Welcome to The Victoria Winters Site
By Craig Hamrick
She literally started it all.... More than 30 years ago, a creative man named Dan Curtis had a dream about a mysterious young woman riding on a train. Soon Curtis was developing a television show based on that dream, and its heroine was named Victoria Winters.
In 1966, portrayed by Alexandra Moltke, the character's line "My name is Victoria Winters..." introduced the world to an eerie coastal village called Collinsport, Maine, and an atmospheric mansion called Collinwood. Eventually, Vicki was featured in a series of Gothic novels, and she even achieved immortality on a Viewmaster reel.
The TV show was, of course, Dark Shadows, a history-making soap opera that eventually featured supernatural characters like vampires, werewolves. But for about a year, before the main characters became monsters, the series often focused on Victoria and the orphan's search for her parents. In later episodes, she became the love interest of a vampire, she traveled through time to meet the man of her dreams, and more than a few times she uttered her trademark line, "I don't understand..."
It was this characteristic of never quite grasping the whirlwind of events around her that eventually lead Moltke to leave the show. Other actresses tried to fill her shoes, but eventually Vicki was permanently written out of the show without resolving that mystery born in the first episode: Who were Victoria's parents?
But even though Vicki was gone from the show, she never left the hearts and minds of many diehard fans. She was a favorite character in short stories and novels created by fans. Nearly everyone had a slightly different view of who Victoria was.
It has been stated -- most notably by actress Joan Bennett, who portrayed Elizabeth Collins Stoddard -- that Victoria was meant to be revealed as Elizabeth's daughter. However, because this was never resolved on the show, room was left for speculation.
In 1992, I decided to ask several fans with a penchant for writing to create new short stories for an anthology I was planning, called "Victoria Winters" I asked them to addressed the mysteries of Vicki's past. I was very pleased with the outcome, which was released by Clique Publishing the following year: Several fans, including May Sutherland, Connie Jonas, Anna H. Shock, and Emily Klackzak, wrote short stories. Jeff Thompson also wrote a great non-fiction look at how Vicki has been portrayed by the acting troupe The Collinsport Players. Fans Dan Deminian and Dan Silvio dug into their personal collections and provided some rare photos, and Dan Silvio also provided some art he has created featuring Vicki. And last, but certainly not least, artists Marcy Wilson and Sherlock provided cartoons and drawings - many of which had never been published before.
For my own contribution, I decided to go back to the source -- one of the sources, at least. We've heard how Dan Curtis intended to resolve the mystery of Vicki's parentage, but he was not the only person creating official Dark Shadows stories in the 1960s and '70s. Dan Ross, one of the most prolific authors of modern times, wrote a series of 32 Gothic novels based on the show. As on TV, Vicki was the first focus character of the novels, and she was searching for her parents. Unfortunately, also like TV's Vicki, the young woman featured in the novels suddenly disappeared without finding the truth.
In 1992, I asked Mr. Ross if he had considered resolving the mystery in his books. I was happy to learn that, in fact, he had. And although the story was never published, he had a concept which he wanted to base a book on. The editors of the book series asked him to abandon Vicki, however, and concentrate on the immensely popular characters of Barnabas and Quentin.
He told me his detailed story idea, and said, "This element of Dark Shadows was entirely my own, and I would have written it into the series, but the editors preferred that I drop this thread and concentrate on Barnabas, Quentin, etc. I think it was a mistake. This could have made an excellent yarn."
With Mr. Ross's permission, I took his story and expanded it to an outline of a novel, which I may someday write. In the meantime, I wrote a shorter version to be included in "Victoria Winters." Mr. Ross approved it and said he hoped the fans would enjoy this look at what might have been.
In 1997, I decided to create CollinWeb, a website tribute to Dark Shadows, and it seemed fitting to include a Victoria Winters section.
Here you'll find the short stories written for "Victoria Winters" by Anna H. Shock and Connie Jonas, as well as my own "The Secret of Victoria Winters." I would like for this site to grow, so if you have any Victoria-related short stories or art--or even just your own special Vicki memories, please send them to me at: CalNYC@aol.com, and I'll add them.
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This website is part of CollinWeb, and is copyrighted by Craig Hamrick unless otherwise noted.
Dark Shadows is copyrighted by Dan Curtis Productions. All Rights Reserved.