A Night on the Town with a Voodoo Vampire
or, How I discovered My Halloween Parties’
Some things stick in the sieve of my brain better than others. This particular piece of mental debris has clung to the inside of my skull and followed me from my time in Philly to where my travels eventually brought me. It’s a night that ended up infiltrating my Halloween party tradition.
It was a random night and one I chose to turn into yet another one of my infamous South Street Pub Crawls. They usually consisted of me announcing to anyone I happened to be near that I was wandering down South Street in Philly and drinking in every establishment I came across until I either found one I liked enough to sit in for more than one drink or had enough exercise and alcohol to get to sleep. My days in Philly were dark days.
Earlier that evening I had wandered down into Olde City, not necessarily in search of adventure or as I came to look upon it afterwards, misadventure, but there I was, sitting in a bar fashioned after a New Orleans Mardi Gras pitstop. I was already three bar visits deep, so I wasn’t necessarily looking for something to drink more than I was looking for ambiance and a place to relax and write. The bartender was nowhere in sight when I sat down, in fact, the entire place was empty except for me. I took a seat at the bar and admired the carved wood with mirror backdrop, then opened my notebook and started to write.
He appeared out of nowhere. One minute I was alone, the next minute there was this guy sitting next to me watching me write. And before we even go there, no, he didn’t have an accent, and as far as I know he wasn’t a vampire. Unfortunately.
We started chatting and then the bartender came back from whatever tear in space and time bartenders and waitresses go to when no one’s looking. My companion asked for a drink recommendation. The bartender smiled and said, “The Voodoo Vampire is popular.” I no longer remember the exact measurements from that night, I only know it’s a blend of vodka, Chambourd, Grenadine, and cranberry juice. I suspect my version of it may be stronger than what was served to us that night.
After watching the bartender mix up this intriguing blend, I asked him to make me one, too. And so it began…
My friend and I wandered through Olde City, and more people joined us along the way like some sort of pied piper of drunkenness. We spread the word of the vampire and ended up bringing the entire entourage back to the vampire bar with us to round out the night with a final drink.
Fast forward over a decade to my annual Halloween parties and the signature mixed drink that is just as charming and as dangerous as an actual vampire might be. The drink that united a band of inebriated misfits on the streets of Philadelphia. A drink that will leave you drained and half-dead the next morning if you dance too long and too far with it, and that’s the Voodoo Vampire.
Suzanne Madron is originally from the Bronx, NY, but grew up in northeastern Pennsylvania. Yes, the woodsy part. No, the other woodsy part. No, not the one with the pterodactyl sightings, the other one with the re-enactors.
When not writing horror, Suzanne writes hard-boiled noir and speculative fiction under the pseudonym James Glass and post apocalyptic stories under the name Xircon. Currently she lives on a battlefield with her husband and son in the less woodsy part of Pennsylvania. YEs, her house is most likely haunted.