Collinwood of Dark Shadows (Lyndhurst Castle)

Jane Neill-Hancock

Wayne, United States

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Dark Shadows is an American gothic soap opera that originally aired weekdays on the ABC television network, from June 27, 1966, to April 2, 1971. The show depicted the lives and loves, trials and tribulations of the wealthy Collins family of Collinsport, Maine.

The 1960‘s Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows used the Lyndhurst Estate in Tarrytown and the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. The popular Gothic soap opera spun off into a full-length film in 1970 called House of Dark Shadows. The Dark Shadows film was shot on location at the Lyndhurst Gothic Revival mansion and at the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. The most amazing and extremely rare features of Lyndhurst are the furnishings. As each family moved out, they left their furniture and trinkets behind, leaving a rich historical account of the lives and deaths of those who once lived there. This was a great attraction to location scouts for House of Dark Shadows, as many scenes show items which are still in the house today. Fans will recognize desks, beds, vaulted ceilings, stained glass windows, trompe l’oeil painted walls, Gothic doorways from the movie set. Many scenes were shot at the carriage house, children’s playhouse, rose gardens, green house and other out buildings on the property.

The Sleepy Hollow Cemetery was located just miles from Lyndhurst and made the perfect setting for the entrance of the Collins’ crypt and final resting place of a 200-year-old vampire.

The series became hugely popular when vampire Barnabas Collins (Jonathan Frid) appeared a year into its run. Dark Shadows also featured ghosts, werewolves, zombies, man-made monsters, witches, warlocks, time travel, and a parallel universe. A small company of actors each played many roles; indeed, as actors came and went, some characters were played by more than one actor. Major writers included Art Wallace, Francis Swann, Ron Sproat, Malcolm Marmorstein, Sam Hall, Gordon Russell, Ralph Ellis, and Violet Welles.

Dark Shadows was distinguished by its vividly melodramatic performances, atmospheric interiors, memorable storylines, numerous dramatic plot twists, adventurous music score, and broad cosmos of characters and heroic adventures. The original network run of the show lasted for nearly five years to amass 1,225 episodes.

It continues to enjoy an intense cult following. In 2004 and 2007, Dark Shadows was ranked #19 and #23 on TV Guide’s Top Cult Shows Ever.

This castle estate above is actually Lyndhurst castle in Tarrytown New York, USA. Lyndhurst, also known as the Jay Gould estate, is a Gothic Revival country house that sits in its own 67-acre (27 ha) park beside the Hudson River in Tarrytown, New York about one-half mile south of the Tappan Zee Bridge on US 9.

This house was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1966. Lyndhurst was the set for the 1970 movie House of Dark Shadows and the 1971 movie Night of Dark Shadows, both based on the famous gothic soap opera Dark Shadows. The home of the Collins family was called Collinwood.

I took this photo on a visit to Lyndhurst on Halloween 2015. I used some tone changes, shading and HDR to create a haunted look. I did purchase a book in the Lyndhurst gift shop that talks about haunted houses in the area, and Lyndhurst is in there. I need to find the book and read it so I can share the information given there about the hauntings.

Dedicated to Dark Shadows, which I watched faithfully with my sweet Nana after high school each day.

Artwork Comments

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