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Alexandra Moltke
(as Victoria Winters)


Joe Caldwell


John Sedwick


July 12, 1967


June 25, 1967


Complete: Disc 31
Collection 2: Disc 3

273 Gallery
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Jason confesses to Elizabeth that she didn't kill Paul Stoddard; she only wounded him. Jason and Paul let her think she had killed him and that Jason had buried the body in the basement.



My name is Victoria Winters. The foundations of Collinwood lie deep in the age-old rock that has resisted the sea for centuries. Its walls rival the cliff, and it would seem that even the thunders of Heaven could never shake the stones on which it stands. But it may be that the whole vast structure of the proud and ancient house rests on ground no larger than the size of a man's grave. And the disturbed earth is about to send a shudder through the piled stones that will topple the walls and destroy the old house forever.

Sheriff Patterson and Burke lift the trunk they have found buried in the cellar's locked room. Patterson begins to break the rusted lock with a crowbar; he and Burke both have to force the lid open. They look inside, and then glance at each other in stunned amazement.

Act I

Upstairs in the drawing room, Elizabeth paces anxiously whilst Roger wonders why his sister never confided in him regarding the eighteen-year-old secret she had been carrying. Her pride prevented her; Roger realizes Elizabeth could never have trusted him as he might have blackmailed her like Jason did. Roger is certain Elizabeth has a clear cause for defense, but she reminds him she didn't torment herself for eighteen years to escape justice. She has always been terrified how the truth would affect Carolyn. Roger believes Carolyn will understand in time; Elizabeth is not so sure. Now that her daughter has left Collinwood, Elizabeth believes she has lost her forever. At that moment, Sheriff Patterson and Burke return as a phone call for the former comes in. McGuire has been caught, and Patterson orders him to be brought back to Collinwood. Neither Elizabeth nor Roger want to see Jason, but the Sheriff is insistent. Patterson has some specific questions for McGuire to answer. Elizabeth is stunned to learn that the buried trunk was absolutely empty.

Act II

Along with the Sheriff, Roger and Elizabeth descend to the basement where Elizabeth identifies the trunk and the spot in which Paul Stoddard was presumably buried. The trunk is empty, and there is no sign that it ever held anything. Elizabeth is hysterical; the room was always kept locked and she never left Collinwood for fear of someone finding out the secret. She has been a prisoner, guarding the room for nothing. If Paul is not buried in the basement, what did Jason do with the body? Patterson suggests that Elizabeth never killed Paul Stoddard. How can she be sure? She only has Jason's word for that. Speak of the devil, McGuire is thrust into the room by Burke and one of the Sheriff's deputies. Jason continues to act innocent, claiming he's never laid eyes on the uncovered trunk before. Patterson threatens him with jail as there's already enough evidence to put McGuire away for a long time. Jason changes tack, requesting to speak to Elizabeth alone. If it is the only way to find out the truth, she agrees.


Roger, Burke and Sheriff Patterson wait in the foyer while Elizabeth and Jason talk alone in the drawing room. Roger worries that McGuire will find another way to slime his way out of trouble and manipulate Elizabeth all over again. However, Jason has finally told a stunned Elizabeth the truth and she calls in the trio outside. Elizabeth did not kill Paul Stoddard; McGuire formulated a plan with Paul: to pretend Elizabeth murdered him and then split the blackmail money. Having lost contact with Paul in Hong Kong ten years ago, Jason has no idea of his current whereabouts. Jason attempts to coolly walk out, but the Sheriff halts him. Elizabeth intercedes, requesting McGuire be let go. It seems Jason did make one final deal with her: if he told her the truth, she would drop all charges against him. A furious Roger orders Patterson to arrest McGuire.

Act IV

Elizabeth pleads with Roger; she wants to be rid of Jason McGuire once and for all. Roger persists, but the thought of Elizabeth being humiliated in a public trial convinces him otherwise. As Jason begins to smugly leave again, the Sheriff warns him to depart Collinsport post-haste. McGuire sleazes his way into remaining in town until tomorrow night. Patterson escorts him out. Burke wonders if the scumbag is planning something, but Elizabeth says it's better not knowing anything about Jason McGuire. Much later, Jason sneaks back onto the estate and approaches the Old House. It is clear he does indeed have another scheme on his mind.

Memorable quotes[]

Sheriff Patterson: (to Jason) Don't give me your word. It's about the most worthless commodity on the market.

Jason: (to Sheriff Patterson) I don't know anything about anything.

Sheriff Patterson: Just where do you think you're going?
Jason: Well, I don't know exactly. I understand that Canada is rather beautiful this time of year.

Elizabeth:  But I’ve kept this room locked! I haven’t left Collinwood for eighteen years, to be sure nobody came down here and found out!
Roger:: Come on, Liz, let’s go back upstairs.
Elizabeth: I’ve been a prisoner because of this room! But there’s nothing there, nothing! Why have I lived like this? Why have I been guarding this room?

Dramatis personae[]

Background information and notes[]


  • This episode was recorded out of broadcast sequence. The previous episode to be recorded was 271.
  • This is the thirteenth episode since Barnabas' introduction in 210 not to contribute to the vampire storyline instead focusing solely on the blackmail storyline.


  • In another revelation-packed episode, viewers learn that Elizabeth never murdered her husband Paul Stoddard at all. She simply stunned him.
  • Jason hasn't seen Paul Stoddard for 10 Years. The last he saw him was in Hong Kong, and Jason says Paul looked "remarkably healthy."
  • After digging in the basement, Sheriff Patterson and Burke are remarkably clean.
  • When Elizabeth leaves the room for good at the end of this episode, they leave an electric overhead lamp on that switches on and off via a cord. Apparently they didn't care about the utility bills any more than Barnabas cared to preserve candle wax in deep cellar passageways.
  • TIMELINE: Jason will leave Collinsport tomorrow evening.

Bloopers and continuity errors[]

  • In Act I, Sheriff Patterson says, "There are some specific questions I want to ask him." Joan Bennett, stepping on Dana Elcar's line, then says, "I think I can," at which point, Elcar continues his line, "about the trunk in the basement". Bennett then says, "I think I can give you all the answers you want".
  • Joan Bennett is looking at the TelePrompter often, especially in Act I.
  • In Act III when Roger insists that the sheriff arrest Jason, he flubs his line a bit and then smiles while still on camera, likely thinking the take was over or that perhaps that the director would cut and re-shoot [Addendum: Louis Edmonds in all likelihood would not be thinking the director would cut and reshoot as the show was performed "live to tape"; that is, it was taped in one take. Tape editing was difficult and expensive at the time, and there are very few retakes or edits in the show--this is why we have so many bloopers. For such a minor flub, Edmonds would have certainly known there would be no retake.]
  • In the drawing room, as Roger speculates on whether he would have done differently than Jason McGuire had Liz told him about the basement and Paul Stoddard, Louis Edmonds says, "Oh, I would have keeped -- kept it a secret... just as he did."
  • In Act IV, when Liz and Roger argue whether to let Jason go or not, there's a metallic ringing sound off stage.

End credits announcements[]

External links []

Dark Shadows - Episode 273 on the IMDb

Dark Shadows Every Day - Episode 273 - All These Years

The Dark Shadows Daybook - Episode 273

Dark Shadows Commentary- Episode 273: Why is there nothing there?

Dark Shadows Before I Die- Episode 273: 7/12/67