In her introduction to Dark Shadows: Dreams of the Dark, Lara Parker writes, "Dark Shadows was always destined to become a series of novels, if only to release those mesmerizing stories which so enraptured audiences into the imagination of the reader. For as lavish as the settings, as clever as the props, as lovely as the costumes all were, the power of the written word on the reader's dreamscape offers an even more exhilarating experience."

It's true, the world of Dark Shadows, created by Dan Curtis, has inspired millions of words -- both fiction and non-fiction -- to be committed to paper over the decades. Lara herself has penned some of the best (see below) and I've even contributed my share.

As Lara wrote in that intro, the novels based on DS allow readers to play out, and embellish, adventures at Collinwood. And the non-fiction volumes provide a glimpse behind-the-scenes of one of the most popular TV shows off all time.

Paperback Library

Starting in 1966, Paperback Library published a successful series of Gothic-themed novels based on Dark Shadows. The 32 novels (plus the novelization of the film House of Dark Shadows) were written by Canadian author Dan Ross, using the pen name Marilyn Ross.

Three other volumes were published by Paperback Library as well: a photo album featuring images of Jonathan Frid, a Barnabas joke book, and a collection of supernatural short stories with no real relation to the show.

Click here to read more about the Paperback Library series--including summaries of the stories told in each novel.

NEW! Click here to read a new Dark Shadows Online Exclusive feature including an interview with Dan Ross plus a novella based on his unpublished outline that finally answers the question, "Who is Victoria Winters?" in the Paperback Library Parallel Time.


Ace Books

Dark Shadows Cookbook

One of the most difficult DS books to locate today, the cookbook includes more than 150 recipes with tie-ins to DS characters.


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Tor Books

Dark Shadows: The Salem Branch
By Lara Parker
First Printing: Due Summer 2006

Lara's long-awaited sequel to Angelique's Descent (see below) is finally in "post production" and is scheduled to his bookshops in mid-2006.

I discussed the new novel with Lara in November 05 (click here to scroll down and read "Five Fun Facts" from that mini-interview.) In the book, Barnabas has finally been cured of his vampire affliction and is preparing to marry his "savior," the virtuous Julia Hoffman. Of course their happiness is threatened when a beautiful hippie shows up at Collinwood, and looks eerily like Angelique. Her daughter, who falls in love with young David Collins, has vivid visions of life during the Salem witch trials. To protect his family, Barnabas must travel back in time and battle evil forces that have cursed the Collines for centuries. Sounds pretty cool! :)



Dark Shadows: Angelique's Descent
By Lara Parker
First Printing: December 1998

The actress who portrayed Angelique displays a surprising depth of talent as a writer, crafting a sensual, supernatural background for her character. The novel tells of Angelique's enchanted childhood and later includes the events depicted on the TV series during the 1795 story line. Barnabas and Angelique meet a couple of times as children, adding a dimension of star-crossed fate to their story. And even if you're a "Barnabas and Josette" fan, you may just find yourself rooting for Angelique to win the heart of the Collins heir.

Utilizing information presented on the show, and adding well-researched details, Parker presents a story that, like the best Dark Shadows episodes, will transport you to another, mystical world. Unfortunately, the book is currently out of print, but copies are often available on eBay. If you love Angelique and/or Lara Parker, this one can't be missed.


Dark Shadows: Dreams of the Dark
By Stephen Mark Rainey and Elizabeth Massie
First printing: October 1999

This novel focuses on the adventures of Victoria Winters at Collinwood, but it couldn't be much more different from the 1966-72 Paperback Library series. For one thing, Victoria is deflowered by a vampire outdoors on the grounds of the great estate (and it isn't even the romantic hero, Barnabas!). Also, unlike the Paperback Library books, there are fun little inside jokes (actor's names show up as minor characters) and rich details (the Collins art collection includes a landscape by Victorian artist Charles Delaware Tate).

In order to appeal to fans of either the original show or the 1991 revival, the timeframe for the story told here is left vague, and the Collinwood estate that's described could easily either be the one feature on the ABC series or the NBC revival.

Lara Parker provided an interesting, insightful introduction, from her unique perspective as an important part of the Dark Shadows franchise -- both as an actor and as an author.

Pomegranate Press

My Scrapbook Memories of Dark Shadows
By Kathryn Leigh Scott

Shifting from actress to author and publisher, Kathryn founded Pomegranate Press to release this first DS tome. With exclusive photos by her former husband Ben Martin, the book chronicles Kathryn's experiences on the set of the TV show and the film House of Dark Shadows.


