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My sister and I also ran home from school to watch it, she was 10 and I was 14. Interestingly it started as a gothic soap opera, few months into it they introduced ghosts and as I remember reading, it was due to be cancelled when they brought in Barnaby Collins, the vampire, then it ran for another four years after that. Look it up on wikipedia, says that Tim Burton, Quentnin Tarantino and Madonna have all said they are fans of the series and as a child Johnny Depp "was so obsessed with Barnabas Collins that he wanted to be him."