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Alexandra Moltke


Joe Caldwell


Lela Swift


July 19, 1967


July 3, 1967


Complete: Disc 31
Collection 2: Disc 3

278 Gallery
We have 5 images of Dark Shadows 278

Victoria comes to collect the clothing for the costume party and is very taken with both Josette's dress and the idea of having a history, even if it's for only one night.



An invitation has come to Collinwood, an invitation to enter the past, a party at which the clothes worn by the guests will belong to another time, as well as to another identity, where for a few candlelit hours, an evening long dead will live again. But the past, like the future, can hold its uncertainties, and no one can prophesize where this journey out of time will lead. One can only follow the strange and melancholy man who will be its guide.

At the Old House, Barnabas is in the process of scolding Willie for having turned down a request. It seems that Willie believes the 18th century clothing he and Barnabas discovered in a trunk will never be used. Barnabas intends to ignore his servant's pessimism, and Willie is surprised to learn that the Collins family accepted the party invitation. Barnabas then orders him to bring the trunk to Josette's room where he will be waiting.

Act I

Later, Willie has done as he was bidden and Barnabas lifts the clothing out of the trunk. Willie is still amazed that Elizabeth and Roger agreed to dressing like their ancestors. He is equally surprised to hear how enchanted Victoria was with the idea. Willie, who doesn't want to see the governess end up like Maggie Evans, warns Barnabas to stay away from her. Barnabas becomes irritated by his servant's concern, and Willie finally closes the subject. After his vampire master leaves to visit Collinwood, Willie nervously puts Josette's gown back inside the trunk.

Act II

Later, Barnabas invites an eager Victoria to visit the Old House and help select clothes for the party. Elizabeth is having second thoughts about attending; she is bothered by the idea of wearing someone else's clothes and pretending to be someone from the past. She isn't sure she wants to bring the feeling of the Collins ancestors any closer than they are now. Elizabeth feels superstitious and foolish over her fears, whilst Victoria is disappointed that she won't be able to wear one of Josette's gowns. Barnabas is clearly pleased to hear how much she was looking forward to it. Elizabeth, not wanting to spoil everyone's fun, relents and agrees to everyone wearing costumes. Victoria is delighted; Barnabas smiles, seeing his plans developing well.


At the Old House, Sarah is sitting on the trunk in Josette's room, tossing a ball. She is gone, however, when Barnabas and Victoria enter. Barnabas senses an odd disturbance in the room, and Victoria concurs, feeling as if someone was there before them. Barnabas passes it off as Elizabeth's anxieties affecting them both. He shows Victoria the trunk, and she is overwhelmed by Josette's exquisite dress. Although it would be a perfect fit, she doesn't think she could wear something so fine and elegant. Barnabas disagrees; his gallantry charms her. Victoria believes Barnabas would be more at home in the 18th century rather than the 20th. He wonders which she would prefer: the present or the past. It is clear Victoria would choose the latter. She chooses another dress from the trunk, which once belonged to Millicent Collins; it will be for Carolyn. Her next selection is clothing worn by Jeremiah Collins, and the mention of him turns Barnabas' mood sour. Things go from bad to worse when Victoria discovers Sarah Collins' dress in the trunk. Barnabas speaks fondly of the "first Barnabas'" little sister, and Victoria notes that it almost sounds as if he knew her. Sometimes, Barnabas tells her, the ancestors of the Collins family are a bit too real. Victoria expresses how much she misses having a family identity of her own, and Barnabas suggests that wearing Josette's dress will allow her to take on Josette's character and lineage. She likes the idea of being Josette for one night.

Act IV

Later, Victoria has returned to Collinwood with Josette's dress in hand. Elizabeth notes how Victoria shares Barnabas' love of the past, and that she has also become incurably romantic. Barnabas has an uncanny knowledge of the past, which makes him comes across as being a little sad and lost. To Victoria, Barnabas seems to belong to another time which he can never find because it is gone forever. Back in Josette's room, Barnabas plays the music box as he gazes up at Josette's portrait. Willie interrupts; Barnabas orders him to take the other costumes to Collinwood in the morning. Willie moves to collect them, only to pause when he sees Sarah's dress. He tells Barnabas it was the same kind of dress the little girl he found playing outside was wearing. Barnabas finds his statements preposterous, then orders him to help in the party preparations. Once they leave the room, Sarah appears and picks up the little girl's clothes, excited that she has found her blue dress.

Memorable quotes[]

Barnabas: The Collins family have always been responsive to anything imaginative.

Elizabeth: As a Collins, I'm sure our ancestors must sometimes be as real to you as the people living in the present.
Barnabas: Yes... perhaps... sometimes.

Victoria: I really will be Josette after all.

Victoria: You're the most gallant man I ever met. Sometimes... sometimes I think you belong to a completely different time than ours.
Barnabas: Oh?
Victoria: (looking at Josette's portrait) More to her time. Perhaps that's why this house suits you so perfectly.
Barnabas: Given a choice, which time would you prefer? Hers or ours?
Victoria: I don't know. But I think if I could wear dresses like this all the time, I'd be very happy... and very vain.

Barnabas (to Willie): Now, come. I have things for you to do other than to make preposterous statements.

Dramatis personae[]

Background information and notes[]



  • When Victoria walks into Josette's room, she says, "So this was her room," as though she had never been there, but she and Carolyn had been in this room shortly after it had been restored.
  • GHOSTWATCH: Sarah's ghost appears in Josette's room at the Old House.
  • When the "London Bridge" music cue--that is, the phrase that completes the song--has played in the past as a concluding stinger, it has been in a minor key. In this episode, at the end when Sarah is excited to find her blue dress, it is played in a major key.
  • TIMELINE: Day 97 takes place. It was last night when Barnabas asked Victoria and the rest of the Collins family to a costume party. Willie will bring the costumes over to Collinwood in the morning.

Bloopers and continuity errors[]

  • During the opening narration, Alexandra Moltke trips over the word "melancholy."
  • When Willie and Barnabas are talking in Josette's room in Act 1 as Barnabas places Josette's dress on the bed, a boom mic shadow can be seen moving on the bed's canopy.
  • In the previous episode, Barnabas goes to Josette’s bed and admires her dress laid out on the bed as he talks about the costume party. Today, what seems to be the same dress is somehow in the trunk and apparently pulled out for the first time.
  • When Barnabas is visiting Elizabeth and Victoria in the Collinwood drawing room, Joan Bennett and Jonathan Frid briefly trip over each other's lines. When Elizabeth says that the Collins ancestors must seem as real to Barnabas as those living in the present, Barnabas responds, "Yes...uh, perhaps..."; then Elizabeth starts to say her next line, starting with "They," but Frid continues to finish his own line, "...sometimes."
  • When Willie is looking at Sarah's dress on the bed in Josette's room, a blocky shadow (a camera, most likely) moves across the bed.
  • During the credits, a stagehand can be seen moving between the curtains in Josette's room. See image here:

End credits announcements[]

External links []

Dark Shadows - Episode 278 on the IMDb

Dark Shadows Everyday - Episode 278 - Of Course! A Costume Party!

Dark Shadows Commentary- Episode 278: If you become Josette

Dark Shadows Before I Die- Episode 278: 7/19/67