Monday, February 27, 2012

The Creep Factor: Day Seven

Welcome to The Creep Factor, a new feature that will scientifically determine which episodes of Dark Shadows are the scariest. The results of this evaluation were arrived at through a process involving the I Ching, no fewer than three seances and several experimental blood transfusions. They are presented in no particular order. Also .... SPOILER ALERT!

Day Seven: Reach Out and Touch Someone (Episode 639)

Not all of Dark Shadows' spookiest moments involved blood, fangs and murder. Many of them were unsupported by props, make-up or visual effects and were the product of pure acting. While episode 639 features an appearance by a werewolf, the episode if best remembered for a scene involving nothing more than children talking on an antique telephone.
David and Amy are exploring the west wing of Collinwood when they discover an old telephone among the dusty items. Amy suggests they use the phone to pretend to call the people who used to live in the room. She begins a conversation that is far too engaging to be the work of imagination and tells David a ghost is speaking to her. Probably worried that someone is horning in on his shtick, David scoffs at her claims. When he takes the receiver he finds the line dead but, after a few seconds of silence, he gets the surprise of his life.

The scene's structure is pure drama and relies almost entirely on the acting skills of its two young actors. We never hear the voices on the other end of the line and it makes the scene all the more eerie. In fact, the voice of the character on the other end, Quentin Collins, wasn't heard for months.

The Creep Factor: The 10 Scariest Moments of Dark Shadows:
Day Ten: Joe Haskell Goes Crazy

Day Nine: Barnabas Attacks Carolyn
Day Eight: That's Just Gross
Day Seven: Reach Out and Touch Someone
Day Six: Adam's Ghosts
Day Five:The Head of Judah Zachary
Day Four: The Death of Dr. Woodard
Day Three: Funhouse of Madness
Day Two: Apocalypse at Collinwood
Day One: Adam Attacks

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