|Also known as||
|Date of birth||
March 4, 1946
|Year of death||
|Manner of death||
Jumped off Widows’ Hill prompted by Jeb Hawkes
New York, USA
|We have 12 images of Dark Shadows Victoria Winters|
Hammond Foundling Home
The infant Victoria was dropped off on the doorstep of the Hammond Foundling Home in New York in the winter of 1946, in a cardboard box with a note pinned to it, stating, "Her name is Victoria. I cannot take care of her." The home took her in and gave her the last name "Winters" after the season (4).
- The wording of the letter will later be changed to "CAN'T take care of her" (34).
When she turned two, letters began arriving at the home every month, addressed to Victoria. Inside was $50 in cash and nothing else. The letters were never signed, but they were postmarked Bangor, Maine (4).
When she was six years old, an attendant at the home told Victoria that her parents were coming to pick her up. She knew it was untrue, but was still very excited and felt special for about two weeks (21).
Like many of the other children, Victoria lived a relatively unhappy life in the foundling home, never knowing who her real parents or family were. She once got into a fight with a girl and gave her a bloody nose (23).
One girl at the home who was nine or ten years old used to chase people away because she didn't like herself and figured no one else would either. A man eventually came and talked with her over and over again until the girl realized her problem (15).
- Victoria told this story to David Collins, but she may have been making it up to help him deal with his problem.
Arrival at Collinwood
One morning in 1966, Vicki received a letter from Elizabeth Collins Stoddard in Collinsport, Maine offering her a job as a governess at Collinwood. Never having heard of Mrs. Stoddard or Collinsport, she investigated and found that it's fifty miles from Bangor, from where she'd received money as a child (1).
Victoria accepted the job and took a train from New York to Collinsport, hoping it held the answers to her past. Burke Devlin was aboard the same train, but she didn't meet him until they de-boarded and he offered her a ride into town (1). When asked why she hired her, Elizabeth said that someone at the orphanage had recommended her to her brother Roger (2). Roger later "confirmed" this fact, despite being initially ignorant of it, but Victoria knew something was being kept from her (25).
Victoria's job was to tutor Roger's son David, but she soon learned that he was a very disturbed boy. Upon first seeing Vicki, David declared that he hated her (4). David felt that Vicki was there to replace his mother and rejected Vicki at every turn (6). Vicki became extra concerned when she learned that David had attempted to kill his father; however, David stole the evidence before she could present it to Elizabeth (25, 26).
The Search For Her Identity
The guiding force for Victoria staying at Collinwood despite all the hardships was her determination to discover where she really came from. Her first clue that led her to Collinsport was the money she received in the mail every month, beginning when she was 2 and stopping when she was 18, that was postmarked in Bangor, Maine (5, 34). The day after arriving in Collinsport, Victoria goes to the Collinsport Inn and calls Mrs. Hopewell at the Hammond Foundling Home to confirm Elizabeth's story about why she hired Victoria. Mrs. Hopewell tells her that neither she nor anyone else she knows at the foundling home recommended Victoria for the job (8). Victoria decides to question Matthew Morgan, the Collins' groundskeeper. Matthew tells her that she would be better off to search in Augusta, the state capital (12, 13). When Victoria learns that Burke had a private investigator look into her past, she asks to see the report. However, the report doesn't reveal any new information. Burke offers to help in her search (34). Victoria incorrectly assumes that Roger doesn't want her to have dinner with Sam Evans because he knows something about her past that Roger doesn't want her to know (46).
When Victoria tells Maggie Evans about her search, and her suspicion about her father, Maggie invites her to dinner at the Evans cottage (57). When she gets there, she starts looking through Sam's paintings and finds one that resembles her. Sam tells Victoria that he painted that particular painting 25 years ago and that the model was a young local woman named Betty Hanscombe. However, he tells her that Betty left Collinsport 6 months after he painted her and she supposedly died 5-6 months after that. He also informs her that Betty's parents are dead too (60). While in the west wing of Collinwood, Victoria finds an old Garner & Garner ledger sheet with the name B. Hanscombe written on it. Victoria connects this with the portrait of Betty Hanscombe that Sam Evans painted. Carolyn tells her that Garner & Garner is the law firm that represents the Collins family. Victoria visits Garner & Garner in Bangor and meets Richard Garner, who tells her that he doesn't have any information about her past and that as far as he knows, neither does Elizabeth Stoddard. Richard also tells Victoria that B. Hanscombe was the Collins butler and that he was dismissed with most of the other Collinwood servants 18 years previously (90, 91, 92).
