5 Favorite Soap Moments From ‘Days of Our Lives,’ ‘Dark Shadows’ & More

TV Soaps Top Moments General Hospital Dark Shadows
ABC/Craig Sjodin; Courtesy of Everett Collection

Romance, heartbreak, intrigue—daytime drama is here again!

And what better way to celebrate these new episodes of our favorite soaps than to look back on past picks and sizzling storylines? Scroll down for our staffers’ favorite daytime memories, from classics like Dark Shadows and Sunset Beach to the still-airing Days of Our Lives and General Hospital.

Dark Shadows Jonathan Frid
Courtesy of Everett Collection

Dark Shadows

Among my earliest TV memories is racing home from school to watch the supernatural soap Dark Shadows. The brooding vampire Barnabas Collins (Jonathan Frid) was my favorite, even more so when, in 1967, the show delved into his tragic origins in the 1700s, when a curse by jealous witch Angelique (Lara Parker) turned him into a vampire and doomed his romance with Josette (Kathryn Leigh Scott). I had Barnabas plastic fangs, his faux onyx ring, the board game.… I was an 11-year-old Barnabas groupie! —Matt Roush, Senior Critic

Alexandra Moltke Dark Shadows
Courtesy of Everett Collection

Dark Shadows

When I was a kid, the Sci-Fi Channel (as it was called then) aired two episodes of the original Dark Shadows weekdays at 11am. One summer I watched the entire 1795 storyline (it first aired in 1967 and 1968), in which virtuous governess Victoria (Alexandra Moltke Isles) traveled back in time. The moment she is hanged for witchcraft—and then returns to present-day 1967—was shocking. But it was also a rare instance of resolution in a show whose storylines could drag on. —John Russell, Staff Writer

Days of Our Lives Cast NBC
Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

Days of Our Lives

In 1982, the Salem Strangler terrorized locals for months. On a Friday episode, Marlena (Deidre Hall) was home alone when he came up behind her and choked her dead. Fans freaked out! The following week it was revealed that Marlena’s twin, Samantha (played by Hall’s twin, Andrea), had unexpectedly come to town and was the one murdered. It was awesome. —Jim Halterman, West Coast Bureau Chief

General Hospital Cast ABC
ABC/Craig Sjodin

General Hospital

General Hospital is known for its mob wars, and in 1995, hitmen going after Sonny (Maurice Benard) and Luke (Anthony Geary) attacked three locations simultaneously: Luke’s home, his club and Sonny’s penthouse, where his girlfriend, Brenda (Vanessa Marcil), was taking a shower. Everyone survived, but Stone (Michael Sutton) took a bullet—and after seeing his blood splattered on his girlfriend, Robin (Kimberly McCullough), he finally admitted he was HIV-positive. It was GH at its best with action, romance and a dose of real life. —Amy Miller, Deputy Editor

Sunset Beach
© NBC / Courtesy: Everett Collection

Sunset Beach

The Aaron Spelling–produced soap went all out with a monthlong “Shockwave” stunt in 1998. A massive earthquake and tsunami left the residents of the coastal hamlet fighting for their lives both on land and at sea aboard an overturned cruise liner. Bonkers, yes, but the underwater sequences were Titanic-ally impressive. —Damian Holbrook, Senior Writer