Real Name: William Benjamin Collins
Occupation: Author/Writer, Paranormal Investigator, occasional Paranormal Advisor in the Motion Picture Industry,
Known Relatives: Barnabas Collins (father), Angelique Bouchard-Collins (mother), Sara Collins II (sister), Joshua Collins (grandfather, deceased), Naomi Collins (grandmother, deceased), Jeremiah I (great-uncle, deceased), Jeremiah II, Daniel (uncles, deceased), Sara Collins I (aunt, deceased), William "Willie" Loomis, Quentin Collins, David Collins (uncles), Adam Collins ("uncle"), Carolyn Stoddard-Loomis, Margaret "Maggie" Evans-Collins, Rachel Fillmore-Collins (aunts), Elizabeth Collins-Stoddard (aunt, deceased), Roger Collins I (uncle, deceased), Jamison Collins, Amanda Collins, Jason Roger "J.R." Loomis, Elizabeth "Lizzie" Loomis, Christopher Loomis, Carolyn "Carrie" Collins, Roger Collins II (cousins), Allison "Ally" Collins (wife), Georgia Collins, Elaine "Lainey" Collins (daughters), William Nathaniel Vassal (son),
Base of Operations: Collinsport, Maine
First Appearance: Dark Shadows (Sixth Season) (1966 - 2005)
History: William Benjamin Collins is the son of Barnabas Collins, the eldest son of Joshua and Naomi Collins, and a direct descendant of Isaac Collins, the founder of Collinsport, Maine. In 1795, Barnabas was engaged to marry Josette DuPres, the daughter of a wealthy Martinique wine raconteur of French descent, but he was also romantically pursued by Josette's hand servant, Angelique Bouchard, with whom he had dallied with in Josette's absence. Refusing to allow Barnabas to marry Josette, Angelique used powers of witchcraft to tap into powerful occult forces which she could barely control and made Barnabas into a vampire although she quickly recanted that decision later. Realizing that Barnabas still loved Josette, she left Barnabas with his curse and left him an eternity to change his mind to be her husband.
Sealed in his coffin by his father to protect him, Barnabas was released in 1967 by Willie Loomis looking for fortune in one of the Collins tombs. In the Twentieth Century, he allowed Doctor Julia Hoffman to try curing him, but she never quite completely succeeded until Dr. Eric Lang came along with his research from trying to prove the historical veracity of the Mary Shelley novel, "Frankenstein, A Modern Prometheus." Lang's research had succeeded in restoring life to a cadaver and the artificial man continued to exist under the identity of Barnabas's non-existent nephew, Adam Collins. Angelique, however, continued to bother Barnabas as a spirit, but after Barnabas started traveling in time to prevent dire futures from occurring to the Collins family, Angelique learned in 1795 that Barnabas would be alive in the far future. In 1840, as Barnabas tangled with the ghost of Angelique's mentor, Judah Zachary, Angelique removed her curse from Barnabas to protect him and gave her life to save him just as he finally confessed his love to her. She would be unwittingly restored to life in 1897 by Quentin Collins and one of Angelique's old coven members, Nicholas Blair (now calling himself Evan Handley) during another sojourn through time Barnabas had taken from 1968 (his visit to 1840 had occurred from the year 1972) but tempered by his love for her, she was no longer as cruel or vindictive as she once was. Using mystical means to retard her aging, she traveled the world and finally returned to Collinwood in 1972 just as Barnabas was returning from the events he had altered in 1840.
Barnabas and Angelique finally married under amicable circumstances and they had a son, William, named for Willie Loomis and the late Ben Stokes, and a daughter, Sara, who later turned out to be the reincarnation of her namesake, Sara Collins, Barnabas's sister in 1795. As an infant, William suffered badly from poisons in his body inherited from Barnabas derived from the serums Hoffman had used to cure Barnabas as a vampire and expected not to survive. As Dr. Hoffman diligently tried to cure him, William was abducted by a female con-artist impersonating former Collins Family governess Victoria Winters, but the ghost of the true Victoria Winters rescued him and helped to bind his life force to Angelique that he may survive. Blair also soon returned to terrorize Angelique and tried to abduct both her children upon realizing their mystical potential, but he was defeated by the ghost of his own father from the Fifteenth Century.
William grew up with Jamison Collins, the son of Quentin Collins, a long-lived survivor from the 1897 events, and J.R. Loomis, the son of Willie Loomis, as his best friends, but after years of his Aunt Maggie resuming her role as the Collins governess, he eventually started attending public school. The reality shock combined with his parent's old world parenting styles left him both neurotic and withdrawn at times, but he was weathered through this time by his Aunt Carolyn, with whom he had had a childhood infatuation, and his Uncle Quentin Collins, who instilled in him an interest in paranormal phenomenon: an interest which was further encouraged by his Uncle David who had vague but disconnected memories of Barnabas's former vampiric tendencies. Despite his pursuits into the paranormal, William, much like his cousins, was kept from ever learning the full ramifications of his parents' sordid and colorful pasts. By this time, nearly everyone at Collinwood had come to the realization that Barnabas and Angelique were their predecessors, but the secret was kept from the children.
