Tor.com has an interesting interview with DARK SHADOWS writer JOSEPH CALDWELL, who is credited with writing about 60 episodes of the original series. Caldwell joined the show during the duel between Barnabas Collins in 1967, and stuck with the program until it's final year in 1970.
The TOR interview makes a serious mistake of getting caught up in the "Who Created Barnabas Collins?" controversy by naming Caldwell as the character's sole inventor. The line of people seeking credit for creating the vampire is not a short one, and the truth is that Barnabas Collins was not the product of any one mind. That's not how television works. Even though Caldwell is credited with writing dozens of episodes of DARK SHADOWS, it's likely that he assisted in the writing of many more episodes, just as other writers worked on the episodes he's credited with. And it would be foolish to discount the role that JONATHAN FRID played in developing the character, though he's not credited with ever having penned a DARK SHADOWS screenplay.
That's not to take away from Caldwell's work. He was an important figure on the development of the series, and had this to say in the interview about the show's approach to character:
“We never wanted to play to the metaphor, but instead, play the vampire straight. We felt the audience wouldn’t connect with Barnabas if he didn’t seem like a real person, with real problems…we were always trying to figure out a way to make the stories better, more engaging, more ordinary. In a way, we almost wanted to make you forget he was a vampire sometimes…or as we used to say; ‘stop me before I suck more!’”Read the entire interview HERE.