The original series of Dark Shadows often incorporated classic stories with gothic themes into its narrative. The series modified this material freely, giving the familiar stories unusual twists. The following is a list of novels, short stories, films, other sources that influenced the various storylines and characters.
In 763, the signal that Tim Shaw will know its time to kill someone is the "Queen of Spades", is reminiscent of a character in this novel, also named Shaw, who is used as a sleeper agent, a guiltless assassin subconsciously activated by seeing the "Queen of Diamonds" playing card while playing solitaire. In 772, when Tim receives the signal, his target, Minerva Trask, is playing solitaire.
Barnabas Collins attempt to recreate Josette Collins, specifically with Maggie Evans from 221 to 261 parallels this film in which, risen from the grave, a walking corpse of a man obsesses on a woman who was the reincarnation of his great lost love.
The premise of the series, the characters of Roger Collins and Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, and the ghost of Josette Collins parallels this film in which a brother and sister live in a great mansion on a cliffside by the sea. They are haunted by mysterious and sad female ghost who's presence was felt by the scent of lilacs.
Victoria Winters journey to the year 1795 where she falls victim to the machinations of witch Angelique Bouchard parallels this film in which a woman makes a mysterious journey into the past where she is framed for black magic by a jealous witch. After returning to the present, no one believes her.
The disembodied head of Judah Zachery, specifically 1117 to 1131, parallels this film in which a powerful warlock's head is found in a box and it takes possession of the living to help him find his lost body.
In 560, vampire Angelique meets Joe Haskell in the same manner as Dracula's Bride meets Harker. In 631, Barnabas battles the vampire Tom Jennings by making a cross with candlesticks and forcing him into the light, just as Van Helsing does to Dracula in this movie.
The subplot of Nathan Forbes driving Millicent Collins insane during the '1795' storyline is inspired by this play. In that story, the protaganist keeps hiding items from small paintings to jewelry and watches making the heroine believe she's stealing losing these items. He tries to convince her that she is not actually hearing noises coming from the attic which is actually him at night looking for jewels hidden in the house. He then tries the same, "don't get so excited," routine with her to make her think she's acting hysterical when she is acting normal, causing her to doubt her own perception of the situation.
In 542, Adam reads a poem from this collection to Carolyn. Although in the real world the poem is untitled, in this episode it is referred to as The Tears of Two, derived from its last line: "And sees within my eyes the tears of two".
In 896, A quote often attributed to H.P. Lovecraft, but in fact by this correspondent of Lovecraft, reads:
"All my stories, unconnected as they may be, are based on the fundamental lore or legend that this world was inhabited at one time by another race who, in practicing black magic, lost their foothold and were expelled, yet live on outside, ever ready to take possession of this earth again."
This idea is echoed in this episode when David reads from the Leviathan book:
"And then those who have been hidden so long shall rise and show themselves and the others will know their time is ended and the time of the people of the Leviathan will begin."
In 890, Philip Todd references the spaceflight that landed the first humans on the Moon. This would have been quite topical at the time as the first manned mission took place four months previous to this episode being broadcast.
In 715, Rachel Drummond quotes an unnamed philosopher: "you must not look to the past, but to the hour ahead of us".
In 811, Edward Collins quotes an unnamed poet: "a son is a man's investment in the future".
Gothic / Mystery novels
In 621, Nicholas Blair comments to Julia that she has "been reading too many gothic novels".
In 912, Professor Stokes likens the current situation concerning Amanda Harris to being in a mystery novel.