The Dark Shadows Companion
Edited by Kathryn Leigh Scott

Packed with photos and a comprehensive history of Dark Shadows, this early volume remains one of the best. Jonathan Frid wrote the foreword, and the book includes a very concise episode guide as well as a "where are they now" section about the cast.

An audio version of the Companion was also released, with narration by Jonathan Frid, Lara Parker, Roger Davis, and Kathryn Leigh Scott.


The Dark Shadows Program Guide
Compiled by Ann Wilson

Plot synopsis and trivia about every episode of DS.


Shadows on the Wall
By Art Wallace

This is a replica of the 96-page "bible" Wallace wrote to guide the other writers of Dark Shadows, before the show first aired. It's interesting to read some story ideas that were later modified or scrapped altogether. (Shadows on the Wall was the originally proposed title of the show.)


Dark Shadows Resurrected
by Jim Pierson

In a format similar to that of The Dark Shadows Companion, the 1991 revival series is chronicled. There's a history of the show, an episode guide, and lots of great photos.


Dark Shadows: The Comic Strip Book

Talented and prolific comic book artist Kenneth Bruce Bald drew the Dark Shadows newspaper strip from 1970 to '71, and all of the daily and Sunday strips are collected here. The stories are entertaining, but presented in this fashion, there's a bit of repetition; panels from Friday and Monday at times overlap to remind readers what happened the previous week, for example.

Also of interest, Bald provides some of the reference photos he had taken of himself and his wife in various poses which he reproduced in the strip.


The Dark Shadows Music Book
Composed by Robert Cobert

This one contains the piano and guitar sheet music for 18 selections from the DS soundtrack. There's also a discography and a photo gallery.



The Dark Shadows Collectibles Book
By Craig Hamrick

I wrote The Dark Shadows Collectors' Guide in 1991, and several years later, this revised and illustrated version of the text was published by Pomegranate Press. Images of nearly every DS collectible ever released are included, and there are some unusual promotional stills of Jonathan Frid, in costume as Barnabas, shopping for toys, perfume and other trinkets.


The Dark Shadows Movie Book
by Kathryn Leigh Scott and Jim Pierson

Featuring a foreword by Kate Jackson and a chapter by Nancy Barrett, this volume also includes the original scripts of both House of Dark Shadows and Night of Dark Shadows as well as a collection of rare photos.

(Trivia Note: I helped Nancy write her chapter. She had a hard time thinking of herself as a writer, so I interviewed her about her experiences on the movie set, then sent a transcript of our Q&A to Kathryn, who edited it into a first-person chapter, which Nancy and I put a finishing polish on.)


The Dark Shadows Almanac
Facts, figures, photos -- plus chapters by cast members we don't often hear from, like Donna Wandrey -- make this a DS fan's dream. The "Millennium Edition" is a little fuller, but they're both great.



Dark Shadows Memories
by Kathryn Leigh Scot

Weighing in at 320 pages, this is the thickest Pomegranate Press volume so far -- and it's chock full of photos (more than 300). It contains a portion of the text originally featured in My Scrapbook Memories of Dark Shadows (now out of print), supplemented with such features as a rare interview with David Henesy (David Collins) and an introduction by Alexandra Moltke Isles.



On Stage and in Shadows: A Career Memoir
By Marie Wallace

Just in time for the 2005 DS Festival, Marie published this witty, informative, fun-to-read autobiography.

If you only know Marie from her Dark Shadows work, you'll be pleasantly surprised to learn about her impressive stage career.

She appeared in such Broadway hits as the original productions of Gypsy and Sweet Charity -- plus a star-studded revival of the catty classic The Women. Her costars have included TV and stage legends like Ruth Buzzi, Larry Hagman, Bert Lahr, Kim Hunter, Myrna Loy and literally dozens of others.

Those fans who have been fortunate enough to get to know Marie a bit at DS Festivals know how warm, genuine and charming she is -- and that personality spills across the pages of On Stage and In Shadows. Reading it is like spending a pleasant afternoon with Marie, discussing her life and career.


Big Lou: the Life and Career of Actor Louis Edmonds
By Craig Hamrick, special memorial edition published in 2003

I approached Louis Edmonds in 1994, with the idea of writing a brief fanzine article about his career. He became one of my closest friends, and that article grew into this intimate look at his life and study of his prolific TV, movie, and stage career. He was a TV pioneer costarring with Charlton Heston, Julie Harris, Glenda Farell and many others; and his critically acclaimed stage work spanned five decades. For more information about the book and about his career, click here.

