(I shall consider the Q & A when I get the Wordpress page set up. In the mean-time:)

This story is available in audio via archive dot org, iTunes, and podomatic, among other sites! Let me know what you liked!

The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows, Episode 22: "The Endless Night At Collinwood"

(Usual Colbert Intro Music)


(Audience cheers, wonders what the heck, then cheers again)

MILLIGAN: Welcome all into the Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows! I am your host MC Simon Milligan. Master of Funk and EVIL!

(Crazy crowd noise)

HECUBUS: And It IS I, Master!

MILLIGAN: AH! (catches breath) There you are DJ Manservant.

HECUBUS: I've only scratched so far, Master.

MILLIGAN: What have you scratched, Manservant Hecubus?

HECUBUS: My… foot… it really itched tonight.

MILLIGAN: That's all well and good, Hecubus. Now where were we in our tomes of the desperately dramatic characters in search of this peace of mind they continue to desire?

HECUBUS: We left off in the throes of Amy Jennings heading to bed for a second time in one evening.

MILLIGAN: And there is more going to bed where this initial expectation came from!

HECUBUS: A little girl spends her first night in the great house of Collinwood, a night of strange, and weird discoveries… for she finds an ancient telephone, its wires hanging loose. But when she picks up the receiver, she hears a faint voice from the past, a voice which orders her to come to him. She knows not why.

MILLIGAN: Maybe it's because… she's HIGH!

HECUBUS: In the West Wing? Higher in altitude perhaps, Master!

[Dark Shadows theme music plays]

AMY: Quentin? I'm here Quentin. Aren't you going to come out and see me?

(thunder crashing, door opens)

AMY: Oh, David.

DAVID: Why did you come back to the West Wing, Amy?

AMY: How did you know?

DAVID: You passed by my room. You used that telephone again, didn't you? He sent you here! Come on, let's get out of here…

(steps, door closing)

MILLIGAN: And back to Amy's guest room.

(door closing)

AMY: You were afraid.

DAVID: No I wasn't!

AMY: Yes you were.

DAVID: No. It's just that we're not allowed in the West Wing, ever. I'll show you that I wasn't afraid.

(picking up of old telephone)

DAVID: Hello? Hello? You see? There's no breathing or anything.

AMY: He's angry with me because you followed me.

DAVID: Well, why should he be angry? Quentin Collins is my ancestor. You know, I bet you didn't even talk to him. I bet you just heard the name Quentin Collins and you were just playing a game… except I… I heard the breathing. I heard him hang up. I know what we can do. We can call Quentin, we can find out what he wants.

AMY: How do we do that?

DAVID: Well there's a way that you can call people from the dead. I've seen them do it downstairs a lot. We could have a séance!

HECUBUS: And there we are in the brilliant tones of children doing JUST what their elders teach by example… which is exactly what they wish their children NOT to do, the precise things that THEY do!

MILLIGAN: Point taken, Hecubus.

AMY: Isn't that where people speak from the dead?

DAVID: Yes. First we have to light a candle and turn all the lights off. You won't be scared, will you?

AMY: Not if you won't.

DAVID: I won't be scared. Now you go turn off the lights.

(switch flip)

DAVID: Now we have to sit and put our hands on the table. And our hands have to be touching.

(squeaky chairs, sitting)

AMY: Why?

DAVID: Because that makes a circle, and that circle must never be broken. Now we concentrate on the person we're trying to call.

[Some tense Robert Colbert background music]

DAVID: (calling out) Quentin Collins! We are calling you. Quentin Collins, wherever you are come to us. Come to us! Tell us about the old telephone and why you spoke to Amy through it. Quentin Collins we are calling you. If you are here speak to us. If you are here please give us some kind of sign. Are you here?

[door swings open, steps]

AMY: Look!

DAVID: Maggie!

[Music fades out]

MAGGIE: Why are all of the lights out? (switch flip)

DAVID: We were playing a… game.

MAGGIE: David, you should be asleep. Why, hello. You're Amy, aren't you? I'm Maggie Evans. I'm David's governess.

AMY: Yes, I remember you, at least seeing you. It's nice to meet you.

MAGGIE: And I you. I suppose I might be your governess too since you're staying as far as we know. Looks like you've already been indoctrinated to the late nights of Collinwood.

AMY: I'll say.

MAGGIE: Now you go back to your room David. I'll stay with Amy.

DAVID: See you in the morning?

AMY: Yes.

