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Chateau des Eperviers
Chateau Deux-Forts
Chateau du Vampire
la Penne-sur-Huveaune
Paris (2)
Paris (3)

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The Source:

Peter Haining:
"A Dictionary of Vampires"
Robert Hale, London, UK, 2000

The Case:

Let us see what Mr. Haining has to offer: In May 1310 King Philippe, on request of his subjects, ordered the exhumation of a dead Templar, Jehan de Turo, to be destroyed by fire "on suspicion that he was a vampyre". Haining also mentions legends of how the dead knight had often been seen.

Now the King that is mentioned is Philippe le Bel, the man who - possibly motivated by greed and jealousy - wanted the destruction of the Order of the Temple. And as far as I can tell Haining probably means Jean de la Tour, who during his life had been the treasurer of the templars headquarter in Paris.

But wait, there's another story which I found in the "Guide de Paris Mystérieux": during construction work in the Rue des Enfants-Rouges, on a place that used to be land owned by the Templars, a sarcophagus was discovered with the corpse of a man wearing the clothes of a Commander of the Order of the Temple. Could it be the corpse of "Tehan le Turc" ?

The Date:

Several other sources confirm the story of the cremation of Jean de la Tour's corpse. So I think we can safely assume that 1310 is the correct date for this event.

The Place:

Paris, France, seems a most likely place for this event, because in all probability that is where the old Templar was buried.

Personal Comments:

As far as I'm concerned, the necroclastic destruction of the Templar's body may well be accepted as a historical fact. There seems to be some lack of clarity about the names we have been given. But I am perfectly willing to accept "Jehan de Turo" as an older version of "Jean de la Tour". So how about this "Tehan le Turc" ? I have no trouble imagining how a damaged inscription in stone with parts of the characters missing could be the cause of misreading "Jehan de Turo" as "Tehan le Turc".

As far as I know, Jean-Paul Bourre may have been the first to include "Jehan de Turo" in his "list of cases of vampirism". But even he does not go as far as Haining, who turns the Templar into "a vampyre" long before the word even existed. The Templars, their secrets and their treasure, have always been a popular subject. Thousands of books have been written about them. Some serious, some utter rubbish.

Possible Follow-Up:

If - inspired perhaps by "The Da Vinci Code" ? - you feel the urge to get yourself lost into the fascinating world of the Templars and try to get to the bottom of their funny little secrets, please think twice. There is enough material out there to keep you busy for a lifetime. Like I said: Some of it is serious, some of it is utter rubbish. Wishing you the best of luck and success.

© 2011 by Rob Brautigam - NL - Last changed December 2011

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