Dark Shadows of the Hudson Valley

Dark Shadows premiered in 1966

Some of you are too young to remember the original daytime serial Dark Shadows, which ran from 1966-1971. What I remember best is running home from school and planting myself right in front of the TV to fixate on a dapper vampire named Barnabas Collins who unexpectedly returns to his family home hundreds of years after his death. I mean really ladies, who wasn't taken in by Barnabas Collins charming and elegant persona during the 60's and 70's?

The show's eerie opening is forever burned into my memory.  The crashing waves bursting against the cascading, rocky cliffs beneath a dimly lit mansion overlooking the sea. 

My name is Victoria Winters. My journey is beginning, a journey that I hope will open the doors of life to me and link my past with my future, a journey that will bring me to a strange and dark place, to the edge of the sea, high atop Widows' Hill, a house called Collinwood, a world I've never known, with people I've never met, people who tonight are still only shadows in my mind, but who will soon fill the days and nights of my tomorrows.

The popularity of this series evolved into several full-length movies. What you may not know is The House of Dark Shadows (1970) was filmed here in the Hudson Valley. The Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Sleep Hollow, NY served as the eternal resting place for the vampire Barnabas Collins known as Eagle Hill Cemetery in the film. Lyndhurst Castle, located in Tarrytown , NY, was the film location for Collinwood. Night of Dark Shadows (1971) returned to Lyndhurst (Collinwood) the following year unleashing new terrors upon us. 

One a rainy, summer's day, I traveled south to sink my teeth into the history behind Lydhurst Mansion. Truly it was a fan visit to observe the film location of one of my favorite movies. I was surprised to recognize many of the rooms and props just as they were in the House of Dark Shadows during my tour of the Gothic mansion.  If you are a fan like me. Watch the movie and then pay Lyndhurst a visit. You won't regret it.

You can visit Lyndhurst Mansion year-round, however you may prefer to visit during the Halloween season when the house is brought to life for this festive Hudson Valley Halloween season.

 Lyndhurst mansion Photo credit:  Donna Davies

Lyndhurst mansion
Photo credit:  Donna Davies

 Sleepy Hollow Cemetery Photo Credit:  Donna Davies

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery
Photo Credit:  Donna Davies