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Collins family mausoleum
Aliases: Collins' tomb [1][2]
Category: Cemetery
Continent: North America
Country: United States of America
State: Maine
Town: Collinsport
Locale: Eagle Hill Cemetery
Appearances: Dark Shadows
House of Dark Shadows
1st appearance: Dark Shadows: 209

The Collins family mausoleum is a fictional location featured in the daytime Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows, which aired on ABC from 1966 to 1971. The mausoleum made frequent appearances throughout the show and more than a few subplots revolved around this pivotal setting.

History[edit | edit source]

The Collins Family mausoleum rests in Eagle Hill Cemetery, five miles north of the family's estate at Collinwood. To the public at large, the mausoleum consists of one chamber containing three coffins sitting upon the floor. Inside the coffins are the remains of Joshua Collins, Naomi Collins, and Sarah Collins. [3][4]

Although small in comparison to a traditional mausoleum, it was one of the oldest structures in the cemetery, dating all of the way back to the American Revolution. The central chamber of the mausoleum contained three coffins, laid side by side to one another, with a placard on the wall behind them, identifying the remains. They contained the bodies of Joshua Collins, his wife Naomi Collins and their youngest child Sarah, who died when she was still a little girl. What few people knew however was that the mausoleum contained a secret room behind the anterior wall. The door was activated by pulling upon a ring housed within the mouth of a sculpted lion's head above the center of the wall. Originally, this secret room was used by Joshua Collins to storage weapons during the war, but later it became the resting place of a single coffin - the one that belonged to vampire Barnabas Collins, who remained chained and imprisoned within the room from 1796 until he was freed in 1967.

Roger Collins brought Elizabeth Collins Stoddard to Eagle Hill Cemetery in the hopes of convincing her to renovate the Collins family mausoleum in lieu of constructing a private mausoleum for herself. As they entered the family crypt, they found a wounded and mentally unstable Joe Haskell. They brought him back to Collinwood to nurse him back to health. (DS 614)

Through the mysticism of the I Ching, Barnabas's consciousness from 1969 traveled backwards in time to the year 1897 where upon he re-inhabited his old body, which was still chained up in the mausoleum. He used his vampire powers to project his will outward, sending an image of the chained coffin to the crystal ball owned by Gypsy fortune teller Magda Rakosi. Mistakenly believing that she was seeing a vision of the hiding place of the Collins family jewels, she sent her husband Sandor to the mausoleum to seek them out. Sandor found the secret room and unwittingly freed Barnabas. Barnabas drank some of Sandor's blood and used his vampiric hypnosis to force the Gypsy knife-thrower to do his bidding. [5]

A would be treasure-seeker named Willie Loomis unwittingly discovered the secret chamber at the back of the mausoleum. Mistakenly believing that the chained coffin contained valuable antique jewelry, Willie opened it, thus awakening the slumbering Barnabas Collins. [6]

Sometime later, Barnabas murdered a con man and extortionist named Jason McGuire and buried him in his own coffin inside the secret room of the Collins family mausoleum. [7]

The caretaker of the Eagle Hill Cemetery always suspected that an evil presence surrounded the mausoleum, but never knew just how correct he really was. [8][9]

House of Dark Shadows[edit | edit source]

The Collins family mausoleum was a large burial tomb in a privately owned cemetery in Collinsport, Maine. The façade of the mausoleum boasted a large pediment engraved with the name Collins upon it, set between two carvings of the Madonna . A large iron gate opened into a small chamber containing a steep set of stone steps leading downward into a larger burial vault. Two large coffins rested deep inside the mausoleum's inner recesses. Upon one of the walls was a stone relief of a dove and another of a lion. The lion held an iron ring in its mouth, which was actually a trigger to open a door leading into a lower secret chamber. Inside this secondary vault was an ancient coffin, wrapped in chains, containing the body of the vampire, Barnabas Collins. Barnabas' body had remained sealed inside the hidden chamber since 1797.

In June of 1970, Willie Loomis, a handyman working for the Collins family, discovered a doggerel with a riddle describing the secret chamber. Believing it to be the resting place of the Collins family jewels, Willie broke into the chamber and awakened Barnabas Collins.

A short time later, Barnabas attacked and eventually murdered his cousin, Carolyn Stoddard. Her body was laid to rest at the Collins family mausoleum. Carolyn’s fiancé, Todd Blake returned to the tomb the night of her funeral and discovered that Carolyn had risen as a vampire. She attacked him, drinking his blood and leaving him stumbling about in a daze.

Riddle[edit | edit source]

The following poem is the riddle that Willie Loomis used to find the secret chamber. The novelization featured a slightly different version of the riddle. The author of the riddle remains unknown.

Movie version
The Madonnas rest high above
The Lion’s head watches the dove
And in the womb beneath the hill
A blazing light glows bright and still
Novel version
The three Graces spin – high above
The lion’s head looks down at the dove
And in the womb beneath the hill
The secret fire glows bright and still

The Tombs[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • Per its first appearance in episode, 209, it is stated by the caretaker that the only members of the Collins family buried in the cemetery are those in the tomb, which includes Joshua, Naomi, and "several" children. The others are buried in the Collins Family Cemetery. This detail is ignored in later episodes, as it appears that nearly everyone in the Collins family is buried at Eagle Hill.
  • When Willie Loomis first met the Eagle Hill Cemetery caretaker, the old man told him that several of Naomi Collins' children were buried in the mausoleum. This is only partially true. While it is true that both of them were buried in the tomb, Barnabas was actually buried in a secret room behind the main burial chamber. The caretaker would not have been aware of this, and he certainly wouldn't have casually mentioned it to Willie Loomis had he known.

See also[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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Dark Shadows Location
This article relates to locations featured in and pertaining to the Dark Shadows television and film franchise. This template will categorize articles that include it into the Dark Shadows Locations category.
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