In Search of… Josette Dupres (A Hard Study in Reincarnation)

254px-Josette_Collinskitty soamesI am here

I saw the signs that Maggie Evans was Josette Dupres rather quick. When Victoria Winters went into the past I was predicting she would automatically become Josette. Nope! Well, there goes that idea. And so I didn’t plan for Victoria and Barnabas to be together. Peter Bradford, however much people diss on Roger Davis, is the one who put himself on the line for her. And on top of that, there is her potential relationship as Elizabeth Stoddard’s daughter to work out.

Ideas for The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows don’t spring from my own imagination alone. I adopted these people to help and work things out. I listen to them, I watch the programs. I’m not the usual fanfiction writer blending up some studious contemplation and then throwing it down. Each character, Dark Shadows, or bonus, gets analyzed, spoken with and listened to. For Maggie Evans? She was the one, she was Josette and is Josette, but she’s also Kitty Soames, as well as herself.

Do I believe in reincarnation? Like many things I’m open ended, but it’s completely fascinating to study. In my analysis I found Bridey Murphy. I saw it as a total fake until I looked further. The woman who went through hypnosis and told her past life tale was not in it to do so. She wanted to quit smoking and was hoping hypnosis would work. As a result the tale of Bridey Murphy was littered throughout the globe and she received the worst treatment from it most of her life. She wasn’t out to make a name for herself. She just wanted to quit a bad habit. That’s when I questioned the claims of it being a publicity stunt. I also altered how Mrs. Johnson felt about it in my third episode of The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows. Mrs. Johnson had been much harder on Bridey Murphy in episode three. I decided to let her mention it dismissively but not as an outright lie. Showing a little compassion for the lady whose life was made worse.

 Bridey Murphy 2

Bridey Murphy

I did more extensive research to online websites, watching videos galore and came upon a much more recent story of a little boy, James Leininger, who had nightmares about being a WWII pilot who died after his plane crashed into the ocean. (A link-up to Maggie’s night-terrors, perhaps?) James convinced his father who had always flatly refused to believe in reincarnation. He was dead set against any need for it as guided by his faith. James received closure by visiting the approximate vicinity of his “previous death” on the ocean near Japan and performing a ritual of farewell.

And as many children who have these experiences of knowing their past life so early, the memories began to fade for James around puberty. For Maggie Evans, however fictional, this is not the case.

A longer lived example is Barbro Karlen, who explains herself as once being Anne Frank. The text to The Diary of Anne Frank was so familiar that she questioned why everyone was reading her private journals in school. Anne Frank’s remaining cousin, Buddy Elias, got in hot water with the public when he expressed, “If anyone is Anne, it’s Barbro.”

More can be read about her here.

There were gobs of videos I watched, the best being the one claimed to have been banned but now it’s on youtube.

Reincarnation-Regression.

In one of these there was a woman who drew something in an old home she “knew” through hypnosis, but when they went out to investigate the grounds she “remembered”, she drew something else with the opposite hand. One commentator on youtube pointed this out and the program didn’t. (I often wanted a joke made of this on Dark Shadows when Professor Stokes writes out a message from Benjamin Stokes, but alas…) Also some people tend to speak in other languages during regression-therapy. Which is what Maggie Evans does in episode 12 of The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows.

How many people do this much research for one character in fanfiction? I’d wager not too many.

And so, as I was only writing the text I wanted to make bloody sure there wasn’t some other character played by KLS that might have some Josette lodged in her too. I did look up Rachel Drummond but I wasn’t seeing a strait reincarnation. I believe there was some idea to create that in her but it fell through. Later on I found out more about Kitty Soames, also known as Lady Hamphire, from England but also from Pennsylvania.

Kitty haunted

Swell.

I looked over what evidence about her I could find. Crap, she truly is a reincarnation. So I wrote her in simply but I was so damned frustrated that in order to get it all accurate my job was made this much harder I said, “SCREW IT! If I have to unravel the life of three women in one I’m going to throw a man in there too for good measure!”

Ah yes, one of my rare original characters in this series, who I picture looking like Cary Elwes, the World War One double agent, Hansel Bachmeier:

hansel bachmeier

And, of course, with the gap between Kitty’s existence and Maggie’s life, and with my studying The Great War like so much else because no one would talk about it, Hansel is from that time period in between. I also made sure there were no Hansels, and no Bachmeiers in Dark Shadows to get in my way. I also wanted to give him the nickname Jaegar after the beverage Jägermeister. I checked for a Jaegar in Dark Shadows. There was a Yaeger but with a Y, not a J. So that’s fine. With Bachmeier I looked up a name I was barely seeing anywhere. So if you type “Hansel Bachmeier” right now on google search you won’t find much but my work.

