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House of Dark Shadows (1970)

Vampire Barnabas Collins is accidentally released from his centuries-long confinement at his family's estate in Maine. He targets his clueless descendants who live there now and pursues Maggie, the incarnation of his lost love.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeff Clark
Don Briscoe ...
Todd Blake (as Donald Briscoe)
David Collins
Sheriff George Patterson
Daphne Budd (as Lisa Richards)
Mrs. Johnson
Paul Michael ...
Old Man


House Of Dark Shadows, based on the very popular TV Gothic soap opera, follows the life (or is that AFTERlife) of Barnabas Collins. Recently unleashed from his coffin by local drunk, Willie Loomis, the vampire (Barnabas) goes on a killing spree, while at the same time charming his present day family members. In the process he meets local girl Maggie Evans and notices that she looks exactly like his deceased fiance Josette. Barnabas assumes that she is the reincarnation of Josette, and plans to make her his unholy bride for eternity. Written by Nate Gardner <kzegersfan@sugar-river.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Come see how the vampires do it. See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

6 March 1971 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Dark Shadows  »


Box Office


$750,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


This film was shot concurrently with the original Dark Shadows (1966) series. During the time of filming, the television program was in the middle of its 1970 parallel time story-arc. Major characters appearing in the film were written out of the TV series so that they would be available to shoot the movie. See more »


[All goofs for this title are spoilers.] See more »


Professor T. Eliot Stokes: Vampirism is not a disease, Julia. Vampires are the living dead.
See more »

Crazy Credits

SPOILER: There is a scene during the closing credits: Barnabas turns into a bat and flies away. See more »


Referenced in Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

"I will come for you, Josette. I will come for you soon."
4 November 2014 | by See all my reviews

Movie version of the Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows with better production values. It's a great-looking movie that makes effective use of location shooting. Dan Curtis, creator of the series as well as many other horror-related films and shows for television in the '70s, directs his first theatrical release here. I've always been a big admirer of Curtis, who did more for horror (and television in general) than he seems to get credit for.

The plot for the film comes directly from the TV series. Essentially it retells the story of vampire Barnabas Collins (Jonathan Frid), the show's most popular character, and his quests for a cure and to be with his reincarnated love. I wouldn't call it a scary movie, though some of the outdoors scenes at night do carry a reasonable amount of spooky atmosphere and tension. Also, the old-age makeup used on a character at one point is well-done and creepy. Nice music, as well. Fans of the series will probably find more to like than most but I think there's a lot here to enjoy, even for those unfamiliar with Dark Shadows.

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