Curse of the Demon (1957) - full transcript

Dr. John Holden ventures to London to attend a paranormal psychology symposium with the intention to expose devil cult leader Julian Karswell. Holden is a skeptic and does not believe in Karswell's power. Nonetheless, he accepts an invitation to stay at Karswell's estate, along with Joanna Harrington, niece of Holden's confidant who was electrocuted in a bizarre automobile accident. Karswell secretly slips a parchment into Holden's papers that might possibly be a death curse. Recurring strange events finally strike fear into Holden, who believes that his only hope is to pass the parchment back to Karswell to break the demonic curse. - stop by if you're interested in the nutritional composition of food
It has been written...

since the beginning of time...

even onto these ancient stones...

that evil,
supernatural creatures exist...

in a world of darkness.

And it is also said...

man, using the magic power...

of the ancient runic symbols...

can call forth
these powers of darkness...

the demons of hell.

- I must see Dr. Karswell at once.
- Who shall I say is calling?

Professor Harrington.
Tell him it's most urgent.

I'm afraid Mr. Karswell
is not at home, sir.

I know he's here. Tell him
I won't leave until he does see me.

- I'm very sorry, sir.
- Well, go back and say...

- Karswell.
- That's all right, Bates.

Please, come in.
This way.

- Good evening.
- Good evening.


Well, I'll go and see
about some tea.

That won't be necessary.
We shall only be a minute.

Call it off, Karswell.
Stop this thing you've started...

and I'll admit publicly I was totally
wrong and that you were totally right.

It's very gratifying to hear that,
but some things...

are more easily started
than stopped.

But I've heard it.
I've seen it. I know it's real!

You involved me
in a public scandal.

I protested.

You said, "Do your worst,"
and that's precisely what I did.

Please, Karswell.
I'll stop this investigation.

When Holden arrives,
I'll tell him I've made a mistake.

I'll send a statement
to the newspapers.

No more newspapers. All I ask for
is privacy for myself and my followers.

- Well, I promise.
- All right. That's good enough.

Then you'll stop this?

You've still got that parchment
I gave you?

The runic symbols?
No, they burned. I couldn't stop it.

I see. Well, I think
perhaps you'd better go home.

- Then you will help me?
- I'll do all that I can.

- Karswell, if you only knew.
- I do know.

Thank you.

- Good night, Mrs. Karswell.
- Good night.

Thank you again.

Good-bye, Professor.

Excuse me.

I can't get out.

- Sorry.
- Good.

Here they come.

Dr. Holden?
I'm Lloyd Williamson.

- Professor Harrington's personal aide.
- How are you?

I'm so glad I'd be able
to meet you here, sir.

The professor had planned
to meet you here himself, but he...

- Well...
- Dr. Holden?

We're the press, sir.
Could you spare a few minutes?

- What makes me news?
- Ghosts.

What exactly is the function
of this convention you're attending?

Investigation of international reports
on paranormal psychology.

"Para" what psychology?

Just say mind-reading,
fortune-telling, spirits and zombies.

Operator, I'm still waiting
for my number.

I'm sorry. The number you requested
is reported out of order.

Could you check it, then?
It's to Professor Harrington's house.

That is the correct number, but
I'm sorry. The line is out of order.

Oh. Thank you.

Sorry to keep you waiting,

You were saying
Professor Harrington couldn't come.

I'm afraid I have
some terrible news for you.

Professor Harrington
was found dead this morning.

Found dead?

Sorry to disturb you, but there's
so much to do and so little time.

I'll be right out.

The police say that
Professor Harrington was electrocuted.

Somehow, his car ran into
a power line outside his house.

It was a terrible accident.

He must've died instantly.

- The services will be held tomorrow.
- I'll be there.

This is Mark O'Brien. He's been
working with Professor Harrington.

- He'll continue to do so with you.
- Fine.

You'll have to forgive me.
I had a little sleep to catch up on.

- Of course.
- Sit down. I won't be very long.

- What is this?
- Part of O'Brien's research...

which is tied up with
the Karswell Devil Cult investigation.

I see.
Let me get some clothes on.

I wrote Professor Harrington recently
that if he wanted to find the key...

to Karswell's phony supernatural power,
all he had to do...

was check the psychological makeup
of some of his followers.

