House of Dark Shadows novel
House of Dark Shadows (novel)



Paperback Library




Marilyn Ross




October 1970



Dark Shadows House of Dark Shadows (novel)

House of Dark Shadows is a novelization by Marilyn Ross of the film of the same name. It takes place in a continuity separate from that of the other Paperback Library novels.

Publisher's summary Edit

House of Dark Shadows is a new novel based on the first full-length feature film inspired by the characters of the highly successful ABC-TV suspense drama, DARK SHADOWS. All your Collinwood favorites come to life on the movie screen and in this thrilling novel about Collinwood’s vampire curse.

Synopsis Edit

Maggie Evans is the governess to young David Collins at the Collinwood estate in Collinsport, Maine. David is a troublemaker and likes to play ghoulish pranks on Maggie. His latest stunt involves hanging himself from his bedroom closet, and having Maggie believe that he is dead. Maggie discovers David’s limp body hanging in the closet and runs off to find his father, Roger. When they arrive to inspect the bedroom, they find that David has disappeared. Furious, Roger sends Maggie out to look for him. She searches through the Collinwood stables where she finds the family’s drunken handyman, Willie Loomis. Willie has no interest in searching for David, and prefers to tell Maggie about his desire to find the missing family jewels. Roger enters the stable and tells Willie to join the search party for David. Willie tells Roger to look for his own kid, thus incurring Roger’s ire. At which point Roger promptly fires him.

Maggie continues her search and goes to the original Collinwood estate known as the Old House. The Old House is one of David’s favorite hiding places. David locks Maggie in one of the bedrooms and races off back to Collinwood.

Meanwhile, Willie goes to the cemetery and breaks into the Collins family mausoleum. He deciphers a riddle, which leads him into a secret burial chamber, deep beneath the family tomb. Inside is an ancient coffin wrapped in chains. Willie pries the coffin open hoping to find the legendary missing jewels, but instead finds the vampire, Barnabas Collins. Barnabas grabs Willie by the throat and turns him into his unwilling slave.

Later in the evening, Barnabas attacks Daphne Budd – secretary to Collinwood’s matriarch, Elizabeth Collins Stoddard. He drinks her blood and leaves the girl stumbling about the main road leading towards Collinwood. A man named Jeff Clark nearly runs Daphne over with his car. She faints before him, and Jeff brings her back to Collinwood. Dr. Julia Hoffman, a doctor on sabbatical staying at Collinwood, administers medical attention to Daphne.

Maggie goes to visit her boyfriend, Jeff at his art studio on Beach Road. Jeff completes a sale on a painting for a wealthy, young socialite named Nancy Hodiak. Nancy leaves the studio and ascends the steep embankment leading to her car. Someone steps out from the dark shadows and attacks her. Jeff runs outside and finds Nancy’s dead body. Maggie and he contact the Collinsport sheriffs’ department.

A few nights later, Elizabeth's daughter, Carolyn and her fiancé Todd Blake go to the restaurant/lounge at the Collinsport Inn. Carolyn sees Willie having dinner with an unidentifiable guest. She speaks to Willie and informs him that he never picked up his last paycheck. Willie apologizes and tells her that he has been busy with his new job.

Barnabas Collins, now adorned in modern business fashion, arrives at Collinwood and introduces himself. Roger and the others are amazed to see him. He is the spitting image of an ancestor named Barnabas Collins whose portrait hangs in the Gallery Room at Collinwood. Barnabas claims to be a descendent of the original Barnabas Collins, whose family moved to England some time in 1797. He gives Elizabeth an extremely valuable necklace that once belonged to the original Barnabas' mother, Naomi Collins. He further asks if he can move in to the Old House – the property owned by his great ancestor. The Collins allow him this opportunity, but warn him that the Old House is in ill-repair and needs to be renovated.

Carolyn Stoddard finds herself irrationally attracted to her more distinguished cousin and visits him at the Old House. She is amazed by the fast progress that Willie and Barnabas are making on the renovations. She finds Barnabas, and Barnabas bites her, turning her into his thrall.

The following evening, Elizabeth and Roger host a costume ball at Collinwood in honor of the arrival of Barnabas Collins. Barnabas meets Maggie Evans, who is dressed in the wedding gown of his 18th century lover, Josette DuPres. Barnabas is smitten with Maggie and learns that she plans on leaving Collinwood. Taking her aside in the library, he uses his vampiric guile and convinces her to stay.

