When Bram Stoker penned his immortal masterpiece, Dracula, in 1897, little did he know the profound cultural impact and enduring fascination people would hold for vampire folklore over a century later. From Anne Rice’s legendary Interview with the Vampire to The Vampire Diaries and its enthralling spinoff, The Originals, the ethereal realm of vampires continues to cast its spell upon us. Intriguingly, many of these captivating narratives share a common thread — their stories are set in New Orleans. This deep dive into the 12 must-see filming locations in New Orleans for Vampire fans will shed some light on those stories.
Popular Filming Locations in New Orleans for Vampire Fans
There’s just something about the Louisiana city that captivates the imagination and makes it easy to bring the supernatural to life. It could be the warm nights amongst the old-world charm of the historic French Quarter or the flickering gas lanterns that hang overhead. Renfield director Chris Mackay said, “It’s the only city in the States that looks like a European city and feels like a European city, so I wanted something that was both modern and new and original to ‘Dracula’ but had connections to his past.” This Nicolas Cage film is the latest in a long line of vampire-genre filming for the southern city, and the best part is that travelers can check out some of the places they may have seen on the screen.
1 – Hermann-Grima House
This 19th-century mansion is located in the heart of the French Quarter. During a tour last year, guests were told there was filming going on, but the guide could not mention what it was. An unusual black furnace in the courtyard was not original to the house, so it was exciting to see it while watching AMC’s new Interview with the Vampire series.
The house’s interiors were used as the setting for the Lalaurie mansion in American Horror Story: Coven. The Woman’s Exchange manages the house museum, and you can book tour tickets for Hermann-Grima and Gallier House, which is detailed below, online.
2 – Gallier House
This 1860 house creates such a perfect setting for the supernatural that Anne Rice said, “I’ve toured the Gallier House many a time thinking, ah, this is where Louis and Lestat and Claudia live in my heart.” This sentiment was considered when AMC created the Interview with the Vampire series, and the interiors you see, when the three vampires are at home, were filmed within these walls.
3 – Beauregard-Keyes House
Located in the heart of the city, this exquisitely preserved house from 1826 stands as a stunning testament to the fusion of Creole and American architectural styles. It served as the interior for the Fair Play Saloon and Azalea Hall in season one of Interview with the Vampire. The courtyard was transformed into an entertainment area where Louis and Lestat can be seen enjoying a musical performance.
4 – Pirate Alley
Pirate Alley is located in the French Quarter and extends from Chartres Street at Jackson Square to Royal Street. The narrow pedestrian thoroughfare has a murky history that provides some interesting stories for tour guides. You will have seen it in many films based in New Orleans, but for our supernatural fans, you will have seen it many times in scenes from The Originals and Interview with the Vampire.
5 – St. Louis Cathedral and Jackson Square
The St Louis Cathedral and Jackson Square are found in almost every New Orleans-based backdrop. This iconic location was founded in 1720, and the Catholic cathedral is one of the oldest in the United States that has been in continuous use. You will recognize it from The Originals, Interview with the Vampire, and more recently, it was in Renfield. Actors Nicolas Hoult and Awkwafina sit in an outdoor cafe overlooking Jackson Square. In reality, this elevated pedestrian terrace overlooks the Mississippi River on one side and the cathedral and square on the other.
6 – Hotel Royal
If you’re a fan of The Originals, you will surely recognize this building as Charles Michael Davis’ character Marcel’s home. The building was originally a home that was commissioned in 1833. In the 1940s, it became a public laundromat before becoming a hotel in the 1960s. It’s undergone several renovations to preserve its old-world charm. You can either stay at this location or drop by for a visit.
7 – Lafayette Cemetery No. 1
Cemeteries in New Orleans are unusual because everything is built above ground due to the area being swamplands. Therefore these areas with their cities of mausoleums are attractive to historians, tourists, and film directors alike. The St. Louis Cemetery is by far the most popular, especially with its grave of voodoo queen Marie Laveau; however, it is now closed to the public. Instead, directors love Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, located just outside the French Quarter in the Garden District.
8 – Saengar Theatre
Whether you’re a vampire fanatic or not, this historic theater is worth a visit. Once a movie palace dating back to 1927, it’s now used for live theater, including Broadway in New Orleans.
Lestat loves the opera, and those scenes of him enjoying performances in Interview with the Vampire were shot at the Saenger.
9 – Gallier Hall
Locals were a little surprised to find the former 19th-century city hall decked out in gold with accompanying gold lions during the filming of Renfield in May 2022. It can also be seen during a Mardi Gras parade in AMC’s Interview with the Vampire. The Greek Revival style building is still used as a civic building, but you can easily view it from the outside.
10 – Charity Hospital
This spooky-looking abandoned building served as a hospital from 1736 to 2005 when it was closed following Hurricane Katrina. There are plans to revive it by 2025; until then, however, the gothic-looking facade makes an ideal setting for filming. In fact, instead of a Transylvanian castle, Dracula’s new home in Renfield used Charity Hospital as the building of choice for its imposing silhouette.
11 – Mulates
On a typical day, this New Orleans restaurant serves up traditional Cajun fare and live zydeco music. On a typical day, this New Orleans restaurant serves up traditional Cajun fare and live zydeco music. In Renfield, it transforms into a bar where an energetic fight scene ensues. The exterior was slightly transformed by adding a giant creepy-looking head to the Mulates sign at the entrance.
12 – The Garden District
Located west of the French Quarter, this area was once home to Anne Rice and inspired much of her work. With its picturesque streets lined with historic homes, the Garden District offers a timeless backdrop that exudes elegance and Southern charm. Countless movies and TV shows have been captivated by its beauty, using the district as a setting to transport audiences to different eras and narratives. It has been used in American Horror Story: Coven, The Originals, and, Interview with the Vampire. AMC’s The Mayfair Witches used a combination of exteriors from Anne Rice’s old home and interiors from a nearby mansion at 3102 Prytania Street.