I know,
but we ran into difficulty.

The one cult member
we persuaded to speak up...

A farmer named Rand Hobart...

Was arrested several weeks ago
as an alleged murderer.

He can still be useful.

I'm afraid not.
His mind is in total collapse.

He's in a state of catatonic shock
and in a home for the criminally insane.

Why do you say "alleged murderer"?

That's just my personal view.

A short while ago at the asylum,
I succeeded in rousing Hobart.

Under hypnosis,
he produced this drawing.

It's crude, but remarkably similar
to these copies...

of old woodcuts
and medieval drawings...

of a fire demon invoked
by witchcraft to destroy an enemy.

You mean you think that thing
committed the murder?

I thought the purpose of our convention
was to disprove that type of thinking.

- Yes, but Mark says...
- I'll speak for myself, Lloyd.

I'm a scientist also, Dr. Holden.

I know the value
of the cold light of reason.

But I also know the deep shadows
that light can cast.

The shadows that can
blind men to truth.

What truth? Myths.

Demonology and witchcraft
have been discredited...

since the Middle Ages.

I wrote a book about it.
That's why I'm here.

Then explain how
an uneducated farmer like Hobart...

could know anything
about this creature...

whose legend has persisted through
civilization after civilization.

Babylonian, Baal, Egyptian...

Sethtyphon, Persian, Asmodeus...

Hebraich, Moloch...

Come in.

Good evening. KT Kumar, Bombay,
apologizes for being late.

That's quite all right, Kumar.
We're just about to begin.

- This is Dr. Holden.
- How do you do?

Dr. Holden.
I'm very pleased to meet you.

Your work on hypnotism
is a great favorite of mine.

Thank you. Now, we were just talking
about devils and demons.

What are your views on the subject?

I believe in them.

You'll find the library
straight through, sir.

I'm sorry, sir,
but the last volume you asked for...

The True Discoveries
of the Witches and Demons...

Is not available.

What does "not available" mean?

It should be in
our restricted section.

The only known existing copy...

is over 400 years old, you know.

Yes, I know.

It seems to be missing.
Most peculiar.

I'm having it checked.

It was mentioned
in these research notes.

Never mind. I can probably
find what I want in these.

I hope so, sir.
I'll do my best to trace it.

Excuse me, sir.

I couldn't help overhearing
your conversation with the librarian.

You're interested in seeing The True
Discoveries of Witches and Demons.

- Is that it?
- Yes.

I have a copy I'll gladly
put at your disposal.

Then the British Museum
didn't have the only copy.

Apparently not, Dr. Holden.

I have what is perhaps
the finest library in the world...

on witchcraft and the black arts.

- You know my name.
- Oh, yes.

And you know mine.
I'm Julian Karswell.

It's rather difficult to talk here.

Why not come out to my place
in the country? The book's there.

If I don't find what I want,
I might take you up on that.


Just one thing.
Let's understand each other.

My investigation
of you and your cult...

won't be stopped.

But if I could make my point,
I could persuade you.

I'm not open to persuasion.

But a scientist
should have an open mind.

That's what investigations are for.


in any event, here's my card.

Lufford Hall.
It's near Wargrave.

I'll be seeing you soon, I'm sure.

Excuse me.
How clumsy.

I'm so, so sorry.

Here are your papers, sir.

- Thank you.
- Good-bye.

Don't leave it too long.

Can I help you, sir?

Did you see that man
who was just here?

I can't say that I did.

- What do you make of this?
- It's a visiting card.

No, I mean the handwriting on it.

- No handwriting.
- Yes, there is.

Forget it.

Nice of you to drop in, Kumar.
Good evening, Holden.

Why, Mr. Holden.
Are you ill?

- I'm all right. Hello, Mark.
- I phoned you earlier.

The authorities have been difficult
about cooperating on Hobart.

We need the family to sign a release.
I have it here.

If it's gonna be that much trouble,
forget it.

His memory patterns
are probably worthless anyway.

Besides, I've met this Karswell.

- He's just a harmless faker.
- You are a very skeptical man.

That's what Karswell said.

- Care for a nightcap?
- I wouldn't mind.

Haven't you gentlemen heard that
alcohol is the devil's brew?

And interested as I am in the devil,
I never indulge, thank you.

