Episode One: Parapsychology
To my readers/listeners: From what I've seen in the Dark Shadows world, both of fan fiction and of fans in general, it looks like, as far as Barnabas Collins goes, he is very heavily desired though not really loved, supported, nor listened to. When it comes to caring about a character, not only him but everyone else suffering in Collinsport, I have rarely seen any stories that do care. (I've included as many key players in Dark Shadows as possible for this series.)
The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows is a relief series.
And I have worked hard to produce it for over three years.
It incorporates almost all of the Dark Shadows characters, just as the series does. It also adds more. It is an Interruption series, it is not Alternate Universe nor is it Expansion from after the end of the program. It begins when Willie Loomis goes to Wyndcliff after Maggie comes back from there after her kidnapping by Barnabas. (Willie will return.)
Not only is this version a re-write with other fandom interruptions to the original storyline, all our beloved characters manage the upper hand in almost every situation, it's a fun, yet dramatic way to go about it. (Since Dark Shadows is already a multi-fandom based on a zillion gothic books, incorporating a ton more to find their way out of the madness shouldn't be that much of a stretch in ones imagination.) When one incorporates other spooky fandoms that produce humour, yes, it's going to be funny as hell.
This is why I've come to understand that it's so unique the only fans who can appreciate it are likely the ones who have felt cast-out from the Dark Shadows world. You ran home from school, or stayed home from it, caught it on the Sci-Fi channel or had some other means. You loved the characters, you knew it was a soap-opera, but you hurt with everyone all the same. Apparently you and I agree that enough is enough, which is why I'd like fun commentary to the humour. Fanwork is shared for free. Commentary is THE ONLY way to be paid for it. Your anonymity to speak on this story and its point is entirely safe here. You don't even need to log-in or put in an email address to review.
So please, with this knowledge, express your enjoyment of it. I know it's a good series, and I have to understand that if you're following it, you must be a unique and distinct set of intelligent people.
I only came into writing a fanfiction to do this one series. No one was sorting out all the problems to see what the characters would be like if it were all much more subdued. So I had to do it myself. :/
Helena, Osheen, and Magical Irish Dolphin reviewed it and helped to make it grow and these reviews were SLOWLY gathered, but truthfully, after three years, it shouldn't be solely their responsibility. They've got a enough to do. Thank you.
This story is available in podcast form as well, on the websites podomatic, archive.org, podbay.fm as well as iTunes. Many hours of work and thousands of dollars have been spent to provide you with this luxury. (I am not wealthy.)
Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows: Episode One "Parapsychology"
[Dark Shadows Intro Theme]
QUAVERING VOICE: My name is Victoria Winters…
2ND VOICE: (shrieking) EVIL! You are not Victoria Winters! You are none other than Manservant Hecubus!
HECUBUS: Yes, master. That is correct. I was trying to fool everyone!
2nd VOICE: And I? I am your host Sir Simon Milligan and this is the Pit of Ultimate Darkness. I'm sure you're wondering if I'm telling the truth since we've been demoted from television to radio but rest assured, it doesn't get any darker than this.
MILLIGAN: Hecubus! My potion! You've knocked it over! I spent weeks brewing the perfect concoction! It would have enabled me to have a singing voice of operatic proportions!
HECUBUS: Well, master. If it wasn't so… * dark * in here, perhaps I would have avoided knocking it over.
MILLIGAN: I suppose I will overlook it, THIS time, seeing as it allows our viewers with the insight that we are indeed in the Pit of Ultimate Darkness.
HECUBUS: Yes, master!
MILLIGAN: Now… not to take the limelight from you, Hecubus, it is my sinister pleasure to introduce you to a very wicked and disturbing place called Collinsport. One of the most tragic, and demonic persons in the world has taken up residence there in the Old House of the Collinwood estate. His name is Barnabas Collins and he is truly a dear friend of mine… well, maybe not too dear… in fact, he could be considered an admired acquaintance, but once upon a time he and I were partners of a most ghastly deed.
HECUBUS: Weren't you partners in a round of Bridge, once?
HECUBUS: I believe the ghastly deed was… cheating, master.
