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The Phantom Bride



Dramatic Reading




Mark Thomas Passmore


Darren Gross
David Darlington


David Darlington

Sound Design

David Darlington

The Phantom Bride Gallery
We have 7 images of Dark Shadows The Phantom Bride

The Phantom Bride is an audiobook produced by Big Finish Productions. It was released in May 2013. Tony Peterson and Cassandra Collins investigate a series of mysterious deaths on a cruise ship.

Publisher's summary[]

“I'm Tony Peterson and this is my wife, Cassandra.”

A liner sailing across the ocean to London. Happy couples enjoying a relaxing few days of fine food, fine wine and the fresh sea air.

Until they start dying. Because also on board is a ghost seeking vengeance. A ghost of a woman who died in 1929.

Private detective Tony Peterson and the witch Cassandra find themselves embroiled in yet another mystery. Can they solve the dead bride's murder before they, themselves, become her latest victims?



A sunny October afternoon, the docks of New York City. A seemingly happily married couple are about to board a transatlantic ocean liner, but dark clouds are looming on the horizon as malevolent forces are waiting on board the S. S. Raven Queen, forces that will leave terror and destruction in their wake.

Tony Peterson and Cassandra Collins rush to board a vessel. Breathlessly they exclaim their love for each other. They kiss and then proudly introduce themselves to an attendant – for they are on their honeymoon.

Opening Theme

The life of a private detective isn't a glamorous one. Little pay and often working in neighborhoods a tramp wouldn't want to be caught dead in. But sometimes, sometimes you get lucky and you score a case that not only pays well but delivers you into the lap of luxury. The S. S. Raven Queen was a 700 hundred foot transatlantic liner with a top speed of 22 knots. She was sleek and sturdy, built to handle the rough seas of the northern Atlantic, a real beauty. Her interior was just as stunning, modeled after some of the great palaces, hotels and grand manor houses from both sides of the Atlantic. A splash of art deco emphasized sleek lines, flashy colors and graceful curves, kind of like the woman clutching my arm. Cassandra's upswept jet-black hair contrasted nicely with her glittering diamond earrings and brilliant sapphire blue eyes. She looked so at home amid the elegance, you'd never suspect she hadn't been born into it, but that was one of Cassandra's greatest talents - to be anything she wanted, in more ways than one.

The reason for Tony and Cassandra's charade as a wealthy honeymooning couple is due to reports of a phantom bride haunting the vessel that specifically targets rich newlyweds. Tony has been hired by the ship's owner to investigate the supernatural disturbance. This morning an electrician working aboard the vessel was the latest victim of the malevolent spirit.

That night Cassandra and I were invited to dine at the captain's table. The dining room itself was extravagant decorated with elaborated tiles, mirrors and brass light fixtures. There were 10 of us at the table counting the captain and his ranking officers. Rounding out the party were Rosaline Nichols, a retired New York stage actress, and Robert Tulley, a drunk Texas oil millionaire who was accompanied by his loud wife Lois, and at the head sat Captain James MacDonald, immaculate in his dress uniform relishing the attention his was receiving from his tall tales of the sea. He seemed far to young to be a Captain, or maybe I was just getting old.

The Captain recounts the story of the phantom bride who died in 1929 and since then has haunted the vessel searching for her groom. Tony and Cassandra return to their suite and decide to hold a séance in order to summon the phantom bride and perform an exorcism. Cassandra manages to invoke the malevolent spirit, it screams and then disappears.

The following afternoon whilst Cassandra explored the ship looking for supernatural hotspots, I retreated to the ship's library to review old newspapers and ships logs. I hoped I'd find a record of the story that the Captain had told. I had the room to myself, most passengers having retired for afternoon naps, or preparing for that night's ball.

Whilst in the Library, Tony senses a cold presence. A book falls from a shelf ,seemingly by itself. It is a diary dated 1929 belonging to the son of the original owner of the vessel, he reads:

This is the property of George Mayfield. May 8th 1929, one day until the wedding. I wish I could feel more joyous but the situation with father weighs heavily on my mind...

