Barnabas Collins (b. 1747) was a member of the prestigious Collins family who lived in the 18th century until he became a vampire in 1790. His father chained Barnabas in his coffin until the year 1990, when he was accidentally released.
18th Century Edit
Barnabas Collins was the oldest of Joshua Collins' four children. He lived at the Collins Manor House (which became known as the "Old House" after Collinwood had been completed) with the rest of his family until the year 1790. Barnabas waited, in that year, for the arrival of his fiancé, Josette du Prés, who was traveling to America with her uncle Andre. Although he attempted to ignore an affair he had had with Josette's maid Angelique, the jealous witch refused to allow Barnabas to wait patiently for the marriage. She seduced Barnabas into continuing their torrid affair only days before Josette arrived (7).
Barnabas greeted his fiance eagerly, giving her a music box as an early wedding gift, but soon grew angry as she ran away with his brother Jeremiah two nights later. Barnabas was unaware that Angelique's witchcraft had forced the two into love with each other, and challenged his younger brother to a duel. Refusing to actually kill Jeremiah, Barnabas ordered his servant Ben Loomis to prepare his pistol for the duel without loading a bullet. Angelique intervened in the duel through her magical powers, and Barnabas' shot killed Jeremiah (8). Although Josette angrily refused to see Barnabas and hated him for the death of her husband, Barnabas vowed to Angelique that he would love Josette as long as she lived (9).
Angelique raised Jeremiah from the dead as a zombie and attempted to manipulate his corpse to hurl Josette from Widows' Hill. Barnabas and a rescue party arrived before Jeremiah could complete the task, and Barnabas pleaded with the humanity remaining in his brother, breaking the spell. Jeremiah jumped from the hill into the ocean, himself, but not before indicating that Angelique was evil. Barnabas brought his fears to Josette's aunt Natalie, and the Countess detained Angelique so that Barnabas could search her room. He produced two voodoo dolls, symbols of the love spell on Josette and Jeremiah. Barnabas confronted Angelique, and in a rage, she attempted to kill him. After a struggle, Angelique fell on her own knife and uttered a curse on Barnabas as she died. Later that night, Barnabas was tricked by an apparition of Josette which attacked him and turned into a bat. As he lay dying, the real Josette ran to him, free of the spell. He managed to tell her that he would love her forever before dying (8).
Barnabas rose as a vampire and attacked Millicent Collins and Ruby, a woman in the village. The spirit of Angelique taunted Barnabas and explained that in accordance with her curse, anyone he loved would die. He resisted the urge to attack Josette as much as he could, instead choosing to attack Millicent again, this time killing her. Josette snuck away from Collinwood, however, and accepted the future she would have with Barnabas when she found him at the Manor House. He attacked her (10) and left her unconscious to wait for him the following night so he could complete the transformation, but her family moved Josette back to Collinwood, eager to protect the girl. Barnabas called her back to him, but Angelique's spirit terrified Josette into running away from him and jumping to her death from Widows' Hill (11).
Angelique's curse soon brought Barnabas' mother Naomi to the Manor House, and she, now distraught to have had two of her sons come back from the dead, began to lose her sanity. Following her, Abigail Collins also encountered Barnabas. Refusing to calm down and listen to him, Abigail suffered a fatal attack that left her dead on the Manor House staircase. Barnabas suddenly discovered that his sister Sarah and youngest brother Daniel had also followed, and they ran from their vampire brother into the stormy night. Barnabas was unable to find them and the two children spent the entire night hiding in the woods, soaked by the rain; as a result Sarah caught a fatal chill. Barnabas visited Sarah and Daniel at Collinwood the following night, but found that he was unable to do anything to save his sister. As he attempted to will her to live, Sarah died in his arms. Barnabas' father Joshua soon discovered his son's secret, and, unable to drive a stake through his heart and kill his son, chained Barnabas in his coffin in the Collins Mausoleum (12). He also changed the family history to show that Barnabas had not died, but instead moved to England. This proved to be a very useful lie for his son two hundred years later.
20th Century Edit
While searching for the legendary Collins jewels in 1990, Willie Loomis unchained the coffin in the mausoleum's secret room, releasing Barnabas after two hundred years of imprisonment. He attacked Willie and left him in the mausoleum before prowling the night, attacking Daphne Collins in her car not far from the Blue Whale. He later returned to the mausoleum and revealed the actual location of the family jewels in a hidden compartment (1).
Barnabas arrived at Collinwood a few nights later, explaining that he was a cousin from England descended from and named after the original Barnabas Collins. None of this was true, of course, as there had been only the one Barnabas. The family was convinced of Barnabas' authenticity due to his remarkable "resemblance" to the portrait of his ancestor. Barnabas requested to restore the Old House and live in it, which Elizabeth Collins Stoddard and Roger Collins supported, but David Collins objected to the plan, claiming that the Old House belonged to Josette. Barnabas appeared interested in hearing more, and David showed Barnabas a portrait of Josette, which noticeably upset Barnabas. That night, Barnabas walked to the Old House and declared to the spirit of Josette that he had come home (1).
