartment for them to return in order to apprehend them.

  • The Police Decided To Ambush The Carter Brothers In Their Home

    Some sources say that police left 10 of their largest officers in the Carter apartment to take on the alleged vampires when they returned after dark to feed. Apparently, the brothers worked from pre-dawn to dusk, removing the bandages from their captives' wrists and drinking their blood before wrapping them up again. When the brothers walked into the apartment this night, it supposedly took seven or eight police officers to subdue the two average-sized men. 

    Other versions of the legend say the brothers, each standing around 5 feet 6 inches and weighing under 160 pounds, did fight off four officers and leapt from their balcony. Unharmed, the two bolted off into the night. In this telling, police regrouped and decided to hit the docks where the Carter brothers worked the next day.

  • Authorities Arrested The Brothers The Next Day At The Docks Where They Worked

    In the version in which the Carter brothers escape the ambush in their apartment, they make the mistake of keeping to their everyday routine. They showed up for work at the docks the very next day, and police arrested them.

    As soon as they were in cuffs, John and Wayne supposedly began admitting they were vampires. They also asked the police to go ahead and kill them because they would continue capturing people and drinking their blood if they remained alive.

  • The Police Determined The Carter Brothers Were Human, And They Were Found Guilty Of Murder

    Although at least one version of the Carter brothers legend says they escaped immediately after their captive did, most of the stories see them tried as serial killers in court. Presumably unable to convince the courts of their superhuman status, they were held accountable for their actions, found guilty, and sentenced to death for their crimes. 

    After their executions, held either immediately or years after their guilty verdicts, the men were laid to rest in their family vault in New Orleans.

  • Their Tomb Was Opened Years Later, But Their Bodies Had Disappeared

    Their Tomb Was Opened Years Later, But Their Bodies Had Disappeared
    Photo: S.T. Blessing / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    When the next Carter family member passed away, the vault holding John and Wayne was opened to slide in the new casket. However, the vault allegedly held no trace of the brothers' remains at all. 

    It is said that vampires love the blood of family members best and that the procession of vampire remains to the New Orleans cemetery was a zigzagging one to confuse the deceased's sense of direction. Apparently, this was enough to keep the Carter brothers away from their kin but not enough to keep them from escaping their tomb.