George argues with his father Henry over his impending marriage to a girl named Anne whom he doesn't approve of. Henry storms off. Anne's sister, Leona, enters and goads George over a love affair between the two of them. Cassandra calls out to Tony causing him to snap out of the trance he had fallen under. Tony was experiencing the past through George Mayfield's eyes. Cassandra informs Tony that the electrician has died due to his encounter with the phantom bride, the body was left a husk, the life force drained from him. The phantom bride had been sighted near the body. Cassandra speculates as to the ghost's motives, from the information gleaned from Tony's vision of 1929, she is certain that Anne is the phantom bride. Tony wants to use the diary again in the hope of travelling back and learning more information, however Cassandra, fearing it could be dangerous, manages to dissuade him.

Tony and Cassandra attend the evening ball. As they dance, they discuss Cassandra's true identity as Angelique Bouchard. From across the room, Lois suddenly screams having sighted her husband in the clutches of a witch. They discover Robert's dead body left in the same state as the recently deceased electrician. Realizing the diary is their only option for learning more about the phantom, they return to their suite.

Cassandra casts an incantation over the diary in order to transport herself to 1929. She finds her within the consciousness of Anne, who discusses the marriage with George and the loss of the family fortune. George leaves, prompting Leona to reveal her presence in the room. She gives Anne a gift – a crystal in the shape of a teardrop. As it starts to glow, they hear George and Henry arguing in the next room, and discover the father pointing a gun at his son. He fires.

Leona takes Anne outside to recover from the shock of George's 'death'. Declaring she can't live with George, Anne decides to throw herself off the vessel and into the ocean. At that moment, an unharmed George calls out to his bride but is unable to prevent her from committing suicide. Tony brings Cassandra out of the trance as she begins to choke with Anne. Prompted by news of further attacks, Tony decides to pay the Captain a visit.

It took a while to convince the crew to let me onto the bridge, once I got there I told Captain MacDonald the truth about Cassandra and me, well most of it. He wasn't amused to discover the ships owner had hired a private detective behind his back. He was even less amused by our theory behind the killings. The captain was convinced there was a deranged maniac on the loose.

On the bridge, the Captain plays Tony the sinister message that is blocking the vessel's radio equipment:

I'm coming for you.

Cassandra joins Tony on the bridge. Suddenly, the spirit appears and kills the Captain before disappearing again. Cassandra believes the killings to be the product of no ordinary phantom. This is the work of a succubus – a demon who takes the form of a woman in order to seduce men resulting in the decline of their health until death.

We learned of more attacks on the way back to our cabin. Cassandra felt the victims would recover if we could stop the ghost succubus from feeding on them again. Discovering what happened after Anne's death in 1929 seemed the only way of understanding the nature of the entity. Once known we'd have a chance of fighting her before time ran out for us all. Cassandra was convinced if she performed the same spell whoever intervened would do so again. This time, however, Cassandra had some added protection - she and I would travel together. She felt our combined mental force would bring up back should something untoward happen.

George laments Anne's death. He discovers the crystal teardrop amongst Anne's belongings. It starts to glow and creates a vision of Henry shooting George. Suspecting foul play on the part of Leona, George realizes this is what made Anne believe George was dead. He draws a knife and stabs her. At that moment, she uses the crystal to exact her revenge. George convulses in pain as it absorbs him. She claims his soul and vows to one day return to make him hers. Tony and Cassandra return from witnessing George and Leona's final moments together. They realize there are two ghosts haunting the vessel – the phantom bride mourning the loss of George; and Leona the ghost succubus killing people in order to live again. The crystal teardrop holding George and Leona's spirits within it has remained on board the vessel. When the Electrician discovered it he accidently causing the release of Leona. Her soul is anchored to the crystal and if they destroy it they will also destroy her. Cassandra plans to use a spell of summoning and confinement in order to distract Leona whilst she goes to find the crystal. She instructs Tony how to perform the incantation.

