Ankhie was far too young to watch Dark Shadows when it first aired, but watch it she did – scarring her for life in the best way possible. Aside from a compulsion to sleep with blankets securely tucked around her tender neck, what the show did to this wide-eyed Ankh was indoctrinate her into a life-long fascination with all things occult. Vampires are sexy (that intoxicating mix of terror and attraction) and although Barnabas Collins seems a bit ragged by contemporary blood-sucking standards, he had mucho carisma. But nothing in cape or fang compared with the glamor that was Angelique Bouchard – Barnabas’s tempestuous lover, and a witch of awesome power. Wee Ankhie loved Angelique almost as much as she loved her tap dance teacher Miss Loretta (for whom she would knot her own shoelaces, hoping for a moment’s special attention) – for Angelique was beautiful, bold, and bad bad bad! This may also have been Ankhie’s first exposure to the sexy=psycho equation, but let’s leave that for another day…
In all honesty, Ankhie remembers virtually nothing of the episodes themselves beyond one where someone gets bricked into a basement wall (nightmares about that one) but does remember Barnabas and Angelique. Long before reading Bronte or Bram Stoker or Anne Rice, long before anyone imagined that the undead could sparkle – this creepy couple secured Ankhie’s understanding of how devastating and desirable, love could be. And that, my friends, is a knot that even Miss Loretta could not untie.
There are LOTS of places online to read about Angelique and the rest of the Dark Shadows cast. Here are a few:
Dark Shadows News (read here about who will play Angelique in the upcoming movie)
Dark Shadows Festival (Yeah, you read that right hipsters!)
Hulu (watch it here!)