|Josette DuPres Collins|
Josette DuPres Collins
22 (at time of death)
|Date of birth||
|Year of death||
|Manner of death||
Lured off Widows’ Hill by Angelique Bouchard (negated time-line)
Suicide by poison
Martinique, Carribbean Sea
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Josette du Pres Collins (1774 - 1795) was the bride of Jeremiah Collins, and the former love interest of Barnabas Collins. She is most famously known for taking her own life at Widows' Hill, having been the first of three people to fall off the cliff.
Barnabas and Jeremiah
The two initially fell in love. The pair planned to marry at Collinwood, Barnabas's family estate in Maine, though originally the family didn't like her because she was different. Ultimately, they eventually took a liking to her.
In 1795, Josette traveled with her father from France to marry Barnabas Collins (368/369). Her aunt, Countess Natalie DuPres, and her maid, Angelique, arrived a few days prior. Angelique was actually a witch who had enjoyed a previous affair with Barnabas back in Martinique, falling deeply in love with him. She planned to destroy the couple's romance (370). Unbeknownst to Josette, Angelique was also her own illegitimate half-sister, but she was given over to the Bouchard family to raise.
Obsessed with winning Barnabas for herself, Angelique placed a spell on Josette, causing her to fall hopelessly in love with Jeremiah. Overcome by emotion, Josette went to Jeremiah's room in the middle of the night and confessed her love for him. Shocked by her admission, Jeremiah ordered her out of his room. (373). Josette's misery was so deep that Angelique took pity on her and cast a spell on Jeremiah that would make him return her feelings (374). The spell worked, and Josette and Jeremiah became lovers (375). However, their secret meeting was witnessed by Natalie, and Andre confronted Jeremiah to demand an explanation. When Jeremiah was unable to give one, he promised that he would never see Josette alone again (376).
Jeremiah intended to keep his promise, and even made plans to leave town (377). Unable to face the prospect of life without him, Josette pleaded with Barnabas to convince Jeremiah to remain (377). Not long after, Barnabas decided to move the wedding date up. Josette was once again overcome by her love for Jeremiah and the two ran away together, even as Barnabas waited downstairs with the minister. (380)
Josette's marriage to Jeremiah was short-lived. They enjoyed three blissful days at the Collinsport Inn before they returned to Collinwood to announce their marriage. Barnabas was stunned (despite all the evidence, he had not truly believed she had left him for his uncle). Almost mad with jealousy, he challenged Jeremiah to a duel (383). Terrified of losing the two men she loved most in the world, Josette begged Jeremiah not to fight. Jeremiah was touched at his wife's devotion, and explained that he was going to fight for her sake; if he lived he would make a good life for her, and if he died she would be free to marry again. Josette insisted that she did not wish to be free.
For Josette's sake, Jeremiah agreed to meet with Barnabas one last time - however it quickly became clear that a reconciliation was impossible. Jeremiah was overcome with guilt, but when Barnabas asked him if he would do it all over again, Jeremiah admitted that he would. The two men left the house and Angelique ran to Josette to inform her of their intentions. Josette and Angelique ran to the location just as the shots were fired. Jeremiah was mortally wounded.
Jeremiah hovered between life and death for a few days, and Josette was constantly by his side. When he passed away, at 2 o'clock in the morning, Josette saw his spirit in her bedroom. In the weeks and months that followed, Josette visited her husband's grave and mourned his passing. Despite their brief marriage, Jeremiah's spirit watched over Josette for the rest of her life.
After Jeremiah's death, Barnabas attempted to rekindle their past romance. Though she initially spurned him, Josette was persuaded to let Barnabas, now a vampire, drink from her and convert her into his bride. This was spoiled by Angelique, who showed Josette a vision of herself as a vampire, terrifying the woman. Barnabas followed her to Widows' Hill and as he attempted to reason with the hysterical Josette, they struggled, and Josette fell to her death (425).
Soon after her death, Barnabas summoned her spirit back to Collinwood. Broken and scarred from her fall from the cliffs, she begs Barnabas to let her rest in peace. He reluctantly sends her back to her grave. Her memory followed him for nearly two-hundred years.
It was said that her ghost continued to wander the hill and the mansion for generations after her death, sobbing out of loneliness (5, 38). A portrait of Josette hung in the Old House at Collinwood (70).
Rumours later developed that she was drawn to Widows' Hill by unnatural forces (53).
