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Kathryn Leigh Scott


Gordon Russell


John Sedwick


September 20, 1967


September 8, 1967


Complete: Disc 36
Collection 3: Disc 4

323 Gallery
We have 9 images of Dark Shadows 323

Willie is in a coma after being shot while trying to warn Maggie. Barnabas is worried that if Willie comes out of the coma, he will reveal the truth.



The great house on the Collins estate is dark, and a stillness pervades the night. But not far away, the stillness will soon be shattered, and, for one man, the night will end in violence.

A trap has been set. With all of Collinsport believing Maggie Evans' memory has returned, Sheriff Patterson's deputies wait in hiding around the Evans cottage for the Collinsport Strangler to strike. A figure appears outside the French doors of Maggie's room, and Maggie screams as she is awakened by the deputies firing their guns. Sam comforts Maggie as one of the deputies reports that the assailant has been shot "five times in the back."

Act I

Maggie, Sam and Joe Haskell are shocked to learn that the intruder was Willie Loomis. Sheriff Patterson orders an ambulance for Willie who, incredibly, is still alive. Afterwards, he questions the trio about their connection to Willie. They recall the events of 202 in which Willie made unwelcome advances toward Maggie and the abrupt change in Willie once he started working for Barnabas Collins. Maggie, wanting to eliminate all doubt, wonders if Willie really was the man responsible for her abduction. Sheriff Patterson points out that his men waited until Willie tried breaking into Maggie's room before taking action. Further evidence against Willie includes the fact he was present at the Blue Whale the night the trap was set into motion.

Act II

At the Old House, Barnabas laments Sarah Collins not appearing to him when Dr. Julia Hoffman pays him an unexpected visit. She commends the vampire for following her advice and not carrying out his threat to kill Maggie. Barnabas, however, reveals he almost went after Maggie, only to be prevented from doing so by Sarah's presence. At that moment, Sheriff Patterson drops by with news about Willie. Both Barnabas and Julia are shocked; Willie is in critical condition, and there is little chance of ever obtaining a statement from him. Barnabas expresses interest in offering an apology to Maggie, and both he and Julia accompany the Sheriff to the Evans cottage.


Patterson, believing Willie to be the Collinsport Strangler, escorts Julia and Barnabas inside to visit Maggie. Barnabas apologizes and, due to his lack of judgment concerning Willie's character, takes partial responsibility for Willie's actions. He and Julia learn of the trap that was set to draw out Maggie's attacker. Although the Collinsport Strangler has been caught, Maggie stills remembers nothing of her ordeal. Sheriff Patterson, having spoken with Dr. Dave Woodard via telephone, reports that all but one of the bullets have been successfully removed from Willie's back and that Willie has lapsed into a coma. There is a small possibility he might survive and, eventually, talk.

Act IV

Having returned to the Old House, Barnabas awaits Julia, who has gone to the hospital to check on Willie's progress. She arrives and reports having seen Willie's medical report: it will be nothing short of a miracle if Willie wakes from his coma. Once Willie dies, then Barnabas will be completely clear. But the vampire worries over the chance of Maggie remembering the truth. Julia assures him this will never happen.

Meantime, at the Evans Cottage, Maggie has managed to go back to sleep. Sam and Joe pour themselves a drink and consider finally getting some rest now that Maggie is safe.

Back at the Old House, Barnabas realizes he needn't worry about Maggie... at least for the time being. Although Willie's impending death will remove all suspicion, there still remains one problem: David Collins. Something will have to be done to stop the boy from betraying his secret.

Memorable quotes[]

Sam: (about Willie) You mean to tell me that that man has a back full of bullets and he's still alive?

Maggie: Poor Barnabas. He tried so hard to be kind to Willie.

Dramatis personae[]

Background information and notes[]


  • This episode was recorded out of broadcast sequence. The previous episode to be recorded was 320.
  • The color videotape master of this episode is lost. However, a monochrome kinescope film copy does exist.


Bloopers and continuity errors[]

  • In Act I, Joel Crothers and David Ford step on each other's lines when Joe comes into the house. Joe says "But he's the one" and Sam says "It's over now" at the same time.
  • At the beginning of Barnabas’ first scene in the Old House, some coughing can be heard off-stage before he opens the door for Julia.
  • Julia says she has come to the Old House to do some work, but previous scenes have established that it is about 3:00 a.m.
  • At the end of Act II, as Barnabas and Julia are about to leave the Old House to accompany the sheriff to the Evans cottage, Julia appears to say something, but the stinger music to end the scene has already started and obscures any sound she makes.
  • In Act IV, as Barnabas and Julia are talking in the Old House, they step on each other's lines.
  • When Julia arrives at the Old House after trying to see Willie at the hospital, she says Dr. Woodard is still in the operating with him. However, earlier, Sheriff Patterson said he had talked to Dr. Woodard, who said he had successfully removed all but one of the bullets from Willie, suggesting he was finished with surgery. But in the next episode, Woodard mentions that he removed the final bullet from Willie at 6:30 that morning. So clearly he was still operating on Willie when Julia tried to see him.

End credits announcements[]

External links []

Dark Shadows - Episode 323 on the IMDb

Dark Shadows Every Day - Episode 323 - Fire at Will

The Dark Shadows Daybook - Episode 323

Dark Shadows Commentary- Episode 323: Partly responsible

Dark Shadows Before I Die- Episode 323: 9/20/67