After the party, Barnabas returns to the Old House and ruminates about the tragic death of his beloved Josette. He tells Willie that Maggie is the reincarnation of Josette and he intends on making her his bride. Carolyn arrives and overhears the conversation. She threatens to tell Maggie that Barnabas is a vampire. Barnabas flies into a rage and attacks Carolyn killing her. After satiating his bloodlust he tells Willie to "get her out of here". Willie brings her back to Collinwood where the housekeeper, Mrs. Johnson discovers her body.

Funeral services are held for Carolyn and she is buried in the Collins family mausoleum. Dr. Hoffman analyzes samples of Carolyn's blood and recognizes trace elements of the same unknown virus that was present in Daphne Budd's blood sample. Professor T. Eliot Stokes, a friend of the family confers with Julia and tells her that the recent attacks in Collinsport may have been caused by a vampire. Julia is more clinically minded than Stokes, and has difficulty believing his wild claim.

After the funeral, David is playing down by the old swimming pool when he hears an eerie voice calling his name. Carolyn steps out from the shadows. She is now a vampire. She continues to beckon David, but David runs away from her back to the dining room at Collinwood. He tells everyone that he has seen Carolyn alive, but they dismiss his claims as the byproduct of grief. Only Professor Stokes gives any credence to David’s claim. He tells the rest of the family that he believes Carolyn Stoddard is a vampire.

Later, Todd Blake decides to see if there is any truth behind Stokes’ bizarre theory. He goes to the Collins mausoleum and begins skulking about. Carolyn appears from out of the darkness and bites him.

Before long, everyone is aware that Carolyn is a vampire and is actively haunting Collinwood. Sheriff George Patterson confers with Professor Stokes and arms his men with crucifixes and silver bullets. They corner Carolyn in the stables and keep her at bay with their crosses. Several deputies hold her down, while Professor Stokes hammers a wooden stake into her heart.

Shortly thereafter, Julia discovers that Stokes was right, and that the vampire haunting Collinsport is Barnabas Collins. Convinced that she can cure him, she arrives at the Old House and offers him the ability to live as a normal human being. Barnabas feels threatened by Julia’s proposition, but the benefits are too great for him to ignore. She begins preparing a series of injections designed to isolate and destroy the offending vampiric cell structure.

Over the course of several weeks, the process begins to take effect. Barnabas now has the ability to walk in the daylight. Taking advantage of his newfound lease on life, he begins spending more and more time with Maggie Evans. He even arranges for Jeff Clark to be out of town for a short while attending an artist’s show at the Evanston Gallery in Boston. With Jeff out of the way, Barnabas now has the ability to pursue Maggie.

Julia meanwhile, has found that she is falling in love with Barnabas, and is crushed when she discovers that he only has his eyes set on Maggie. With feelings of rejection overwhelming her, she deliberately sabotages Barnabas’ next injection. Moments after taking his regularly scheduled serum, Barnabas begins to transform into a hideous old man. He sees Julia’s luggage, packed and ready and realizes that she intentionally betrayed him. Despite his aging form, Barnabas lunges at her and strangles her to death.

He then skulks back to Collinwood to find Maggie. He kills a deputy and scoops Maggie up into his arms. He begins to drink her blood as Elizabeth walks in and sees the deranged, blood-crazed old man. Barnabas takes Maggie back to the Old House. After consuming enough blood, he reverts back to his normal appearance. He dresses Maggie up in Josette’s wedding dress and prepares to make her his immortal bride.

Professor Stokes meanwhile gets with Jeff and Roger. He tells them that Barnabas is the fiend that they are after. Stokes and Roger decide to explore the coves and islands surrounding Widows' Hill. They arrange for Jeff to meet up with them later.

At a little past sunset, Jeff receives a message instructing him to meet Professor Stokes and Roger at St. Eustace Island. He borrows a boat and rows out to the island. He discovers that Barnabas has already found Stokes and Roger and turned them both into vampires. Jeff struggles with each of them individually, but eventually succeeds in ending their undead lives.

He then finds Willie in the ruins of an old castle on the island. The two struggle with one another and Willie knocks Jeff out temporarily. Jeff awakens moments later and follows Barnabas and Willie's trail to an abandoned chapel within the castle. This is where Barnabas has taken Maggie. Jeff arms himself with a crossbow and races across the rotunda.