O'Brien, don't you think that...

O'Brien, don't you think that...

skepticism is
the scientific attitude?

Oh, sometimes.

All good scientists
are from Missouri.

In other words, they should
continually be saying, "Show me."

- And if you are shown?
- Then I'll look twice.

- Like water?
- No, thank you.

The whole question
of this demon monster...

that you think shocked Hobart
out of his mind...

is a perfect example of
auto-suggestion and mass hysteria.

Just the same as flying saucers.

Someone imagines that
they see moving lights in the sky.

And the next thing,
a thousand hysterical witnesses...

turn up all over the world swearing
that Martians are attacking us.

And now, this nonsense.

It even affects serious men
like yourselves.

Sometimes, even me.

But logic... the reality
of the seeable and the touchable...

That's what convinces me finally.

Certainly not rumor
or intuition or funny feelings.

Here's how.

I wouldn't dream of arguing with you.

You say, "Show me."
I say, "Look for yourself."

You know, the devil has something here.
Very pleasant.

He's most dangerous
when he's being pleasant.

Look, Mark,
I don't want to be arbitrary...

about this Hobart business,
if you're so set on it.

- Let me think it over, will you?
- We haven't much time.

- This is the release form.
- Thank you.

I wonder...

if either of you
could recognize this tune.

It goes something like this.

And then it goes...

Sounds like a distortion
of an Irish folk tune.

About the devil, I believe.
Present devils excepted, of course.

A most odd coincidence.

For in Northern India
there is a similar tune...

which is also part
of an enchantment spell.

Well, that takes care of that.
I guess I must have heard it somewhere.

It kept running through my mind.

Tell me, what have you got in your
program for the convention tomorrow?

Only a few sessions on
extrasensory perception.

The timetable
is over there on the desk.

I'd like to watch you work.
Do you mind?

Not at all.
Be glad to have you.

Holden, you are not leaving us
after the 28th, are you?

No. Why did you ask that?

Well, it's just that all the pages
after the 28th are torn out.

I can't find anything
on this card.

- Nothing at all?
- No.

I could try some absorption tests,
but that would take time.

- How much time?
- Tonight?

Fine. Call me at my hotel
when it's finished.

- Aren't you...
- Yes, on the plane.

- Did you know the professor?
- Did you?

Yes, I worked with him.
I'm John Holden.

Then I must talk to you.
It's very important.

I'm Joanna Harrington.
Professor Harrington was my uncle.

- My deepest sympathies.
- Thank you.

- When can we meet?
- Tonight?

- Call me at my hotel.
- All right.

- 412. Down to the left, miss.
- Thank you.

- Well, come in.
- Thanks.

So you really are Dr. Holden?

All scientists
don't wear thick glasses.

I apologize for bothering you
on the plane.

What was all
that writing about anyway?

Letters to my pupils
about my trip to America.

I'm a kindergarten teacher.

I'm sorry it ended
so tragically for you.

- Thank you.
- Sit down, won't you?

- Would you like a drink?
- No, thanks.

You don't mind if I have one, do you?
I need it.

It's cold tonight, isn't it?

No, it's hot.
Quite hot.

Do you think so?

I heard you're continuing
my uncle's project.


I believe you're in danger.

I found my uncle's diary.
It's all in here.

- You make it sound very menacing.
- It is.

I think it had something to do
with my uncle's death.

Something horrible happened to him.

Something unexplainably horrible.

- I'd like to read it to you.
- Go ahead.

"Met Karswell at Albert Hall concert."

He puts three exclamation marks
after that sentence.

Karswell can be
a pretty startling character.

- You've met him?
- This morning.

Listen to this.
"Karswell most pleasant."

Lost my program during concert,
and Karswell gave me his.

"A nice gesture,
since I save them."

That doesn't sound
particularly menacing.


"Today I found the parchment..."

in the concert program
Karswell gave me.

"It had runic symbols drawn on it."

That's not mysterious.

Runic symbols are the oldest form
of an alphabet.

They're found carved on ancient stones,
like hieroglyphics.

They're supposed to have magic powers.
They don't.

"The parchment acted
as if it were alive."

It pulled from my hand
and flew into the fire and burned.

I think I can guess
what Karswell has done to me.

I'm under some kind of witch's spell.
My mind is in the balance.

