Abigail is the second King Diamond album and their first concept album. It was released in 1987 on Roadrunner Records. There were several re-releases, first in 1997 with 4 bonus tracks, and then a 25th Anniversary edition in 2005 with a bonus DVD. This album has sold over 175,000 copies in North America alone.
Abigail tells the story of a young couple, Miriam Natias and Jonathan La'Fey, who move into an old mansion that La'Fey inherited. It takes place in the summer of 1845. At their arrival they are warned by seven horsemen not to move into the house because if they do "18 will become 9." They do not heed the warning and proceed to move into the mansion. During their first night, Jonathan meets with Count La'Fey, the Family Ghost, who is a deceased relative. The ghost shows him a casket in which a corpse of a stillborn child, Abigail, rests. The ghost informs him that Miriam is carrying the spirit of Abigail and that the child will soon be reborn. He insists that Jonathan must kill Miriam at once to prevent the rebirth.
The narration then relates the story of what happened to the Count and his wife: on 7 July 1777, the Count had discovered his wife had been unfaithful to him, and was pregnant with an illegitimate child. Enraged, he threw the Countess down the stairs, breaking her neck and causing the child to be stillborn. The Count had the body of the Countess cremated, and the stillborn fetus he named Abigail and had mummified and laid to rest in a sarcophagus, the Count having an inexplicable urge to preserve Abigail for the future.
The narration then returns to the summer of 1845, during which Jonathan and Miriam are beset by a range of omens; the church bell rings despite nobody being inside to ring it, flowers die, unwholesome stenches fill the house and in the dining room the table is discovered set for 3. In one incident an empty cradle is discovered by Jonathan swaying in the air, with both him and Miriam insisting that they didn't bring it with them. The next day, Miriam is clearly pregnant and the fetus develops quickly; Jonathan realises that the family ghost was speaking the truth.
The fatal crisis begins when Jonathan accuses Abigail of possessing Miriam, and Abigail (through Miriam) admits it. Jonathan is terrified and considers getting a priest to exorcise Miriam - Miriam, however, exercising a moment of control, urges him to cast her down the stairs to kill her just as the Count had slain the Countess and Abigail's original incarnation. Therefore, Jonathan pretends to give in to Abigail's demands, and suggests to Abigail (once she regains control of Miriam) that she should come down to the family crypt so she can be reborn where she died. However, as the couple stands at the top of the stairs, Jonathan is distracted and the possessed Miriam throws Jonathan down the stairs.
Miriam gives birth to Abigail, but dies shortly afterwards, her last sight being of Abigail's "yellow eyes"; supposedly her ghost can be heard screaming on the stairs in July ever after. The seven horsemen arrive at the mansion and discover the baby Abigail in the sarcophagus, eating something too horrifying for the narrator to mention (though the fact that it is found in the sarcophagus suggests that Abigail is eating her own previous body). Appalled, they take her away to bury her in a hidden chapel in the forest with seven silver spikes driven through her body (a burial heard as the intro to the album), in the hope that this will prevent a further resurrection.King Diamond – vocals, producer
Andy LaRocque – guitar
Michael Denner – guitar, assistant producer
Timi Hansen – bass guitar
Mikkey Dee – drums, assistant producer
Roberto Falcao – engineer, keyboards
Capcom made a homage to this album in its 1989 arcade game Final Fight, naming the (male) boss of its 5th stage as Abigail. This boss also has a face very similar to King Diamond's.
There is also a tribute to King's father in the liner notes, "the bravest and noblest man" he claims to have ever known.
The video for "The Family Ghost" was featured in the Beavis and Butt-head episode "Bungholio: Lord of the Harvest."