With its alluring tales of gothic mystery and supernatural intrigue, Dark Shadows became the most popular daytime series of all time during its run on ABC from 1966-71. Much like the show’s character Barnabas Collins, a guilt-ridden vampire released from his chained coffin after nearly 200 years, Dark Shadows retains an immortality that time steadfastly fails to erode.
Handyman Willie Loomis discovers a chained coffin in the secret room of the Collins Mausoleum.
A stranger arrives at Collinwood, introducing himself as Barnabas Collins, a cousin from England.
At the Old House, Barnabas speaks to the portrait of Josette, declaring that he has come home to stay.
Carolyn Stoddard tries to learn what hold Jason McGuire has over her mother, Elizabeth Collins Stoddard.
Barnabas meets Roger Collins and Carolyn, who comment on his resemblance to the original Barnabas’ portrait.
At the Blue Whale, Willie refuses to tell Jason where he’s been. Jason notices blood on Willie’s sleeve.
Jason forces Willie to apologize to Carolyn and Elizabeth. He discovers bite marks on Willie’s arm.
Hearing a heartbeat, Willie sneaks out of Collinwood and goes to the cemetery. Jason follows him.
Barnabas asks permission from Roger and Elizabeth to take up residence in the Old House.
Dr. Dave Woodard informs Roger that Willie’s illness has been caused by a loss of blood.
Elizabeth allows Barnabas to live at the Old House. Barnabas moves in with Willie as his servant.
Waitress Maggie Evans meets Barnabas at the Collinsport Inn. She later feels as if someone is watching her.
Barnabas commissions artist Sam Evans, Maggie’s father, to paint a portrait of him, but only at night.
Elizabeth learns that Willie is working for Barnabas. David Collins sneaks into the Old House.
Maggie has a nightmare where she is lost in the woods and discovers a coffin with herself inside it.
At the Blue Whale, Maggie reacts strangely to Barnabas. He later appears in her bedroom as she sleeps.
Maggie is tired and weak when she wakes. The next night, Barnabas slips away while Sam paints.
Carolyn discovers something relating to her missing father is in a locked basement room at Collinwood.
Dr. Woodard says Maggie’s illness is due to blood loss. Sam later discovers that Maggie is missing.
Disguising his voice on the phone, Willie tells Victoria where to find Maggie. Barnabas beats Willie.
Dr. Woodard orders a blood transfusion for Maggie. Sam prevents her from leaving their cottage.
A defiant Maggie orders her boyfriend, Joe Haskell, out of the cottage. Victoria Winters watches over her.
During a violent thunderstorm, Barnabas tells Victoria and Carolyn the story of Josette Collins’ death.
After Maggie angrily orders her to leave, Victoria phones for help. The sound of howling dogs is heard.