"Must speak to Holden about this."

Unfortunately, you came too late.

What you're trying to tell me is...

your uncle was killed by witchcraft.

As a doctor,
I can assure you you're wrong.

Please don't treat me like
a mental patient who has to be humored.

I also majored in psychology.

- I'm sorry. I didn't mean...
- You could learn a lot from children.

They believe in things in the dark
until we tell them it's not so.

Maybe we've been fooling them.
Good night, Dr. Holden.

I'm really quite flattered you've taken
such an interest in my welfare.

Don't be. If I hadn't been away,
my uncle might still be alive.

- It was an accident.
- I don't believe that.

I loved my uncle very much, and I want
to know exactly what happened to him.

You don't seem to share my view.
Good night.

Wait just a minute.

I've tested this card
through and through.

There's been no chemical
used on it.

Are you sure? Couldn't it
have rubbed off in my pocket?

Maybe, but some of it certainly would
have been absorbed into the card...

and my absorption tests
would have shown it.

This card is 100% clean.
I guarantee it.

I see.
Well, thank you.

How would you like to show me
the way to Lufford Hall...

and the friendly
Mr. Karswell tomorrow?

- Then you think...
- Don't jump to conclusions.

I just wanna borrow a book from him
and discuss a chemistry problem.

- Are you sure this is Karswell's place?
- That's what it said back there.

I don't know what his racket is,
but it pays very well.

Sounds like a human sacrifice.

Well, you remember
the magic word, of course.

- Yeah!
- Now!

It's magic.

Just a tame magician.
So that was it.

That was what?

The answer to
my chemistry problem.

Why don't...

Right, children. Now,
just be good for a few minutes.

I shall be back.

- Holden. Delighted to see you.
- I hope we're not intruding.

Not at all. Just my annual Halloween
party for the village children.

I'll come right up.

- He's just a nice old guy.
- Perhaps he's Santa Claus in disguise.

I didn't recognize you.

I used to earn my living
like this years ago.

You see before you
Dr. Bobo the Magnificent.

Excuse me.
This is Miss Joanna Harrington.

- Miss, uh, not by any chance...
- Yes. He was my uncle.

I was very sorry
to hear of his accident.

He was a man of great principle.


I'd like you to meet my mother.
You must try her homemade ice cream.

She's very proud of it.

- May I introduce Dr. Holden.
- How do you do?

And Miss Joanna Harrington.

Miss Harrington is a niece
of Henry Harrington's.

Dr. Holden's going to borrow
a book from my library.

- I've asked them to stay.
- How nice. Do you like ice cream?

- Yes, I love it.
- Come with me. I'll give you a treat.

- Would you like to try some?
- Not right now, thank you.

Say, this is quite a place
you have here.

Yes, yes.
Let me show you around.

Snakes and Ladders. An English game.
You wouldn't know it.

You see, if you land at the foot
of the ladder, you climb up to the top.

But if you land on the head of a snake,
you slide all the way down again.

Funny thing.

I always preferred sliding down
the snakes to climbing up the ladders.

You're a doctor of psychology.
You ought to know the answer to that.

Maybe you're a good loser.

I'm not, you know.
Not a bit.

Just how much do you know
about this book that you're after?

Not very much. Only that Professor
Harrington referred to it in his notes.

A remarkable work. The few men
that really understood it...

learned many strange
and terrifying secrets.

Only a few?
Is it that hard to understand?

I spent my life
trying to decipher it.

The ancient sorcerers
who wrote it knew their information...

was far too valuable to entrust
to any known language.

I didn't realize
what I was asking for.

You don't believe in witchcraft?

Do you?

Do I believe in witchcraft?
What kind of witchcraft?

The legendary witch that rides
on the imaginary broom?

The hex that tortures
the thoughts of the victim?

The pin stuck in the image
that wastes away the mind and body?

Also imaginary.

But where does imagination end
and reality begin?

What is this twilight...

This half-world of the mind that
you profess to know so much about?

How can we differentiate
between the powers of darkness...

and the powers of the mind?

- This is a stick-up!
- How terrifying.

What do I see here?
Yes, some chocolate, I do believe.

And there as well.
Here we are.

Gosh! Chocolate!

