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180
180
Number

177

Timeline

1967

Narrator

Alexandra Moltke
(as Victoria Winters)

Writer

Ron Sproat

Director

Lela Swift

Broadcast

March 3, 1967
(Friday)

Recorded

February 23, 1967
(Thursday)

Video

Complete: Disc 21
Beginning 6: Disc 1

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Laura befuddles the Caretaker in an attempt to keep pertinent information from discovery.

Synopsis Edit

Teaser

My name is Victoria Winters. There are those at Collinwood who are seeking the truth, the truth that lies at the bottom of a seemingly fathomless mystery. But they must seek answers in strange places, even in the land of the dead.

As Dr. Guthrie, Joe and Frank are leaving the crypt, Joe is overcome by the scent of jasmine that no-one else detects. Guthrie deduces Josette is contacting them. At that moment, the coffin of L. Murdoch Stockbridge opens of its own accord and it is empty!

Act I

After the astonishment clears, Guthrie asks about L. Murdoch Radcliff, who is buried under the maple tree past the half-mad caretaker's shack. The Caretaker suspects where the trio is going and gives them a warning. Guthrie promises to return and put L. Murdoch Stockbridge's coffin back where it belongs. Alone, the caretaker repeats to himself that "Laura Murdoch Stockbridge died by fire"; he believes she was unable to find peace and is roaming the night.

Act II

When the grave of L. Murdoch Radcliff is found, Guthrie is able to convince his colleagues of the importance of digging it up. Guthrie sends Joe to a tool shed and admits to Frank he expects to find nothing in the coffin. Meanwhile, the nervous caretaker is frightened to be alone. He thinks of something which he feels the trio might have found germane, but can't quiter remember it. L. Murdoch Radcliff died by fire in her room at night, and something strange occurred. The caretaker reaches for one of his record books in an attempt to remember. Joe, Guthrie and Frank begin to dig; inside the crypt, the caretaker has found what he was looking for, an account of the boy who died with one of the L. Murdochs. He feels a presence; Laura is there.

Act III

Laura speaks with the caretaker about Guthrie; the old man tells of his attempts to keep L. Murdoch Stockbridge at peace. Laura becomes upset at the sight of the open coffin; she wonders if the trio will be returning and decides to wait for them. She looks at the record for Laura Murdoch Radcliff. More digging and speculating; in the crypt, the caretaker speculates on the similarity of the deaths of the L. Murdochs and Laura speaks of fire. She's not afraid of fire, which gives warmth and beauty with colors so vivid and intense. Laura Murdoch Radcliff's coffin is empty; like it's always been empty.

Act IV

Back in the crypt, Laura speaks more of fire in order to befuddle the caretaker. Outside, the men rebury the coffin and return to the crypt, where the keeper thinks they've just left. Guthrie thinks someone's been here, but the keeper doesn't remember. They find an open record book from which the section concerning the death of Laura Murdoch Radcliff has completely and totally faded, as if exposed to a powerful light, like fire!

Memorable quotes Edit

Caretaker: (to Laura) They came to disturb the dead.

Dramatis personae Edit

Background information and notes Edit

Production Edit

  • This is one of only six episodes in the series not to feature an actor who appeared in 200 or more episodes, along with 168, 172, 1010, 1141 and 1182.
  • Final appearance of Conard Fowkes as Frank Garner. Although the character will be mentioned in 252, he is never seen on-screen again.

Story Edit

Bloopers and continuity errors Edit

End credits announcement Edit

  • Dark Shadows is a Dan Curtis production.

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