Barnabas Collins

Barnabas Collins is a fictional character starring on the ABC daytime series Dark Shadows which aired from 1966 to 1971. Barnabas is a 175 year old vampire in search of fresh blood. d and his lost love, Josette. The character, originally played by Canadian actor Jonathan Freed, was introduced in an attempt to revive the show’s declining ratings, and was originally only meant to have a short 13-week run. He was held back due to his popularity and the program’s rapid ratings growth, and became the de facto star of the show.

The defining trait of Barnabas’ character development is his gradual but constant transformation from a sinister, frightening creature of the night into a show hero who selflessly, heroically and repeatedly risks his life to save the Collins family from disaster.

In the 1991 NBC revival of Dark Shadows, British actor Ben Cross played the role of Barnabas Collins. Alec Newman played the role in the unreleased 2004 pilot. In a recent audio drama series produced by Big Finish Productions, he is portrayed by Andrew Collins, with Freed returning to play the role one last time in Night Whispers. Role played by Johnny Depp in Tim Burton’s 2012 film Dark Shadows.

Barnabas Collins was the main character in most of the 32 Dark Shadows. paperback novels written by Marilyn Ross (Canadian author of W.E.D. Ross) from the late 1960s to early 1970s. (Ross wrote hundreds of novels in various genres and under various pseudonyms.)

TV Guide named Barnabas Collins #8 on their 2013 list of “The 60 Most Heinous Villains of All Time”.


Barnabas Collins was a member of the late 18th century Collins family from the fictional town of Collinsport, Maine. He was the son of Joshua Collins (Louis Edmonds) and Naomi Collins (Joan Bennet). Among Barnabas’s many cousins ​​were Millicent and Daniel Collins. During the flashback, Barnabas intended to marry a Martinique heiress named Josette du Pré (Catherine Leigh Scott), but he had a brief affair with Angelique Bouchard (Lara Parker), Josette’s maid.

Upon Angelica’s arrival in Collinsport for the wedding, Barnabas was determined not to rekindle his affair. Rejected witchcraft practitioner Angelique Bouchard used a series of spells to manipulate Barnabas and his family into agreeing to marry her. Barnabas discovered Angelica’s duplicity and shot her. With what she believed to be her dying words, she got her revenge on Barnabas by summoning a vampire bat from Hell to attack him. Barnabas fell seriously ill and died. Angelica survived and tried to break the curse, but was unsuccessful.

Shortly thereafter, Barnabas became a vampire and soon strangled Angelica. Collins later scared his aunt Abigail (Clarice Blackburn) to death and left the hated fanatical witch hunter Reverend Trask (Jerry Lacy) buried alive in the basement of the Old House. Sarah Collins died of pneumonia after a cold night in the woods hiding from her dead brother. Adding to Barnabas’ grief was the fact that his mother, Naomi, committed suicide after discovering his secret. Barnabas Collins blamed Angelica for the deaths of his sister and mother, and also blamed Lieutenant Nathan Forbes (Joel Crothers) for telling Naomi about him. Barnabas strangled Forbes and attempted to turn Josette into a vampire. Josette was ready, if not fully aware, of what this would entail until Angelique opened up a vision of what she would become. Fleeing from Barnabas, Josette jumped off the rocks of Widow’s Mountain and died.

Unable to bear what he had become, Barnabas Collins asked his father, Joshua, to destroy him. Joshua Collins was unable to kill his son and ordered servant Ben Stokes (Thayer David) to nail a cross to the inside lid of Barnabas’ coffin and wrap chains around it on the outside. imprisoned the vampire forever in the secret room of the family mausoleum in Eagle’s Hill Cemetery.

The Return of Barnabas Collins
In 1967, while searching the Collins family vault for rumored lost jewelry, Willie Loomis (John Carlen) came across a chained coffin. who slept Barnabas. Believing that the coffin contains the wealth of the Collins family, Willy inadvertently released the vampire. Barnabas attacked Willy and turned him into his unwitting servant.

Women of Barnabas

Barnabas Collins’ great love was his 1795 bride, Josette du Pré, but he was interested in many different women throughout the show, including Maggie Evans, Victoria Winters, and Roxanne Drew. He wanted these women to share his vampire existence and wanted Maggie and Victoria to take on Josette’s identity. His closest ally and friend was Dr. Julia Hoffman, who quietly loved him and supported his efforts to find happiness. Knowing that Julia did have strong feelings for him, Barnabas’ complex feelings for Julia evolved from initial fear and distrust to deep affection, devotion and protection. At some point, Barnabas Collins confessed to Willie Loomis that he cares more about Julia than he seems.

