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1967 / 1949


Alexandra Moltke
(as Victoria Winters)


Joe Caldwell


John Sedwick


July 11, 1967


June 26, 1967


Complete: Disc 31
Collection 2: Disc 3

272 Gallery
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After explaining what happened eighteen years earlier, Elizabeth calls Sheriff Patterson. Jason claims that there is nothing in the basement.



My name is Victoria Winters. A desperate secret, long held, has finally been revealed at Collinwood, and the truth, cutting back across time, has seared the heart and stunned the mind., opening ancient rooms that seem beyond the cure of time and truth. And before she can be free, one woman is forced to live again the fatal moments that cursed her life and closed her heart around the festering secret.

Flashback, 1949, Collinwood: Jason forces Elizabeth to go into the basement room and look at the spot where he buried Paul and tells her she can just say he ran off. They leave and he hands her the key to the room.

Elizabeth finishes her story. Gazing at the key in her hand, she knew from the moment the basement room was locked that she was a prisoner of Collinwood forever.

Act I

Jason insists that the entire tale is a lie, and he claims that there is nothing to be found in the basement. Carolyn breaks down at the thought of her father being buried inside Collinwood. Elizabeth, strengthened and free of Jason's blackmail, prepares to call Sheriff Patterson even as Roger tries to prevent his sister from incriminating herself and going to jail. Jason persists that he is innocent and Elizabeth explodes at him. He has been torturing her for eighteen years, and he continues to deny any wrong-doing. As she calls the Sheriff, Jason, seizing the opportunity, knocks the gun out of Burke's hand, and runs out the front door. Burke recovers Carolyn's gun, and together with Roger, pursue the fleeing McGuire. Shots are fired in the night.

Act II

Both Burke and Roger, armed with a rifle, search the woods for Jason, who hides amongst the foliage. McGuire manages to give his pursuers the slip as he heads deeper into the trees. Roger and Burke meet up; trigger-happy Roger is furious over Elizabeth having called the Sheriff as he believes they could have handled the situation in their own way. Burke brings up the last time Roger tried something like that, which resulted in his doing time on a manslaughter charge. The argument over, Roger checks near the road while Burke searches the cliffs. Back at Collinwood, Victoria informs Elizabeth that Sheriff Patterson is en route. Carolyn, in a stunned daze, can't look at her mother nor talk to her. Tears flow as she recounts how Elizabeth took them into the basement room, and that Carolyn was standing on her father's grave without ever knowing. All her life she's waited and searched for Paul Stoddard, and all the time he's been buried in Collinwood. Elizabeth confesses to all the nights she visited the room, horrified by her actions and sobbing over Paul's grave. She implores Carolyn to look at her, but when she does Carolyn cries out "No!" and races from the drawing room.


Later, Sheriff Patterson has arrived and promises Elizabeth that he and his men will locate Jason; they have roadblocks covering a 20-mile radius. It doesn't really seem to matter to Elizabeth; the Sheriff disagrees and declares McGuire the real criminal. Roger returns and reports no sign of Jason, although Burke is still searching. He learns that Elizabeth has recounted the whole, tragic story to the Sheriff. However, Patterson does not intend to take Elizabeth into custody yet. He's waiting for one of his deputies to arrive in order to dig up the body in the cellar. The Sheriff learns of Jason's denial of there being anything to find. At that moment, a breathless Burke arrives and reports that the authorities think they have McGuire trapped near the highway. Patterson, anxious to end the waiting, requests Burke's help in recovering the body. Elizabeth gives them the key to the basement room.

Act IV

Sheriff Patterson and Burke descend into the cellar carrying flashlights and shovels. The two men unlock the sealed room, and begin to dig beneath the flagstone in the center. Meanwhile, Elizabeth waits in the drawing room with Victoria. She is relieved the torment of eighteen years is finally over, although her worries are entirely for Carolyn now. She asks Victoria to beg Carolyn to speak with her. But Victoria admits that Carolyn has left Collinwood. Back in the basement room, Burke and the Sheriff uncover a buried trunk.

Memorable quotes[]

Burke: (to Jason) You've never been within ten miles of the truth, and you know it!

Jason: I haven't done anything wrong.
Elizabeth Anything wrong?! You've been making me keep this terrible secret, you've been making a liar of me, you separated me from my family, and make me hate myself every minute!

Roger: Why did she have to talk to the sheriff? We could have handled this our own way.

Elizabeth: (to Roger) I want to be free...even if I have to go to prison.

Dramatis personae[]

Background information and notes[]


  • This episode was recorded out of broadcast sequence. The previous episode to be recorded was 273.
  • This is the twelfth episode since Barnabas' introduction in 210 not to contribute to the vampire storyline instead focusing solely on the blackmail storyline.


  • It is revealed that the ghostly sobbing heard during the night in earlier episodes was, in fact, Elizabeth crying over Paul Stoddard's grave in the basement room. [But the door was locked from the outside with a padlock, so how could it have been Elizabeth if she had the only key?]
  • Since Jason did not pose an imminent danger, Burke had no legal right to fire gunshots at him.
  • Apparently Sheriff Patterson did not like the mustache he grew for 259, as it is now gone.
  • Roger was supposed to stay with Elizabeth while Sheriff Patterson and Burke dig in the cellar. When we next see Elizabeth, Victoria is with her and Roger is gone.
  • Victoria tells Elizabeth she can't possibly hear them digging in the basement from the drawing room, even though in previous episodes, Victoria apparently could hear Elizabeth sobbing in the basement all the way in her bedroom.
  • Elizabeth tells Sheriff Patterson that Paul's body is "in the middle of the room, under the flagstone floor."
  • Sheriff Patterson and Burke did not dig very deeply before the Sheriff thought there was nothing to find.
  • FLASHBACK: Elizabeth remembers Paul's death 18 years ago (continued from the previous episode).

Bloopers and continuity errors[]

  • At the beginning of Act 1, Anthony George steps on Joan Bennett's line when Burke says, "It won't get you anywhere, Jason."
  • Carolyn's silver revolver is now black.
  • When Burke approaches Elizabeth and Roger before she calls Sheriff Patterson, lighting equipment is quickly moved away on the right side of the screen.
  • When Burke and Roger are talking in the woods while stalking Jason, Anthony George steps on Louis Edmonds' line when Roger asks why Liz had to call the sheriff.
  • When Sheriff Patterson and Burke enter the basement room, the Sheriff reaches to turn on the light, and the room brightens a fraction of a second before the bulb comes on.
  • The sheriff and Burke are prepared to give up their digging, having discovered nothing, when Burke puts his shovel in the hole, and a thumping sound is heard. The camera cuts to a shot of the hole, where we see that Burke's single shovelful of dirt has completely revealed the entire top of the trunk buried there.

End credits announcements[]

External links []

Dark Shadows - Episode 272 on the IMDb

Dark Shadows Everyday - Episode 272 - Bourne Yesterday

Dark Shadows Commentary- Episode 272: Nothing downstairs

Dark Shadows Before I Die- Episode 272: 7/11/67