And this all shows how hard I do work. The oblivious invalidation I receive as a result is beyond irksome. This is major research into tough regions, not making my own decisions but letting the characters decide, using multiple fandoms and researching those, acting all of the parts, paying through the nose to get everything done including the postcards, editing audio, adding sound effects and music and getting so little in return for this program as it continues to be downloaded. So much effort just to go into the waste-zone of the internet. Really, why not go to college radio after that?

Is it because for so many decades this pairing with Barnabas to a reincarnation of Josette has always been a taboo in fanwork? Reincarnation itself is taboo. The Dark Shadows movie of 2012 is a bitter type of taboo and has such a story. And now, for some reason, discussing The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows with its creator is the latest taboo.


Tilda Swinton expressed to Charlie Rose that loneliness is a big taboo and no one wanted to solve it because it wouldn’t make any money. If people were together sharing their lives that cuts into money spent shopping for something to do, at least I gathered that from how she put together her explanation.

I’ve heard a ton of excuses as to why no one is filling The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows with the commentary it deserves. I’ve also heard plenty of reasons why I should be giving it away without that commentary regardless of how much it makes me lonelier and hurts to the point that I wish the whole thing would be over. These reasons are not only unwelcome to me, but I don’t believe them and I don’t believe they’re right. Is the true reason total awe or utter laziness?

Like much in the radio series itself, and this character of reincarnation, it’s likely a blend.

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13 thoughts on “In Search of… Josette Dupres (A Hard Study in Reincarnation)

  1. >>> I’m not the usual fanfiction writer blending up some studious contemplation and then throwing it down.
    I’m not sure what you mean by this. The way you describe your writing process is exactly the same way I’ve heard many other writers, fan or pro, describe their writing process. What do you mean by “blending up” and “throwing it down”?

    • morlock13 says:

      In the rest of the article I describe listening to the characters closely and giving them what they want rather than what I think they ought to do. In the other stories I’ve done previously, and only written, not performed, etc, I manufactured scenarios I invented on my own.

      With The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows I have to go through all the characters and watch them relate to each other by incorporating each carefully into my psyche. So it’s further than the studious, which is still difficult, but feeling their emotions equally, and then creating that behaviour in audio.

      Also in order to unravel the deeper problems I have to go through all kinds of supernatural study to make sure all the accuracy is convincing, as well as researching several programs, not simply one. The process goes beyond writing for me in the audio performance, as well as finding which performed inflection makes the final cut.

      Thanks for your interest. 🙂

  2. You know, if Vicki would have become Josette in the paths, maybe she would have been a better person upon her return. Perhaps…more tolerable as a character without a naive nature of herself. The writers definitely did Alexandra Moltke wrong by not at least letting Victoria learn something from the time travel or to grow stronger in the rest of the series. (I still trip over how she thought that she could withstand Cassandra’s/Angelique’s dream curse. *smh* Really, Vicki?)

    I don’t believe in reincarnation myself, but it does make for good storytelling like what would the person do differently from the past, or how would they live differently from the last. Too bad DS could not give Josette a proper ending without killing her off, ending all of her possibilities of FINALLY being with Barnabas :/

  3. morlock13 says:

    Oh, yes! I mentioned that in my 13th intro. I don’t like the idea of Victoria being “stupid” and apparently Alexandre Moltke got as sick of the line “I don’t understand!” as Marina Sirtis got sick of the line, “He’s hiding something.” In fact I remember they got a chance to make fun of her the last time she had to say it and she strode to a cast member and said, “Listen! I don’t *write* the lines, I just have to say them!”

    I think that’s what I love exploring in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows. Let Victoria be the smart thing she was earlier on, question Peter trying to sort through stuff, get close to Morticia Addams, and Victoria contemplates, “Look at Morticia and Gomez, Peter. They have two children and they’re still in love. This is what *I* want.”