MILLIGAN: Hecubus! …
[Dark Shadows theme music with crashing ocean waves]
MILLIGAN: Now, where was I? Oh, yes! Barnabas Collins. I would love to bore you with the details but they are so lengthy that it would take about 300 episodes to catch everyone up with the background and history of the Collins family and the town itself. Besides, the fact that you've tuned in means that you've checked your local listings and are already a fan of the story, or whatever version of it you know. The rest of you have merely tuned in at random and want a tale that will both keep you awake and put you to sleep. Fear not, you've come to the right station.
[Crash of thunder, sounds of pelting rain. A car is heard driving up and turning off its engine. A door opens and shuts. Footsteps are heard accompanied by light splashing. Then a hollow knocking is heard. A wolf howls in the distance and a door creaks open.]
DEEP BRITISH ACCENT: Hello. Would you be Barnabas Collins?
BARNABAS: Who wishes to know?
DEEP BRITISH ACCENT: I am here in answer to your advertisement for a valet. My name is Wadsworth.
BARNABAS: Oh! Yes, I received your letter just this morning-,er, evening- … today. Won't you come in?
[footsteps, door shutting]
BARNABAS: Let me take your hat and coat.
WADSWORTH: Thank you, sir. I hope it will be the last time you will tend to my needs.
BARNABAS: Impressive… won't you come this way? … and have a seat if you like.
WADSWORTH: I prefer to stand. It was a long drive, sir
BARNABAS: Of course. I am intrigued. It sounds as if you are eager to start by noting my hanging your things. I must admit I'm not accustomed to it. I only recently lost my last servant. Tragic circumstances, I'm afraid. I'm sure that won't happen in your case.
WADSWORTH: Tragic circumstances don't favour my bloodline. At least none that would lead me to Wyndcliff.
BARNABAS: Oh, you heard about Mr. Loomis?
WADSWORTH: I make it a point to go over the local newspapers both recent and weeks old.
BARNABAS: Then you have me at a disadvantage I'm sure. I only know you from your references, which I found most secure. Your services at Hill House were exemplary. Seems you took care of six people and… several deaths, or so I've heard…
WADSWORTH: You take me by surprise, Sir. I can speak of no deaths at Hill House while I was employed there.
BARNABAS: Are you sure there isn't something you ought to be telling me?
WADSWORTH: (quieter) Can you keep a secret?
WADSWORTH: So can I.
BARNABAS: (a low laugh) I will accept that as reference enough, my good man. Now, shall I show you about the house?
WADSWORTH: There is no need, sir. I've studied the layout.
BARNABAS: (flustered) Why… how on earth could you have-
WADSWORTH: Better Homes & Gardens, sir.
BARNABAS: (slight groan) oh, yes… * that * … most uncomfortable.
WADSWORTH: I'd presume it was most uncomfortable what with having to sleep in a double bass case.
BARNABAS: It certainly was—erm, sleep in a what?
WADWORTH: Shall I get strait to work, sir?
BARNABAS: Yes, of course. You're fine with the terms laid out, as in your letter?
BARNABAS: Very well, I will excuse you to-
[knock at the door]
WADSWORTH: Allow me, sir.
[footsteps, door creaking]
ROGER: Hello, who are you?
WADSWORTH: I am Wadsworth, the butler.
ROGER: Oh? I had no idea Barnabas had hired anyone.
BARNABAS: It was only this very moment. Hello, Roger.
ROGER: Well he appears grand to say the least. A far cry from ol' Willie, isn't he?
WADSWORTH: That much is certain.
ROGER: Oh, did you know the beast?
WADSWORTH: Not at all.
ROGER: That's in your favour. You must have read about him.
WADSWORTH: I did. May I take your things?
ROGER: No need. I was about to ask you, Barnabas, if you'd investigate a slight disturbance at home. We seem to be having a problem.
ROGER: I know… when aren't we having a problem?
MILLIGAN: And so, our two… heroes, plod their way to the main house of Collinwood.
[wind blowing, light rain]
ROGER: After you, Cousin Barnabas.
[door shutting, and then creaking open again]
MILLIGAN: (whispering) Hecubus, close the door for them!
BARNABAS: Well, it all seems as ornate and spotless as it normally is here.
ROGER: Oh, the problem isn't here or in the drawing room, it's in the kitchen.
BARNABAS: The kitchen?
