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1969 / 1796


Grayson Hall


Sam Hall
Gordon Russell
Ron Sproat (uncredited)


Dan Curtis


January 6, 1969


December 27, 1968


Complete: Disc 69
Collection 12: Disc 1

661 Gallery
We have 45 images of Dark Shadows 661

Barnabas tells Julia about the events of the night of Victoria's hanging, then disappears into the past.



On this night an incident in the long dead past has intruded on the present. Barnabas Collins has learned of a hanging that occurred in the year 1796.

At Eagle Hill Cemetery, Barnabas and Julia have found the grave of Victoria Winters, who was “hanged as a witch” in 1796. Barnabas is determined he needs to travel to the past to stop Vicki's death, but Julia tells him that she went back before, and escaped. Barnabas reasons that because this time there was no one in the 20th century to take her place and the tombstone is the proof. Julia asks what happened on the night Vicki was hanged. Barnabas tells the story of Naomi Collins suicide and his plan to take revenge on Nathan Forbes as a flashback. He begins when Joshua Collins arrived in the Drawing room and told him that Naomi was dead.

Act I

Continuing his story, Barnabas recalls Joshua's plan to destroy Barnabas to end the curse. Joshua has discovered that a silver bullet fired to the heart will destroy a vampire instantly and he has arranged to have six silver bullets made. Barnabas agrees it is for the best, but first he wants to kill Lt. Forbes. Joshua tries to talk Barnabas out of it, but Barnabas is determined. Barnabas tells Julia how he found Forbes at The Eagle. Barnabas tells Forbes that he is responsible for Naomi's death, about his attempt to kill Daniel and his attempts to drive Millicent insane. Nathan pulls a gun on Barnabas and shoots. Barnabas, unhurt, tells Forbes he is already dead and then disappears after telling him he will die when the clock strikes 9pm.

Act II

Forbes runs to Joshua and tells him he tried to kill Barnabas. Joshua tells him that Barnabas is a vampire, placed under a curse and he is surprised Forbes is still alive. Forbes begs him to force Barnabas to stop, but Joshua tells him he has already asked Barnabas to stop, only because he does not want more bloodshed. He then excuses himself as he does not want to be there when Barnabas kills again. Forbes confronts Ben who tells him how he can kill Barnabas. Nathan tries to run away, but hears the dogs howling, which Ben tells him is a sign Barnabas is near. Forbes goes back to Joshua in his study at 8:56pm and there he sees a crossbow on the wall. He asks Joshua to leave and gets the crossbow ready. Barnabas enters Collinwood, unaware of Forbes' plan. Barnabas enters the study and sees the crossbow, too late. Nathan fires a shot into Barnabas' chest, missing the heart. Barnabas kills Forbes.


Barnabas continues his story, telling her that after Forbes was dead he and Joshua planned his destruction. Barnabas asks his father for two things: to free Ben Stokes and to stop Victoria's execution. Joshua agrees to the first and tells Barnabas he will write to the Governor and try to get him for a stay of execution and a new trial. Joshua attempts to tell Barnabas he loves him, but Barnabas stops him, fearful that it will make his father weaken. He tells Julia that he does not know what happened, but he must have told Ben to place the chains around his coffin. He tells her he stayed there in the coffin until Willie Loomis freed him. He tells Julia he should have not killed Forbes, and this time he will make Forbes recant his testimony. Julia tells him even if he could travel back he could not control anything, that Forbes could have better aim and that if he changes anything in the past it could set off a chain reaction that destroys him. She also points out he will be a vampire when he returns to 1796 and he may still remain a vampire when he does return to the present day.

He tells Julia to leave and return in 48 hours and then starts an incantation to Peter Bradford. When he finishes he turns around to see Julia and the gravestones of Peter Bradford and Victoria Winters fade away. He turns around wearing his cloak from 1796 and bares his fangs.

Memorable quotes[]

Barnabas: (to Julia) It was the most tragic night I have ever experienced. It all began when my mother discovered my coffin...

Barnabas: (to Nathan) I cannot die because I am already dead. Do I frighten you Forbes? I do not plan to kill you, at least not here, now. Later Forbes, after you've had time to think about it. Nine o'clock. When the clock strikes nine, you will die.

Joshua: (to Nathan) He blames Mrs. Collins' death on you, as do I.

Joshua: (to Nathan) I almost feel sorry for you.

Ben: (to Nathan) Alright, I will. The way to destroy him is to drive a wooden stake through his heart. (laughs and grins) During the day he rests in his coffin! You go to his coffin tomorrow morning ... drive a stake through his heart [and] you'll destroy him. Only you won't live that long. Tomorrow morning you'll be dead!

Dramatis personae[]

Background information and notes[]


  • Most of this episode is told in flashback, using footage from 456 to 460. This explains why both Sam Hall (writer of 456) and Gordon Russell (457, 458) are credited on-screen for this episode, although Ron Sproat, who wrote episodes 459 and 460, should have received a credit as well.
  • Many of the scenes from the 1795 flashback episodes are very blurry and washed-out, suggesting that the tapes used may have been at least a generation removed from the originals.
  • Series creator Dan Curtis returns to the director's chair, having last done so in 461.
  • The credits are joined in progress missing Jonathan Frid's credit and starting with Grayson Hall's credit.
  • The end credits fade out without showing a copyright year. (This may have been one of the unauthorized blooper "corrections" that took place during production of the original DVD sets; according to Danny Horn at Dark Shadows Every Day, the episode as originally telecast skipped the opening titles after the teaser. Instead, the titles were inserted near the end of the closing credit roll, after Dan Curtis' series creator/executive producer credit!) On the original release of Collection 12, the opening titles appear in their customary place, after the teaser. In the Complete Original Series, they appear at the end of the episode.


  • The form of 'time travel' used here is different to that seen previously. Here, Barnabas' conciousness is transported back into his younger body. This type of time travel will be expanded upon further when it is used again in 700.
  • FLASHBACK: Barnabas recalls everything that happened the night Victoria was hanged in 1796: Naomi's death, Joshua's decision to destroy Barnabas, the murder of Nathan Forbes, and Joshua's decision to chain up Barnabas instead of destroying him. (Previously seen in 456 to 460).
  • TIMELINE: Barnabas asks Julia to return to Peter Bradford's grave in 48 hours.
    • From Barnabas' perspective, time remains parallel between 1969 and 1796: Barnabas spends under three days in 1796. When he returns to 1969 in 666 the same amount of time has passed.

Bloopers and continuity errors[]

  • A boom microphone shadow can be seen as Nathan runs to tell Joshua about Barnabas.
  • Camera shadows can be seen on the wall when Barnabas and Ben await news of Naomi's condition.
  • There are no candles in the candelabra in the secret room of the Collins mausoleum when Ben chains him up. There will be long candles, which have been barely used, when Nathan and Natalie DuPres arrive to stake him, then only stubs when he is freed after his time-travel.
  • The door to the secret room in the mausoleum opens by itself as Ben is finishing up chaining Barnabas's coffin.
  • Jonathan Frid flubs and then lets the line just die, "I will control... more control..."
  • The clock chimes 9 o'clock while the hands show a time of 8:58.

External Links []

Dark Shadows - Episode 661 on the IMDb

Dark Shadows Everyday - Episode 661 - Greatest Hits

Gallery (c.jpg|Barnabas recalls 1796)[]