MAGGIE: Good night, David.

DAVID: Good night, Maggie.

[door shuts]

MAGGIE: This house can seem scary on stormy nights. Even to me. Now where did you get that telephone?

AMY: Oh, we went exploring.

MAGGIE: It's very old, isn't it?

AMY: Yes.

MAGGIE: Come on, I'll tuck you in. Would you like me to tell you a story before you go to sleep?

AMY: (blankets shuffling) No. I'm too old for stories. My brother, Tom, he used to tell me good ones about kings and queens and princesses. Did you know my brother, Tom?

MAGGIE: Yes, I did.

AMY: And Chris, did you know him, too?

MAGGIE: Very well. We went to school together.

AMY: Did you?

MAGGIE: One of the handsomest boys in the school. We all had crushes, but I suppose that was for both of your brothers.

AMY: Chris said he'd come back to see me. Will you see that he does?

MAGGIE: I'll do my best. I've been sharp with him about taking care of you.

AMY: Have you?

MAGGIE: Yes, I have. I'll have you know that I didn't leave him alone about it. So, don't you worry. He'll come back. Now go to sleep.

MILLGAN: And so our reincarnation of Josette duPres manages to lull the wee little Amy to blissful slumber.

HECUBUS: But at the same time!

MILLIGAN: Yes, Hecubus?

HECUBUS: At the same time our other little girl, the ghost of Sarah Collins, is about to jump onto the bed of your old bridge partner, Master.

MILLIGAN: Better her bothering him than me!

[door opens and shuts, sounds of vague storm/rain and running and soft plunge on a bed]

SARAH: Barnabas, Barnabas!

BARNABAS: Sarah? Is that you? Oh, Sarah. What is it?

SARAH: Something's wrong… with David.

BARNABAS: What is it, Sarah? What do you know?

SARAH: I just feel there is something wrong. There is something I can't reach with him. He's not the same.

BARNABAS: Are you thinking it's this new friendship that's come about?

SARAH: It's not that, Barnabas. It's something else.

BARNABAS: Perhaps… perhaps you're feeling disconnected from David because he's making more time for this new friend.

SARAH: It's isn't that, Barnabas. It's something else… something bad.

BARNABAS: Sarah, do you know what it is?

SARAH: (pauses) It's… it's the others… there are other people trying to change him… they're… they're trying to change him *and* his new friend, Barnabas!

BARNABAS: All right, all right, I believe you, dearest. Now… what do you think we should do about it?

SARAH: I… I don't know. I only needed to tell you. I needed you to understand what's happening. There… there is nothing we can do *just* now, but… I can feel a change happening and I had to warn you.

BARNABAS: Very good. Consider me warned. And… do you know? You are our beloved hero, Sarah Collins, as you always have been. Now? Do you need more from me tonight, sister mine?

SARAH: Yes! I need you to move over and make some room for me.

BARNABAS: Oh? Ah, yes. Of course.

[blankets ruffling]

SARAH: (assertively) Thank you!

BARNABAS: Oh, no, my dearest Sarah. Thank *you* for staying right here at our old house… with me.

SARAH: Where else was I to go, Barnabas?

BARNABAS: No where I can think of.

SARAH: Well then… you're welcome, Barnabas.

HECUBUS: And therein literally lay two Collinwood family members that will ever remain true to each other.

MILLIGAN: Same as they ever were.

HECUBUS: The problem now is what is culminating in that stormy weather at The Great House.

MILLIGAN: Yes. Amy Jennings is, yet again, awoken from slumber, but this time it is not the ghost of Quentin Collins. It is the many older ghostly voices incurring her wakefulness.

HECUBUS: And so she arises from her bed to reach the window so she can both listen and ask.

[wavering music and wind machine, steps, unhooking of clasp]

AMY: Who are you? You're crying. Why are you crying? Who? Why are you called The Widows? Why? Tell me. Let me help you. (steps, picks up phone ) Quentin? Quentin? Why won't you answer?

[running, door closes]

AMY: Maggie! Please!

MAGGIE: Amy! What's the matter?

AMY: Maggie! Please, may I sleep with you tonight? Please?

MAGGIE: Whatever for?

AMY: Can you hear them crying?


AMY: The Widows.

MAGGIE: The Widows?

[flashback, piercing spook music – Robert Colbert]

AMY: Yes. Outside. I opened my window and I heard them. Who are they?

