“What’s frightening me is the feeling I have!”
We live in unsettled times, here in mid-August 1970. The publicity tour for House of Dark Shadows is about to crank into gear, in advance of the late-August premiere in the southeast and the early-September nationwide release. We’re going to lose some main actors next week, including Barnabas, as the Dark Shadows movie finds yet another way to do what it does best: destroy the Dark Shadows TV show. It’s no wonder everybody’s stressed out about the future; the current outlook is trending pretty bleak.
But you can’t look to the night sky for an answer to everything; that’s not what it’s for. The stars and planets aren’t there just for you. They’ve got their own orbits, their own desires and dramas. They have no time to worry about what patterns they make when viewed from Earth, which to them is just another random rock in the inky void. The stars that make Orion’s belt have nothing to do with each other; they’re hundreds of light years apart, and they’re not even friends on Facebook.
All those sparks in the heavens aren’t going to coordinate with each other just to let you know that you should avoid the color green, and move toward people with positive energy. Are you kidding me? They’re stars. They couldn’t care less.
But I know that’s disappointing to hear, so I’m going to let you in on the only real way to divine the future: your Dark Shadows horoscope. A couple weeks ago, I invited commenters to post their birthdates in the comments, so that I can reveal the truth: your personality and future are determined by the Dark Shadows episodes that aired on your birthday. Here, I’ll show you what I mean.
Laramie Dean — January 8th
Zodiac sign: Episode 663. (Barnabas transcends time to change his own past, and bites Nathan. He forces Nathan to sign a confession that he lied at Vicki’s witch trial.)
Your personality: You’re impulsive and reckless, and you have a hard time admitting you’re wrong. When things go badly, you’ll go to extremes to get your way, even if it involves going back and killing more people than you killed the first time.
Your future: Your new plan isn’t going to work either. You’re going to end up going back to this situation over and over, always thinking you’re on the verge of making it come out okay. Just move on. Keep his number, though; you never know.
Jayson O’Neill — January 29th
Zodiac sign: Episode 678. (Chris has been poisoned, and Beth leads Barnabas and Julia to the scene, to investigate and save Chris’ life.)
Your personality: You have a knack for smelling strychnine in an empty glass, which doesn’t come in handy very often. In fact, it’s possible that you’ve never even noticed that you have this talent. When you have the opportunity, try picking up somebody’s empty glass and smelling it. You might have all kinds of glass-smelling abilities that you never expected.
Your future: You will enter a room, and find an unconscious man lying on the floor. Try to help him, if you can.
Joe — February 2nd
Zodiac sign: Episode 420. (Nathan’s estranged wife Suki shows up at Collinwood, pretending to be his sister).
Your personality: You are devious, and ruthless. When you want something, you don’t let anything stand in your way. You don’t mind making other people uncomfortable. You have extraordinary taste in hats.
Your future: Don’t get too comfortable, you’re not going to last that long.
Monica Rose Kiesel — February 7th
Zodiac sign: Episode 423. (Waiting for Nathan in the Old House, Suki is set upon by Barnabas and killed.)
Rising sign: Episode 685. (Waiting for Barnabas in the Collinwood drawing room, Ezra Braithewaite is set upon by Quentin’s ghost and killed.)
Your personality: You are very well liked; everyone wishes they could see you more often. You’re good with kids. You look a lot older than you are, and you have two pairs of glasses. You also have extraordinary taste in hats.
Your future: Something terrible is going to happen to you, because of some outlandish conflict that has nothing to do with you. On the bright side, in about five years you’ll become more famous than anyone you’re currently hanging out with, and you will live for approximately ever.
Robert Sharp — February 11th
Zodiac sign: Episode 948. (Jeb conjures up a flappy bat to turn Barnabas into a vampire.)
Your personality: You live in a cage, by which I mean that you feel like you’re being boxed in by the choices that you’ve made, and you’re having a hard time figuring out how you can grow beyond your current limitations, and break free from the attitudes and expectations that keep you from truly expressing yourself, and living the life that you were meant to live. Also, you live in a cage.
