Widows' Hill acquired its name because women used to wait on the cliff and look out to sea, watching for their ill-fated husbands' ships to return. When Jeremiah Collins decided to build Collinwood on the hill in the 1820s, he turned the widows away and told them to go home and keep their grief to themselves (12).
Some people in Collinsport claimed that the widows still walked the hill 150 years later as ghosts. The wailing sounds coming from the hill were believed to be the sobbing widows, rather than the wind, and some old timers in town claimed to have seen widows walking the hill from a distance (12).
By 1967, two people had thrown themselves off the cliff. Josette Collins jumped to her death because she wasn't welcomed in town and a Collinwood governess had done the same. Legend told of a third person who would one day be found dead at the bottom of the cliff (5, 9, 50, 51). David Collins predicted that Victoria Winters would die at the cliff. He was eventually proven correct (967).
After escaping from jail, Adam jumped from Widow's Hill when he was about to be taken into police custody, probably saving Carolyn Stoddard's life (505). He was assumed dead (506), but later discovered to have survived the leap (508).In 1970, both Philip Todd and Jeb Hawkes fell off its cliff edge. First Philip, in a struggle with Jeb, and then later Jeb whilst attempting to save Carolyn from Sky Rumson (968, 980).
The Legend of Widows' Hill
In the late 1960s, it was reported that two, (and sometimes three), women had died at the cliff. More than one person predicted that Victoria Winters would be the last.
There are several possible interpretations of this:
- 2 Person Theory: this includes Josette Collins and Samantha Collins. Although both appeared to have leapt to their deaths, they were in fact driven to it by Angelique Collins and Joanna Mills respectively. When Victoria Winters returned to the past, she became the third, and last victim of the Hill.
- 3 Person Theory: this includes the deaths of Josette, Harriet, and Samantha Collins. Aside from the apparent suicides of Josette and Samantha, it was a family secret that Harriet was murdered by her husband, Daniel Collins. Those that knew of the secret still predicted another death at the hill.
- 4 Person Theory: this includes the three previously mentioned deaths, as well as the death of Victoria Winters who was chronologically the last to die at the cliff, but because of time-travel, became the second.
- Rachel Comstock: was the wife of a fisherman and had five sons, all sailors. They were all lost at sea. When Rachel got the news, she said the same words, over and over, "The sea is my grave, my grave is the sea". she came to the hill one night, and threw six white roses into the sea, one for her husband and each of her sons, then jumped to her death. (266)
- Abigail Tolliver: was a new bride, her husband was found dead by drowning just a few days after her marriage. She followed him into the sea, her bridal bouquet was found on the rocks beside her body. (266)
- Margaret Findley: her husband was lost at sea in a storm, she came to the hill that night and followed him. (266)
Deaths at Widows' Hill:
- Josette Collins in 1795 (also listed as 1796, 1797, and 1834) (9)
- Victoria Winters in 1797 (967)
- Harriet Collins in 1830 (1131)
- Samantha Collins in 1840 (1193)
- Philip Todd - 1970 (968)
- Jeb Hawkes - 1797 (967) and 1970 (980)
- Istvan - 1897
- Beth Chavez in 1897 (876)
Survivors of Widows' Hill:
- Elizabeth Stoddard - attempted suicide in 1967, prevented by Mrs. Johnson, Barnabas Collins and Victoria Winters (266, 267, 268)
- Carolyn Stoddard - nearly fell over the cliff in 1968, was saved by Adam. (505)
- Adam - went over the cliff to avoid capture from the police in 1968. He was badly injured, but survived. (508)
- The following is a list of appearances for the cliff.