Wonderful, aren't they?
If only we grown-ups...

could preserve their capacity
for simple joys and simple beliefs.

I see you practice
white magic as well as black.

Oh, yes.

I don't think it would be
too amusing for the youngsters...

if I conjured up
a demon from hell for them.

Or for myself, for that matter.

As we're not protected by the magic
circle, we'd both be torn to shreds.

And you'd spoil the party.

You're so right.

But how to prove my point.

There. It's done.

What is?

A magician doesn't like
to expose his magic, black or white.

- Where are the others?
- They probably went 'round by the back.

I didn't know
you had cyclones in England.

We don't.

- You probably could use a drink.
- The perfect host.

This way.

I'm sorry. I miscalculated.

The wind's stronger than I expected.
Much too much.

You're talking in riddles.

To prove my point.

A medieval witch's specialty...
A wind storm.

Take my professional advice
and stick to rabbits and puppy dogs.

You think I'm mad?
Unfortunately, you won't be able...

to explain away your death
on the 28th of this month so easily...

with my prediction of it
at this moment.

You're really serious, aren't you?

You will die as I said...

at 10:00 on the 28th of this month.

Your time allowed
is just three days from now.

"My time allowed."

Oh, yes, your trick with the card.
Very good too.

I'm sorry you remain so skeptical.

But as the time gets closer,
mental disintegration will set in.

First, weakness and unsureness.

And then horror, as the fear of
what is behind you grips your heart.

Because it's there, Dr. Holden.
It's there!

It has been from the moment
we met in the museum.

You actually believe this nonsense.

I asked you to drop
this ridiculous investigation.

Perhaps you will
before it's too late.

Well, it's nice to know that
I do have a way out, Mr. Karswell.

The choice is yours.

I hope we don't run out of candles
before the power lines are repaired.

Don't you think eating
by candlelight is romantic?

Yes, but not on a night like this.

Shall we have some brandy
in the living room?

I could use something
to warm me up.

Don't say it.
I know you think it's hot in here.

No. As a matter of fact,
it's rather chilly.

Do you know The Ancient Mariner?

Vaguely. I read it in school.

I found a copy of it
in my uncle's desk.

He underlined one part.

"Like one that on a lonesome road
doth walk in fear and dread..."

because he knows a frightful fiend...

"doth close behind him tread."

I hope you don't read poems like that
to your kindergarten class.

When it's important that
a child learn something...

I use the most
direct means available.

I get it, teach.

He scribbled a note
on the next page.

I never had a kindergarten teacher
as pretty as you are.

- I'm serious.
- So am I.

You wouldn't deny a dying man
a last request, would you?

You'll listen whether you like it
or not. You haven't much time left.

"Today I found all the pages
of my desk calendar...

torn out after October the 22nd."

I know why.
He died on the 22nd.

John, what's the matter?

The same thing happened
to my desk calendar, after the 28th.

And I know why.

You put the two together, and
they add up to a very obvious trick.

You see, when a tribal witch doctor
puts a hex on his victim...

he always lets the victim know
well beforehand.

Let me see your uncle's diary.

In case it would
make you feel better...

a parchment has to be passed...

and the person has to
take it without knowing.

My mother taught me never
to take anything from strangers.

- I still don't.
- Then what killed my uncle?

An accident with a falling
power line killed him.

Then he should only
have been burned.

His body was mutilated horribly.

The police said
it could've been an animal.

The only thing they didn't say
was what kind of animal.

What do you expect me to do?
Nobody's free from fear.

I have an imagination
like anyone else.

It's easy to see a demon
in every dark corner.

But I refuse to let this thing
take possession of my good senses.

If this world is ruled by demons and
monsters, we may as well give up now.

Nobody said we were ruled by them.

You just want me to give in to
Karswell's carefully calculated threats.

That's exactly what he wants me to do.

Because he knows he can't stand up
to a real investigation.

If he's so all-powerful,
what's he so afraid of?

I wish I knew.

Are you sure Karswell never
passed anything or gave you anything...

on which the runes
could have been written?

- What if he did?
- Did he?

Well, he could have at the museum
when my notes fell to the floor.

As a matter of fact,
he mentioned the museum the other day.


Well, he picked up the papers
and handed 'em back to me.

- Where are they now?
- At my hotel, I suppose.