The morning after Roger drives Victoria back from Bangor, Elizabeth questions Victoria as to why she visited Garner & Garner. Victoria tells her about the ledger sheet and her resemblance to the portrait of Betty Hanscombe. Elizabeth tells her that she remembers Betty and that she looked nothing like Victoria. Elizabeth goes on to tell her that as far as she knows, there is no connection between Collinsport and Victoria's past. Afterwards, she walks to the Evans cottage and asks Sam about B. Hanscombe, but he was unaware of her. When Victoria tells Sam that she loves the painting of Betty, he presents it to her as a gift (97).
Victoria developed an interest in Josette Collins and appeared to share an affinity with her ghost. She first learns about Josette from Sam Evans (5). Carolyn told her that Josette was one of three people who have jumped to their death from Widows' Hill. She also learns that two of them were governesses and that a third governess is destined for the same fate (9). Matthew tells Victoria that the sobbing that can be heard at Collinwood at night is Josette's ghost crying. Many times, Josette's spirit would contact her to warn her of danger and even appeared to her when Victoria's life was threatened by Matthew Morgan. Twice, Josette used Victoria as her medium during séances.
Vicki was attracted to Burke Devlin from the very first time she met him, but became wary of his hostile relationship with the Collins family. She briefly dated Frank Garner, but the romance soon fizzled out. She and Burke eventually became close friends, and after he patched up his relationship with Roger Collins, they began dating seriously. They became engaged (302) and made plans to live on the Collins estate, when Burke was killed in a plane accident in Brazil. His body was never recovered.
Journey To 1795
During a seance held at Collinwood, Vicki was mysteriously transported back in time, in 1795 (365, 366). While she was there she briefly mistook Jeremiah Collins for her late fiancé, Burke Devlin. With Jeremiah's help, she was hired by Joshua Collins as the governess for his daughter, Sarah Collins (367). Jeremiah warmed to her, and they had a mutual attraction, which ended with the arrival of Josette DuPres.
Victoria found Josette's arrival very troubling, as she bore a striking resemblance to her friend, Maggie Evans, and was engaged to marry Barnabas. Vicki was well aware of the Collins family history, and knew that Josette was destined to marry Jeremiah. She unfortunately made this prediction out loud, and when Josette did elope with Jeremiah, several people began to suspect her of witchcraft.
Barnabas was a friend of Victoria's, and did his best to defend her to his suspicious relatives. When his aunt Abigail sent for a witch-hunter from Salem, Reverend Trask, Barnabas hid her from his persecution. She was eventually found and sent to jail for witchcraft.
While in jail, a young man named Peter Bradford volunteered to defend her. During her incarceration Vicki fell in love with Peter, and he with her. She was found guilty of witchcraft, and sentenced to die (437).
At the jail, Peter promised Vicki/Victoria that he would find her, wherever she was. At her execution, however, she was suddenly thrust back to the 20th century, and the original Collins family governess, Phyllis Wick, was hanged instead (460).
Vicki's memories of the 18th century were confused and disjointed, mostly she thought of her lost love, Peter Bradford. Barnabas realized that Vicki really had gone to the past, and was frightened that she may have discovered his secret. He rushed her into a quick engagement, but as they left Collinwood to be married, they got into a car accident when Vicki saw a man who looked just like Peter.
At the hospital the mysterious man visited her. She called him Peter, but he insisted his name was Jeff Clark. Vicki kept insisting that he was her lost love, who had come to find her. Jeff was actually suffering from amnesia, and truly did not know his real identity. He eventually fell in love with Vicki, and proposed marriage to her, which she happily accepted.
Vicki's wedding to Jeff was planned to take place at Collinwood, with Elizabeth Stoddard serving as her Matron of Honour, and Roger Collins giving her away. However, on the day of the wedding, Jeff was overcome with the fear that he was in fact Peter Bradford, and left the wedding to find out for sure. Vicki was hurt, but understood.
Eventually, Jeff regained his memories of his past life, and he and Vicki were married. The morning after their wedding, however, Jeff was pulled back in time, and disappeared before Vicki's eyes. She was overcome with grief, and sadly returned to Collinwood, where she spent weeks mourning the loss of her husband.
Peter was finally able to connect with his wife, across time, and she rejoined him in the past.
Victoria and Peter Bradford made plans to leave and live happily together after Barnabas' rescue in 1796 (665). Peter's ghost revealed later that Victoria had died not long after when Leviathan Jeb Hawkes caused her to leap to her death from Widows' Hill (967). She therefore fulfilled the prophesy of being the third woman to die from the cliffs. (The other two were Josette and Samantha Collins).
