OK, nitpicking aside, the story here finds the vampire Barnabas Collins (Jonathan Frid, in a role he was indubitably born to play — so much so, that he died only a few short months before the premiere of the 2012 Tim Burton reboot, as if to avoid dying from shock and horror afterward) being resurrected on the grounds of his ancestral estate, Collinwood, by a handyman (John Karlen) with an appetite for things that are green and gold (e.g. treasure). Barnabas, on the other hand, has a craving for a substance that is red — and there are a lot of disbelieving modern-day souls to damn.
But that's only his secondary hunger — a byproduct of being damned himself approximately 175 years ago. His primary concern is that which any good nosferatu longs for: amore.
And, from thereon in, Barnabas does his damndest (ahem once more) to enslave the charms of the present Collins family's governess, Maggie Evans (Kathryn Leigh Scott). Meanwhile another lovelorn individual, Dr. Julia Hoffman (Grayson Hall, whose name was surely taken wholesale from a college dormitory by two very snide parents), puts two and two together as the deaths-by-blood-loss in the area begin to mount. However, instead of going all Abraham Van Helsing on Barnabas' caped heinder, she works on curing the vampire of his unique "condition" — hopeful that he'll take her as a bride once it's all done and over with.
Needless to say, things don't end very happily for most of the people in the film. Coincidentally, the very same thing can be said of House of Dark Shadows' 1971 follow-up, Night of Dark Shadows — a moving picture that should serve as proof to anyone that the series just didn't click without Barnabas after the character had come in to bring some fresh blood (yeah, yeah, yeah) to the show. The Barnabas-less sequel instead takes a cue from an alternate timeline story arc briefly used in the original TV series. Series star David Selby — absent from the previous film — returned to the Dark Shadows universe as Quentin Collins, the lad who inherits Collinwood and moves in with his wife, Tracy (Kate Jackson, who has always been a crush of mine since her days on Charlie's Angels).