Blair soon returned and removed Barnabas, Quentin and Dr. Hoffman from the lives of the Collins Family by means that were never quite revealed. He then recreated the vampire curse and gave it to William to spite Angelique. Unable to control himself, William killed his cousins Amanda and J.R. and left his sister near death. Professor T. Eliot Stokes, a confidante of Barnabas Collins, revealed the secrets of William's father to help him realize what had occurring. Using his father's time-traveling secrets, William traveled back in time back to 1972 and overcome with his vampiric lusts, nearly killed his Aunt Carolyn at the opening of the Collinsport Historical Center, just two weeks before his parent's marriage. Even as Julia in 1972 tried to cure him, William gave his life to destroy Blair who inherited the vampire curse as well before succumbing to daylight.
With Blair dead, William was reincarnated as himself with a timeline and future nearly identical to the other parallel timeline. As his own reincarnation, the sorceress Guinevere von Altebar was unable to restore him to his previous incarnation as her son from the Fourteenth Century. Under his mother's guidance, he was pressed into courtships with young ladies of her choosing that never seemed to work out. His Aunt Maggie had more success in getting him to date Paula Anderson, the waitress at her old diner, but their romance was often foiled by William's cousin, Amanda Collins, whose childhood infatuation with William had developed into a full blown romantic attachment. Once this attachment was discovered, Amanda started going to psychiatric therapy, but by now, she had partially split William and Paula up. Paula traveled to New York City to pursue a singing career while promising to return and William was traveling the world visiting haunted houses with his Uncle David. After his mother published a fictionalized version of her romance with Barnabas (a novel converted to a TV miniseries with Ben Cross and Joanna Going and a movie with Johnny Depp in 2012), William started publishing successful horror novels based loosely on his research of the paranormal.
While investigating a supposedly haunted law firm in Boston, Massachusetts, William met and fell in love with lady lawyer Ally McBeal and eventually married her, now completely eliminating any similarity to the other timeline. They had two daughters both heavily doted on by Angelique and began dividing their lives between Boston and Collinsport. Paula eventually returned believing William would have waited for her despite years of no contact, and Amanda covertly began having William's daughters pretend that she was their mother at times. Before William's vasectomy, though, he had donated semen to a fertility clinic for Ally; some of which was covertly acquired by Elaine Vassal, his long time Internet pen pal, who had previous hopeful predictions of him being her soul mate. Tracing William's donation, Elaine finally had the son she wanted and successfully managed to conceal her son's relationship to William for several years.
Much to Ally's distress, William still travels the world investigating haunted houses and dabbling in cryptozoology, having once nearly drowned at Loch Ness and even lost in the Pacific Northwest for a week looking for the obscure hominid known to Native Americans as Sasquatch. He had an active role in preserving the former Vannacutt Sanitarium in California and in on-going investigations at the Hotel Overlook in Colorado. Unable to join Dr. Joyce Reardon's final analysis of Rose Red in Washington, he has donated money to the historical society trying to stop its demolition. Including Vannacutt Sanitarium, his favorite locations include the Belasco House in Caribou Falls, Maine, forty miles from Collinsport, Whipstaff down the coast from Collinsport in Friendship, Maine, the Gracey House in Louisiana and of course, Collinwood itself, the main house on his ancestral estate with its innumerable ghosts, spirits, phantoms and even the odd rumors of vampire legends.
A friendly, charitable character, William has made friends
throughout the world including but not limited to Seeley Booth and Angus MacGyver,
from his summers at
Arawak. Through his investigations, he has befriended Zack and Cody Martin
Tipton, who regard him as a father figure, Patrick Jane, Judge Harry Stone
and Ben Gates.
Powers/Abilities: William Collins possesses a latent but undeveloped ability to tap into and manipulate mystical energy through his relationship to his mother. So far, it has only taken form in a subliminal awareness toward paranormal phenomenon, but as yet, he has never become aware of this and often passes on his perceptions as coincidental. He is also a talented writer with experience and knowledge in parapsychology, mythology, zoology, cryptozoology and history. He also briefly dabbled in singing and playing the piano and guitar in his youth but no longer does so. He is also an exceptional pool player and knows limited Russian, Taiwanese, German and Greek.
Comments: Dark Shadows is copyrighted to Dan Curtis Productions; however, William Collins and the extraneous Sixth through Twentieth Season characters except for the following are fictional.
Ally McBeal and Elaine Vassal from "Ally McBeal" (1998 - 2003)
Dr. Joyce Reardon from Rose Red (2003)
Seeley Booth from Bones (2005-Recent)
Angus MacGyver from MacGyver (1986-1990)
Zack and Cody Martin from the Suite Life of Zack and Cody (aka Suite Life on Deck) (1998 to 2012)
Patrick Jane from The Mentalist (2009-2012)
Judge Harry Stone from Night Court (1984 - 1990)
Ben Gates from National Treasure (2008,2010)
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