“They’ll show you all the people you really are!”
See, this is what I’ve always said about homeschooling. I get that public schools are overcrowded and underfunded, and kids don’t get the personalized attention they really need. But you go outside the core curriculum, and what happens? Demonic possession. Every single goddamn time.
Today’s case study: young David Collins, who’s been reading a book of forbidden ancient wisdom. It’s put him under the spell of the four-headed snake, and turned him into the servant of an Elder Thing. Specifically, he just bought the Elder Thing some slacks.
Now he’s in the Chosen Room of this unholy antique shop, the dwelling place of the snuffling, tentacled pig weasel that holds David’s soul in abeyance. David has brought the blasphemous abomination some new clothes from Brewster’s department store, so it has something to wear when it moves into the next horrifying stage of its horrifying development.
But then, wouldn’t you know it, Aunt Elizabeth is just outside the door. She saw David enter the Elder-occupied antique shop, and it’s way past his bedtime. She insists on looking for him in every room in the house, up to and including.
Her hand is reaching for the Chosen Doorknob. We are teetering on the verge of a Liz-less future.
Continue reading Episode 904: Watching the Detectives
“I had Philip look all over the house, for a monster of some kind.”
Now, granted, I don’t have any kids myself, but I think if you’re going to care for a telepathic space baby that came out of a box, you’re probably better off doing it within the confines of a private residence.
That’s what the Whateleys did, in the H.P. Lovecraft story The Dunwich Horror, which is what this cockamamie Leviathan storyline is based on. They had a whole farmhouse and a barn all to themselves, where they could raise their hideous blasphemies in relative peace.
But Megan and Philip have been chosen by the Leviathan people to house a monstrous god-creature at their antique shop, a site which has two obvious drawbacks as a storage area for unseen horrors: employees, and customers.
It probably would have been easier if they’d just closed down the shop for a while, until this all blew over. Then they wouldn’t have to worry about people examining their forbidden space artifacts, or asking impertinent questions, like why is your child mostly packaging material.
Continue reading Episode 902: Bringing Up Baby
“I am the keeper of the book, and the protector of the baby.”
Sitting alone in his hotel room, waiting for his daughter to call, itinerant sperm donor and faux-father Paul Stoddard finds his attention drawn to a calendar hanging on the wall. Then he finds his hand drawn to a pen lying on the desk. Then a circle finds itself drawn around December the 4th.
As the pen falls from his nerveless hand, Paul says to himself, “What made me do that? December 4th! What does it mean?”
What it means, I’m sorry to say, is that the pen is yet another convert of the bewildering demonic cross-time conspiracy that’s currently wreaking havoc in the Collinsport small business community. We knew about the antique shop, of course, and I’ve long had my suspicions of the local Orbach’s, but I thought at least they’d have the decency to leave the school supplies out of this. Those monsters!
Continue reading Episode 898: Executive Child
“I’m a monster! I have no choice but to kill!”
Megan is alone, on the display floor of her antique shop. Her husband left to buy cigarettes a few moments ago. The room is dim, and cluttered with scattered relics.
Megan is worried. Earlier today, she was suddenly overcome with the unshakeable feeling that someone is coming to kill her. She’s correct; somebody is actually coming to kill her. It’s been a weird day.
What follows is a five-minute solo spaz attack of epic proportions. When I was younger and less discerning, I thought of this as The Worst Scene In Dark Shadows. I’m not sure what I think about it now. I’m still trying to work that out.
Continue reading Episode 897: You’re the Worst
“I don’t believe that she’s not worried about Philip, either.”
Things look bleak for the global Leviathan conspiracy. The ancient book of prophecy has been stolen. The child is sick. The boss is spending all his time punishing the Chosen Ones. It’s only been two weeks, and the organization is falling to pieces.
We need a firm hand at the wheel, a steady leader in an unsteady world. We need a thirteen year old.
Continue reading Episode 896: Help Wanted
“You oughtn’t to go, until you take something more to them than what you’re taking now.”
They opened the box, and read the scroll, and lost the book, and had the dream. And now they have a baby, which is not how it works.
Continue reading Episode 894/895: Love of Chair
“As you have become the chosen one, so has this room become the chosen room.”
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given. And all we had to do is open this box, which is super convenient.
Continue reading Episode 892: Welcome to Dunwich
“I feel like if we open it, our lives are going to change.”
The Old Ones were, the Old Ones are, and the Old Ones shall be. Not in the spaces we know, but between them, they walk serene and primal, undimensioned and to us unseen.
So there they are, Pandora and her husband Phil, staring at a puzzle box that will wipe the earth clean, just licking their lips and desperate to get their hands on it. She’s wearing a necklace decorated with the sign of the Naga — a four-headed serpent, a creature without a soul, and the very latest Thing in fashion.
Now they’re at the Old House, these reckless antiquers, and they’re delighted to find a Naga-branded mystery box that would complete their stockpile of hazardous material.
“Is there anything inside?” she asks, and the owner admits, “To tell you the truth, I’ve never looked inside. Is that strange to you?”
“Well,” she grins, “we’re very curious people.” Yeah, you can say that again.
Continue reading Episode 891: Curious People
“Something terrible is going to happen to us if we stay here!”
We’re back in the swinging sixties, and just in time. Barnabas’ trip to the nineteenth century was held over by popular demand, and if they’d kept it up for another six weeks, then by the time he came back it would be the 1970s, because of how time works.
The new storyline is just getting started — this is actually the first episode that takes place entirely in 1969 — so they’re still lining up the plot points. So far, Barnabas has been hijacked by some kind of ancient pyramid scheme death cult, Julia is anxiously awaiting Barnabas’ return from the past, and Carolyn is wearing a terrible clown skirt.
But today, we get our first big shock: Jason McGuire is back!
Continue reading Episode 888: Little Shop
“The sensible option isn’t always the most interesting.”
When you get right down to it, what is a Dark Shadows story, anyway?
A couple months ago, I passed the blog’s halfway point, which means there’s now more Dark Shadows behind me than there is ahead. I mean, we’ve stll got plenty of time — it’s only 1969, and what does time really mean anyway — but it makes me start to wonder about what happens when there’s no more Dark Shadows.
One thing that I know for sure is that trying to retell the story over again is a bad idea. They’ve tried three times — the failed 1991 show, the failed 2004 pilot, and the failed 2012 movie — and there’s just no point to it. This is a story that can only be told once, and it’s not like it even made that much sense the first time.
But there’s another path for post-Dark-Shadows Dark Shadows which is marginally more sensible, and that’s the road taken by the Big Finish audio dramas, the Lara Parker novels and the Dynamite comics.
Instead of trying to squeeze the original story into a new shape, they say: Okay, it’s April 3rd, 1971. Now what?
Continue reading Episode 764: Straight Outta Collinsport