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Amy Jennings was a character featured in the 1960s gothic soap opera Dark Shadows where she was played by child actress Denise Nickerson. Introduced late into the 1968 season, Amy Jennings remained a central character throughout the remainder of the series.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Amy Jennings was a young girl who spent a considerable time in Collinsport, Maine in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Amy came from a tortured family line which included her older twin brothers Chris and Tom as well as their cousin Joe Haskell. What Amy had yet to realize growing up, was that the Jennings family were direct descendents of the Collins family going back to the time of the second Quentin Collins. Little is known of Amy's parents save that they died while she was still extremely young.

When Amy was nine-years-old, she was living at Windcliff Sanitarium just outside of Collinsport. Chris had taken on the role of Amy's guardian, but due to his own dark secrets, was not in a position to adequately take care of her. What Amy had yet to learn was that Chris suffered from lycanthropy and on the nights of the full moon he transformed into a werewolf. Because of this, he could not give Amy the proper attention that she required. Amy didn't like staying at Windcliff and couldn't understand why Chris would take such long inexplicable trips. After one visit, she pleaded with him to return to leave the hospital and return to Collinsport. Chris was reluctant, but ultimately acquiesced. [2]

A few nights later, Amy was wandering the wooded area of the Collins family estate between the family manor Collinwood and the original family home known as the Old House. On this night, Chris had turned into a werewolf and was stalking the area when he came upon Collins family matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard. Amy's presence halted the werewolf's attack however and he ran off. Amy had no idea that she had, through no fault of her own, likely saved Mrs. Stoddard's life. Elizabeth took Amy back to Collinwood and provided her with shelter. She introduced her to her live-in physician/historian Doctor Julia Hoffman who threatened to telephone the police and have her returned to Windcliff. Amy begged Elizabeth and Julia to let her stay and Elizabeth agreed to allow her to at least spend the night at Collinwood.

That evening, Amy met Elizabeth's nephew David Collins. David was only a few years older than Amy and the two quickly became friends. David told Amy how he enjoyed exploring the closed down areas of the house; in particular, the West Wing, which he claimed was haunted. Amy was enthralled by this idea and asked David to show her around. David took her to an old storage room in the West Wing where they discovered an inoperable antique telephone. While playing with the phone, Amy actually began communicating with the spirit of Quentin Collins. David was incredulous of her claim at first, but even he could not deny hearing the sound of someone breathing coming over the receiver. [3] David and Amy took the telephone back to David's room where they continued playing with it. The spirit would only speak directly to Amy while more or less ignoring David.

A few nights later, the members of the household conducted a séance in the hopes of contacting a man lost in time known as Jeff Clark. Rather than Clark however, they actually contacted the spirit of a gypsy woman named Magda Racosi. Magda tried to warn the family not to let "him" out, but was unable to identify the offending spirit as that of Quentin Collins. [4] Following the séance, Amy used the antique telephone again and Quentin made her understand that he was angry at this opposing spirit and needed the children to find him. Under Quentin's guidance, Amy and David returned to the storage room where they first found the phone, but they did not reach it unopposed. The ghost of Magda Racosi, desperate to keep Quentin's spirit locked away, intervened, pushing the children away from the room. They persevered however and advanced into the room only to find themselves mysteriously locked within. [5]

David and Amy, while searching for a means to get out of the storage room, discovered a passageway that led into a secret sealed off room. This was the room that once belonged to Quentin Collins and was the room in which he died. They found Quentin's skeletal remains resting in a wingback chair. Also in the room was an antique gramophone. It began playing automatically to identify Quentin's presence in the room. The ghost of Quentin Collins soon appeared before both children and he began manipulating them, using them as the instruments of his revenge against the Collins family. [6]

Under Quentin's instruction, Amy and David first took to disposing of Quentin's remains, burying them in a secluded area on the property. They also broke into the Old House and retrieved a 19th century baby cradle, bringing it back to the secret room. Afterward, Quentin manipulated the children into attempting to murder David's father, Roger Collins. The plot nearly worked, but Roger survived. Fortunately for them, no one suspected the children of any wrongdoing.

Elizabeth meanwhile, had grown concerned over all of the strange things that had taken place since the séance. She hired a medium named Janet Findley to come to Collinwood in the hopes of answering the mystery of Magda Racosi. Amy met Madame Findley and also reunited with her cousin Joe Haskell. Amy saw the mark of the pentagram on Joe's face, but had little understanding of its significance. Madame Findley, having also seen the mark, was greatly interested to know how Amy was able to see the pentagram on Joe's face. Amy honestly had no idea.

Fearing that Findley might interfere with his plans, Quentin had Amy and David trick Findley into finding the secret room. From there it was easy for the malevolent spirit to terrorize the medium, ultimately ending her life. [7][8]

A few nights later, Chris Jennings transformed into the werewolf and attacked Joe Haskell. Joe survived the encounter, but suffered numerous lacerations across his body. He soon discovered that the creature that nearly killed him was his own cousin and tried to put him out of his misery by shooting him. This revelation affected Joe's sanity and he grew gravely concerned for Amy. Pondering the notion that Amy might likewise be afflicted by the same curse as her older brother, he considered strangling her, but at the last minute changed his mind. He sneaked into Collinwood and abducted Amy, promising to take her far away where she would be safe. Having no understanding of what was wrong with Joe, Amy panicked and managed to get away from him. She ran back to Collinwood. [9]

Notes & Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Amy appears to have demonstrated mild psychometric abilities, possibly due to her family's connection to the supernatural. She occasionally had prophetic dreams regarding her brother Chris' condition [10], and once saw the mark of the pentagram on the face of her cousin Joe Haskell. [11] She was also extremely receptive to the presence of nearby spirits. In addition to Quentin Collins, Amy once claimed to have heard the ghosts of the "Widows" who took their lives by leaping off the edge of Widows' Hill.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

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See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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