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Alexandra Moltke
(as Victoria Winters)


Malcolm Marmorstein


Lela Swift


February 3, 1967


January 26, 1967


Complete: Disc 18
Beginning 5: Disc 2

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Parapsychologist Dr. Peter Guthrie arrives at Collinwood to study the strange malady of Elizabeth Collins Stoddard.



My name is Victoria Winters. The mistress of Collinwood lies stiffly in her bed, hovering in the narrow world between life and death, unable to move, unable to communicate, a slow heartbeat and staring eyes the only indication that life still exists within her.

Carolyn is sitting vigil despite the fact that Elizabeth doesn't move. Victoria tries to convince Carolyn to have lunch while she sits with Elizabeth, but Carolyn refuses because she feels Elizabeth is trying to say something to her.

Act I

Victoria and Carolyn rehash the reasons for and against moving Elizabeth. Carolyn is steadfast in her belief against moving Elizabeth. Carolyn wants specialists; Victoria informs her of the impending visit of Dr. Peter Guthrie. After Victoria goes downstairs, Roger comes in. He is glad Elizabeth is not worse; Carolyn realizes that she could be getting worse since they can't tell. Roger points out that where one wants--and where one has--to be can be different things. Roger accuses Carolyn of being stubbornly reckless. She accuses him of not being upset that the doctor couldn't diagnose Elizabeth. Roger is sure that a diagnosis will eventually lead to Elizabeth's being sent to a hospital. Roger believes he is as concerned as Carolyn, who stands strong in her beliefs. Roger and Carolyn fight over who has the authority and where each other's limits are. Roger again points out that Carolyn is getting more like him every day. Carolyn promises a post-Guthrie update will be given to Roger. Carolyn has the feeling that whatever's troubling Elizabeth can't be cured in a hospital.

Act II

Dr. Guthrie arrives at Collinwood and talks privately with Victoria. He says that most of his investigations prove false or hallucinated. Guthrie's been filled in by Frank. Victoria admits she's not sure what's real and what isn't. She asks if Guthrie has ever seen a ghost. He hasn't seen one, but has gathered proof that they exist. He gives her a plausible cover story to tell everyone. Roger meets Guthrie and promises to be disappointed if Guthrie can't find an explanation. Roger enlists Guthrie's aid in removing Elizabeth; Guthrie says he'll remove Elizabeth if anything that he suspects is true.


Carolyn meets Guthrie, who tells her that Elizabeth's case might be psychosomatic. Guthrie examines Elizabeth and questions Carolyn. She and Victoria fill him in on Elizabeth's recent memory lapse and collapse. Guthrie suspects a delayed reaction to some form of trauma. Further examination leads Guthrie to believe Elizabeth is in a trance—that is, a state of suspended animation.

Act IV

Guthrie likens it to a hypnotic state. He wants to move her out of the house because he believes the thing that influenced her into the trance may be in the house. Carolyn is reluctant. Guthrie says Elizabeth may never recover, but they should try to do anything they can for her, starting with removing Elizabeth. Victoria rationalizes that Elizabeth didn't grasp what was happening; Carolyn finally concedes. Guthrie wants silence on the Elizabeth matter; he wants to move covertly to learn what caused her to go catatonic.

Memorable quotes[]

Roger: Our family doctor claims that he's never seen anything like this in all of his experience. I certainly hope that you don't come away with the same comment.
Dr. Guthrie: Well, I, uh, from what I've heard, I well might.
Roger Collins: Well, I should be very disappointed in you if you do. However, Doctor, if your findings are similar, I hope that you will persuade my niece that her mother should be sent to a hospital.
Dr. Guthrie: Mr. Collins, if what I suspect is true, the patient will not spend another moment in this house.
Dr. Guthrie: Miss Stoddard, your mother is in a trance.
Dr. Guthrie: Her eyes see only the nameless terror that made her this way.

Dramatis personae[]

Background information and notes[]


  • This episode was recorded out of broadcast sequence, most likely due to Joan Bennett's schedule. The previous episode to be recorded was 158.
  • First appearance of John Lasell as the character Peter Guthrie.
  • This is Joan Bennett's final episode before an absence of 30 episodes (six weeks). Her trance-like state and being shipped away to a hospital for an extended period are likely due to the annual extended vacation period she had in her contract.


Bloopers and continuity errors[]

  • In the teaser, Carolyn tells Victoria that she is focusing on Elizabeth's eyes and has not seen them move or blink, though (of course) we do see Joan Bennett's eyes move a bit and blink a time or two.
  • In Act 1, when Roger and Carolyn are discussing Elizabeth, they step on each other's lines.
  • As Vicki and Dr. Guthrie enter the drawing room, you can hear stagehands whispering.
  • When Dr. Guthrie tests Elizabeth's reflexes on her arm, he very clearly does not touch her arm with his small hammer.
  • Dr. Guthrie says that he would like to stay at "Collingwood."

End credits announcement[]

  • Glenn Ford and Shirley MacLaine star in a lusty western played for laughs. See "The Sheepman" [Bob Lloyd mistakenly says "Sleepman"] on Sunday Night Movie in color on ABC.
  • Dark Shadows is a Dan Curtis Production.

External Links []

Dark Shadows - Episode 160 on the IMDb