The Tarrytown Diaries of Professor Stokes


Terry Crawford

Terry Crawford


Terry Crawford replaced Roger for the next Q&A session.   She greeted us warmly and expressed how happy she was to see so many familiar faces again.  She spent some time discussing her Inner Light ministry, which fights for human rights and encourages young people around the world to make a difference through the media.  Her work sometimes takes her to dangerous spots in the world, but she feels secure and protected by her faith.  Terry told us a bittersweet story with a humorous twist that came about in part because of her work.  A dear friend of hers, whom she referred to as her little brother, was recently involved in an ugly international custody dispute.  His Russian wife was determined to keep the couple’s daughter with her in her native country and never let her ex see the child again.  To effect her purpose she had told vicious lies about how the girl’s father was abusive and unfit.  Because of her work with human rights abroad and because she knew the defendant so well, Terry was called to give testimony.  To prepare for how to give testimony, she’d watched Law and Order.  On the day of her deposition, the female prosecutor approached Terry with an odd little smile on her face.  "She started to ask me questions about where I was born and who my parents were…Then she started to ask me other questions, like what was my favorite color. Even the defense lawyer thought that was a little strange.  Finally, she asked me what sort of work I had been doing in the 1960’s.  I said that I had been a television actress.  Then she took out a huge folder of information that she had collected about me and opened it.  The first thing she pulled out was a picture of Barnabas and Beth as vampires!"  This woman had been a fan of DS growing up, and she’d recognized Terry.  After that, Terry no longer felt uncomfortable answering questions.  She happily told us that her ‘brother’ now has child custody that she has learned valuable information about international law and life in Russia from the experience.  

Marie Wallace as Crazy Jenny

Marie Wallace as Crazy Jenny

Somebody asked Terry what her favorite scene from the show was, and she named two.  One was the death of Jenny. "I was sick that day, but the show had to go on. During rehearsals, I said my lines but I didn’t use as much emotion as I could have because I didn’t want to exhaust myself. The director noticed that I wasn’t putting all my energy into the performance and he asked me what was wrong. I told him not to worry, that when the real thing came, I would be ready. It really was an intense scene, to have Jenny (Marie) rushing at me with the scissors. You all remember how wild she looked. I was a little scared during the scene because she was really getting into it and I thought she might actually overpower me." Her other favorite scene was when Beth kills Quentin. Terry smiled mischievously and told us another story. One day, while visiting family, she had tried to persuade a relative who kept loaded guns in the home that such precautions were unnecessary and dangerous. After finishing her lecture, Terry had played a video that a fan had compiled for her featuring Beth’s scenes from the show. "As luck would have it, the very first clip was of me, Beth, with the gun, shooting Quentin. And I had just finished my speech against guns."

VAM Asks A Question

VAM asks Terry Crawford a Question


When people no longer had questions for Terry, she went into the audience and encouraged them to share stories with her about their memories of DS or how it had affected their lives.  A woman named Mary talked about her father, who had been a cameraman on the show, and how she had been able to go to the studio and meet the actors because of him.  VAM told a story about the 2000 Festival when she had dressed as a werewolf for the costume gala and surprised John Karlen in the autograph line by slamming her hands down on the table.  "He let out a scream and jumped out of his chair. He was really scared."  A man named Louis (or Lewis) mentioned how, as a child, he used to watch DS in secret until his mother assured his father that it was "a very slow-moving show, and not very scary."  The day that his father chose to watch the show with the children turned out to be the day that Chris Jennings became a werewolf and attacked a jailer.  After that, he was forbidden to ever watch the show again, and his father would constantly call home to make sure that the kids were obeying.  Terry also asked the fans for updates on their own lives, mentioning how she enjoys getting to know them better each year and learning what new things have occurred since the previous year.  I was impressed by how personable and genuine she was.

Best of Dark Shadows


Next, Ed Lambese popped the video of The Best of Dark Shadows into the VCR and Terry Crawford sat down to watch them with us.  She doesn’t see the show very often, and enjoyed viewing the clips.  Throughout the video, she made humorous comments.  For instance, in the scene where Beth watches Quentin transform and pushes him into the pentagram (and temporarily off-camera) she remarked, "Get out of the way; I want the camera on me."  During the scene where Nicholas Blair performs the black mass over Maggie Evans, Terry remarked to Louis, "Your daddy would have loved this."  By the time the video ended, it was time for a lunch break, and I walked over to the diner with a friend.  Because there was such a crowd, we were given a booth with another party of two, a couple that was also attending the Halloween party.  I was glad to sit with other DS fans since it gave us some common ground to discuss.