When Barnabas is immured by the ghost of Reverend Trask, Julia sees Josette's ghost weeping beside the wall where Barnabas is trapped, thus saving his life. (515)
When Barnabas is in his chained coffin upon his return from 1796, Josette's ghost appears to Willie, crying; he is convinced that Barnabas is in the coffin now. (666) Willie releases Barnabas; the second time Josette's ghost saves his life. (667)
When Barnabas travelled to 1897, he met Rachel Drummond, and later Kitty Hampshire, both of whom were reincarnations of Josette. Rachel was murdered (776), and when Kitty seemed ready to accept Barnabas, they were interrupted by the spirit of Jeremiah. Barnabas's uncle never stopped watching over his bride. (861)
When Barnabas travelled to the past with Kitty, he managed to prevent Josette's accident at Widows' Hill. He told Josette to wait for him in her room at the Old House so that they could return to 1897 together. Barnabas was intercepted by the Leviathans and prevented from returning for Josette. Angelique convinced the girl that Barnabas had left without her, and she took poison, killing herself again (886).
The Leviathans told Barnabas that they were holding Josette prisoner in the past, but this was revealed to be a lie. Josette's ghost appeared to Barnabas in 1970, telling him to forget her and move on with his life (948).
Background information and notes
- The original plan of the show was to use a dummy for the part of Josette's ghost in episode 70. Actress Kathryn Leigh Scott happened to be nearby and commented that the effect was very unconvincing. The director agreed and cast her in the role instead.
- Josette was the first character in the series to be played by an actor who was already portraying another character. Kathryn Leigh Scott played both Maggie Evans and the ghost of Josette in the pre-Barnabas episodes. Since Barnabas attempted to turn Maggie into Josette, it is logical that Josette was played in all of her actual appearances by Kathryn Leigh Scott as well.
- Although her history was established in previous episodes, Josette's past would be altered and expanded just as Barnabas's story was during the 1795 flashback. It is retconned that Josette actually came to Collinsport, not from Paris, but from Martinique to marry Barnabas and not his uncle, Jeremiah. (Barnabas had previously divulged, in a speech on Widow's Hill, that he first met Josette when she arrived at Collinwood as his "middle-aged" uncle's promised bride.) She had also been previously identified as Josette Lafreniere.
- The year of Josette's suicide changed throughout the run of the series, beginning with the pre-Barnabas year of 1834, and moving sequentially through 1795, 1796, and 1797 in the later parts of the series. Her gravestone, meanwhile, says 1822.
- Kathryn Leigh Scott reprised her role of Josette in the audio dramas Final Judgement and The Lost Girl.
70, 102, 126, 127, 149, 165, 170, 184, 370, 371, 374, 375, 376, 377, 378, 380, 383, 384, 388, 390/391, 392, 393, 395, 404, 405, 406, 407, 408, 409, 410, 412, 417, 418, 419, 420, 421, 422, 424, 425, 430, 515, 666, 874, 884, 885, 886, 948, 1206, 1214, 1218, 1232, 1238
[Barnabas tells Carolyn and Vicki about Josette's suicide (the first time)]. “It was a night such as this. A night when a young, beautiful woman was pressed to her limits. She could no longer accept what the future held for her. She knew she had to destroy herself before she became something she did not want to be. She had quarreled with her lover. She tried to send him away, but he would not be put off. He tried to put his arms around her, but she broke away from him and ran out into the stormy night. Her white dress contrasted against the darkness. He ran after her, but she headed for the one place on earth that seemed to be designed for the termination of life. The rain drenched her, the winds buffeted her, blowing her long hair wildly. Her clothing was torn by the low branches, her small white feet were bruised, and mud stained by the stony, cruel pathway to the summit of the cliff. The shouts of her lover were lost in the wind as he moved swiftly after her. Near the top, she stumbled over a large rock. Crying hysterically, she limped and crawled to the edge of the precipice. Her lover reached for her, clutched at her, spinning her around to face him. Her eyes were wide with terror as her lover held her tightly, his lips pressed against her throat. Soon she grew limp, and he released her. Suddenly, with a last surge of energy, she broke free and hurled herself off the cliff. Her scream reacting and echoing as she plunged downward. Her body was impaled on the large, craggy rocks below. Her lover descended to the bottom of Widow’s Hill and found her body, broken, lifeless, bloodless. As violent as her death was, the expression on her face was one of serenity. As if this were the best possible ending to her life.”- Episode 233