Other appearances

The 1970 MGM film House of Dark Shadows centers on the release of Barnabas Collins from the coffin by Willie Loomis. Unlike Frieda’s television portrayal of Barnabas, the Barnabas presented in the film was more believable for a typical evil vampire who had killed half of the Collins family by the end of the film. Barnabas himself is killed by Jeff Clark, now portrayed as Maggie’s boyfriend, and a dying Willie Loomis when Barnabas tries to make Maggie Evans his vampire bride. Barnabas does not appear in the Night of Dark Shadows sequel, which focuses on another relative, Quentin Collins.

In the 2012 film Dark Shadows, Barnabas is played by Johnny Depp as a somewhat modernized version of the character from the original series. He is deeply obsessed with Josette, does not forgive those who betray him, and believes that his curse can be reversed. He expresses deep emotions towards his contemporary family members, in whose lives he longs to be. He displays his TV counterpart’s powers and abilities by submitting to his cold vampire instincts. Barnabas tries to win the love of David’s governess Maggie Evans, now called Victoria Winters, who reminds him of his lost love Josette. Depp’s version is up to date with popular culture and has a strong taste for rock music. He wears a similar hair and clothing style to his late 1960s counterpart, but dresses more colorfully. His character is portrayed as somewhat more sexually active and eccentric than before. This incarnation has a different relationship with Dr. Hoffman, who never becomes his ally.


Barnabas was often blamed for his moments of cruelty on his transformation into one of the undead or a “Nosferatu”, but other characters have shown that Barnabas is not always the reluctant victim that he claimed. He continued to have sexual fun with the possessed Angelica despite declaring his love for Josette, which led to many tragedies in his life. Jealousy and wounded male pride led him to mortally wound his uncle in a duel after Jeremiah’s escape with Josette. He tried to withdraw from his agreement to marry Angelique after she cured his sister of her illness. Having received evidence that his newlywed bride Angelica was a witch, he tried to kill her. A drunken Ben Stokes admitted that Barnabas, prior to his change, “…was neither then nor – but he’s worse now!” When the vampire attempted to silence his father by killing him, an astounded Joshua Collins exclaimed, “You would kill even me! You must have always had so much hatred in you. No one could get into it so quickly!” While many of his passions for sexually mature young women could be explained by his vampire curse and his need to find a vampire bride, his romantic choices during his periods of life as a human were equally immature and puzzling. In later interviews, Jonathan Freed admitted that this was all part of the character’s success, “… lies he told himself.”

As harsh or impulsive as he may be, Barnabas is nonetheless not without a conscience, whether human or vampire. He is shown to be able to feel guilt for the mistakes he has made, as well as showing love to other people. For example, he shows a softer side to Dr. Julia Hoffman when he gets closer to her, and once mentioned that he cares for her more than he lets on. He risked his life whenever she got into serious trouble, and it wasn’t until the Leviathans ordered Julia killed that Barnabas had the strength to break free of their control. When Angelica attempted to endanger Julia’s life, an enraged Barnabas warned her that if she ever tried to harm Julia again, he would personally see to her own destruction. His confrontation with Angelica over the deaths caused by his curse showed that he truly cared deeply for his mother, his sister, and Josette.


Barnabas’ powers mimic those of the classic vampire Dracula and include immortality, superhuman strength, superhuman speed, hypnosis, and the ability to transform into a bat. and disappear and reappear at will. However, it is known that Barnabas also used witchcraft. In an early storyline, he tried to drive Julia insane by summoning the spirit of her dead colleague Dave Woodard. In 1795, Barnabas briefly resurrected Josette Dupré, who in the 20th century had warned the Collins family of impending danger while wandering the halls of Collinwood, and he used visions to lure Reverend Trask into a fatal trap. These seemingly magical powers were never explained, but made Barnabas a deadly protagonist.


Jonathan Freed first appeared as Barnabas Collins in 1967 in episode #211, but Collins’ hand was briefly seen in the climax of episode #210, before Freed introduced him. Series regular Timothy Gordon (uncredited) provided the hand that was first seen gasping for Willie Loomis.

In a 1971 TV Guide article, Dark Shadows head writer Sam Hall discussed the plan for the show’s finale had it not been canceled earlier than intended. Among other things, the plans included Barnabas, a vampire who became mysteriously ill again. Julia, deducing that his illness was due to his unique connection to Adam, travels to Singapore to nurse Adam back to health and becomes seriously ill there. Now the recovered Barnabas will come to her and finally confess his love and ask her to become his wife. Knowing that Angelica will never let Julia live, they will stay in the Far East after the wedding, and Julia will cure Barnabas of his vampirism forever.