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Daphne Collins (1963-1990) was a cousin to the fabled Collins family of Collinsport, Maine. She lived at the great house of Collinwood and worked as an accountant to Elizabeth Collins Stoddard. She also provided services for other residents in the port community including tavern owner, Sam Evans.
Daphne was romantically involved with a longshoreman named Joe Haskell. Although Daphne was committed to Joe, she realized that maintaining a relationship with a man who worked such disagreeable hours would be a difficult one.
One night in April 1990, Daphne was walking home from the Blue Whale when a mysterious stranger attacked her just outside her car. Although she didn’t realize it at the time, this stranger was her own vampire ancestor, Barnabas Collins. Barnabas drank a large portion of Daphne’s blood and left her for dead.
Sam Evans and his daughter, Maggie, discovered Daphne's body and called the police. She was immediately taken to the hospital where she was given a blood transfusion. The police had no indication of who the attacker might be, and Elizabeth Collins Stoddard insisted that Daphne be moved to Collinwood where private physicians could attend to her needs.
Dr. Hiram Fischer called in a blood specialist from New York named Dr. Julia Hoffman. Hoffman set up a small office at Collinwood where she worked alongside an old colleague of her named Professor Michael Woodard. Woodard had already spoken with the town sheriff, George Patterson, and had developed his own theory as to the nature of Daphne's condition. He boldly told Julia that he believed Daphne was the victim of a vampire. Julia was skeptical at first, but respected Michael enough to not arbitrarily dismiss his opinions.
As the days passed, Daphne's condition improved. However, she had no clear memory of the attack and could not successfully identify her attacker. Michael Woodard provided Daphne with a crucifix necklace and asked her to wear it. He didn't explain his motivations to her, but Daphne humored him, believing Woodard to merely be an aloof old man with a fondness for religious traditions.
One evening, Barnabas Collins stood outside the windows of Collinwood and used his vampiric powers of hypnosis to call out to Daphne. Daphne rose from her bed and began descending the staircase at Collinwood, but the presence of the crucifix kept Barnabas from effectively attacking her. Joe and the others found her downstairs and brought her back to her room. Elizabeth decided that she should be relocated to first floor quarters should she begin sleepwalking again. None of the residents at Collinwood had any idea how close to death Daphne had come.
Sheriff Patterson grew concerned that whomever attacked Daphne might attempt to do so again – especially if the possibility existed that she could correctly identify him. He assigned a deputy to stay at Collinwood to watch over her. Joe Haskell and the deputy agreed to keep a nightly vigil over Daphne while she slept – to insure that she did not begin sleepwalking again.
On one of the nights in question however, both Haskell and the deputy fell asleep at their post. Barnabas appeared outside of Collinwood and beckoned Daphne to him. She removed the cross from her neck and ventured outside. Barnabas took the young woman into his embrace and completely drained her of blood, killing her. The following morning, Joe Haskell and the deputy found Daphne's body near Widows' Hill.
Funeral services were held at Eagle Hill Cemetery and Daphne was entombed in the Collins Family mausoleum. The night of her funeral, Daphne rose from the grave as a vampire. She stalked off towards the old family swimming pool where she found her young cousin, David, playing. She tried to attack David, but the small boy managed to evade her grasp and ran back to the main house. He burst into the dining room claiming to have just seen Daphne. Naturally, no one believed him – no one except for Dr. Woodard. Woodard’s suspicions were now confirmed and he was convinced that Daphne was not only killed by a vampire, but now walked as one of the living dead as well. He brazenly presented his theory to the household who treated him with mock scorn. Their shock towards Woodard's assertions only intensified when he suggested that they exhume Daphne's remains to certify whether or not she truly was a vampire.
Later that night, Joe Haskell wandered down to the mausoleum to visit Daphne's tomb on his own. Daphne appeared from the shadows and attacked him. He managed to stumble back to Collinwood, and the family took him inside and placed him in the care of Dr. Hoffman. After analyzing Haskell’s neck wounds, the family became less leery of Woodard’s bizarre theories. He presented his ideas to George Patterson and warned his deputies that Daphne was now a vampire. The sheriff and his men inspected her tomb at the mausoleum and found it empty.
A few nights later, Daphne struck again. She summoned Joe to her side and the two met in the upstairs quarters of the Collins family stables. Upon discovering that Joe was missing, Sheriff Patterson sent out a search party. They tracked the vampire down, and cornered her inside the stables. The deputies held Daphne down, while Dr. Woodard hammered a wooden stake into her heart, destroying her once and for all.
- Daphne Collins is a character that is unique to the continuity of the 1991 Dark Shadows revival series. Her character is an amalgamation of two pre-existing characters featured in the 1970 MGM film, House of Dark Shadows – Daphne Budd and Carolyn Stoddard. Daphne's back-story in the revival series is a virtual mirror of events germane to Carolyn’s character from House of Dark Shadows.
Joe Haskell has a boat named after Daphne.