This book is currently available on Barnes &


Barnabas & Company: the Cast of the TV Classic Dark Shadows
By Craig Hamrick, published in 2003

While conducting research for Big Lou, I unearthed tons of information about his DS costars -- biographical and career-related facts. So just after I published the 2003 version of the book, I released this one. Barnabas & Co. includes a brief history of Dark Shadows, bios of each major member of the cast, and tons of trivia about the plays, movies, and TV shows the DS cast members (including day players) acted in.

This book is currently available on


The Power of Halloween
By Diana Millay, published in October 2003

Though this book isn't about Dark Shadows, it was written by Diana Millay (Laura Collins), and she has read text from it at several DS Festivals. Diana recounts stories passed down through her family, which has included witches and other magic-makers -- and she provides an interesting history of Halloween. There are even recipes and tips about how to have a great Halloween celebration.

Diana's first book, a cookbook titled I'd Rather Eat Than Act, is currently being revised and will be republished by iUniverse this summer.

Trivia Note: The cover image has a DS connection. It's a close-up photograph of a fire raging in Louis Edmonds' fireplace, which I shot at the Rookery in the mid-1990s. Louis even built the fire.


I'd Rather Eat Than Act
By Diana Millay, published in August 2004

The new paperback edition of Diana's cookbook, featuring anecdotes about her career and rare photos -- plus great recipes, including some provided by costars such as Louis Edmonds, Jonathan Frid, Joan Bennett (all Dark Shadows), Fred MacMurray (My Three Sons), Joan Fontaine, Walter Slezak, and many others.

Other Dark Shadows-Related Books

The Bennett Playbill
By Joan Bennett, with Lois Kibbe, published by Holt, Reinhart and Winston, 1970

Before playing Collinwood matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, Joan Bennett was a bona fide Movie Star. She starred in classics like Little Women (with Katharine Hepburn), Father of the Bride (with Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor), and Woman in the Window (with Edward G. Robinson). And she was involved in one of the biggest scandals in the history of Hollywood, when her husband shot her agent, who was possibly her lover -- but no steamy details about that are included. Compared to today's sexy, dramatic, tell-all show biz autobiographies, this volume is pretty tame. Miss Bennett was a lady, and she told her life story with classy discretion. The book drags when Joan's distant ancestors are discussed, but there are enough facts about her career (including her DS stint), make this an interesting read. Long out of print, it can sometimes be found on eBay.


In and Out of the Shadows
By David Selby, published by Locust Grove Press

A great collection of photos and behind-the-scenes recollections from throughout David's career -- from DS to Falcon Crest and beyond. David has had one of the most active careers of the DS cast members, including extensive work on stage plus movies with leading ladies from Barbra Streisand to Sharon Stone.

Locust Grove Press is a publishing company formed by David and his wife, Chip -- and they have published other books by David, including two volumes of poetry. For more information, visit

DSO EXCLUSIVE: Lara Parker shares FIVE FUN FACTS about DS: The Salem Branch:

1. The book will be trade paperback size: 9x6 inches -- larger than Angelique's Descent.

2. A large part of the story centers on a romance between teenage David Collins and a troubled young woman who is the reincarnation of a witch who was persecuted at the Salem trials.

3. Other characters from the TV series who will be in the novel include Roger, Quentin, and of course Barnabas.

4. The Salem portion of the book is based on a small part of the DS "mythology" -- one episode in which a witch named Miranda (played by Lara) placed a curse on those who judged her, including a Collins family member.

In November, Lara said, "When they were doing the Judah Zachery storyline, Judah's head was sitting around.... They decided to go back in time to show how he was beheaded, and we got to see a character named Miranda. In the book, she lives in Salem and she really is a witch. They're all hanging these innocents, and here is a real witch among them. She is a witch, but she's not evil. She can fly. It was a lot of fun to write."

5. Another character, in the 1970s portion of the book, is a beautiful young hippie woman who has set up a camp near Collinwood, much to Roger Collins' dismay. That hippie character is based on Lara's off-stage life during the run of Dark Shadows. During the summers, she lived in a camp in upstate New York, along with a group of nature-loving people.

"I used to show up after doing the show, with all my makeup still on...that wild Angelique makeup and the golden ringlets in my hair..." she said with a laugh. "They thought I was something from another planet. Nobody wore any makeup at that period of time. And there at the camp, nobody wore any clothes much of the time either. I was the one who was actually working and able to pay for things. So I would show up with the food and my false eyelashes."

For a synopsis of the book, visit Lara Parker Online:

Main Close-up Page
DS Book Overview / Paperback Library Closer Look /
Dan Ross Interview
/ Secret of Victoria Winters novella




The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Craig Hamrick © 2006
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