ROGER: Yes, Barnabas, you know that place where food is stored and cooked? Or perhaps not, I hardly see you touch a morsel, it's a wonder you don't blow away, my good man.
BARNABAS: Well, I… I know what food is. I'm simply surprised that a man of your standing would encounter the need to enter the kitchen at all.
ROGER: Oh, yes. It's usually Elizabeth's specialty but with her in Bangor, I like to nose about once in a blue moon. This isn't the 18th century, you know.
BARNABAS: Certainly not!
ROGER: Ahem. This way.
[footsteps, door opening, empty tin can rolling and hitting the ground]
BARNABAS: What the deuce…?
ROGER: I know, you'd hardly recognize it with all the empty cans, the ice-box is completely empty minus the splashings of vegetation and dairy products that are stained on the walls.
BARNABAS: (thumps his cane down twice) Egad… the floor is all sticky as well.
ROGER: It is. Mrs. Johnson has taken to her bed from the shock and I can hardly blame her.
BARNABAS: May I offer the attentions of Wadsworth to help her?
ROGER: Oh, that is kind of you, Barnabas, but it's the sort of mess that no one can clean.
BARNABAS: Oh, but I'm sure it can't be as bad as all that.
ROGER: No, really. Mrs. Johnson cleaned it twice, but it always returns as soon as she has it all straightened out and new supplies arranged. We've been forced to dine out most meals.
BARNABAS: I can see why. It looks as if some wild animal has ransacked the place. Has any other area of the house been affected?
ROGER: Not at all, only the kitchen and pantries. It's disastrous. Look at the wall there. It's saturated in what looks like gelatine! Have you seen anything so strange at the Old House, Barnabas?
BARNABAS: No, I'm happy to admit.
ROGER: Well, let's adjourn to the drawing room.
[footsteps and doors opening]
VICTORIA: Oh! Hello, Roger, Barnabas.
BARNABAS: (pleasantly) Ah, Miss Victoria, always a delight to see you.
VICTORIA: Thank you. I wish it were under pleasanter circumstances.
ROGER: Yes, indeed.
BARNABAS: The stress must be considerable, you do seem most agitated.
VICTORIA: I am.
ROGER: Well, why don't we all have a sherry, and calm down. Thank heavens for small favours, our liquor hasn't been trifled with.
BARNABAS: It hasn't?
[liquid pouring sounds]
ROGER: Yes, isn't that peculiar? It's the only blessing I can see in this entire kitchen curse.
VICTORIA: (under her breath) He does take after Naomi Collins with that, doesn't he?
BARNABAS: (under his breath) Without a doubt.
ROGER: Mnnn? What are you two plotting so secretly? Is this some April Fool's prank you both have conspired together?
BARNABAS: Hardly, Roger. January is a bit early in the year for that and I can't even imagine what could cause that slime on the walls.
VICTORIA: Yes, it's that that has me so worried. It's so unearthly.
ROGER: Gelatine is always disturbing whether on a wall or on a plate. I find it incomprehensible as a source of nutrition.
VICTORIA: Well, I, * groan*
BARNABAS: What is it, Miss Winters?
VICTORIA: Oh, nothing just…
MILLIGAN: (whispering) Hecubus! Get the microphone higher, it's in her way!
VICTORIA: David has been going on about the disturbance.
ROGER: Oh, really?
VICTORIA: Yes, he says that he knows what's doing it but I can't make out exactly what his explanation means.
ROGER: Hmm, that doesn't surprise me. He keeps seeing things and claiming odd beliefs. It's a wonder he goes on crying "werewolf" with all his promises not to deceive us or go to the old house. If I hadn't been so lenient a jolly smattering would have made him resist such ravings. NOW I've got a son more melancholy than Roderick Usher! (sarcastically) What a delight…
BARNABAS: How did he describe what he knew, Victoria?
VICTORIA: Well, that it was something short and green and floating.
ROGER: Amazing! Are we to be bombarded with Leprechauns that have an appetite for our larder?
BARNABAS: (pensive) A green being… that floats.
VICTORIA: I've been wondering if someone should stalk the kitchen in the middle of the night to be certain.
ROGER: Oh, who will you find to do that?
VICTORIA: Burke said he would.
ROGER: And his mighty mountain of machismo… that's an excellent idea. Why not?
