Imagine you’re having dinner at a restaurant when all of a sudden the lights go out and the only thing you can see in the pitch black establishment is a loud red siren going off. Every couple seconds you hear what sounds like a bat slamming against metal and startled customers screaming. All you can do is sit there helplessly with your food getting cold in front of you and wait for the scare that might be coming your way next.
I have to hand it to my guide for the Vampire tour in New Orleans: He certainly looked the part.
Gwydion — as he introduced himself — looked like he was straight out of “The Lost Boys” with his long hair and leather jacket. He gave the tour run by Haunted History Tours a hip, gothic vibe rather than a cartoony “I vant to suck your blahd” feel, not that I would have minded that interesting approach either.
The 90-minute walking tour takes visitors around the French Quarter to various locations associated with vampires, according to Gwydion, though some tales had little to do with drinking blood and seemed more appropriate for a ghost tour (Haunted History gives those as well).
Vlad the Impaler stands at the downstairs entrance of the Torture Museum Oude Steen doing what he does best. The notoriously barbaric ruler (better known as Dracula) holds a spear in his left hand with a man’s pale, severed head resting on the sharp tip.
Think of this scene — which, like all the exhibits in this museum in Bruges, Belgium, is recreated with mannequins — as an appetizer for what is to come.