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Halloween Memories of Dark Shadows

Do you guys remember a series entitled “Dark Shadows?” I remember watching this as a kid with my two older sisters. I was very young at the time and upon looking it up on Google, I see that it ran from 1966 to 1971. So I was only six years old when I started watching.

I started thinking about the gothic soap opera because of Halloween and it being my first foray into the world of soap operas.

I remember being very scared watching the show, especially since my parents absolutely forbade me to watch anything scary. So my sisters and I snuck me into the den to watch it with them.

Debbie is three years my senior and Linda, who is now sadly deceased, was eight years my senior. I especially remember Linda being intrigued with the show. It was very exciting to me as a six year old, partly because I got to be in on watching the show with my older sisters.

To this day I am probably permanently distressed from those early days with “Dark Shadow.” I really am not drawn to horror films today, perhaps because I was too frightened as a child of the show. So maybe my parents were right after all that I shouldn’t have been watching it.

I went trick or treating as a child, but I distinctly remember back in the 1960s and 1970s there was a spate of razor blades found in apples and other tricks that weren’t funny at all. So we were only allowed to go to neighbors who we knew by name.

I have no recollection of going to any Halloween parties while I was pursuing my acting career. It just wasn’t that big of a holiday to me and I don’t remember thinking about it. The parties I did go to were Oscar parties and other parties connected to entertainment.

What I wound up watching that I really enjoyed as a young teenager were shows like “Falconcrest” and “Dynasty” which were really weekly soap operas. I also remember liking “Charlie’s Angels” a lot. These were the types of shows I wanted to be in as a young actor.

I got my start as a soap opera extra in a New York City show called “One Life to Live.” This was mush more up my alley than a show like “Dark Shadows.”

Herman and I looked the show up on “You Tube” and after viewing a clip I can see how dated and badly produced it was. I was talking over scary movies with my aide Terry and she told me she had seen them all. But I really shied away from movies like “The Excorcist,” “Poltergeist,” “The Shining” and “The Omen.” They just aren’t my cup of tea.

Give me a nice romantic comedy any day and I’ll leave my “Dark Shadows” in the past.

About Kathryn Spira

Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland, OH who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues freelance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County, New York. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site