[[quoteright:299:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/resized_dark_shadows_cast_large_4507.jpg]]

->''My name is [[TheProtagonist Victoria Winters]]. My journey is beginning. A journey that I hope will open the doors of life to me, and [[RewatchBonus link my past with my future]]. A journey that will bring me to a strange and dark place. To the edge of the sea, high atop Widows' Hill. A house called [[HauntedHouse Collinwood]]. A world I've never known, with people I've never met. [[BigScrewedUpFamily People who tonight are still only shadows in my mind, but who will soon fill the days and nights of my tomorrows...]]''
-->-- The opening narration of the very first episode.

''Dark Shadows'' was a SoapOpera which ran on ABC from 1966 to 1971. While the show did have Gothic themes, it was not until six months into the first season when it gained notoriety by [[GenreShift introducing]] overtly [[SupernaturalSoapOpera supernatural elements]].

Though many soaps have since flirted with plots involving ghosts and psychic energy, ''Dark Shadows'' used almost every [[MonsterMash classic horror element]] (vampires, werewolves, zombies, magic users) as well as sci-fi tropes like TimeTravel and alternate dimensions.

The show was also notable for having storylines taking place in different time periods and parallel worlds, allowing the same actors to play [[IdenticalGrandson identical relatives]] or [[HeyItsThatGuy lookalikes]].

''Dark Shadows'' has been an inspiration for numerous other supernatural series, including ''Series/KolchakTheNightStalker'', ''Series/TwinPeaks'', ''Series/TheXFiles'' and ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''. One plotline even involved a vampire who gives an extended [[InterviewWithTheVampire interview about the supernatural]] to a hack writer.

The show's musical score was considered notable, receiving a Grammy nomination and spawning a top 20 Billboard hit in addition to several soundtrack albums.

''Dark Shadows'' is one of the only soaps of the era to boast a nearly complete archive. All but one episode survives intact, most as the original color videotapes, with a handful as black-and-white kinescopes. (An audio track exists for the "missing" episode, which was mated with publicity stills for later commercial release and syndication.)

There was a short-lived television remake in TheNineties, as well as a Creator/BigFinish radio series. A Creator/TimBurton [[Film/DarkShadows movie version]] came out in 2012, with JohnnyDepp portraying Barnabas Collins.

Now has a [[Characters/DarkShadows character page]] in progress.

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!!''Dark Shadows'' provides examples of:

* AbortedArc: Victoria's parentage, once the DrivingQuestion, was left unresolved once Alexandra Moltke left the show. WordOfGod says: [[spoiler:Elizabeth Collins Stoddard is her mother.]]
* AnachronismStew: Oddly enough for a show not only set, but created, in TheSixties, the series, with few exceptions, seems to be almost completely oblivious to technological and social changes, particularly after the first season or two. The aversion of this trope by TheMovie makes this glaringly obvious.
* ApeShallNeverKillApe
* ArtifactOfDoom: the hand of Count Petofi (also AttackOfTheMonsterAppendage and EvilHand)
* ArtisticLicenseBiology: After Barnabas feeds on Willie for the first time, a doctor examines Willie and declares his arm to have been "completely drained of blood."
* BackFromTheDead: It's a soap, so pretty much everyone. Angelique deserves special mention, though, due to sheer persistence.
* BettyAndVeronica: Barnabas Collins is torn between the memory of his fiancee, Josette du Pres, a Betty type, and the Veronica type (to the max) Angelique, the witch who gave him the vampire curse. At the end he gets over his torch for Josette, and avows to Angelique that he loves her. She is then killed, and Barnabas ends up with neither.
** Sam Hall in an article in ''TV Guide'' claimed that, had the show continued, Barnabas [[spoiler: would have married Julia and found his cure to turn him human. Both would have ended up living in the Far East. There's a casual reference to their journey together away from the family danger in ''Return to Collinwood''.]]
* BigBad: Throughout different {{Story Arc}}s, Laura Collins, Jason [=McGuire=], Barnabas, Angelique, Quentin, Count Petofi, [[HumanoidAbomination the Leviathans]], Jeremiah Collins, leading up to...
* BiggerBad: [[spoiler:Judah Zachery, the warlock responsible for the family curse, the titular "dark shadow."]]
* BreakoutCharacter: Barnabas.
* BrightSlap: Peter gives one of these to Vicki.
* BuriedAlive: Barnabas (as usual) and Reverend Trask as well as Elizabeth and some others.
* BurnTheWitch: Averted. Those sentenced to death for witchcraft are either hanged or beheaded. Laura ''tries'' to burn Angelique, but [[UnexplainedRecovery Angelique gets better]].
* ComicBookAdaptation: GoldKeyComics kept the exploits of Barnabas going for several years after the series ended. The 1991 remake also got a short-lived comic version.
* CraniumChase: A story arc was about the severed head of warlock Judah Zachery seeking to be reunited with its body.
* CreepyBasement: Collinwood, The Old House and the House By The Sea.
* CreepyCemetery: Eagle Hill
* CreepyChild:
** David mostly.
** Jeb when he first showed up.
** Sarah doesn't do too badly at this either.
* CreepyHousekeeper: Mrs. Johnson but also Hoffman in Parallel Time.
* CrustyCaretaker: at Eagle Hill.
* DarkerAndEdgier / BloodierAndGorier: ''House of Dark Shadows.''
* DidNotGetTheGirl: Barnabas. Also, Quentin.
* DisposableSexWorker: The main portion of Barnabas's diet for a good while.
* DoppelgangerReplacementLoveInterest: Barnabas tried to turn Maggie into this and failed. He also attempted it with other love interests, even though they didn't resemble Josette.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: As noted above, there were no supernatural themes when the show premiered.
** In the pre-Barnabas episodes from 1966-67, instead of fading out into the opening titles, it cuts to the opening titles.
* EmbarrassingMiddleName: William ''Hollingshead'' Loomis.
* EvilHand: that of Count Petofi
* FacialHorror: the aforementioned Hand of Count Petofi did this to Quentin and to his friend Evan.
* FateWorseThanDeath: Immortal vampire Barnabas is trapped in his coffin.
* FauxAffablyEvil: Barnabas
* FauxlosophicNarration: At the beginning of every episode in order to attempt to set a gothic mood. Originally done by Victoria, but others started joining in especially after she left the show.
-->'''Vicki''': My name is Victoria Winters...\\
'''Audience''': [[IKnowYouKnowIKnow WE KNOW!!!!]]
* FemmeFatale: both Angelique and Laura.
* TheFilmOfTheSeries: The 2012 Creator/TimBurton film ''Film/DarkShadows''.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Vicki's book in 1795. Also, [[spoiler:Carolyn's dying message in 1995.]]
* FrankensteinsMonster: Even named 'Adam', like the original.
* FriendlyNeighborhoodVampire: Barnabas, after significant character development. In one of the better done sequences, we see Barnabas Collins the man regain the upper hand over Barnabas the Monster, when he refuses to be party to murdering a man to gain freedom from his curse.
* GhostStory: Barnabas telling Vicky and Carolyn how Josette died. That he did it during a thunderstorm with the power out was a nice touch.
* TheGwenStacy: Josette [=DuPres=].
* GypsyCurse: Quentin was the victim of same (note: Never marry and abandon a gypsy. Just. Don't.)
* HauntedHouse: Collinwood and the Old House.
* HeWhoFightsMonsters: Reverend Trask, who's eventually talked into a HeelFaceTurn as a ghost.
* HeadlessHorseman
* HeelFaceDoorSlam: [[spoiler:Angelique]].
* IdenticalGrandson: Unsurprising, since actors often played different characters within the ''same'' time period.