Your future: You will have your revenge.
MD — February 14th
Zodiac sign: Episode 428. (Furious over his betrayal, Millicent attacks Nathan with a letter opener.)
Your personality: You love not wisely, but too well. You’re a passionate person, and when you make a commitment, you throw everything into it. When that works out, you form intense connections that enrich your life, but when it doesn’t work out, you’re crushed, and angry.
Your future: Maybe lay off the coffee for a while, see if you feel better.
Mike — February 21st
Zodiac sign: Episode 433. (In the witchcraft trial, Vicki is challenged to find someone who will testify that she didn’t hate Abigail enough to kill her.)
Your personality: You’re not guilty. But the deck is stacked against you, and you’re subject to unfair and contradictory rules. You have a hard time convincing people that you’re telling the truth, especially because half the time what you’re saying doesn’t make sense. You try to solve problems, but mostly you make things worse.
Your future: You’ll get home eventually. Don’t fall in love with your defense attorney.
Bob — February 26th
Zodiac sign: Episode 698. (Sabrina has a flashback to the day she witnessed Chris turn into a werewolf.)
Your personality: You have a hard time reading the room. You make plans that you think are going to make people happy, but really everyone is wondering how they can get you to leave. You have a super creepy brother who needs to learn how to keep his hands to himself. You have extraordinary taste in hats.
Your future: You’re going to recover from the memory that’s been haunting you, make peace with the person who wronged you, and buy them a plant. Do something different with your hair.
Glen McCulla, Abigail — April 3rd
Zodiac sign: Episode 463. (Returning to her own time in 1968, Vicki freaks out at Peter’s grave, insisting that he’s being hanged right now, in 1796.)
Rising sign: April 3rd, 1971: the day after the last episode of Dark Shadows.
Your personality: 31 people provided their birthdays for this post, and the only double was for April 3rd, the dreaded day foreseen by Henry Anthony Wilcox and the eleven women in Fort Wayne. This is a dark omen of great power. You are the destroyer, the end of all things. You are Password. Also, you don’t understand how time works.
Your future: You will never truly die. You’re less popular than you once were, but there will always be people who remember you and love you. Sometimes they’ll make fun of you, but in an affectionate way. Your story will be told and retold, but you will never be equalled.
John Hall — April 14th
Zodiac sign: Episode 209. (Willie is fascinated by the portrait of a Collins ancestor in the Collinwood foyer.)
Your personality: You’re a day early. People aren’t quite sure what’s going on with you, because they can’t imagine that what you’re thinking of could even happen.
Your future: You’re on the verge of the craziest and most successful period of your life. That insane venture that you’re planning is really going to take off, and if you keep your head and don’t back down, you’ll discover amazing new things to do. Also, you’re about to get bitten by a vampire, so good luck with that.
Rob Morris — April 21st
Zodiac sign: Episode 214. (Barnabas tells Vicki about the construction of the Old House.)
Your personality: You represent a marriage of the elegance of Europe, and the vigor and enterprise of a new world. You were made from rocks left behind by glaciers, thousands of years ago. You were cut from ancient local forests. You were made from crushed clam shells and horsehair.
Your future: You will be imported from Holland.
Rob Haskins — June 24th
Zodiac sign: Episode 520. (Barnabas and Julia try to find out whether the ghost of Trask has successfully exorcised Cassandra’s spirit.)
Your personality: Recently, a foul serpent departed in haste from this unworthy creature, whatever that means. You missed the whole thing, and now you’re not sure what’s going on. You want to find out what’s happened, but you don’t know where to start.
Your future: You will discover a skeleton in your basement.
David Edelstein — June 30th
Zodiac sign: Episode 265. (Sam, Joe and Dr. Woodard visit Maggie at Windcliff, and meet Dr. Julia Hoffman.)
