I am so excited over this movie, which will premiere on May 11, 2012! Go to youtube to see the trailer.
I was one of those kids back in the late 1960s/early 1970s who absolutely loved this show and I had a huge crush on Barnabas Collins (which I still have 40 years later). I was in 6th grade, 12 years old, and old enough to have my first crush.
Unfortunately, DS ran from 3:00 p.m - 3:30 p.m, and the schools in our city didn’t let out until 3:30 p.m. So it didn’t matter if I ran home from school–I still missed the show.
BUT…my wonderful mother stepped in and did something that no one else’s mother did…she watched the show for me and my brother while we were at school, and then when we got home, she told us what had happened that day.
My mom had always enjoyed “spook stories,” and sat up with my brother and me on Friday nights while we struggled to stay awake to watch Creatures from Dimension 13, our local TV station’s “horror movie” show. And I remember how she let us watch Psycho and The Birds and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
We were never afraid, because she would watch with a twinkle in her eye, and at the scariest part, she would burst out laughing and say, “How fake! It’s a big rubber monster!” or she would explain that Bette Davis and Joan Crawford were Oscar-winning actresses. And my brother and I would laugh, too, and admire how real the scary stuff looked and how talented those actors were.
So it wasn’t exactly a hardship for my mother to watch the show.
I discovered that many of my school mates also loved Dark Shadows, but their mothers wouldn’t or couldn’t watch it for them. So I started reporting to them each morning what had happened.
Within a few weeks after school started that fall, I had a crowd of school kids gathered around me on the playground every morning, eager to hear what was going on with Barnabas, Angelique, Julia, Willie, and all the rest.
So in order to make my re-telling of the show more exciting, I started writing up my mother’s accounts. I worked very hard each evening on my write-ups, looking up words in the dictionary to make my accounts thrilling, and writing up the dialogue as best as I could, based on my mother’s reports. I built as much suspense as I could into each write-up.
And my school friends ate it up. Interestingly, my biggest “fan” was the daughter of a local evangelical pastor!
At some point during the school year, our teacher decided to start a class newspaper, and appointed me…ME!..as editor.
I honestly had no idea why.
I wasn’t in the “rich” crowd, or the “cute” crowd. I didn’t think I was particularly intelligent.
So after school, I approached the teacher and asked her straight out why she had chosen me.
She said, “Because of the way you use words when you write.”
It was the first time anyone told me that I was good at writing. But I still didn’t believe it.
In the springtime, the teacher announced an essay contest from DAR, and all of us had to enter it. I went home, wrote my essay, handed it in, and thought nothing more of it.
Imagine my shock a few weeks later when it was announced that I had won the competition.
I still remember how proud my parents were, and how thrilled I was to be on TV and receive a little medal. I still have that medal.
From then on, I entered a lot of writing contests, and won quite a few of them.
It was years before I realized that my skill in writing had started with Dark Shadows as re-told by my mother.
For some reason, I decided not to pursue a career in writing, but to make it a wonderful hobby. It’s been a great joy to me and others.
I absolutely can’t WAIT until May 11 to see the resurrection of Dark Shadows 40 years later–wow!