MAGGIE: Oh! Well, there is the legend, that when you can hear them on a stormy night… that…

AMY: What? What happens when you hear them?

MAGGIE: (pauses for thought) Well… the legend *I* heard was that when you hear The Widows… you have to send the governess outside to check the fountain! And seeing that I'm the governess… I better go and do that!

AMY: Oh! Can I stay here?

MAGGIE: Yes, you tuck yourself in. I won't be a minute. [door closing]

HECUBUS: And so Maggie Evans, nee Josette duPres, manages to whisk herself down the stairs and out the back door to consult with her old girlfriends!

MILLIGAN: Girlfriends? What old girlfriends?

HECUBUS: The Widows of Widows Hill!

[Much wind-machine noise and wispy-wavering music with fountain sounds in the background]

MAGGIE: (deep feeling but hypnotic tone) I can hear you. I can hear you. It has been a long time… Oh, yes, it's been a long time… but it has been no time at all, hasn't it? We shared that evening against… Matthew Morgan…m with Bill Malloy… Yes, to help Victoria. I remember, I remember you, all of us; Rachel Comstock, Abigail Tolliver, Margaret Findley and… What? Other ghosts? From when do they return? The 1890's? Why? Why do they wish to bother the children? Unhappiness? Unfinished business? (giggly aspect for brief spell) Well, isn't it always? What? Yes, it was a most troubled time. What of us weren't affected by it?

[Crash of thunder, (music:) "Waxing and Waning" by Robin Crutchfield]

MAGGIE: Ah, yes, that could be The Captain, you likely know him. Yes, I'm sure he will help us, in fact I'm positive. Well, the man owes me a bit, doesn't he? I convinced him to make certain amends. Do carry on… (vague impatience) Now, Abigail Tolliver, stop talking like that. We don't need another widow to join us, at least not now. (gratefully) Thank you, Rachel Comstock, I'm sure we will. Margaret Findley, what do you have to tell? A relation of yours? I am ready to listen! Of course, I'll welcome her… easily! A medium? Aren't we well-to-do about town? Yes, I was certainly joking, Margaret. All right, my dears, what do we do now? Professor Stokes? A séance? Oui, I shall ask him. Very good, you have had my attention. I will go up to bed now. We'll see what I can do for our new guest. A relation? Is she? We'll see about that as it unfolds. Yes… Goodnight, old friends, goodnight. [Gate squeaking.]

MILLIGAN: Well that was just plain bizarre!

HECUBUS: Only if no one understands the old hold Josette still keeps with her ghostly companions on The Hill, Master.

MILLIGAN: I see. Next we find our renewed Widow, Maggie Evans, walking back to her room, only to discover an old classmate to consult with on her way!

(steps on carpet)

CAROLYN: Maggie! Why are you up at this hour?

MAGGIE: Just chatting with some old friends… How about you?

CAROLYN: Oh, you know… the water closet as they call it. No chamber pots for me!

MAGGIE: Nor for me anymore, thankfully.

CAROLYN: Did you hear those grueling winds wailing?

MAGGIE: Yes, I did, as I said, old friends.

CAROLYN: (excited) The Widows?

MAGGIE: (wispy) Yes, we had a most informative chat.

CAROLYN: DID you? Maybe I should start calling you Josette flat-out, eh?

MAGGIE: No need for that just yet.

CAROLYN: (claps hands softly) No need at all. I call it the fun of living here. You know, I'm very thankful you took me into your confidence about everything. It helps make things…

MAGGIE: Easier?

CAROLYN: That's one way of looking at it. But it felt like you wanted to ask me something.

MAGGIE: Yes… this new development with Amy and David… Carolyn? Could you take some of the reins on Chris Jennings?

CAROLYN: Name it, Maggie.

MAGGIE: I'm not sure how to advise you to go about it, but we definitely need to get him to disclose his werewolf side. I am practically certain that's what Chris is.

CAROLYN: Of course! The more I hear about what happened at 'The Blue Whale' the more I'm dying to question him. Look, we already have enough horrible things in our family's past to accept. We might as well do what we can to cut any new scenarios off as close to the pass as we can.

MAGGIE: Yes, I agree. Thank you, Carolyn.

CAROLYN: You're welcome. Now before I forget, Maggie, you're all set up.

MAGGIE: What do you mean?

CAROLYN: I made sure if you requested any teaching supplies or anything else in town it's approved by me and Uncle Roger. I had to phone a few places earlier to make sure, but it's all squared away in the accounts. As of yesterday you are the official governess of Collinwood, okay?