Your personality: You are a mythopoetic trickster figure like Reynard the Fox and Bugs Bunny, a high-camp, fast-talking mendacity machine with command over every possible facial expression. You are impulsive and reckless. You always know where your light is. You are the element of surprise.
Your future: You’ll be invited to stay at a stranger’s house, and you’ll stay there for the rest of your life, rent-free. In return, you’re going to have to spend a lot of your time solving other people’s problems.
Joe Lidster — July 13th
Zodiac sign: Episode 1056. (Claude North persuades Roxanne to speak, and Angelique dies.)
Your personality: People fall in love with you while you’re asleep. You have a murky and nonsensical backstory that involves hypnotism, and a dagger. Nobody really understands who you are, or what your deal is.
Your future: There is only one man who knows you as you really are… and I am that man!
Percysowner — July 26th
Zodiac sign: Episode 283. (Julia brings Maggie to the Collins mausoleum, where she has a panic attack.)
Your personality: You have an unusual way of helping people. You’re impulsive and reckless, and determined to know the truth. Your scientific detachment is admirable, but it cannot become so important to you that you forget you’re dealing with human beings.
Your future: You’re going to lose your memory of the last several months, and the person who harmed you is going to get away clean.
Marc Masse — August 1st
Zodiac sign: Episode 287. (Posing as a family historian, Julia goes to the Old House to mess with Barnabas. Later that night, Barnabas appears in Julia’s room, and strangles her.)
Your personality: You’re very intelligent, and you reach conclusions that other people wouldn’t dream of. You take risks, because you know that you’re right, and you can handle any situation that comes up.
Your future: You’re just about to meet your best friend, and soulmate. You’ll have adventures together, and no matter what happens, you’ll be the center of attention. However, in future adaptations, your role will be unaccountably diminished.
Will — August 7th
Zodiac sign: Episode 814. (To save Jamison’s life, Barnabas returns the severed hand to Count Petofi.)
Your personality: Okay, where do I even start with this. You’re a weird supervillain wizard who killed the last unicorn, you were sentenced by the gypsies to have your magical hand cut off, and you go around under an assumed name, trying to find your lost body part so that you can resume your life of sorcerous villainy. I mean, metaphorically, that’s what you are. Probably. I’m pretty sure it’s a metaphor.
Your future: You will regain your senses, and use your magical power to torment a set of supernatural time-traveling monsters, so that you can swap bodies with a handsome teen idol who’s going to live forever because you gave him an age-defying oil painting.
Mark — August 8th
Zodiac sign: Episode 554. (Tom finds Angelique’s coffin in Nicholas’ cellar. On his way home, he’s attacked in the woods.)
Your personality: You are handsome, curious, and unlucky.
Your future: You will be replaced by your twin brother, and then he’ll be replaced by an associate director.
Rachel — August 17th
Zodiac sign: Episode 1081. (In the playroom, Hallie discovers that David has been possessed by Tad.)
Your personality: It’s taking a long time for you to grow up. You confuse people, especially when you insist that they wear your clothes. You’re not interested in eclipses. You repeat yourself a lot. It’s taking a long time for you to grow up.
Your future: Collinwood will be destroyed.
Tim — August 23rd
Zodiac sign: Episode 303. (Burke and Dr. Woodard review Maggie’s case.)
Your personality: You just can’t figure this out. There’s got to be a logical explanation!
Your future: There isn’t a logical explanation, and you won’t figure it out. The illogical explanation will take over your television show, crowding you out entirely. Do not fly to Brazil.
Melissa — September 6th
Zodiac sign: Episode 575. (Determined to be the life force in the second experiment, Angelique defies Nicholas, and bites Jeff.)
Your personality: Ambitious, cunning, devious, unprincipled, decadent!
Your future: You will not achieve your immediate goal, whether that’s supplying your life force to a patchwork dead person or something else entirely. But don’t worry; you have an active and exciting life ahead of you. All the people who are currently getting in your way will be out of the picture in three months or so. You will rise again, often and wearing better outfits.