They're in my briefcase.
I have it here.

He did give you the parchment.

- It's trying to escape!
- It's just the wind.

But it is trying to escape
into the fire!

It's the draft from the chimney.

What made them stop?

I don't know.

That's it, sir.
Number 44.

Thank you.

Over here, John.

I'm sorry I'm late. I just got back
to the hotel and found your message.

It's only a minute or two.
I wanted to wait and go in with you.

- What is this all about?
- I'm not sure I know.

That's why I asked you to come here.
I didn't want to have to explain.

I promised Mrs. Karswell
I'd bring you here.

- Mrs. Karswell?
- John, she wants to help you.

I thought we might take a chance.
I mean, I thought...

at least we might learn something.

After this afternoon, I must confess
there are a few things I don't know.

I'm so glad you've come,
both of you.

Mr. Meek has just telephoned.
He's on his way.

- May I ask who Mr. Meek is?
- The gentleman I want you to meet.

And this is Mrs. Meek.
Miss Harrison...

I mean Harrington,
and Dr. Holden.

- How do you do?
- Excuse me, please.

Don't you worry. All your problems
will be solved. You'll see.

That's very nice.
May I ask how?

- Through tonight's seance.
- Seance?

Yes. Mr. Meek
is the most remarkable medium.

I come to him with all my problems.
Here he is now.

John, she's trying to help you.

I said I'd talk to her.
But this nonsense...

- These things are all phony.
- Oh, please.

You'll hurt Mr. Meek's feelings.

- He really is a most wonderful man.
- Well, good evening.

'Tis a good evening too.
A little warm, perhaps.

Mr. Meek, this is Dr. Holden.

So you're the gentleman who was
in trouble. Maggie, dear?

Well, life's full of
little problems, isn't it?

Let's see. What's yours?
No, perhaps you better not tell me.

The spirits sometimes
resent previous knowledge.

Well, let's see if
we can clear the air.

Well, let's see if
we can clear the air.

Not being part of the circle,
you two had better sit by the window.

Well, Maggie, no point in wasting
these good people's time.

I must be insane to get involved
in a thing like this.

John, please.

Very well, Maggie.

Cherry ripe
Cherry ripe

Ripe, I cry

Full and fair ones

We must all sing.
The spirits like it.

He's going off.

That's really very quick.
He's so helpful, you'll see.

Mrs. Karswell...

Something's here.
Can't you feel it?

That's Crimson Eagle.
He's Mr. Meek's guide.

He's a Red Indian Chief from
an obscure part of your country.

Well, a kindly good evening
to you, friends.

Good evening, Mr. McGregor.
That's Mr. McGregor.

He always comes through.
He's a friend of ours.

Bonny weather we're having.

It'll do a mickle of good
to the flowers and the barley.

Lovely weather, Mr. McGregor.

But I sense we have
strangers in our midst.

Two strangers.

But they're very sympathetic.

Will ya ha' them into the circle?

That's really a great honor.

Mr. McGregor's so particular
who sits in the circle. Here.

Over here, both of you.

- It's my uncle.
- Don't be foolish.

- Are you there, Joanna?
- Yes.

- These things are all faked.
- But it is my uncle! I know his voice!

You'll hurt Mr. Meek.

Got to...

Got to tell Holden...

he can't fight it.

It's too strong.

He means you must
give up the investigation.

- This is crazy.
- Karswell has the key.

He's translated the old book.

The answer is there.

- No!
- Look!

It's in the trees!
It's coming!

The demon!
It's coming! No!

That does it.

Don't turn the light on!
He's in a trance!

- A trance my eye.
- Maggie, I feel sick.

- You're not the only one.
- He's still alive, no thanks to you.

Don't you know that to wake a medium
out of a trance is to risk his life?

But it was real!
You must do as he says.

Don't you understand?
Oh, dear.

Mr. Holden!
Don't go, Mr. Holden!

Oh, Mr. Holden, you must listen!
Mr. Meek knew nothing!

Let them go. All right, Mother.
Come along with me.

But I tell you, it did sound
like my uncle's voice.

It was Mr. Meek doing
voice impersonations.

And your supposed friend,
Mrs. Karswell, staged the whole thing.

She's looking out
for her son's interests, not mine.

Tomorrow's the 28th.