MAGGIE: (relieved laughter) Oh! Carolyn Stoddard…. With all of this being a spooky place and spooky things happening… you welcome me with the mundane amenities. Very remarkable and…

CAROLYN: And all part of the job of being a Collins, even if my last name IS Stoddard, Maggie Evans… nee Josette duPres.

MAGGIE: Thank you, Carolyn.

CAROLYN: All in a midnights work, isn't it?

MAGGIE: Aye-aye, Captain Stoddard.

CAROLYN: Oooo! I'm keen on that title, Maggie! (laughing) All right, enough fun in the outrageous. Have a marvelous night's, well, morning's sleep.

MAGGIE: You too.

(steps departing)

MILLIGAN: And so this lets us journey onward to Maggie's bedroom where little Amy is eagerly awaiting her.

[steps, door closing, blankets ruffling]

AMY: (slightly groggy) Maggie, you're back.

MAGGIE: Yes, I am.

AMY: Did you do what you needed to do?

MAGGIE: Yes, the fountain is working fine. Regular as clockwork. I just had to fish out a little algae.

AMY: Did you hear The Widows?

MAGGIE: I did.

AMY: You did? What did they say?

MAGGIE: Now, you told me you were too old for bedtime stories.

AMY: Well, I am, but that doesn't mean I don't want to hear this one!

MAGGIE: All right, I just needed to hear you say it.

AMY: Okay, I've said it. Now what's the scoop?

MAGGIE: Well, once upon a time when I was a little girl… about your age… I could hear these ladies on the hill, and I could hear them as if I'd known them a very long time.

AMY: How long a time?

MAGGIE: A longer time than I had been alive.

AMY: How is that possible?

MAGGIE: Like all good stories, it's longer ago than what you and I have seen in our own lives. And it all took place in sadder times than we have lived. They all told me how they had died and why they fell off of Widows Hill.

AMY: They didn't jump?

MAGGIE: (wistfully) No… not all of them jumped, really… particularly one I remember who was misled to lose her steps… and… she… fell backward…

AMY: (yawning) Keep talking, I'm listening…

HECUBUS: Of course Amy, having already been awake for far too long, drifted into slumber quite quickly as Maggie had barely begun her tale.

MILLIGAN: To which we are finally *relieved* of this endless night at Collinwood!

HECUBUS: Yes, Master. As the moon passes through the clouds a new day begins to form for us. We now meet with Victoria Winters and Peter Bradford who have remained at The Addams Family home, and currently engaged in a play of Parcheesi with its mistress!

[Lurch Harpsichord in the background (C Minor, L. 452 by D. SCARLATTI ,) rolling of dice, moving of pawns]

VICTORIA: And I have experienced it firsthand and no doubt. Cleopatra is absolutely affectionate!

MORTICIA: She is, isn't she?

VICTORIA: I never thought a plant could behave like a puppy, Morticia, but she does.

MORTICIA: That's what assures me you were meant to stay with us. The plants surely admire your presence, Victoria. It's nothing to be dismissed.

VICTORIA: (smilingly) Nor is the walrus burger. I might not have given myself credit for so much dexterity if it wasn't for how highly Cleopatra prizes that food.

MORTICIA: Oh, yes, I did raise her from a hungry little weed, like most in our arboretum.

GOMEZ: (shifting footsteps} All right now, Blooker, I know it sounds like a massive undertaking… but surely you recognize this man has flare. Truly. He came all the way across two centuries of time. You must be able to find evidence of such a person in the records of Maine.

MORTICIA: Ah. There he goes.

VICTORIA: What's he doing, Morticia?

PETER: It's about me. (Rolling dice) Six! All right… I've got another pawn home.

VICTORIA: What do you mean, Peter? About Gomez, I mean.

PETER: He's getting me new records so I'll be in this century without any question.

MORTICIA: My turn. (Rolling dice) Oh, Victoria. I got doubles. Looks like I'll have to bump your pawn (pawn taps) here.

VICTORIA: That's fine. It's just a game. But what's going on with Gomez?

GOMEZ: (footsteps) Yes! That's it! Peter Bradford, died on March 29th 1796. Well of course that's him, Blooker. He told me so! Look, he DID dig up that grave himself! It obviously belongs to Peter Bradford! Why would he dig it up if it wasn't his? Sure, I believe him! If it's his cemetery plot, well… HE should know!