Samantha Harris — October 15th
Zodiac sign: Episode 602. (Nicholas erases Jeff’s memories of being bitten by Angelique.)
Your personality: You’re impulsive and reckless, and hungry.
Your future: Close your eyes. You are sleeping, yet you can hear my voice and you will obey my commands. You will forget what happened here tonight.
Christine — October 18th
Zodiac sign: Episode 343. (Julia’s plans to cure Barnabas are threatened when she sees Barnabas and Vicki on the terrace together.)
Your personality: You’re crafty, the kind of person who can whip up a delicious meal from whatever’s in the kitchen, or create a mad science lab in your basement using some glass bottles and a bike rack. But you’re impulsive and reckless, and you don’t like to share.
Your future: You’re going to become a very, very old man. This will happen suddenly, and you will not be happy about it.
Imfunny2 — November 8th
Zodiac sign: Episode 358. (Furious at her betrayal, Barnabas decides to drive Julia mad by conjuring up the spirit of Dr. Woodard.)
Your personality: You know the secret magic number of the universe, and you’re not afraid to use it. I’ve told a lot of people that they’re impulsive and reckless so far, but this is Dark Shadows, where pretty much everybody is impulsive and reckless. You’re one of them.
Your future: The person that you’re plotting against will someday become your best friend. Go easy on her.
Susan J. Elliott — November 19th
Zodiac sign: Episode 888. (Carolyn and Julia meet Megan and Philip Todd at the antique shop.)
Your personality: You appear to be a perfectly ordinary person, friendly and cheerful, but there is a darkness inside of you that nobody can see. You have a destiny that you can’t and never will understand.
Your future: There’s a pig weasel behind you. Look out!
Jay Barry — November 20th
Zodiac sign: Episode 628. (Angelique visits the underworld, to report to Diabolos that Nicholas is in love with a mortal woman.)
Your personality: You’re a tattletale, the kind of person who’s always asking to talk to people’s managers. You cause mayhem and distress. But you’re fun; it’s hard to stay mad at you.
Your future: You’ll disappear from sight for a little while, and then emerge from the fireplace four months later, reborn, and ready to do it all over again.
Skooks — November 26th
Zodiac sign: Episode 632. (Nicholas conducts a black mass over Maggie, while Chris turns into a werewolf and kills the hotel clerk.)
Your personality: You are utterly bonkers. You do things that nobody imagined they would ever see. You’re loud and violent and creative and weird, and you’re one of my favorites.
Your future: You will live as I live — as one of the damned!
Tessie Collins — December 3rd
Zodiac sign: Episode 637. (Just after their wedding, Vicki watches in horror as Jeff fades away, back to his own time.)
Your personality: You are cryptic, and unexplained. It seems like you make sense, but when you really think about it, you don’t make any sense at all.
Your future: Okay, let’s just say off the top that this isn’t what you thought you wanted. But now that it’s happened, can we look at the bright side for a minute? That guy was a jerk. All of your friends hated him. If he stuck around, he would have gotten even more aggressive and angry and weird. You’re better off without him. Plus: free wristwatch!
Slocum — December 14th
Zodiac sign: Episode 384. (Barnabas shoots Jeremiah in a duel.)
Your personality: You are really not good at making decisions. You need somebody to step in, and take the gun out of your hand before you hurt somebody.
Your future: You’re going to hurt somebody.
Adriana Pena — December 25th
Zodiac sign: Pre-empted for basketball.
Your personality: You are mad and strange and wonderful, sometimes hard to watch but never easy to ignore. You are ambitious and silly and, yes, impulsive and reckless, just like everyone who comes under your spell. You are the whole of Dark Shadows, the one day every year when the people who love you can step back from this whirling carousel, and see how beautiful you really are.
Your future: The bad news is, you don’t last forever. But who does?
Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:
When we first see the dollhouse, the chandelier is swinging back and forth.
When Sebastian opens the door and finds Roxanne, we can see the edge of the set, including the hallway that Roxanne’s standing in.
— Danny Horn