Barnabas continued to attack strangers at night for their blood, killing a girl and her boyfriend in a roadhouse parking lot and another woman whose body was found floating in the water beneath Widows' Hill (1).
At Collinwood, Daphne Collins was recovering from Barnabas' attack under the care of Dr. Julia Hoffman. Barnabas used his power over Daphne to summon her to him, but was forced to back away when he found she was wearing a cross necklace under the orders of Professor Michael Woodard; she collapsed on the staircase and was taken back to bed. While he seemed concerned and polite, Barnabas knew he would have to deal with Daphne's resurfacing memories of her attack (1). Although Professor Woodard attempted to protect Daphne with night-time guards as well as the cross necklace, Barnabas used his power to make Joe Haskell and a deputy fall asleep and lure Daphne outside, where he attacked her again, this time killing her. Daphne soon rose as a vampire herself and the Collins family and the police worked to find and destroy her. At Collinwood, Barnabas claimed to have been away on business in Boston as an excuse for missing the funeral, but while he spoke to the family was unaware that Julia Hoffman had noticed he did not cast a reflection in the drawing room mirror (2).
Following Daphne's destruction, Julia confronted Barnabas with her knowledge of his true nature and a plan to restore his humanity through a medical experiment. Barnabas agreed (2) and the two began a series of injections and treatments, the first of which proved painful and toxic to Barnabas' system. Over the course of the winter from 1990 to 1991, Julia treated Barnabas with regularity. Barnabas eventually found that he again cast a reflection in mirrors, and intensified his plans for a life with Victoria Winters. His eagerness and impatience made Barnabas demand an injection of serum so powerful that it would allow him to survive in the daylight. The injection worked for a few moments, and Barnabas was able to watch the sun rise through a window in the Old House. Although he did not want the curtains drawn to block the sunlight, his body eventually gave in, and Barnabas collapsed in pain just as Sheriff Patterson, Michael Woodard, and Roger Collins showed up at the Old House to investigate Woodard's theory that Barnabas was a vampire. Barnabas managed to endure the sunlight again long enough to convince the three men to leave, but remained bedridden for the rest of the day as a result (3).
When Woodard refused to give up and photographed Julia's notebook pertaining to the cure, Barnabas was forced to take action to silence the professor. He confronted Woodard in his home (3) and made the professor a vampire himself. Julia destroyed Woodard, and found that Barnabas had mysteriously prevented the photographs of the notebook from developing. Barnabas explained to Julia that Woodard's destruction was for the best, as it now provided for their two continuing lives. He assured Julia that she was now as guilty as he was, as she had been protecting him (4).
Shortly after, Victoria presented Barnabas with the diary of his sister Sarah, which she claimed to have found while exploring. Barnabas was overwhelmed and was sure that the book had been given to Victoria as a message to Barnabas from his sister. Barnabas read the diary to Willie, and confirmed that David had likely seen Sarah's ghost, as he had also seen her. Inside the back of the diary, Barnabas found a small painting of Angelique, which he angrily threw into the fireplace. Her spirit emerged from the flames and taunted Barnabas and Willie. When the diary later began to change, with a new entry warning Barnabas to stay away from Victoria appearing on a page, Barnabas refused to alter his plans and met with Victoria for a dinner that evening (4).
Barnabas gave Victoria Josette's music box as well as one of her old dresses and allowed her to spend the night in Josette's old room after a storm trapped Victoria at the Old House. He was unaware that Julia, jealous and worried for Barnabas in his relationship, had diluted her injections to prevent him from passing beyond the part-human, part-vampire status he had attained. Barely able to control himself from attacking Victoria as she slept in Josette's bed, Barnabas forced Willie to chain him in his coffin while he waited for Willie to bring Julia to him. When the two arrived to help Barnabas, they found him in a horrible state, certain that Julia had meddled in the experiment's progress. She admitted to interfering, and Barnabas ordered her to inject him with enough serum to end his curse permanently. Against her better judgement, Julia complied (5).
The following morning, Barnabas found that his hands had wrinkled, as if aging. He quickly ushered Victoria out of the house with Willie, and while they were gone, he aged rapidly to over two hundred years. Carolyn Stoddard, visiting on behalf of her mother, found Barnabas and he attacked and bit her. The fresh blood from that attack restored Barnabas to his previous appearance, but he soon discovered that he no longer had a reflection and was fully vampiric once more. Enraged and blaming Julia, Barnabas vowed revenge (5).
