Elizabeth Collins Stoddard was the matriarch of the prestigious Collins family of Collinsport, Maine. She maintained control of the family's business interests from her home at Collinwood. Elizabeth employed several individuals to look after her interests including her personal secretary, Daphne Budd, a housekeeper named Sarah Johnson, a caretaker named Carlotta Drake and a handyman named Willie Loomis.
In June of 1970, Elizabeth discovered that a new member of the family had recently moved to Collinsport from England – Barnabas Collins. Barnabas was actually a vampire, and he ingratiated himself upon Elizabeth's hospitality by posing as his own descendent. He further endeared himself to her by presenting Elizabeth with the lost jewels of their respective ancestor, Naomi Collins. Barnabas asked for Elizabeth's permission to move into the original family estate, commonly referred to as the Old House. Having no conception of Barnabas' supernatural background, Elizabeth graciously allowed him the privilege of moving back into his own, dilapidated home.
Over the course of several nights, Elizabeth played witness to a terrible string of tragedies. Her secretary, Daphne Budd, had been attacked by an unknown fiend, and subsequently died from her wounds. Further, her own daughter, Carolyn Stoddard became a victim of a vampire's attack. Carolyn died and rose from the grave as one of the undead. The experience was too much for Elizabeth and she lapsed into a complete mental breakdown.
Several nights later, Barnabas Collins – now suffering from advanced aging, broke into Collinwood and attacked the family's governess, Maggie Evans. Elizabeth witnessed the attack, but did not recognize that the decrepit old man assaulting Maggie was actually her cousin. The following night, Barnabas murdered several more people including her brother, Roger.
Barnabas was eventually destroyed, but Elizabeth never recovered from the events of that summer. She passed away some time in the following year. In her will, Elizabeth left the estate of Collinwood to the last surviving adult member of the Collins family – Quentin Collins.
- Actress Joan Bennett also played the part of Elizabeth Collins Stoddard on the ABC television series Dark Shadows.