* IdiotBall: Occasionally. Willie was handed it quite a few times in earlier seasons, and once it resulted in him getting shot.
* IncorruptiblePurePureness: Vicki in the 1991 {{Revival}}.
* JekyllAndHyde: Literally, in one of the MadScientist plotlines... mild-mannered lab rat Cyrus Longworth took a potion that turned him into aggressive psycho John Yeager.
* KillEmAll: The 1795 storyline comes damn close, given that the writers were essentially just playing around with a whole new cast of characters they wouldn't have to worry about after the storyline ended. Pretty much the only thing stopping them from truly killing everyone was that someone needed to live to provide future generations of the Collins family.
* KilledOffForReal: Bill Malloy, Sam Evans, Rachel Drummond, etc.
* LampshadeHanging: Unintentional. Louis Edmonds once flubbed a line, referring to his character's ancestors as "incestors." See MyOwnGrampa below.
* LaserGuidedAmnesia
* {{Leitmotif}}:
** "London Bridge" for Sarah.
** Both music box tunes for Josette.
** "Ode to Angelique" in both the 1970 parallel time plot and the film ''Night of Dark Shadows''.
** The theme referred to as "Joanna" on most soundtracks was also (over) used in ''Night of Dark Shadows'' in scenes featuring Kate Jackson's character Tracy.
** Quentin's gramophone song. Not only is it a plot point at times, but in the Creator/BigFinish drama ''The House of Despair'' he and [[TokenEvilTeammate Angelique]] discuss why it fits him.
* LocalHangout: The Blue Whale.
* TheLostLenore: Josette
* LovecraftCountry: Collinsport, with its seemingly endless fog and storms and hauntings.
* LoveMakesYouCrazy: Angelique
* LoveTranscendsSpacetime: Peter Bradford follows time-traveling governess Victoria Winters from 1795 to 1968, based entirely on the strength of his love forever. Immediately following their wedding, Vicki and Peter disappear, returning to the 1790s for an off-screen life together.
* MadScientist: Dr. Lang and Dr. Julia Hoffman
* MadwomanInTheAttic: poor Jenny Collins
* TheMovie: ''House of Dark Shadows'' and ''Night of Dark Shadows'', neither of which took place in the main continuity. ''House'' was a more grisly retelling of the introduction of Barnabas, whereas ''Night'' was barely connected at all, essentially retconning all characters and lore for a new story.
* MultipleDemographicAppeal: Originally aimed at women like most soap operas, but its supernatural plotlines soon attracted a lot of young monster-movie fans as well.
* MurderTheHypotenuse: Josette's death is the end result of Angelique's schemes.
* MyOwnGrampa: Almost. Laura, a phoenix who was reincarnated every few decades, ended up married to her own biological grandson. Never mentioned in the show, either due to censorship or the writers not having the best grasp on the continuity.
* NeverMyFault: Matthew Morgan claims that he doesn't want to kill Vicki, but she forced him into it. Naturally, she calls him on this.
* NeverSleepAgain: Inverted in an arc where a character turns into a werewolf and kills people in his sleep. He is able to trap his curse in a portrait, but needs to stay awake until it is finished.
* NormallyIWouldBeDeadNow: Hardly surprising, given the number of supernatural characters, but a special shout out has to go to the human Julia, who survives being attacked and drained by two separate vampires, shot in the chest with a pistol, poisoned, barricaded in a remote location and left to starve and possessed by a malevolent spirit who drains her life force when Barnabas attempts to sever the connection.
** Inverted in the case of Angelique, the immortal witch, who rescinds her powers in the 1840 storyline and is [[spoiler: felled by a bullet to the chest]] two days later.
* NostalgicMusicBox: Belonged to Josette.
* NotUsingTheZWord: The word "vampire" is used pretty rarely, not showing up at all until the 1795 storyline when Angelique explains her curse to Ben. This makes the scene where Barnabas reveals himself to his father by shouting "I am a vampire!" quite shocking and moving.
* OfficialCouple: According to WordOfGod [[spoiler:Barnabas and Julia]] after the series ended.
* OminousMusicBoxTune: Josette's music box, used to brainwash Maggie.
* PantyShot:
** In one scene an unconscious Maggie is carried by another character. Her skirt is so short that we catch a glimpse of her underwear.
** When Carolyn was knocked out by the Leviathans and spent the rest of the episode on a bed with her legs spread towards the camera.
* PutOnABus: Joe Haskell in 1969, Maggie Evans in 1970.
* PinocchioSyndrome: Barnabas.
* RecycledSoundtrack: Not only did the series reuse its music, ''House Of Dark Shadows'' was also almost entirely reliant upon the show's recordings. ''Night of Dark Shadows'', though also featuring a RecycledSoundtrack, had more original music written for it.
* ResistTheBeast: Barnabas and Quentin both.
* {{Revival}}: The 1990s version. There was also an unfinished pilot for the WB.
* RunningGag: Reverend Trask and his grandson, Gregory, both get bricked.
* SealedEvilInACan: Barnabas again.