HECUBUS: Ah! What a messy pile of goo. Perhaps they will find out what it is that's plastered on the walls and who put it there? We return our vampire of oh so many woes to his home, where he finds his new servant making himself useful in the quarters of his excessively desired Josette.
BARNABAS: I see. Found my little sanctuary, have you?
WADSWORTH: I suppose Mr. Loomis wasn't so thorough with the mothballs in this young ladies room.
BARNABAS: (nervous tension) Well, perhaps he didn't have… time to be.
WADSWORTH: I gather that, sir.
BARNABAS: (usual suspenseful distrust) Oh? Do you have a… suspicion to express or shall I simply… quiet it?
WADSWORTH: (laughing) Oh no, that won't be necessary. You see I've had some experience moving a Mr… Boddy …
BARNABAS: (pleased) Well, well! Then perhaps you'd like to help with a little experiment we'd been working on.
WADSWORTH: Perhaps. Would your lovely lady on the wall have anything to do with it?
BARNABAS: (falters) Oh dear… Grim problems there.
WADSWORTH: (smilingly) And don't I know it?
BARNABAS: Oh? Yes? Do tell. You have your own troubles as a paramour?
WADSWORTH: Ah… no. But I do understand your lovely waitress has returned to her own employment.
BARNABAS: (pricked) Waitress? I'm not sure I require daft staff. I'm talking about her in the portrait.
WADSWORTH: Yes, sir. So am I.
BARNABAS: (annoyed) That must have been one glowing account of this place in that magazine article. Too bad I threw it away in a fit of angst.
WADSWORTH: Understandably. But I think the photograph they took of you gave me a clue.
BARNABAS: What? How could you—
WADSWORTH: It didn't come out very well, did it?
BARNABAS: Who exactly are you?
WADSWORTH: I told you, sir. Wadsworth. Butler, valet and not daft staff as you have said.
BARNABAS: (vaguely sarcastic) Is Clever Man on the list as well?
WADSWORTH: If you say the word.
BARNABAS: All right… "The Word".
WADSWORTH: Ah… now I'm clever.
BARNABAS: I see… with your arrival we're likely in for some humour. We could use a bit of that around here.
WADSWORTH: Indeed and perhaps a little drama… now onto romance…
*MILLIGAN: Ah, what does this new element to The Old House have up his sleeve? I suppose we'll find out! Hence forth, for some of the residents at the main house, meals are taken in various other sections of town, and Burke arrives at Collinwood with three strangers. Carolyn answers the door.
CAROLYN: Oh, Burke. Victoria's is not here.
BURKE: That's all right. I've been expected. I thought the whole family was out to dinner?
CAROLYN: Not me, the portions at restaurants are so huge I pretty much had my lunch & dinner at once. Who do you have with you?
BURKE: Shall we come in to be introduced.
CAROLYN: Of Course.
MILLIGAN: The crew steps in.
BURKE: This is Marty, Ryan, and Dr. Lesh. I went to the University of Maine and found Dr. Lesh lecturing on incidents of the paranormal.
BURKE: Yes, you could hardly say what's happened in that kitchen as just plain normal.
CAROLYN: [sneering] So you took the liberty of inviting ghost-hunters to Collinwood? Why am I not surprised? Well, I suppose I should show you into the kitchen.
DR. LESH: Don't worry, Miss Stoddard, we actually work to eliminate the possibilities of anything like ghosts. We're hoping to find natural causes to problems like this.
CAROLYN: That's a relief, Dr. Lesh. Thank you. This way.
[Footsteps and a door opening]
RYAN: That's n-a-sty!
DR. LESH: Getting anything on the reader, Ryan?
RYAN: Hell, yeah. The Jets just beat the Colts 16 to 7!
DR. LESH: Ryan, turn off the radio. Investigate the kitchen.
MILLIGAN: Meanwhile Marty leaves the room to be sick in the lavatory.
RYAN: (studiously) This is just about off the scale for the residual elements but there's no current movement. Hold on… I'm picking up something coming from another room.
[Sound of ruckus and running footsteps. Panting.]
MARTY: (terrified) Dr. Lesh! Something came out of the toilet, it chased me.
DR. LESH: Where did it go?
MARTY: Down the hall.
[Many footsteps shuffling out to the front door.]
