|Joshua Collins (2012)|
Owner of Collins Fishing Cannery
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Joshua Collins is the father of the story's chief protagonist, Barnabas Collins. As shown in the opening minutes of the film, Joshua immigrates to the "New World" from England in 1760, together with his wife, Naomi, young Barnabas, and the family servants. Joshua founds the fishing village of Collinsport, where he establishes a prosperous fishing business, the Collins Canning Company.
At different points in the film, Barnabas states that the Collins family have "always" been in the fishing business, and says that his parents immigrated to expand the family "empire" to the New World, indicating that they had been prosperous in maritime ventures long before their arrival on the shores of Maine. Although Joshua says, and Barnabas reiterates, that true wealth lies in devotion to family, Barnabas does remark that his father "clearly was not opposed to the other kind" of material prosperity.
On an escarpment above the cliff at Widows' Hill and overlooking the growing village below, Joshua employs fine craftsmen to build and furnish an elaborate mansion called Collinwood, which over the ensuing 16 years grows to consist of around 200 rooms. Joshua's mansion remains the home of the Collins family until at least 1972, when - almost two centuries after his death - a large portrait of Joshua continues to be displayed in Collinwood's large entry hall.
One evening during or shortly before 1776, as Joshua and his wife Naomi take a stroll outside their home, they are killed by a large, seahorse-shaped stone statue, which appears to fall (but is in fact supernaturally "pushed") from the roofline of Collinwood. The heavy statue's fatal plunge onto the unsuspecting couple results from a spell imposed by Angelique Bouchard, a jealous servant girl at Collinwood who is also a powerful witch.
Joshua and Naomi's murder, and later their son Barnabas' vampire curse, results primarily from Angelique's rage at Barnabas' having rejected her in favor of another woman, Josette duPres. Angelique is also partially motivated by resentment over the Collins family's wealth and class privileges, many years later complaining that the Collinses "always looked down their noses" at herself and others. Although Joshua and Naomi's murder is accomplished with a spell that causes a seeming "accident" and thus conceals her culpability, 196 years later when confronting Barnabas and the Collins family of 1972, Angelique gloats about her role in the deaths of Collinsport's founding couple.
A portion of Joshua's accumulated wealth remains concealed in a secret labyrinth beneath Collinwood, where it apparently remains untouched for nearly two centuries, until the return in 1972 of the vampirically unaged Barnabas, who uses his father's hidden cache to help renovate Collinwood and revive the family fortunes.