    And in the same way, her longing, her passion for history, that’s why she wants Caleb’s house and all the things he’s hording. I’ve been thinking about this. If there is that antique shop like Carolyn works for later? Meh, no. That kind of thing is for Victoria, not Carolyn. *wink* (Carolyn can publish books with Mrs. Muir. I saw she wanted to do something like that in early episodes of Dark Shadows and I screamed! “Ahhhhhhhhh!!! I got it!” )

    Oh, and with the reincarnation? That’s why I am so often questioning why Dan Curtis wanted KLS to come back from France. He was getting so discouraged near the end and there are times I wonder at the story of the 2012 film being given approval by the Curtis clan. Did they shoot for what his basic aim was? Not the goofy, not the comedy, but here is a vampire made to exist for so long, lose his beloved… and then through reincarnation finally have her? I can’t imagine a better love story. I just can’t. 🙂

  4. Lari Asher says:

    Reincarnation does not exist. Children and/or adults remembering past lives are really remembering the, “Pre-mortal Existence” before they were born, waiting for their time to be born with our Heavenly Father. My husband and I know we were helping my uncle in the South Pacific during WW2 with “Blacksheep Squadron” a TV series because we recognized the footage. We were with God and allowed to help out those we cared about who were already here. I thought more religions knew about the “Pre Existence” or “Pre-mortal Existence” we were with God having been told what our lives would be like and trying to prepare for them.

    That is why my story is closer to “The way things should have been.” Angelique is in it but as a healer and not a witch. Barnabas and Josette marry and have a large family. I am rewriting it so that it is accurate to the time. Christmas wasn’t celebrated back then (it was respected but no tree and no gifts) because the wedding date was 20th of December 1795. They didn’t have wedding cakes, they didn’t walk down the aisle and since the characters are writing the story for me, Joshua gets what he really wants. Everyone is nicer because the characters want to be nicer, Abigale is in there and so is Trask but they are the way they are telling me they want to be. None of the duPres would have been near France because in 1789 King Louis the 16th was beheaded. It wasn’t until around 1810 that the Nobility could return but they had to be ordinary people and not a Count or Countess therefore, Josette’s family would have remained in Martinique.

    • morlock13 says:

      All right, let’s say for a moment reincarnation does not exist.

      How about all of the other supernatural elements in Dark Shadows? Do they exist? I’m not quite sure why this is in any need of pointing out. I looked at fictional evidence in reincarnation as well as some in the mysteries of the supernatural where people made claims it was either true or might be true. They wanted to express their experiences.

      It’s funny you relate so much of this to religion. When I talked to the lady at the post office and showed her one of postcards for my project I asked her if she was interested. She said she remembered the program Dark Shadows but she no longer touches anything in that realm due to her faith because of its occult elements. I nodded, “Well, at least you’re consistent. It’s been very strange to come across so many of spiritual practice who are hooked into Dark Shadows.”

      So in your story the characters are nicer because they want to be? That’s lovely. I hope you keep working on it. I enjoyed reading it and I think I let you know that I did. It was a relief to know something I’d been looking for was out there.

      I’m sorry you don’t like what I’m doing so much to refute it’s principles. Most people who don’t like something tend to move on. For Dark Shadows I’ve interrupted at the point Willie goes to Wyndcliff after Maggie returns from there. It’s a lot of work and is very expensive. I wish the people who enjoyed my audio drama were as bold to speak out as you.

      • Lari Asher says:

        I don’t believe in any of the supernatural elements in Dark Shadows exist. Okay, I have felt many times a person from beyond the grave (my husband’s dad came to us last night) when I needed help but I couldn’t really say they were a ghost because I didn’t see them. I had to find out for myself, so I was in several séances and nothing happened. More than once a phony here or there would show up and try to Carolyn Stoddard style influence them. But they got thrown out.

        I saw in Barnabas an older (I thought he was 25yrs old but he could be 45yrs old) loving, protective brother who would comfort me at all times. I can hardly stand it when he’s a vampire. I wanted Josette and he to be married. Then in the 20th century I want Julia and he to be married. Writing, to me doesn’t come easily but I have found ways around my clichés.

        I also look to my Personal Savior Jesus Christ and know that he is watching out for me. You should have seen my bringing up Him coming.

        It was totally Barnabas who got me hooked on Dark Shadows.

        I loved some of your comments that night last month about Josette’s portrait and her waistline. You are very amusing. And I know about how expensive it can be when trying to document something for authenticity sake.

        I felt myself cringing when reading some of what you wrote and getting totally lost. I fear that if I were to try and read more I’d be a wreck.

