This article belongs to the continuity of the novels by Marilyn Ross.

Christopher Jennings was a werewolf and progenitor of a wolf cult in early 1900's. He was born in Collinsport, Maine, but spent many years growing up in Boston. Christopher's mother worked as a servant for the esteemed Collins family. He never knew his father.

Early life[edit | edit source]

After graduating from Yale University, Chris returned to Collinsport where he began studying black magic. He always resented the wealth and posterity of the Collins family and over the years, he developed an intense hatred for them – especially the family patriarch, Michael Collins.

At some point in his youth, Chris met a witch named Angelique (who had been assuming the name of Melissa Henry at the time), and acquired a special belt made from the pelt of a wolf. With Angelique’s guidance, Chris learned of a ritual that could physically transform him into a werewolf, and so he established his own wolf-cult in Collinsport. During this period, Chris met a former lumberjack named Abel, who was likewise indoctrinated into Chris’ nascent wolf-cult.

Shortly thereafter, Chris married a woman named Rachel. Their marriage was very brief however, and ended when Chris transformed into a werewolf and tore out his wife's throat. Rachel's godfather, the aging Joseph Sharon, publicly accused Chris of Rachel's murder. Chris returned to Boston shortly thereafter, giving the scandal an opportunity to die down.

Paula[edit | edit source]

In the autumn of 1909, Chris returned to Collinsport a wealthy man. He purchased the old seaside Cranshaw House, located a short distance from the Collinwood estate. He hired Abel and his sister Peg to work as staff members at the large mansion.

One evening, Chris attended a party where he met Paula Collins. Despite his brusque demeanor, he managed to seduce Paula and before long, the two were married. Paula's family was shocked to discover that one of their own would ever marry a Jennings. Michael Collins became very vocal about the affair and tried to discourage his niece's infatuation with Chris Jennings. Although Paula was cognizant of the rift between Chris and the Collins family, she was completely unaware of Chris' involvement in the black arts.

By March of 1910, the newlyweds moved into Cranshaw House. Almost immediately, Chris began setting up a scheme by which to bring Paula into his wolf-cult. Paula quickly became disenchanted with her new husband, as he grew increasingly cruel to her as each day passed. Paula found solace in the arms of a distant relative named Barnabas Collins.

Chris eventually learned that Paula had been spending more and more time with Barnabas. He also suspected that Barnabas may in fact be a vampire. Fearful that Barnabas may prove to be an impediment to his cult, Chris made a hurried trip to Boston to contact Angelique. Angelique was the witch responsible for transforming Barnabas into a vampire in the first place. They returned to Cranshaw House where Angelique assumed the guise of a new housekeeper, Melissa Henry.

Final fate[edit | edit source]

Chris and Angelique began terrorizing Paula in an effort to weaken her resolve. As werewolves, they cornered her on the front lawn of the Cranshaw House, and attacked her. Barnabas Collins, taking the form of a bat, flew down and distracted the two werewolves long enough for Paula to get safely inside the house.

Soon after however, Chris was ready to bring Paula fully into his cult. He wanted to own her body and soul. Angelique and he prepared a special black magic altar in a secret vault in the cellar of the mansion. They grabbed Paula and left her bound and gagged in the vault room for almost a day.

That evening, Barnabas Collins came to her rescue. He retrieved Paula from the secret vault and trapped Chris and Angelique inside. Barnabas had an intimate familiarity with the house, and knew of a hidden valve that would flood the room with water from the nearby sea. He opened the valve and Chris and Angelique drowned together inside the room.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • This version of Chris Jennings is exclusive to the Marilyn Ross novels and differs greatly from the character featured on the original Dark Shadows television series.
  • This version of Chris Jennings lived during the early 1900s whereas the television version lived during the 1960s.
  • Both versions of Chris Jennings were werewolves, but the characteristics of their respective conditions varied greatly. In the novel version, Chris willfully became a werewolf as the result of a satanic ritual. The television version was the victim of a hereditary curse.
  • The Chris Jennings werewolf from the novel transformed into an actual wolf, whereas the television version transformed into a bipedal monster with wolf-like features.
  • The novel version of Chris Jennings was clearly evil and was obsessed with black magic, whereas his television counterpart was merely a haunted victim.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

The Foe of Barnabas Collins

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