Jeff finds Barnabas placing Maggie’s unconscious body onto an altar. He fires a crossbow bolt into the back of Willie Loomis. Barnabas wheels around and attempts to use his vampiric hypnosis on Jeff. Jeff stumbles about, but eventually regains control of his mind long enough to plunge a crossbow bolt into Barnabas’ back. The weapon pierces the vampire’s heart and Barnabas is destroyed.

Characters Edit

Background information and notes Edit

  • Author Dan Ross frequently refers to Dr. Julia Hoffman as the woman doctor throughout the course of the story. At the time of publication, female doctors were fairly uncommon. Ross' colloquialism, while seemingly biased, merely reflected the time period in which the story was written and was likely not intended to appear as sexist commentary.
  • This story takes place in June-July of 1970. The months are provided in the novelization, while the year is based upon the time when the movie was released.

Production stills Edit

The novel contains a sixteen-page insert featuring production stills from the movie. Photographs include the following:

  • Barnabas and Maggie standing at the chapel monastery.
  • Barnabas turning around as a crossbow bolt strikes Willie in the back (double-page spread)
  • A police deputy warding off the vampire Carolyn with a cross.
  • A promotional photograph of Jonathan Frid and Kathryn Leigh Scott standing in front of the Lyndhurst Estate (the setting of Collinwood).
  • Carolyn screaming in agony as a wooden stake is hammered into her heart.
  • Carolyn rising from her coffin.
  • Carolyn fleeing the police deputies in the old stables.
  • Barnabas kissing Maggie’s hand. (scene cut from movie).
  • A promotional photograph of Jonathan Frid and Joan Bennett.
  • Jeff Clark aiming his crossbow through the balcony posts at the chapel monastery.
  • Jeff Clark and Maggie Evans at Carolyn’s funeral.
  • Willie Loomis standing over Barnabas’ chained coffin.
  • Carolyn stalking David at the old swimming pool.
  • Willie cleaning Carolyn’s throat after Barnabas’ attack (scene cut from movie).
  • Willie standing remorsefully next to Maggie Evans at the Old House.

Differences between the book and the movie Edit

There are many scenes that were deleted from the final movie print but were preserved in the context of the novel. Those scenes include the following:

  • A scene from the movie involving David pretending to hang himself in his closet to scare Maggie was filmed but never included. The footage is considered lost. The scene is included in the novel.
  • In the movie, Jeff Clark discovers David Collins sneaking into his room at Collinwood after having gone missing for several hours. In the novel, Jeff, Todd, Elizabeth, Roger and Carolyn all discover him at the front door of Collinwood.
  • In the movie, Jeff Clark goes by himself to the Old House to look for Maggie. In the novel, Jeff and Todd Blake go together.
  • In the movie, the scene involving the death of Nancy Hodiak is never included. Some of the details surrounding her death have been co-opted into the Daphne Budd attack scene.
  • The novel features an extended opening conversation between Barnabas Collins and the rest of his family, as well as the initial inspection of the Old House – both of these scenes never appeared in the movie.
  • The novel details Willie carrying Carolyn’s body back to Collinwood. This was never shown in the movie.
  • The novel features added dialogue during the dinner scene in which Professor Stokes reveals his theories concerning Carolyn’s death.
  • The novel features an argument between Maggie and Jeff that was not shown in the final print of the movie.
  • The novel features a scene involving Maggie and David having a picnic. Jeff tells Maggie about his art exhibit at the Evanston Gallery. This scene was not shown in the final print of the movie.
  • The novel features extended scenes of Julia’s experiments with Barnabas, that were not shown in the final print of the movie.
  • In the novel, both Willie and Jeff stab Barnabas at the old chapel. In the movie, only Jeff is seen stabbing Barnabas. Willie does in fact stab Barnabas in the film. Proof: When Barnabas was about to vampirize Maggie, Barnabas screamed, turned around, and shouted at Willie who miraculously managed to stab Barnabas with his last bit of strengh. Barnabas mind control broke on Jeff and he finished Barnabas off.
  • The novel contains a longer ending where Jeff takes Maggie back to Collinwood. He speaks with Elizabeth and gives Sheriff Patterson an update on Barnabas' destruction.
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