Audiobook - Dark Shadows: The Happier Dead

Dark Shadows The Happier Dead

The Dark Shadows of Collinsport beckon to Susan Omand yet again as she reviews The Happier Dead from our friends at Big Finish...

After her pivotal role in Beyond the Grave, Amy Jennings returns to the spotlight, and to Collinsport, again having previously escaped...er... moved to Salem to attend college and study parapsychology. There, in search of what she consider to be a “normal life”, she met Simon Turner who, in turn, is drawn to her paranormal lifestyle and keen to learn more, and it is while they are on a coffee date that disaster befalls her. For a change though it is nothing more spooky than a ruptured appendix, but this is serious nonetheless and Simon still drives her many miles to Collinsport Hospital “just in case” there were any paranormal goings-on. Little does he realise though that Amy’s perception of Collinsport’s medical facilities can be summed up as “Collinsport Hospital is where you come if you want to die.”

Only people aren’t dying in the hospital. Not even when their internal organs are removed and lying on the table beside them. The screaming of the patients is only silenced when their vocal cords are cut but still they live, shrieking silently and in great pain.

Amy and Simon set out to find the cause of all the anguish and discover, through talking to one of Professor Stokes’ friends, Edwin Beadle, who happens to be in hospital for treatment along with his wife, that there’s one doctor, Doctor Balthazar, who seems to be involved somehow.

But as usual, things are not what they seem. Who or what is causing the “unexplained livings” at the hospital? How can the undead be helped? And why is Simon the only one that can see Beadle’s wife?
This was an unashamedly gory episode, not a bad thing but a bit unexpected since a lot of the Dark Shadows episodes I have listened to before this have been more psychological and supernatural in their horror, and that tends to be my preference. However, the writing by Adam Usden was brilliantly graphic in the portrayal of the operations underway... the horrific mental image of patients screaming silently with their throats cut will live with me for a long time. The acting by Stephanie Ellyne and John Chancer as Amy and Simon was very solid and believable and special mention must go to the delightfully creepy portrayal of Edwin Beadle by Murray Melvin.

As long as you are prepared for the blood in this one, it’s a great episode!

Image - Big Finish.