MORTICIA: I am sorry, you two. Gomez does get this way when he is determined.

PETER: Oh, no trouble, Morticia. He's fighting tooth and nail on my side, isn't he?

MORTICIA: Well, fang and claw, yes. That's true.

VICTORIA: What is this all about?

PETER: Official papers, Victoria. We discussed the probabilities of getting more official records to prove I am Peter Bradford in this time period.

MORTICIA: It's the bureaucracy, Victoria. Always a trifling hassle. Your turn, Victoria.

VICTORIA: (rolling dice) Oh, I'm tempted to bump my own pawn with another.

MORTICIA: It's against the rules, but go ahead.

VICTORIA: Oh, no. I was just being silly in that idea.

MORTICIA: Oh! Ha ha, well just move that one further along, maybe.

VICTORIA: All right. (pawn tapping) There.

GOMEZ: (shifting footsteps) I don't care about the expense, Blooker. This man needs his independence in this century…. (footsteps) All right, I see. You need proof. Well, would you like me to get him on the phone so you can talk to him?

PETER: Oh, I hope I don't have to use that phone.

GOMEZ: Very good, Blooker! I was hoping for that answer.

PETER: Sounds like I'm out of it.

GOMEZ: (footsteps) Peter? He wants to talk to you.

PETER: Uh-oh… (gets up, walking) What do I tell him?

GOMEZ: Just say anything.

PETER: All right… (shifting) ANYTHING.

GOMEZ: (shifting) There! You see? The man is obviously alive now! What? FINGERPRINTS? What an outmoded form of certification! All right, Blooker, all right, if you insist. I'll ink his hands and send that out. (Receiver clanks) The nerve of some people. What is the need for all this… proof?

PETER: It's a new century, Gomez. People need more than the written word.

GOMEZ: Or the SPOKEN word! By jiminy, Peter, once upon a time you could rely on your neighbours to vouch for you, but not in these modern days. I must apologize for so much inconvenience.

PETER: Inconvenience? You're doing me a favour, Gomez Addams, a real favour.

GOMEZ: Aw, it's nothing really. We thrive on spending time AND money around here.

MORTICIA: We also thrive on a little fun and I believe it's Peter's turn, bubula.

PETER: Is it? Oh, I'm sorry, here, where was I? (rolling dice) Ah, doubles for me and (pawns tapping) Oh… There and oh… (pawn tapping) … there… I'm home.

VICTORIA: (smiling) Yes, you are, Peter Bradford. Yes, you certainly are.

(smooching sounds followed by explosions)

VICTORIA: My goodness, did we do that?

PETER: Why not pretend we did?

(smooching sounds and more explosions)

GOMEZ: Lurch?

LURCH: Yes, Mister Addams?

GOMEZ: Will you see to that? The roof damage, I mean.

LURCH: I have the tar and shingles prepared as always, sir.

MORTICIA: Well done, Lurch.

LURCH: (groans)

HECUBUS: All seem well to do upon Cemetery Lane!

MILLIGAN: Which leaves us to what Maggie Evans is about to expose… or well explain, as she enters the front door of The Old House…

[door opens, shuts, footsteps]

MAGGIE: Barnabas? Barnabas?

WADSWORTH: Are you in need on this fine morning, madam… moiselle?

MAGGIE: Yes, for the master of the house, Wadsworth.

WILLIE: Maggie? What is it? What's going on now?

MAGGIE: I just needed to let you know… (uh-oh noises) We've got another problem.

WILLIE: (scoffs) Well that's a switch!

BARNABAS: Maggie? What is the trouble?

MAGGIE: At this point, Josette just might be as good a name as before.

WILLIE: Now what does that mean?

MAGGIE: I spoke to… my old companions… The Widows… last night.

WILLIE: So it is true. You weren't always playing around.

MAGGIE: Oh, us Widows can get quite playful given the chance.

BARNABAS: What did they tell you, (pauses) Josette?

MAGGIE: There are more ghosts that have come to haunt us, and to disturb the children who are now in my charge.

WADSWORTH: Ah, yes. The ghosts… the ones from what is called The Gay Nineties, or The Mauve Decade.

WILLIE: You mean ragtime, Wadsworth?

WADSWORTH: Very good, Mister Loomis. 1895-1919 was the main timeframe of it. Sir? You can see I've become much better at secreting books for others to read, at least certain highlights.

BARNABAS: How far have these ghosts gone with Amy and David?

