The New Orleans historic landmark used in The Vampire interview has its own spooky history

The Historic Beauregard Keyes House is located across from the ancient Ursuline Convent on Chartres Street in New Orleans’ French Quarter. During the 1880s, the area saw a large influx of Sicilian immigrants, who amalgamated into a French Quarter community known as Little Palermo. During the influx of nearly 300,000 Italian immigrants, some of the more nefarious of the community adopted a practice known as Black Hand (La Mano Nera).

According to Britannica, Black Hand is the practice of extortion, sending threatening letters with menacing symbols such as a black hand or daggers. The Black Hand would send letters to wealthy or influential people demanding money or services with threats of physical harm, kidnapping, or property destruction if refused. The practice was common to the Italian and Sicilian gangs of the time in cities like New York, Chicago, Kansas City, and New Orleans.

Newspapers of the day reported stories of New Orleans citizens who faced the kidnapping of their children, the destruction of their buildings by dynamite, and the destruction of their lives. While the Black Hand Society terrorized neighborhoods throughout New Orleans and particularly in the French Quarter, one citizen rejected their demands and met them with violence. The New Orleans historic landmark used in The Vampire interview has its own spooky history

Charles Jones

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