Urban Fantasy Monster Monday: The Baron Samedi

A major character in my upcoming novel Royal Street is the Baron Samedi, so I thought I’d introduce him in the first of my weekly “Monster Mondays.” In the book, Baron Samedi starts tinkering in the affairs of modern-day New Orleans and creates all kinds of mayhem.

In Haitian Vodou (“voodoo” in the U.S.), Baron Samedi (literally “Baron Saturday”) is the master of the cemetery, or the god presiding over life and death. The Saturday in his name might come in reference to the one day when Christ succumbed to death, the Saturday between the crucifixion and the resurrection.

The Baron has several incarnations. He’s most often seen as a tall black man dressed in a tuxedo, with a skeleton painted on his skin. He wears sunglasses with one lens missing, showing his ability to see into the realms of both the living and the dead. He can call up the dead (zombies!), or he can barter with a petitioner to delay death….for a price.

Interestingly, among the vodou believers, the Baron Samedi is not seen as evil–just capricious. He can be crude and vulgar one minute, kind and compassionate the next.

My favorite image of Baron Samedi was this one from artist Wayne “Dimitri” Fouquet from New Orleans.

What’s your favorite “monster?”

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About Suzanne Johnson

Author of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and suspense. As Suzanne Johnson, she is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series (Royal Street; River Road: Elysian Fields, Pirate's Alley, Belle Chasse, Frenchmen Street (March 2018). Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is the author of the Penton Legacy series (Redemption; Absolution; Omega; Storm Force; Allegiance; ILLUMINATION); The Collectors series (Lovely, Dark, and Deep; Deadly, Calm, and Cold); and the Wilds of the Bayou series (Wild Man's Curse; Black Diamond).

3 thoughts on “Urban Fantasy Monster Monday: The Baron Samedi

  1. He looks just like the villain from The Princess and the Frog, Dr. Facilliers — they probably based it off of the Baron!

    New Orleans, so much lore, so little time to explore 😉

    My favorite monsters are the werewolves from The Howling, though the wolf from AWIL is a close second.

  2. I absolutely love everything related to horses so one of my favorite monsters is the Kelpie. It appears to travelers as a lost pony, its mane constantly dripping wet. It’s freezing to the touch. If the traveler comes on its back, the Kelpie will return to the nearest water source and drown its rider.