MAGGIE: I believe it's merely begun.

WILLIE: Well… Maggie… You're the governess. Can't you just tell 'em not to get into mischief?

MAGGIE: Could someone dissuade you of that when you were a child, Willie?

WILLIE: No… I suppose… there was only one older fella I can think of who could change my mind about mischief when I was a kid.

WADSWORTH: (grinning) You're welcome, Mister Loomis.

MAGGIE: [shifting] Anyway, I was advised to call upon Professor Stokes for another séance to find out more.

BARNABAS: Could they not tell you what was to be, my darling?

MAGGIE: Not enough, Barnabas. Because we're on a new journey together from what we know about the past, many things could change in that past. This means that straight answers about the people can be unreliable until that journey is completed. I've already seen what was and what changed for me, but others haven't seen it yet.

BARNABAS: Yes, a séance would make sense in light of that.

WADSWORTH: Undoubtedly.

WILLIE: What do you want us to do?

MAGGIE: Don't get too worried, Willie.

WILLIE: Easy for you to say!

MAGGIE: No, I mean it. What would be good for a lot of us is to try and remember what it was like as a child, for these ghosts intend to use the children for deeds that only children can achieve.

WADSWORTH: Very good, madam. We may all begin looking at things that are half our height a bit more stringently.

MAGGIE: Precisely, Wadsworth. (Steps) Barnabas? You're pensive.

BARNABAS: That is coming from Sarah trying to warn me last night of something amiss with David. Don't look too expectant, Maggie. She wasn't sure what was happening either. It was on the order of "others" which fits with what you've explained to us.

MAGGIE: Yes. Excellent! If we've got Sarah to help us a bit, that will do very nicely indeed. Did she say anything else?

BARNABAS: Sarah spoke of feeling disconnected to David, as if he was too distracted to think of his friendship with her or of her at all, and it went beyond simply making a new friend like Amy Jennings.

MAGGIE: Well, I must admit that David hasn't said anything about Sarah, to me or to anyone else, since Amy's arrival. Sarah's probably right. He's likely misplaced her in his mind.

BARNABAS: And, if he has forgotten her, it is Sarah that can help us unravel these mysteries as they play out.

MAGGIE: (smilingly) Mister Collins? I couldn't have expressed it better.

WADSWORTH: You will go and call on the Professor, shall you not, madam… moiselle?

MAGGIE: Yes, of course. I won't expect him until later tonight, though. Come outside with me, Barnabas.

(steps, door opening and shutting)

BARNABAS: You did well to warn us, my darling.

MAGGIE: I do my best to warn all of you, however much I can. Widows and widowers.

(smooching sounds)

BARNABAS: Maggie, I can't help being haunted by when we will be parted again. I think of it often.

MAGGIE: Don't worry. It will be long from now. We have much to do.

BARNABAS: Such as this.

MAGGIE: Yes, always this.

(more smooching sounds)

MAGGIE: Now go back in. See to our little one.

BARNABAS: Is Sarah our little one?

MAGGIE: She is, and some day perhaps again, my dear. (steps running away)

HECUBUS: And so we continue onward to yet another night, perhaps not so endless, at Collinwood…

MILLIGAN: Or so we HOPE! Miss Evans has telephoned Professor Stokes and told him about all the strange occurrences and what she has in mind that he might help with.

HECUBUS: The problem is that they may not have enough people for a proper séance among the grown-ups. Professor Stokes has brought his lady love, Doctor Hoffman, with him just in case!

[door opens and shuts]

STOKES: Good Evening, Miss Evans. I was very concerned to hear about what happened.

MAGGIE: As was I to explain it all, Professor.

HOFFMAN: It's all so much to digest, Miss Evans.

MAGGIE: As per usual with this estate, isn't it, Julia?

HOFFMAN: No doubt… Now what is the name of this ghost you overheard the children talking about?

MAGGIE: Quentin Collins. The children were trying to have a séance to call out Quentin Collins before I stepped into the room last night.

STOKES: And does that ring any bells of familiarity for you now, this Quentin Collins?

MAGGIE: (half-sigh) It's a glimmer now, Professor. Familiar but… just a bare echo of the smallest chime. I'm overrun with tasks at this time…

(Wind noises from outside)

STOKES: How early it gets dark… at this time of year.

MAGGIE: Professor? Do you feel a presence in this room?

STOKES: Not as such. Do you?

MAGGIE: With the occupancy of this estate? I feel far more than several.

