Old House

The original Collinwood

Old House 1
Location footage Tarrytown New York first glimpse of the Old House (Spratt House) ep70

The Old House at night

This article is about the original Collins mansion in "real time". For other instances, see Old House (1841 PT) and Loomis House

The Old House was built in 1767 and was the provincial mansion of the Collins family until 1796. Located on the Collins estate near Widows' Hill, it was formally known as the first Collinwood. Joshua Collins was the patriarch of the last generation of Collins family members to be raised there (366). In 1796, construction was completed on a larger family home on the same property and this would soon come to be known as the modern Collinwood, after which, the original family mansion began to be referred to as the Old House. With the passing of generations, this off-hand phrase became the official nomenclature for the regal estate and the new house was called "The Great House."

In the year 1897, two gypsies named Sandor and Magda Rakosi briefly squatted inside the Old House. They were the last known occupants of the home for the next seventy years (701).

By the 1960s, the Collins family (under Elizabeth Collins Stoddard) had little interest in the maintenance of the home and the Old House fell into grave disrepair. Young David Collins frequently visited the ruins and regarded the house as a massive playground. He could often be found hanging about the dusty parlor talking to the portrait of Josette Collins, which still hung above the mantle (212).

In 1967, the vampire Barnabas Collins—newly released from his coffin and concealing his true age by saying he was a family relation visiting from England—petitioned Elizabeth Collins Stoddard to allow him to renovate the Old House (218). Elizabeth was reluctant at first, but soon gave Barnabas her blessing. With his unwilling servant, Willie Loomis, Barnabas moved into what was once his childhood home (220).

Barnabas Collins and Victoria Winters once held a conversation comparing the Old House to the pyramids of Egypt. Barnabas gave a detailed description of the house’s construction in which he said:

"The design and construction of this house represented a marriage of the elegance of Europe and the vigor and enterprise of a new world. The foundations were made from rocks left behind by glaciers, thousands of years ago. The beams and supports were cut from ancient local forests. The plaster walls were made from crushed clamshells and horsehair. Bricks were imported from Holland. That dusty chandelier - brought over from France - gleamed with hypnotic brilliance. That faded wallpaper was specially designed by a Belgian artist. The parquet floors were installed by an Italian craftsman. Cornices and mouldings were the effort of a Spanish craftsman. It was a house to be envied by a prince. But in spite of all this, the total effort was an agony to man. Men were driven to their limits. What should have been an act... a labor of love – became a hateful thing. There were the crippled and the dead. Like the pyramids, one could ask… was it worth it?"

Excerpt taken from episode 214.

According to the architectural plans, the Old House contained "four secret rooms or passageways" (781)

Residents of the Old HouseEdit


External linksEdit

  • Hudson Valley Ruins page on the Irvington, NY mansion that was used as the exterior shots of the Old House
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.