Saturday, July 23, 2011

G is for Ghosts

          Although widely known as a supernatural show, the original idea behind Dark Shadows was to remain in the waters of the gothic genre and function as a regular soap in core. For the first 50 episodes or so, the existence of the supernatural was only hinted, usually through the use of metaphors (for example the ghosts were referred to as the bad, lingering memories) or explained away as illusions, such as banging of the shutters or the sound of wind.

          But there have been instances where our friends from the other worlds appear to be more than just metaphors. So before vampires, witches, phoenixes and ghouls invade Collinwood (one thinks of Ray Bradbury's novel From the Dust Returned or the Addams Family), here's a quick list of hinted and more-than-hinted paranormal instances up to episode 80!! *enter theremin music*

Sobbing Sound From the Basement
The mystery door is at the back!
     During one of her first nights at Collinwood, Victoria Winters heard a strange wailing sound echoing in the house. She eventually followed it down to the creepy basement where she discovered the sounds were coming from behind a locked door, which she later learnt was a storeroom kept locked by the mistress of the house, Elizabeth Stoddard. The sounds were explained away as the wind echoing through cracks and pipes. Vicky wasn't convinced at first (and neither were we) but seems to have forgot about it now (but we haven't). The legend has it that it is the ghost of Josette Collins, one of their ancestors that jumped off to her death from the Widows' Hill (see below) at a young age. The true nature of what's behind that door is yet to be seen!

The Widows' Hill
(history taken from Dark Shadows Wiki - a site I wanna avoid for spoilers)
"The widows were women who hung around the cliff in Collinsport, Maine in the early 19th Century, looking out to sea for their husbands to return. When Jeremiah Collins decided to build his mansion Collinwood on the hill, he sent the widows home, telling them to keep their grief to themselves. Some folks in town claimed that the widows never left the hill and that their ghosts still haunted the cliff 150 years later."
Vicky chillin' on the hill!
The wind sounds a little creepy here alright and it could have easily been dismissed as wind only, if it weren't for David who claims the widows talk to him and give him messages from the beyond. Throughout history two women (one of them being Josette Collins, the other unknown) have killed themselves at that point, and the legend has it there will be a third one (I vote Mrs. Johnson). A hang out location for the residents of Collinwood when they're bored/depressed/accused of murder, it was also the place where the body of poor Bill Malloy was first found by Vicky and Carolyn as it washed up on the shore. 

the Self Opening Book
They're hereeeee~

     The first official evidence of the paranormal activity in 
the show was  when one night when nobody was around, the old Collins Family Book opened itself to the specific page dedicated to Josette Collins.  I'll say that certain somebody is trying to make contact ;) 
(Later we were teased about that scene a couple of times...once we saw a close up of the book, opening again, only to find out it was Carolyn actually doing it. And another time we saw it on the floor, the same page open but it was David who'd put it there -he claims he can talk with her ghost)

The Mystery Figure
Dark Shadowed!
     One stormy night (it's always a night), Vicky was alone in the drawing room of Collinwood doing god knows what. All of a sudden, the power went out. She set a very gothic mood by lighting a candle and to her shock, a cloaked shape silhouetted by the lightning appeared at the door sill. Scared, she asked for who it was but got no answer. The next moment it was gone.

David's Crystal Ball
David should try his luck at Hogwarts.
     It was a gift by Burke Devlin, in a plot to win his trust. David claims to see things in it but being a pathological liar, nobody believes him. However, people don't seem to notice that he claimed Bill Malloy was dead (even before his body was found, when he was missing) and that his father, Roger, had killed him. The latter is hopefully to be seen. Whether it's the magic of the crystal ball or not, David's connection to the supernatural is undeniable.

The Old House & The (Dancing) Ghost of Josette Collins
the Lady in White
      In the ground-breaking episode #70, we learn of The Old House's existence. Located in woods near Collinwood, this now abandoned place had originally been the first Collins house. We also learn that David likes to hang out there to speak with ghosts, specifically that of Josette Collins'. Vicky, wanting to prove that ghosts don't exist (how easily she forgot about the dark figure breaks my heart) takes him there one evening and as eerie as it is, they see no ghosts. David explains Josette is cursed to haunt the grounds of Collinwood, until the third person dies at the Widows' Hill. Then once they leave, we have our first live(!) ghost encounter. The ghost of Josette Collins, dressed in a wedding gown, comes out of her portrait over the fireplace as if using an invisible stairs and wanders dances around the house, to our shock, amazement and relief. This is also the first time we actually get to believe David. So far, our experiences with ghosts (as we are the only witnesses) places us in the same place as he. He believes, we believe and bet Mulder would believe too! 


BONUS MYSTERY: The Disapperance of Maggie's Wig
The Truth Is Out There

It was there for a few seconds, then gone without any explanation. The mystery still remains.. <<twilight zone theme here>>

     That's it folks. It'll be a little while until we get more glimpses of the, how should I say, hardcore creatures!! I'll update as much as I can, since this is the aspect of the show that I'm most into~

Sorry MJ, you'll have to wait your turn!


Melis said...

:D rofl I love this line "...A hang out location for the residents of Collinwood when they're bored/depressed/accused of murder... "

Efe X said...

and it loves you ;)