BURKE: [stage whisper] Everyone, stand back! There it is.
CAROLYN: Oh, what IS it doing?
RYAN: Hope you weren't too attached to the flower arrangement.
DR. LESH: This is completely beyond me. I can't imagine that floating green creature could ever have been remotely human. It must be para-natural.
RYAN: The P.K.E. monitor is about to explode!
[Sound of front door opening and footsteps.]
ROGER: What the DEVIL IS THAT?
DAVID: See, I told you it was real! I couldn't make something like that up.
GREEN GHOST: (high squawky voice): David! Do you have any more yummies for me? Slimer needs yummies!
DAVID: No! Not again! No! Don't try and hug me!
MILLIGAN: And now that you're on the edge of your seat let's turn our attention to THE COFFEE SHOP!
[bell ringing, door shutting]
BARNABAS: Hello, Maggie.
MAGGIE: (tired smile) Why, Barnabas Collins? Hello! What a surprise. I never thought I'd see you here again.
BARNABAS: Well I wanted to come but I needed a little suggesting, you could say.
MAGGIE: Oh? You'll have to tell me about that. But I was sure I just locked that door.
BARNABAS: (mysteriously) Oh… don't worry. I just locked it myself.
MAGGIE: You always seem to catch me on my way out the door.
BARNABAS: Yes, I have an uncanny knack for knowing when you've left a pot on the hot plate, too.
MAGGIE: (shifts) So, I did! Isn't that funny? Well, I don't mind. I plan on being up a while anyway. Have a seat, Barnabas.
BARNABAS: Thank you.
[chair skid, clinking of cups, saucers, and liquid pouring]
MAGGIE: And again, I'll join you. [chair squeaking] So how is the Old House coming along? Enjoying that distressed look from the curling wallpaper?
BARNABAS: (laughs) Oh, no. It's been some time since hanging new paper. Most of the old furniture has been upholstered again though I couldn't bear to part with most of the original fabrics.
MAGGIE: (slyly) And Wadsworth?
BARNABAS: How did you know about him?
MAGGIE: Don't look so worried. He was in the other night before it started raining. He claimed to want directions to Collinwood, but I think he was simply putting in an appearance.
BARNABAS: Well, that would make sense. He was well versed with the house, mentioned picking up the local newspaper. He probably knew this town would be more comfortable having seen him than having to speculate on who he was.
MAGGIE: That's true. They'll manage to gossip it up regardless but we won't have to concern ourselves with Mildred Mayhem coming up with grandiose notions of… oh, him being a cross-dresser or something.
BARNABAS: (back-slurp, coughs) My word! Hardly that!
MAGGIE: Fresh cup?
[Clinking, liquid pouring]
BARNABAS: (delicately) How have you been, Maggie? Are you feeling better?
MAGGIE: Oh, yes. Thank you! In fact it's nice to see… everyone again… now. And Pop's not cooping me up anymore, thank heavens! Pacing rooms isn't exactly my favourite past time and laying around gets… old after a while.
BARNABAS: I certainly know what you mean when it comes to an extended lie down.
MAGGIE: So… what suggestion did you need to clack that stick of yours back in here?
BARNABAS: Clack that…? You do have a way with phrases. As it so happens I'd been meaning to see you again for quite a while but I wasn't sure you were ready for it. So, since I have managed to hire this new help, he let me know you were back at work and that perhaps you might want some company again.
MAGGIE: Sounds like a pleasant fellow. And I definitely did want more company! Pop and Joe sure have gotten bossy since I came back. I can't really blame them but I got fed up with it.
BARNABAS: (somewhat sensuously) Yes… I understand about being strictly commanded. And I've been learning the receiver doesn't have much recourse for defense at times.
MAGGIE: (knowingly) Ah, I know you've been talking with Dr. Hoffman, too. The (*cough*) historian.
BARNABAS: (pleased) Ah, I suppose you knew about that ploy from the beginning.
MAGGIE: Didn't I? Anyone else at Collinwood figure it out yet?
BARNABAS: Not sure… but they likely suspect. Then again the family history is rather interesting. I do admire Miss Winters for her enthusiasm over it.
MAGGIE: An orphan? Of course she would. But as for being bossed around, how about that Doctor? Does that have anything to do with it? She is a persuasive woman.