STOKES: A pleasant thought, considering the circumstances. The spirits are with us if you are, Miss Evans. This room will do.

(clomping steps)

STOKES: Ah, Mr. Roger Collins. Are you here to help us?

ROGER: Mnn? Do you need some lens cleaner for your monocle, Professor?

STOKES: Oh, hardly that. We're hoping to conduct a séance and you'd be the equivalent to be sure we have enough that is both male and female present for that.

ROGER: Ohhhh, another séance? Whose idea was this one?

MAGGIE: It was mine, Roger. And I do apologize but it's to find out what's going on with some nuisance upstairs.

ROGER: Well, why wasn't I informed? Oh, nevermind. I was at the cannery and I must convey how pricey the canning of sardines has become. Do you know it's gotten up to twelve dollars and twenty-eight cents per case lately? We're only able to cut so many corners before rising to the needed inflation of the whole thing.

HOFFMAN: Sounds like you're wanting a distraction, Mr. Collins.

ROGER: I certainly am! Sure I'll join you in your silly séance. What do I have to lose?

STOKES: The better question is what you might have to gain. Miss Evans, would you make sure that the windows are securely closed? If one is loose and blows open we might mistake it for the manifestation of a psychic nature.

MAGGIE: And I'll turn the lights off.

[stepping, switches flip, steps, latches secured, steps]

STOKES: Now, Julia, do sit here, and Mr. Roger Collins right there and Miss Evans across from myself. We must place our hands on the table and our fingers must touch. This is a most important contact and must not be broken no matter what happens. You must clear your minds of all thoughts that may interfere with our finding the spirit we seek. We must all wish the spirit to appear. You must all accept this spirit when it comes.

["Neutral BG Piece 1" by Colbert begins]

STOKES: (announcing) Quentin Collins! We are hunting you. We are asking you to come here to appear before us. We know that you were in this house last night. We know that you are trying to communicate with David and Amy. If you cannot speak, talk through one of us. Quentin Collins, we are calling you. We need your help. If you can hear us give us a sign. Give us a sign… There is a presence in this room. Is it Quentin Collins?

MAGGIE: No, no… he's not, he's not.

STOKES: If there is a spirit here… tell us who you are and why you came here. Whoever is in this room, tell us what you want. We will help you find rest. Speak to us, speak to us.

HOFFMAN: (possession nervousness) I heard the Widows wailing…

STOKES: Is that why you came here?

HOFFMAN: You must… you must…

STOKES: What must we do, what?

HOFFMAN: You must stop him.

STOKES: Who must we stop, who?

HOFFMAN: He must not come back!

STOKES: Who? Tell us!

[Hypnotic Trance Scene music by Colbert]

HOFFMAN: You must stop them. He must stay where he is…

STOKES: Can you tell us who you are?

HOFFMAN: Magda… Magda…

STOKES: Magda? What is your last name?

HOFFMAN: My… curse… my curse…

STOKES: What is your curse, Magda? What is this that you fear?

HOFFMAN: My curse… my curse… my c-u-r-s-e! (screaming)


[jostling noises]

ROGER: (obvious shock) What the Devil happened?

STOKES: She's fainted… my dear, Julia. Can you speak?

MAGGIE: Professor, she needs to rest. Let's get her to the settee.

(footsteps, shifting, cracking fire)

HOFFMAN: Sandor? Sandor?

ROGER: What is she saying?

MAGGIE: I think it's…

HOFFMAN: Eliot? Eliot?

STOKES: I am right here, Julia. I have got you.

HOFFMAN: Oh, Eliot. What… what happened?

MAGGIE: You fainted, Julia.

HOFFMAN: Why? What happened?

ROGER: You were possessed, Dr. Hoffman. Absolutely possessed.

HOFFMAN: That's impossible.

STOKES: Nothing is impossible, Julia. You were saying the name… Magda.

HOFFMAN: Magda? No… That's not possible.

MAGGIE: Why not?

HOFFMAN: Magda Rakosi is a dream, and she has *always* been a dream! She isn't real!

ROGER: Oh? This is the first time we've heard of her!

STOKES: Julia! You said that last name I was asking her for, you have said it; Rakosi! I asked her and she refused to tell me… but you just said it. Rakosi.


STOKES: Yes you did!

HOFFMAN: (adjusts self) Well… I suppose it must mean something.

MAGGIE: I suppose it does.

