Anselm Nightshade is the former leader of the Los Angeles vampire clan.
In 2007, Nightshade was chosen as the representative of the Night Children on the Council. Before the impending Dark War, he agreed to send Raphael Santiago in his stead and has since been replaced by Lily Chen.
At one point, Anselm began murdering werewolf children and utilizing dark and death magic in his restaurant. The Shadowhunter Cameron Ashdown suspected his activities and informed Diana Wrayburn of the Los Angeles Institute. Though Julian Blackthorn immediately planned to give the Clave cause to search his house and restaurant, he waited to tell the Clave until a time that worked for him—when he needed to cover for his uncle's incapability to take part in the business the younger Shadowhunters of the Institute had been doing. Though they didn't have any immediate, solid proof, Julian acted on the hunch and, in August 2012, had Arthur play along and pretend that he'd been investigating Nightshade's business. They told Clary Fairchild and the others that Anselm was using black magic on his customers by drugging the pizza with addictive powders. Magnus Bane inspected boxes of his pizza at the Los Angeles Institute and confirmed the suspicions. Nightshade was immediately apprehended for the crime, and swore revenge against them.
Tests were performed at Nightshade's and traces of dark and death magic were found in the establishment, along with piles of werewolf children's bones in his house's basement, proving Cameron and Julian's accusations true. Anselm then admitted to his crimes and was sentenced to imprisonment in the Silent City.
Anselm has a sharp, bony face.
- City of Glass (first mention)
- City of Heavenly Fire
- Lady Midnight (first and only appearance)
- Lord of Shadows (mentioned only)
- Queen of Air and Darkness (mentioned only)
- Anselm's surname "Nightshade" is also a Shadowhunter name, known to have been used by the late Adele Nightshade. Whether there is a connection is unknown at this point, but could possibly be explored and revealed in one of the upcoming books.
- Anselm loves little dogs and has various breeds as pets. Whenever Anselm comes to the Sanctuary to meet with Arthur, he leaves the dogs in the foyer of the Institute.