Don't panic became my mantra over the next half hour as we collected the items needed for the spell. I feared we'd run into Leona round every corner, but we only met more of her weakened victims. With a can of paint from the workroom, I drew a sidual of summoning on the floor on the floor of our suite. At five corners of the symbol I placed candles and lit them. Then I poured a ring of salt around it all, this was meant to hold Leona once she'd materialized there.

Tony performs the incantation causing Leona to manifest. She attempts to convince him that Cassandra is deceiving him, she offers to share the power of the crystal if he releases her. Much to his surprise, she reveals her in-depth knowledge of Cassandra's true identity. Having distracting Tony for long enough she manages to escape the incantation. Meanwhile, Cassandra searches for the crystal inside the cabin Leona died in. She finds it wedged in the chandelier. At that moment, Leona appears and attacks her. She realizes Leona is a novice witch using the crystal as a focus to increase her power. As Cassandra convulses in agony Leona taunts her with information of her past life as Angelique. Tony arrives and Leona takes him captive – his release in return for the crystal. Tony pleads to Anne's spirit for help, he instructs Cassandra to also reach out for her. Anne's spirit manifests within Cassandra, the two of them combined brings about Leona's destruction. George who is freed from the confines of the crystal speaks through Tony to Anne. Reunited at last they kiss. The spirits dissipate and Tony and Cassandra are restored to normal.

When the Raven Queen docked in England officials tried to quarantine the ship but Cassandra made them change their minds. I don't know what she did, and I didn't care, I was too tired from sleeping on the couch. The ships owner Philip J. Hartman wasn't totally happy with the outcome but his deep pockets were able to keep the passengers quiet and the story from gaining publicity – money talks, as we should know. There was a healthy cashiers cheque waiting for us at our hotel in London.

At the White Rabbit Pub, Tony and Cassandra discuss their recent escapade aboard the Raven Queen and of the information Leona revealed to Tony about Cassandra's past. They agree they've got to live in the here and now. They leave to explore the sights of London together.

In detective novels, the hero always solves the case and gets the girl, everything tied up nice and neat, at least until the next case. In reality, the life of a private detective is very different we may have solved the case but we'd opened up a Pandora's box full of questions and doubts. As we left behind the happy patrons of the White Rabbit, Cassandra and I knew that moving forward we could avoid the dark storm clouds gathering on the horizon.

A trailer promoting paranormal series Beyond the Grave plays on a television in the White Rabbit Pub. It announces that its next program will investigate the legend of Jack Hutchinson and will be broadcast live from Eagle Hill Cemetery in Collinsport.

Closing Theme

Memorable quotes[]

Dramatis personae[]

(in order of appearance)

Background information and notes[]

  • Several unseen adventures of Tony and Cassandra are mentioned, these include:
    • Being locked in the basement of the Twin Pines department store.
    • Last month, they were involved in a case investigating a headless spook at an abandoned airfield.
    • Exorcised a banshee at a high-rise.
  • Cassandra, as a witch, has no problem in crossing water.
  • The S. S. Raven Queen was built in 1922 by Henry Mayfield of Portland, Maine. In 1930 she was dry docked due to the Great Depression. Mayfield committed suicide a few months later. Tony’s client Philip J. Hartmen has bought and is in the process of restoring the vessel. The current captain of the ship is the grandson of the original ships captain. In 1929, a young woman died on the eve of her wedding, ever since her ghost has haunted the vessel.
  • The Arcadia Club in Chicago is mentioned. It previously appeared in Blood Dance.
  • The events of The Voodoo Amulet are referenced.
  • The White Rabbit Pub previously appeared in London's Burning and The Crimson Pearl.
  • The conclusion of this story is the first time Tony has visited London.
  • A teaser for the next release, Beneath the Veil, plays over the end credits:
    • Next time on Dark Shadows. A strong wind howls through the small town of Collinsport masking the screams of terror from a young doctor meeting a gruesome fate. His death marks just the beginning of the horror that is to come. For at the nearby Windcliff Sanatarium, Doctor Bernard Kear is about to discover his colleague's body.
  • Also included are trailers for The Death Mask, The Carrion Queen, The Voodoo Amulet & The Last Stop.

Bloopers and continuity errors[]

Official website[]