BARNABAS: Indeed! Perhaps there's something in that, but there might be a headstrong element on both our parts.
MAGGIE: Well I've got mine, too. I can recognize that trait … I think she's just obsessed with you looking so much like that portrait. I know I've been… well, I think that's gone around a bit… So, I saw Roger, David, and sometimes Carolyn going by in town a lot lately. It's gathered they're hitting every upper crust restaurant from here to Penobscot County.
BARNABAS: And not here?
MAGGIE: Oh, no and I can't blame them. We're so common we don't even have a name. Just Coffee Shop.
BARNABAS: (smiling) Well, not too common for me, particularly the waitress.
MAGGIE: Oh, go on!
BARNABAS: No, really-
MAGGIE: I know, I said, go on. Continue.
BARNABAS: (romantically) Ah, your sparkling eyes, how they so constantly dance, your ruby lips, and your flowing bed-quilt skirt. Your brilliant lashes. Your McCall dress patterns.
MAGGIE: (coughs into her cup) You're terrible! Did you sneak a drop of brandy in your cup?
BARNABAS: (aghast) Maggie Evans, who do you think I am? Roger?
MAGGIE: Oh, no… no. That'd be far more than a drop, so I hear.
BARNABAS: (laughing) True, true… As delightful as this is, I must take my leave.
MAGGIE: Oh, so soon?
MAGGIE: But I wanted to know why the family has been going out so much?
BARNABAS: Oh, that [starting to leave] the cook is on holiday and Mrs. Johnson is ill.
MAGGIE: Oh, dear. Should I stop around and see her? She's such a nice lady.
BARNABAS: NO-…thank you. I hear it's um… quite contagious. Nothing to fret over, but precautions are being taken and food preparation was out of the question.
MAGGIE: Oh… of course.
BARNABAS: Oh, don't mind me, I'll see my way out.
MAGGIE: Come again, sometime.
BARNABAS: (slight surprise) Do you mean that, Maggie?
MAGGIE: Yes. Absolutely. It's refreshing after the same-old-same-old. Besides, you seem like an old friend now… (softly hypnotized) something… familiar…
BARNABAS: Good Evening…
MAGGIE: Good night.
[bell rings, door shuts, sounds of light wind and crickets]
BARNABAS: (light gasp) Wadsworth? You certainly get around. I was going for a long walk. What are you doing here so soon?
WADSWORTH: I've come to fetch you, sir.
BARNABAS: Whatever for?
WADSWORTH: There was quite a ruckus. Mister Collins asked me to look for you. His car is this way.
BARNABAS: Very well.
[car door shutting, engine starting, car driving away, engine noise becomes muffled, nails tapping on metal]
BARNABAS: So, Wadsworth. How do you take to Collinsport?
WADSWORTH: As what, sir?
BARNABAS: Oh, I suppose I wonder at your perspective as an outsider, it being all new to you.
WADSWORTH: I find it satisfactory. Pleasant ocean views, quaint seaside homes, plenty of space. Now, how did your encounter turn out?
BARNABAS: I must confess far better and less embarrassing than I expected.
WADSWORTH: Well, I suppose she's come through all the hostility of her kidnapping with the same glowing warmth, sir. I suppose what with that doctor dangling a medallion in her face, which could do the trick on anyone.
BARNABAS: I see. Tell me… how much do you really know about this place?
WADSWORTH: Enough, sir, enough. And if you're wondering… I have a penchant for discovering what people do and why. I used to explain it all out but found it didn't always go over so well. A series of events with so many people upon a single homestead is quite confusing, even when spelled out.
BARNABAS: Another fine reference for you to come here.
WADSWORTH: True, sir. Now how did those compliments we devised turn out?
BARNABAS: I must admit she took them well. I thought she'd stare dumbfounded… but strangely enough… she laughed.
WADSWORTH: (assured) It always helps. Any untoward desires, sir?
BARNABAS: (snorts) Oddly not. Though I wonder why you wish to repair such a friendship?
WADSWORTH: Ah, sir. I think you will find her far more familiar than simply in her looks. Haven't you ever liked her for herself?
BARNABAS: (contemplative) I see what you mean. I have had some trouble with that for a while.