* ScarpiaUltimatum: Levelled against Barnabas by (who else) Angelique. She actually uses this twice: once she conditions for being his wife if she saves his sister (whose pains Angelique caused for exactly this purpose), and once they are married, she threatens Josette's life to keep Barnabas acting as a "faithful husband". When he tries to remove Josette from danger, the thread is simply expanded to his family.
* SecurityCling: Done wordlessly by Daphne and the possessed David and Hallie, when Gerard [[spoiler:who is really Judah Zachery]], kills them.
* SeriesContinuityError: A few, including:
** During his earliest episodes, it's clear that Barnabas was supposed to be from the 1830s, rather than the 1790s.
** Originally, Dr. Hoffman was supposed to be male, and was referred to as such shortly before her first appearance.
** Similarly, Amy's original name was Molly.
** After Vicki's return, Elizabeth referred to Daniel as her great-great-grandfather. Later episodes would reveal that he is, in fact, her great-great-''great''-grandfather.
* SilverBullet: effective against both vampires and werewolves.
* SpookyPainting: Angelique has one. So does Barnabas. And Quentin. Josette, as well.
* StalkerWithACrush: Angelique - and how!
** Arguably, Willie for Maggie.
* StartOfDarkness: The entire 1795 storyline, for Barnabas.
* TheShowMustGoOn: Examples are too numerous to list. Barnabas' heart-wrenching dramatic pauses were reportedly just Jonathan Frid forgetting his lines.
** Perhaps the most amusing moment was the time Frid accidentally walked in on the end credits while carrying everyone's coats...
*** No, the funniest moment was when the camera caught Frid quite visibly picking his nose when he thought the camera was pointed on Robert Rodan and Betsy Durkin.
** Given that the show was "live" because at the time editing costs were off the chart there are really too many to list from bugs flying around actor's heads to people tripping. In a rare instance Frid managed to get them to edit an particularly bad gaffe on his part by agreeing to waive a bonus owed for working extra late on an episode.
** Plus, the ''very first thing'' the show ever aired: the ABC announcer saying in an irritated tone, "Okay, I'm here. What do you want me to do?" (''pause'') "I can't see the slate!" He then proceeds to read the episode number as usual.
** In one of the better-done dramatic moments of the series, when the witch Angelique is face-to-face with the newly risen vampire Barnabas, alone and cornered by the monster she has created, simultaneously grief-stricken, terrified, and even remoreseful, as Barnabas realizes the true horror of his new status, we see a stage hand realize that he is in the camera view-zone...
** Maggie mysteriously receives a pair of expensive earrings. Joe and her start fighting about her wearing them...and one falls out, causing the two to continue to have the argument while one of them is missing. Kathryn Leigh Scott attempts to hide it with her hand but it's obvious.
* SupernaturalSoapOpera: UrExample.
* SycophanticServant: Willie, to Barnabas. Also, Ben Stokes.
* TimeTravel: To 1795, 1897, 1840 and once to the (then) future of 1995.
* TimeyWimeyBall: To save the present family from the ghost of Quentin Collins, Barnabas travels back to 1897 to save the living Quentin. Once he returns, the family, especially Amy and David, still has memories of Quentin's ghost, despite the fact that, with history changed, Quentin is now still alive and has lived away from Collinsport for decades.
* TitleDrop: Near the beginning of Collection 3.
-->'''Vicki''': Barnabas likes this house more than you do.
-->'''Burke''': Yeah, all the ''darkness'' and the ''shadows''...
** An exact title drop is given during the 1840 storyline.
* TogetherInDeath: Tad/David and Carrie/Hallie in 1970, before Barnabas and Julia change history.
* UndeadChild: Sarah
* UnluckyChildhoodFriend: Tim and Rachel, for each other. ''Very'' unlucky indeed.
* VisionsOfAnotherSelf: for nearly a whole season.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: at one point in the 1795 flashback, Jeramiah Collins buries Angelique alive because her hypnotizing him into marrying Josette led to his death. So where the hell was he when Angelique cursed his cousin with vampirism, which in turn led to practically his whole family being wiped out?
* WhatTheHellHero: Sarah gives one of these to Barnabas and Julia, after they kill Dr. Woodard.
* WhatYearIsThis
* WholePlotReference: Several {{Story Arc}}s were taken whole hog from classic horror fiction; ''Literature/TheTurnOfTheScrew,'' "Literature/TheLottery", Creator/HPLovecraft, etc.
* WomanScorned: It's heavily implied that Barnabas and Angelique had sex. It's not clear whether this was before or after he became engaged to Josette, but Angelique got the short end of the stick either way. These events were the catalyst for Angelique's hatred for the Collins family.
* {{Yandere}}: Angelique
* YouLookFamiliar: Some have appropriately described the cast as a theater troupe. If someone's character died, there was a good chance that the same actor would be back in a few weeks playing a different character.
* YourCheatingHeart: See "WomanScorned" above.
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