Early life Edit
Born in 1947, Vicki grew up in a foundling home and never knew anything of her true parentage. Beginning in 1952 and for the next fourteen years, a mysterious stranger began sending her money on a monthly basis. The postmarks on all of the money envelopes originated from Bangor, Maine, but there was nothing else included to enlighten Vicki as to their origin (Novel: Victoria Winters).
The Collins House Years Edit
In October of 1966, Elizabeth Collins Stoddard – the rich, reclusive, matriarch of the great Collins House in Collinsport, Maine hired Vicki as a governess to tutor her nine-year-old nephew, David. Although David proved to be a very troublesome student, Vicki and he eventually developed a very strong relationship (Novel: Victoria Winters).
It was around this time, that Vicki first met Ernest Collins. Ernest, a cousin to Elizabeth and her brother, Roger – was a concert violinist and owned his own meagre mansion elsewhere on the expansive Collins House estate. Ernest had recently suffered tragedy in his life as a lover of his, Stella Hastings, had committed suicide not one year ago. Vicki bonded with Ernest, and before long the two began to fall in love. Ernest's lifestyle however, prevented him from staying at Collins House for very long, and they realized that his travelling schedule hindered them from forming any realistic relationship that might develop between the two. While travelling, Ernest continued to write to Vicki on a regular basis for at least a year (Novel: Victoria Winters).
In June of 1967, Vicki experienced one of the more haunting episodes of her life. A man named Henry Francis and his two daughters, Rachel and the invalid, Dorothy, began lodging at Collins House. During their visitation, Vicki began seeing shadowy images of what she believed to be the ghost of Stella Hastings. Pursuing this phenomenon, Vicki’s investigation brought her into close contact with the Francis family. Henry Francis, scared that Vicki might unwittingly expose a kidnapping scam he had been engaged upon, made two attempts on her life. Publicly, he attempted to excuse the episode by claiming that the ghost of Stella Hastings was trying to murder Vicki. Vicki ultimately learned of Henry and Rachel’s scam and discovered that the Francis' invalid daughter, Dorothy, was in fact an abducted heiress named Grace Fontaine. Henry tried to kill Vicki a third time, but a police detective named Paul Caine arrived and saved Vicki's life (Novel: Victoria Winters).
- This version of Victoria Winters is not to be confused with the Victoria Winters of the original Dark Shadows television series. Although their respective histories share many similarities, this version of Victoria Winters is exclusive to the Paperback Library novels and lives in a continuity separate from that of the television show.
- Unless otherwise stated, it can be assumed that most biographical material that is attributed to the canonical Victoria Winters is common to the Paperback Library version as well.