• Jonathan Frid and Grayson Hall in the original Dark Shadows

For years my mother and I battled over whether I’d be allowed to watch Dark Shadows, the supernatural soap opera that ran on ABC from 1966 to ’72. She probably thought it would scare me, but we were also devout Catholics and she disapproved of anything with occult themes. (I won’t even go into what happened when she caught me and my cousin playing vampire with the crucifix I got for my first communion.) She finally caved when I was eight or nine, but to my disappointment, the show was actually pretty dull. Like any soap opera, it would play out the string endlessly before anything remotely exciting would happen. I wanted to see someone get ripped apart by a werewolf or Barnabas Collins get a stake pounded through his heart. Instead it was just talk, talk, talk. It was worse than going to Mass!