      • morlock13 says:

        This is what I am having a hard time with. If you don’t believe, or possibly enjoy, any of these supernatural elements then what is the point of re-creating a version of the program that doesn’t include any of them? My best supposition is to work out a Colonial romance that would befit a nicer world: good plan!

        Oh! And I do appreciate your nod to my humour. That does seem to be what I was created for. (Even my conception, as to the story my Mum related, is a huge joke! LOL!)

        And of course, Barnabas doesn’t like it when he’s a vampire either. For me the procedure of change comes to us when we take our flaws and use them to our own advantage: Sam Evans is a drunk and uses that to his advantage in Dark Shadows. In Margaret Josette Dupres the reincarnated Josette accepts vampirism as a way of discarding the cruel people in the world. The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows is about change for the better, always has been, and incorporating ideas of the supernatural to reach an element in storytelling that would pertain to metaphors in one’s own life.

        I had a feeling Barnabas was the reason you became hooked into Dark Shadows. That would present a very deep understanding in his persona and why Josette was obviously the person he longed for. To me almost any other romantic pairing makes little sense knowing his character. And I tell you this because in my studies it is rather rare that anyone gets that far.

        i.e. This is a compliment to your wisdom. ^_^

        I also appreciate that you mention that my work was so heavy it would be difficult for you to read more. I’m told it’s like a cognac that needs to be slowly imbibed. Much of what I combed through for Dark Shadows fanfiction was so trashy and simple I just couldn’t take it.

        “Margaret Josette Dupres” was never something I intended to produce. On top of which it’s erotica, which I also couldn’t believe I was doing. When I put out the one-shot of what I visually saw last Autumn from those two characters I thought it would go down in flames. Then I finally found all the other erotica on the website and was both shocked and felt a little bit better.

        “Margaret Josette Dupres” is a hard read and a hard write. I knew that Barnabas, or a reincarnated Josette, would not pen their marital bliss in the usual terms most erotica produces. (Vulgar word usage.) It would be closer to the style of Theoreau, Austen, Thackeray, and being anachronistic between coming from 1795 and living in the 20th Century, Vladimir Nabokov was the influence I decided to focus on in order to escape vulgar word usage.

        The main point is it is more sensuality and less sexuality. The blending of what happiness means and the love that would happen if, after so much hurt and time, they finally reached that together. So much in erotica only meets the baser values, but when it comes to this love, this is no comparison. They long and yearn and finally have one another and each nerve ending is explored and enjoyed.

        And that’s probably the reason much of Dark Shadows fic is a stinker. Many writers don’t incorporate the romance that Barnabas Collins truly feels and whines about not finally having from Josette Dupres. They throw him with women he was never interested in that way on the program. For Josette his depth is richer than almost any other character I’ve experienced. This is why it likely healed the lost love in my own marriage. I have never been happier to be married to my best friend who deserved so much more in these last 8 years and is finally getting it. 🙂

        Many who write Dark Shadow fiction want conflict, hurt, lust and shame. They use Barnabas Collins as a way to pummel out aggression from their own lives.

        Hence the words in one of these chapters. I write:

        “Go, Barnabas Collins!” I have never used you as a punching bag to relieve my own catharsis, and I never will. 🙂

  5. TheOldHouse says:

    “Many who write Dark Shadow fiction want conflict, hurt, lust and shame. They use Barnabas Collins as a way to pummel out aggression from their own lives.”

    That is very sad and also disrespectful to Barnabas- he is a man/vampire of great depth and his life journey is a spiritual one, if one can realise who he is. 😉

    • morlock13 says:

      Thank you! Sheesh! I was just lining everyone up and asking them what they wanted. Barnabas was obvious to me. He wasn’t my biggest concern. It was just obvious. Then I find all these poo-heads having a cow. I don’t give a darn. Barnabas and his sweetie get what they want just like anyone else in Dark Shadows as far as I am concerned. Honestly? I think this is part of the fatalism of people being so screwed up they have to hate on their entertainers. Well, life is much grander than to deal with people like that and that is why I feel MORE than free to kick the haters to the kerb! 😛

  6. morlock13 says:

    I must say, I am definitely curious why this particular blog post has been getting so many hits this week. I anticipate it’s being shared privately and either intriguing people or they’re privately scoffing to each other.

    However one thought struck me; “Well, maybe someone is digging through Morey Bernstein’s closet, looked him up and found me.” If that last one is the true-reason? I’d love to know. It would really cheer me up! 🙂

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