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Paula Jennings

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This article belongs to the continuity of the novels by Marilyn Ross.
Paula Jennings was born Paula Collins, a distant relative of the prestigious Collins family of Collinsport, Maine. Growing up in the early 20th century, Paula spent a great deal of time at Collinwood visiting her uncle Michael and aunt Sally.

In the autumn of 1909, Paula met a young man named Christopher Jennings. Jennings nursed an irrational hatred of the Collins family, but despite all of that, the two fell in love and were married in March of 1910. The strength of their marriage quickly eroded however, soon after moving into the lavish, beachfront Cranshaw House.

Upon moving into their new home, Chris insisted that the two newlyweds sleep in separate bedrooms with a single door linking the two. His reasoning was that he was a restless sleeper, and was concerned that his nocturnal episodes might disrupt Paula.

For several nights, Paula was awakened in the middle of the evening by the sound of a wolf baying outside of her window. Whenever she tried to awaken Chris, she discovered that the door to his room was locked, and that he was absent, or refused to answer. Whenever Paula attempted to address the matter with Chris, he responded with either rudeness or outright contempt.

Paula found that she only had one friend in the lonely old house – a recently hired maid named Lizzie Wells. Lizzie had heard rumors concerning Chris’ other servants, Abel and Peg. She had heard that Abel was a wolf-man and that Peg was a witch. This only fueled Paula’s imagination and she grew more and more uncomfortable with her new surroundings with each passing day.

In April, Paula became friends with a distant relative living on the Collinwood estate named Barnabas Collins. She quickly discovered that Barnabas was a vampire, but he confided in her and earned her trust. She discussed her concerns over Chris with him, and Barnabas warned Paula that Chris Jennings may be a very dangerous man.

Later, a strange, old man named Joseph Sharon, arrived at Cranshaw House. Sharon was the godfather to Chris’ first wife, Rachel. He accused Chris of murdering Rachel and warned Paula to stay clear of him. Paula’s suspicions of Chris’ true nature worsened.

That night, Paula was going through Chris’ clothes and discovered a bizarre belt, fashioned from the pelt of a wolf. Chris found her rifling through his things and harshly admonished her. She tried pressing Chris for more answers, but he dismissed her at every turn.

Barnabas meanwhile, decided to formally introduce himself to the master of Cranshaw House. With Paula’s foreknowledge, he arrived at the estate one evening under the pretense of an amateur artist desiring to sketch Paula’s likeness. Chris allowed the sitting, but took an instant dislike to Barnabas (as he did all Collins family members).

As the evenings passed, Chris spent more time on mysterious business trips, and paid little attention to Paula. During these absences, she would visit the Old House. Despite the fact that Barnabas was a vampire, Paula found herself slowly falling in love with him. She knew that a relationship between them was impossible (not to mention incestuous), but she came to regard Barnabas more closely than anyone she had ever known.

Before long, Chris returned from one of his many business trips with a new house servant, Melissa Henry. Barnabas recognized that Melissa was actually Angelique – the witch responsible for placing the curse of the vampire upon him. He warned Paula about Melissa and the two discovered that Melissa and Chris were both progenitors of a nascent wolf-cult.

Chris eventually revealed his true intentions to Paula. He never truly loved her, and only wanted the triumph of being able to enslave a Collins to his unremitting control. He wanted to own Paula – body and soul.

Melissa began terrorizing Paula in the hopes of weakening her resolve. First, she invaded her room one night with the intent of doing her harm. Fortunately for Paula, the ghost of Barnabas’ former lover, Josette Collins manifested itself in her room and drove Melissa away.

Melissa later antagonized Paula again by summoning several eerie phantasms that haunted her within the dark corridors of Cranshaw House.

Paula ran to the arms of Barnabas and told him about the recent string of attacks. Barnabas pledged to protect her and walked her back to her home. Chris and Melissa attacked Paula again – this time in the form of werewolves. Barnabas transformed into a bat and distracted the werewolves enabling Paula to get inside the house.

Later, Chris and Melissa abducted Paula and held her hostage inside a secret vault in the Cranshaw cellar. Barnabas arrived in time to save Paula from being a mindless cultist, and destroyed Chris and Melissa in the process.

After their misadventure together, Paula pledged to remain by Barnabas’ side, but he urged her move on with her life. There was no way that he could ever benefit from human love so long as he was a vampire.

Notes Edit

  • Before meeting Chris Jennings, Paula was involved with a man named Brian Glason. It is implied that Paula may have rekindled her romance with Glason some time after her husband’s death, but this has never been confirmed.

Appearances Edit

The Foe of Barnabas Collins

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