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Dark Shadows: The Story Arcs

In its five year history, the horror soap opera covered a broad range of story topics, and what follows is a look at its most significant arcs.
VICTORIA WINTERS: episode 1 (June 27, 1966) to 127 (December 20, 1966)
Victoria Winters arrives at Collinwood as governess for David Collins and encounters strange goings-on in the old mansion. Elizabeth Collins Stoddard has a secret and never leaves the Collinwood estate. Her daughter Carolyn is staying out to all hours. Roger Collins, David's father, is afraid that someone is trying to kill him. And Burke Devlin has returned to Collinsport.

THE MURDER OF BILL MALLOY: episode 46 (August 29, 1966) to 126 (December 19, 1966)
Bill Malloy, Elizabeth's right-hand man, threatens to publicly reveal hushed-up details about the feud between Roger Collins and Burke Devlin, and involving Sam Evans. Malloy's body is then discovered floating in the waters at the base of Widow's Hill. Victoria's curiosity of the murder leads her to get kidnapped by the murderer, Matthew (a servant to the Collins). The ghost of Bill Malloy appears to Victoria Winters, and later the ghost of Josette du Pres emerges from her portrait at the old house. The spirits of wailing women are heard from Widow's Hill.

LAURA THE PHOENIX: episode 128 (December 21, 1966) to 192 (March 21, 1967) Young David Collins' mother Laura returns after a ten year absence, searching for her son. She is an immortal phoenix, and wishes to have him join her in the sacred fires of the Egyptian god Ra.

JASON MCGUIRE: episode 195 (March 24, 1967) to 275 (July 14, 1967)
Jason McGuire, an old friend of Elizabeth's long-missing husband Paul Stoddard, shows up and insinuates himself into the Collins household. He knows a dark secret about Elizabeth's missing husband and, much to the family's dismay, she submits to his demands, which includes allowing his violent drifter friend Willie Loomis to stay at Collinwood.

BARNABAS: episode 211 (March 22, 1967) to 365 (November 17, 1967)
Barnabas Collins, a nearly two-hundred-year-old vampire, is released from his coffin by Willie Loomis and brings terror to Collinsport. Doctor Julia Hoffman is called to investigate the strange kidnapping of Maggie Evans, a Collinsport waitress whom the vampire believes to be the reincarnation of his long lost love, Josette du Pres.

1795: episode 366 (November 14, 1967) to 460 (March 29, 1968)
A séance is held in the great house at Collinwood, during which Victoria Winters travels back in time to the year 1795. In that era, Barnabas is still an ordinary human being, but becomes the object of desire for a deadly witch Angelique Bouchard, who invokes the vampiric curse upon him. Meanwhile, Victoria is accused of witchcraft by the paranoiac Rev. Trask. She's defended in court by Peter Bradford, a man who follows her back through time to the 20th century.

DREAM CURSE/ADAM & EVE: episode 461 (April 1, 1968) to 637 (December 3, 1968) Angelique, a witch who tricked Barnabas into marrying her in the 1790s, returns. At the same time, Barnabas and Dr. Julia Hoffman explore the possibility of freeing Barnabas from his curse, by giving life to an artificial being called Adam. The plotline is based on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

WEREWOLF/QUENTIN'S CHOST: episode 638 (December 4, 1968) to 700 (February 28, 1969)
A werewolf (Chris Jennings) is loose on the Collins estate and the ghost of Quentin Collins is terrorizing the children, David Collins and Amy Jennings. The source material is Henry James' The Turn of the Screw.

1897: episode 701 (March 3, 1969) to 884 (November 13, 1969)
In order to save the imperilled David and unravel the mystery of Quentin's ghost, Barnabas travels back in time using the I Ching. He encounters Angelique, the phoenix Laura Collins, a gypsy curse, lycanthropy, and the severed hand of the dreaded Count Petofi. The character of Rachel Drummond is based on Jane Eyre.

THE LEVIATHANS: episode 885 (November 14, 1969) to 980 (March 27, 1970) An ancient Lovecraftian race of beings coerce Barnabas into joining their ranks. Together they attempt to enslave the Collins family and bring the town under the thrall of their mysterious leader, Jeb Hawkes.

PARALLEL TIME: episode 981 (March 30, 1970) to 1060 (July 17, 1970)
In a closed-off section of the house, Barnabas and Julia discover a doorway to a parallel universe, where the master of the house Quentin Collins has recently married Maggie Evans, who finds herself threatened by the vengeful spirit of Quentin's first wife, Angelique. Elements of this plot line are derived from the novel Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier.

1995: episode 1061 (July 20, 1970) to 1070 (July 31, 1970)
Barnabas and Julia travel forward in time to a Collinwood that has been destroyed and the Collins family either dead or mad.

GERARD STILES: episode 1071 (August 3, 1970) to 1109 (September 24, 1970) Ghosts from the 1840s possess David Collins and Hallie Stokes. Barnabas and Julia try to find a way to prevent the future destruction of Collinwood. The basic plot line here is again based on The Turn of the Screw by Henry James.

1840: episode 1110 (September 25, 1970) to 1198 (January 27, 1971)
Using a stairway through time hidden within the walls of Collinwood, Julia travels back to the 1840s to unravel the mystery of Gerard and Daphne Harridge. When Barnabas joins her they find an unexpected ally in their old foe, Angelique.

1841 IN PARALLEL TIME: episode 1199 (January 28, 1971) to 1245 (April 2, 1971) In a parallel universe Bramwell Collins returns home to find that his true love, Catherine Harridge, has married his wealthy cousin, Morgan Collins. The Collins family is under a curse that requires them to hold a lottery, the loser to spend the night in a room that will leave them either dead or insane. Elements of this plot line were derived from Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, as well as The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy and The Lottery by Shirley Jackson.

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