At the Collins family costume party the following night, Barnabas revealed to Julia that he intended to settle the score between them. He planned, also, to distance himself from Victoria, but found it incredibly hard to tell her that they must not see one another again. Before the night was over, the remaining guests gathered in the drawing room and played with a Ouja Board. When Sheriff Patterson asked the board if the vampire was still around, the board indicated that he was. The party asked the board for the killer's name, which was almost revealed until Carolyn, controlled by Barnabas, attacked the board in a violent outburst of rage and disgust. She stormed out of the room and the party concluded (6).
Barnabas continued to use Carolyn to fulfill his hunger for blood, feeding from her regularly, but not enough to kill her (6, 8, 10); this lull in attacks in the Collinport district ensured that the Sheriff's interest in him died down. On Barnabas' orders, Carolyn worked to try to murder Julia, but the doctor eventually figured out that Carolyn had been bitten by the vampire and was under his control. She confronted Barnabas, who tried to kill her himself, only to be stopped by the ghost of Sarah. Sarah said that some people wanted to help Barnabas, and that he should not hurt them. Barnabas vowed not to do anything to make Sarah run away from him again, and spared Julia. Sarah said that everyone at Collinwood was in danger of death. Angelique's spirit appeared, terrifying Julia and Willie, and prompting Julia to ask Maggie Evans for help in contacting Sarah's spirit again (6).
The Collins family gathered for a séance in the Great Hall of Collinwood, and Victoria disappeared from the ritual, leaving a young woman from the 18th century, Phyllis Wyck, in her place. Barnabas feared that Victoria was growing closer to learning his secret and living the horrors that he had been a part of when Maggie explained that Victoria had likely been sent back to 1790, the time from which their new visitor originated (6). Fearful that Phyllis Wyck would die of fever as she had in 1790, Barnabas worried that Victoria's only way home would soon be cut off (7).
Barnabas had Julia convince the family that they had to hold another séance, but this time Victoria's empty chair caught fire during the ceremony and Julia convulsed, claiming that she felt is if something were trying to get inside of her (9). She later stabbed Joe Haskell to death when he attempted to stake Barnabas in his coffin (he had previously seen Barnabas feeding from Carolyn). Barnabas recognized that Julia had been possessed by the spirit of Angelique at the séance, and instructed her to ask Maggie to help in ridding herself of the spirit (11).
Barnabas arrived at Collinwood during a stormy night just as Angelique, this time in Maggie's body, attempted to murder Phyllis Wyck and trap Victoria in 1790. The lights at Collinwood went out for a moment, and when they returned, Barnabas saw that Victoria had returned to the present. She was relieved to be back in her own time, but reacted with terror upon seeing Barnabas. He feared that his secret had been revealed in the past (12).
When Victoria Winters traveled back in time to 1790, her presence altered history and affected the lives of many, including Barnabas Collins. Barnabas was one of the first people to meet Victoria in that time, and immediately noticed her resemblance to Josette. He was stunned that, without mentioning Josette's name himself, Victoria knew the name of his fiance. Barnabas assisted Victoria's entry into the family as the new governess for Daniel and Sarah (7).
When Victoria was arrested for witchcraft, Barnabas visited her in her jail cell, assuring her that she would be freed (9). When Victoria was sentenced to hang, in the days after Barnabas had become a vampire, Barnabas instructed his father to inform Ben Loomis of what he had become. Ben lured Reverend Trask to the Manor House and Barnabas forced the preacher to write a confession that he had been wrong in accusing Victoria of witchcraft. Once the confession was complete, Barnabas and Ben immured Trask in the Manor House basement and left him to die (12).
Barnabas' known victims Edit
- Jeremiah Collins+
- Angelique Bouchard+
- Millicent Collins
- Josette du Prés Collins++
- Abigail Collins
- Reverend Trask+
- Willie Loomis++
- Daphne Collins
- Gloria's boyfriend
- Unidentified woman at Widows' Hill
- Professor Michael Woodard
- Carolyn Stoddard++
+: killed, but not through a vampire attack
++: attacked but not killed by Barnabas
- Elizabeth Collins Stoddard states that history showed Barnabas Collins had traveled to England, "in the 1700's, just after the election of John Adams." Barnabas then indicates that his namesake had assisted in that election. However, John Adams was elected the second United States President in 1796 and events depicted in the 1790 flashback show that Barnabas died, became a vampire and was chained in his coffin six years prior to the election even taking place, making his participation impossible (1, 9).
- Although the year is never spoken onscreen, Barnabas was released from his chained coffin in 1990. While the bulk of the series' present day events occured in 1991, Barnabas told Julia that it had "been a long winter" during his treatments with her, establishing that it was at that point a new year from the year of his release (3). Later, Victoria Winters told her lawyer Peter Bradford in 1790 that she had come from the year 1991 (9).
- Barnabas, unlike his counterpart in the original series, appeared to be far more willing to indulge his bloodlust upon humans. There is no indication that he ever attacked animals for their blood as the original Barnabas did (215, 219).