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In 1760, young Barnabas Collins and his wealthy family set sail from Liverpool to the New World,
establishing the town of Collinsport in Maine and their grand estate, Collinwood. Fifteen years later,
Barnabas spurns the advances of his servant, Angelique, secretly a witch. She murders his parents
with dark magic and curses Barnabas out of jealousy so that "all he loves will die". Under the spell, his
fiancée Josette falls from a cliff to her death; Barnabas throws himself after her but survives, further
cursed by Angelique to eternal suffering as a vampire. Angelique turns the town against Barnabas,
and buries him alive.
In 1972, Maggie Evans, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Josette, travels to Collinwood to fill the
position of governess. She assumes the name Victoria Winters, and meets the dysfunctional Collins
descendants: matriarch Elizabeth; her brother Roger; her teenage daughter Carolyn; Roger's young
son David, who believes he sees his late mother's ghost; and live-in psychiatrist Dr. Hoffman. That
night, Victoria is visited by the ghost of Josette.
A construction crew building a McDonald's unwittingly frees Barnabas from his tomb; he apologetically
feeds on their blood, and makes his way to Collinwood, perplexed by the modern-day technology and
fashion he encounters. At the manor, he hypnotizes the caretaker Willie into his service, and reveals to
Elizabeth that the legends of her long-lost ancestor are true. Barnabas asks to rejoin the family, and
shows Elizabeth the manor's secret passages and hidden treasure. Though wary, she introduces him
to the family as a distant relative from England with plans to reclaim the Collins fortune.
Elizabeth and Barnabas use his powers of persuasion and the family treasure to restore the Collins
Canning Company and Collinwood to its former glory, as Barnabas adjusts to modern life and falls for
Victoria. Angelique, having survived through the centuries and now owner of rival Angel Bay Seafood,
is still in love with Barnabas; to protect Victoria, Barnabas gives in to Angelique's lust and they have
gravity-defying sex in her office. Afterward, a remorseful Barnabas again rejects Angelique's love.
Barnabas hosts a "happening" at Collinwood for the entire town with Alice Cooper as entertainment.
He finds Victoria, who reveals that she has seen the ghost of Josette her entire life; her parents
committed her to an asylum, but she escaped and was drawn to Collinwood. She returns Barnabas'
affections and they kiss, to Angelique's dismay.
Dr. Hoffman learns of Barnabas' true nature, and offers to drain his blood in search of a cure. He
discovers her using the transfusions to de-age herself, and kills her. He confronts the greedy Roger
and offers him a choice: to become a better father to David, or to leave Collinwood with enough money
to live out his life elsewhere; Roger chooses the latter. Heartbroken, David is nearly struck by a falling
disco ball, but Barnabas saves him with supernatural speed and catches fire in the daylight, revealing
himself as a vampire to the shocked household.
Desperate, Barnabas meets with Angelique, who goads him into confessing to his murders, and
demands he join her as her paramour. Barnabas refuses, and is again trapped in a coffin. Angelique
destroys the Collins’ cannery and, with a recording of Barnabas' confession, rallies the town against
the family. David frees Barnabas, who confronts Angelique at Collinwood. They battle, and Angelique
enchants the house to turn against the family, despite the efforts of a shotgun-wielding Elizabeth and
Carolyn, who outs herself as a werewolf. Angelique reveals that she was responsible for the werewolf
that bit Carolyn as an infant and for the deaths of David's mother and Barnabas' parents. The ghost of
David's mother incapacitates Angelique, and the household escapes the burning manor. Angelique
offers Barnabas her heart, which crumbles as she dies.
He races to the cliff and finds Victoria, unwilling to live as a mortal with him, but he refuses to turn her
into a vampire. She steps off the cliff, and he leaps after her, biting her as they plummet to the ground.
Victoria awakens in Barnabas’ arms as a vampire, declaring herself Josette, and they passionately
The camera pans to Dr. Hoffman's corpse in the ocean, whose eyes suddenly flash open.