MILLIGAN: Little do they notice the hulking van that's sped in the other direction, nor the 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor following close behind it bearing the license plate: Ecto-1. It has often been suggested to me that citizens of Collinsport have no peripheral vision.
BARNABAS: My! Weren't they going fast? Anyway, Wadsworth… Too much excitement?
WADSWORTH: No, sir. I'm accustomed to handling a variety of inconveniences.
BARNABAS: Such as this one?
WADSWORTH: Oh, yes. Just pulled into the area when I heard a dreadful racket out the window. Lots of screaming, nothing out of the ordinary for me, sir. I halted and got out then went strait to the Main House. As luck would have it, the doors were wide open, Mister Collins was in a daze. When he saw me he handed me the keys, pointed to this auto and requested I bring you back with me when you were found. I didn't take my time. Mister Collins was out of sorts, sir.
BARNABAS: Did he say anything else?
WADSWORTH: Not at all.
[engine slows, wind blows slightly, car door opens, gravel crunches, door shuts]
BARNABAS: Roger? Roger?
ROGER: Oh, Barnabas. I see your valet is no idler. I think you've managed to miss most of the trouble. (calls out) Very good, Wadsworth, you may park in the garage!
BARNABAS: What's happened here?
ROGER: Well, Burke brought in a trio of parapsychologists to investigate the kitchen. David, Victoria and I walked in, then this thing I can only believe to exist against my better judgment, was engulfing the flowers on the foyer table! Next it came at David, practically went through him! Suddenly David was drenched in vile gelatine. With a mouth and tongue that size I can only presume it expectorated all over him as it flew through the doorway passing us. Victoria saw to David and I rushed out to follow it.
BARNABAS: GOOD HEAVENS! What did it do then?
ROGER: Well, it was easy to see in such a bright green coat, almost glowing, it was. I ordered it to stop, but it kept waving its arms and hollering some name, like Jean, or Nina or Janine. Soon enough it reached a lady in the road with a scowl on her face standing beside an old ambulance. Three or four other men in greasy boiler suit overalls with large guns of some kind were standing behind her. When I saw the guns I immediately stopped and just stood there wondering if they were going to shoot at me. Thankfully, all that happened after that was the whole lot of them climbing into the ambulance and speeding away.
BARNABAS: FRIGHTFUL! Completely unheard of. How is David now?
ROGER: Oh, Victoria got him in to the bathtub right quick! Though I'm sure we'll all need a month of showers to get over this!
BARNABAS: What do you aim to do?
ROGER: I'm at my wits end here. Call the police? The FBI? The Pentagon?
BARNABAS: Well… I wouldn't… erm…
WADSWORTH: (stepping up) If I may be so bold as to make a suggestion?
ROGER: Mnn? Oh, yes. I'm open to nearly anything at this point. It's all so damned confounding.
WADSWORTH: I believe it was an escaped patient from Wyndcliff Sanatorium. Why else would an ambulance have come to collect him?
ROGER: … do you seriously wish me to believe that?
WADSWORTH: Of course, sir. The woman must have been his psychologist, and the other men were orderlies.
ROGER: (incredulous)With GUNS?
WADSWORTH: Oh, yes, the guns are incentive for the few less… predictable patients that reside there. I'm sure they didn't want to cause more fuss than you'd already encountered, sir.
BARNABAS: Well, Wadsworth, what makes you so certain of this explanation?
WADSWORTH: What other answer can there be? Sir. (click of heels, steps moving away)
ROGER: Well, Barnabas. Heh, ah, I do envy you.
ROGER: Of course! I never have half the luck you do in hiring staff.
BARNABAS: Ah, you do realise, Roger, that I've had both extremes when it comes to luck.
ROGER: Yes. Now, if you wouldn't mind keeping me company, I believe I'll have a sherry.
BARNABAS: I will gladly keep you company, Roger. In fact, I think I'll join you in a sherry… or perhaps we might… split the whole decanter?
[footsteps moving away in the gravel, two doors squeaking shut, wind blowing, then "Shake, Rattle & Roll" by Haley & His Comets plays as ending credits]
END OF EPISODE ONE
All due respect to:
The Kids In The Hall
Clue (1980's film)
Ghostbusters film and The Real Ghostbusters cartoon
And, of course
Dark Shadows (1960s TV show)