Early Character Development
Dan Curtis first dreamt of a dark-haired girl riding a train to an estate, which was the inspiration for Dark Shadows. In Shadows on the Wall, the series' bible, Victoria was initially called Sheila March until the name was changed to suggest a more regal, older time. Her search for answers to her mysterious past, which was the driving force behind her accepting the governess position at Collinwood, would have originally led to the revelation that Victoria was the product of an affair between Paul Stoddard and an unnamed woman. Elizabeth was to have discovered Victoria's existence the night she ‘murdered’ Paul, and her guilt over his death prompted her to send money to the Foundling Home. However, these plans were eventually abandoned as the series progressed due to the focus of the show shifting towards supernatural elements. The mystery of Victoria's parentage was never resolved during the original series run.
In the book Dark Shadows: The First Year, it is specified that the idea of Vicki of being Elizabeth's secret daughter originated during Alexandra Moltke's screen tests for the role. Moltke confirmed this in the book The Dark Shadows Companion. The identity of Vicki's father was never established, although the Collins family's former butler B. Hanscomb was referred to as a possibility. At one point, the writers even considered Jason McGuire as a candidate for Vicki's father. Although the production team never came to a consensus on the identity of Vicki's father, they firmly intended to reveal that Vicki was, indeed, Elizabeth's daughter and Carolyn's older sister.
Return to Collinwood
With the approval of Dan Curtis Productions, an original audio play featuring many members of the original cast was written and recorded. During the reading of Elizabeth's will, it is finally revealed that Victoria was, in fact, her illegitimate daughter. This was later confirmed in Big Finish's Haunting Memories- A Face from the Past by Kay Stonham, where Elizabeth confronts a man who resembles Vicki's father.
- Victoria's preferred drink was sherry (34).
- Prior to her marriage to Jeff Clark, Vicki had been engaged to Burke Devlin and later on, Barnabas Collins. She also had a romantic interest in Frank Garner and Jeremiah Collins.
- Victoria had no preference at all as to being called "Vicki" or "Victoria." (2). For the most part, the Collins family in the 18th century called her Victoria, while their 20th century counterparts called her Vicki.
Played by Alexandra Moltke (334 episodes):
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 25, 26, 27, 29, 30, 31, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 41, 43, 46, 48, 50, 51, 52, 53, 56, 57, 59, 60, 61, 62, 65, 66, 68, 70, 71, 72, 75, 76, 78, 80, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 90, 91, 92, 94, 95, 96, 97, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 106, 107, 108, 111, 112, 114, 115, 116, 118, 120, 121, 122, 124, 125, 126, 127, 132, 134, 135, 136, 139, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144, 147, 148, 149, 150, 152, 153, 154, 156, 157, 158, 159, 160, 161, 162, 164, 165, 166, 167, 169, 170, 171, 173, 175, 176, 181, 182, 185, 186, 187, 188, 189, 190, 191, 192, 194, 195, 196, 199, 201, 203, 204, 206, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 217, 220, 222, 223, 228, 229, 230, 232, 233, 234, 235, 237, 238, 240, 241, 245, 246, 249, 251, 252, 253, 254, 256, 259, 262, 263, 266, 267, 268, 269, 270, 271, 272, 274, 277, 278, 279, 280, 281, 282, 283, 284, 285, 286, 287, 288, 289, 290, 292, 293, 294, 295, 298, 299, 300, 301, 302, 303, 304, 306, 307, 309, 311, 312, 313, 315, 316, 320, 324, 325, 326, 327, 332, 334, 336, 338, 342, 343, 344, 345, 346, 347, 349, 352, 353, 354, 364, 365, 366, 367, 368/369, 370, 371, 372, 373, 379, 382, 385, 386, 387, 389, 396, 398, 399, 400, 401, 404, 408, 412, 413, 416, 421, 427, 433, 435, 436, 437, 452, 453, 454, 455, 456, 458, 460, 461, 462, 463, 464, 465, 466, 468, 469, 470, 471, 473, 474, 476, 478, 479, 482, 487, 490, 504, 509, 517, 518, 519, 523, 524, 525, 526, 527, 528, 529, 530, 531, 532/533, 534, 535, 539, 547, 550, 552, 553, 555, 556, 559, 565, 567, 575, 576, 579, 583, 585, 586, 589, 603, 604, 610, 617, 618, 619, 620, 622, 624, 625, 626, 627