STOKES: Julia, you might know within yourself to discover who we need to close-off. She wanted us to stop something. Do you have any recollection of why that might be?

HOFFMAN: No, Eliot… I'm afraid I don't.

ROGER: (sighs) All right, I suppose that's my cue.

MAGGIE: Cue for what, Roger?

ROGER: To put myself to bed, Miss Evans. I'm exhausted and I still have work to do. Ladies and Gentleman? That's the news. Goodnight and have a pleasant tomorrow.

[steps out]

MAGGIE: Bon sang.

HOFFMAN: (assuring) It isn't as bad as all that, petite nièce.

MAGGIE: Quelle? Aunt Natalie?

HOFFMAN: (confused) What are you talking about, Maggie Evans?

MAGGIE: Nothing, Julia.

STOKES: Nothing whatever.

HOFFMAN: Nothing whatever?

MAGGIE: Nothing whatever.

HOFFMAN: This is very inconsistent.

STOKES: It certainly is.

MAGGIE: I… get the distinct feeling… the two of you would like to be alone.

STOKES: You've read my thoughts, Miss Evans.

HOFFMAN: But not mine. Could you bring me a glass of water, Maggie?

MAGGIE: Of course, Julia. (steps exiting, door closing)

[fire crackling noises continue on and off]

HOFFMAN: Now, Professor, you must understand I have no interest in entertaining notions that *I* have had a past-life experience.

STOKES: Except… Julia… that you just did.

HOFFMAN: (sighs) Professor Timothy Eliot Stokes… perhaps I did. But I do not wish to entertain any notions that I did.

STOKES: You daren't speak about it publically?

HOFFMAN: That is correct.

STOKES: Julia, I respect your desires on that point. However, it will not help us in our quest. You must regard the intrinsic entanglements that either of our lives retains to this estate. There may have been a moment for both of us once upon a time, and if it means you and I were bonded in another life? Well… I don't mind researching it openly with you.

HOFFMAN: And… your caresses to my hand and shoulder are most welcome, Eliot… more so than that information.

STOKES: I am glad to hear you say that… Julia. Now, would you be willing to venture further in understanding this past life, if it is a past life, in order to solve the dilemmas we're facing currently?

HOFFMAN: I… I don't know. It's something that's haunted me so long… something that I've made a hard effort to ignore from my temptations to study it further.

STOKES: My dear, we are sitting in a house of haunting…. It is a house of mystery… and… if that mystery somehow leads you further to achieving our goals… and perhaps…. Reaching you closer to me… Perhaps you would welcome that.

HOFFMAN: Well… I think… I think I would welcome further attentions from you, Professor, in whatever way that might be reached.

STOKES: Excellent decision, my dear. Now, will you discuss your knowledge of Magda Rakosi?

HOFFMAN: Maybe… for a price.

STOKES: A price? What is the cost?

HOFFMAN: That you kiss me, Eliot.


(smooching sounds)

STOKES: If a certain phantom-memory serves me, that was often her price.

HOFFMAN: And now… we understand each other.

STOKES: Will you tell me everything you… recall… of Magda Rakosi?

HOFFMAN: I will if you will tell me what you know.

STOKES: About what?

HOFFMAN: About… Sandor Rakosi… Eliot Stokes.

STOKES: I will do my best, Julia Hoffman.

[glass resting noises]

MAGGIE: Your water, Doctor Hoffman.

HOFFMAN: Maggie Evans… I hadn't heard you come in.

MAGGIE: That's because I didn't.

HOFFMAN: You're not, you're not… here?

MAGGIE: Only in spirit… to see if I could. Now have your talk. You will not be interrupted again tonight. That is a promise.

[wispy ghost noises]

STOKES: Now… *I* am dashed…

HOFFMAN: Enough to get the cross, Sandor?

STOKES: Yes… that did take a long time, didn't it?

HOFFMAN: It took what felt like centuries.

STOKES: Now enough of that, Doctor. Let's consider and discuss what either of us understands about the name Rakosi.

HOFFMAN: On one condition.

STOKES: What would that be?

HOFFMAN: That you move a little bit closer… Eliot.

[Wispy ghost shifting, and The Shirelles - "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?"]

All Due Respect To:

The Kids In The Hall

Clue: The Movie (1980's movie based in 1954)

The Addams Family (1960's TV show)

The Shirelles

And of course,

Dark Shadows (1960's TV show)

The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows is a Daryl Wor Production…

So...? What did y' enjoy? ^_^