"A violent storm continues over the great house at Collinwood. And it has been discovered that two children have disappeared in the middle of this night. While the adults in the house search frantically for them, the children are busy in an old storage room in the abandoned West Wing. They are about to make a startling discovery of their own; one that will change the course of their lives."
Elizabeth Collins Stoddard
Episode 645
Series Dark Shadows
Season 1968, Episode 645
DS 645 001.jpg
Air date December 13th, 1968
Writers Gordon Russell; Art Wallace
Director Penberry Jones
Producers Dan Curtis
Starring Joan Bennett; Jonathan Frid; David Henesy; Denise Nickerson
Episode guide
Episode 644
Episode 646

Episode 645 of Dark Shadows was directed by Penberry Jones and written by Gordon Russell, based upon story elements developed by Art Wallace. It originally aired on ABC on Friday, December 13th, 1968. In this episode, David Collins and Amy Jennings discover a secret room in the West Wing at Collinwood. They become the victims of a malevolent spirit who forces the children to do it's bidding. Meanwhile, Elizabeth Collins Stoddard grows frantic when she learns that the children are missing.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

David and Amy pry away at a small panel in a storage room in the West Wing at Collinwood. They find that it opens up into a secret room. The children debate on whether or not they should enter when suddenly a secondary door creaks open. They crawl through the passageway and David shines his flashlight across the room. They come upon an aged skeleton of a man sitting in a wingback chair. The chair spins about to face them and Amy screams.

David and Amy try to leave, but the door is locked shut. They try to find an alternate means of egress. David discovers some matches and lights a candle. Suddenly, a strange, lilting tune begins to emanate from an antique phonograph.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth goes to the Old House to see Barnabas. She is frantic and tells Barnabas that the children are missing. She says that Roger is searching the grounds and wonders if perhaps they may have sneaked into the Old House. Barnabas invites her to come search the estate with him.

In the West Wing, the children try to put the thought of the eerie music out of their minds and search for a way out. Without warning, the music stops and the air is filled with a ghostly, menacing laughter. The door that had been previously locked creaks open.

The children leave, but are markedly changed from the experience. They sneak out of the house and skulk about the Old House just as Elizabeth and Barnabas leave to return to Collinwood. They go inside and it becomes clear that the children are now following the instructions of the ghost they encountered. Amy is reluctant to obey the spirit's instructions, but David insists that they keep their promise. He brings her upstairs to the attic where they recover an antique cradle. They bring the cradle back downstairs and sneak it back to Collinwood.

David and Amy in the West Wing

They manage to get it up into the West Wing and place it in the center of the secret room. David begins acting even more strangely. He tells Amy how much he likes her and Amy grows nervous. She wants to go back downstairs and David happily agrees. Just then, the cradle begins rocking back and forth of its own accord. David tells Amy to go to the cradle stating, "Go to the cradle, Amy. She needs you."

Downstairs, Elizabeth grows increasingly worried. Barnabas, who had taken off to help Roger search for the kids, comes back inside and tells him that he has had no success. Elizabeth decides to telephone the sheriff. Just then, David and Amy enter through the front door. Amy is excited to see Barnabas again. Elizabeth however, is simply relieved that the children appear to be safe. When asked about their whereabouts, David and Amy tell a carefully crafted lie about going for a walk. Elizabeth is incredulous at first, but they eventually convince her that they are telling the truth. They both promise her that they will not run off again without first telling someone.

Once the adults leave, David and Amy complement each other on how well they had lied to Elizabeth. David says that once everyone goes to bed for the evening, they will sneak back up to the West Wing to "play the game".

At 1:30 am, David and Amy go back up to the secret room. As they enter, Amy looks forward, smiles and cheerfully says "Hi, Quentin!"

Cast[edit | edit source]

Notes & Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • This episode is included on disc 4 of Volume 11 of the Dark Shadows DVD series collection.
  • Closing still: Collinwood foyer.
  • This episode introduces the character of Quentin Collins. The character is typically credited as being introduced in episode 646, which is the first appearance of actor David Selby. However, a prop representing Quentin's skeleton is seen in this episode and Selby provides the ghostly laugh for the character though he is not credited in the episode. The episode also introduces the antique phonograph which plays the tune that is commonly accepted as "Quentin's theme". The tune is used as the musical accompaniment in the Shadows of the Night poem and is featured on nearly all Dark Shadows soundtracks.
  • This episode begins a sub-plot which ultimately leads into a major story-arc commonly referred to as the "1897 flashback". The 1897 time travel story begins with episode 701.

Allusions[edit | edit source]

  • David makes reference to Willie Loomis who is away during the events of this episode.
  • David remarks that he has never broken a promise before. This is actually quite false as David routinely breaks promises.

Quotes[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]

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