That would be a real miracle
if Karswell could change time.

What if we did find he really had
a translation of that book.

Would that convince you that
there is something in all this?

It might help.

Then I'm going to Karswell's house
to see if I can find it.

Go ahead.

Aren't you even going
to try to stop me?

It would be easier
to stop Karswell's demon...

than a woman who has
her mind made up.

No lights are showing.

If anybody finds you there,
the charge will be burglary.

Karswell is away.
His mother told me.

If you find a reception committee
waiting for you...

will you believe then that
Mrs. Karswell loves her son, not us?

I hope that's
what does happen.

Don't you see
I want to be wrong?

There's nothing I'd like better
than to find out...

that this is all being put on
just to scare you off.

Where are you going?

- To see if I can get into the house.
- But it was my idea.

You didn't think for a minute that
I'd let you go in there, did you?

- I'll go with you.
- No, it'll be much easier for me.

I can get next to the house by going
through the woods without being seen.

And with you waiting,
I'll hurry back.

- Why did you drop the poker?
- It's red-hot.

It isn't, you know.
My boy, you're as pale as death.

There was something in here.

Nothing to worry you. Just a minor
demon I set to protect the room.

Nothing like the real thing
when you meet it.

It may have been minor,
but it had claws and teeth.

Oh, claws and teeth.

Did you bite the man?
Oh, shame.

I don't keep you as a watch cat.
I left the book in full sight for him.

His name is Greymalkin.

A very fashionable name
for English cats in the Middle Ages.

- They were used in witchcraft.
- It was not that cat.

Oh, yes, it was.
You must have awakened him.

You shouldn't have,
at the time of the full moon...

when cats wander
and witches dance.

Oh, yes. They do dance.
I've seen them.

- You really are crazy, aren't you?
- On the contrary. You seem unhinged.

Is breaking into my house to read
my scribbles an indication of sanity?

- I was talked into that.
- Ah, Miss Harrington, no doubt...

that horribly bright young woman.

- I don't think she'd be flattered.
- At least her head isn't in the sand.

She believes that she can see.
She can.

She believes that she's alive.
She is.

She believes that you'll die
tomorrow night. You will.

Julian, I thought I heard...

It's all right, Mother. Just a social
visit. Dr. Holden was just leaving.

- Is your car outside?
- Housebreakers don't leave cars.

You have a point there. Give my regards
to that intelligent young woman.

If you're thinking of going through
the woods, you might find it unpleasant.

I suggest you use the drive.
I'll put on the light for you.

I have one superstition...
I like to go back the way I came.

He's a very obstinate young man.

I told him not to go through the woods.
He just wouldn't listen.

It was dark in the trees...

and I saw this smoke.

I know this sounds crazy, but...

I could've sworn
the smoke came after me.

And don't forget
Karswell tore out those pages.

I mean,
the book must have had the answer.

Why would he have
torn them out otherwise?

Quite. One usually has
a reason for tearing things out.

And this feeling
of being followed.

And Karswell says
Dr. Holden will die tomorrow night.

Of this enchantment thing?

Forget the hex. Let's say something
came after me. Take it from there.

We've been through
all of this before.

Frankly, I think
a bit of sleep is indicated.

It's extraordinary how different
a thing can look in the morning.

- But there's so little time!
- If what you say is true.

- But it is! All of it!
- Doctor...

I don't think Scotland Yard can be
anything but an interested spectator.

- I see your point.
- You mean, Uncle, you have a victim?

You already have one...
My uncle.

Have we got anything in criminal records
to cover phantoms and demons?

- Not that I know of.
- I didn't think so.

You're right. It will seem
different in the morning.

But it is morning. It's 3:00
in the morning, to be exact.

If you insist on setting the wheels
grinding, will you please wait here?

Spare me a minute, sir.
There's a Dr.John Holden outside, sir.

- The psychology chap?
- That's it, sir.

It's... It's a bit awkward.

It seems he's bewitched.

You know, broomsticks and all that.
Thinks he's being followed by something.

he's going to die tomorrow night.

- Does he say so?
- Well, not exactly, sir.

There's a young lady with him,
a Miss Harrington.

Apparently, her uncle
went through the same thing.

Thought he was being followed
by something or other.

Thought he was going to die
on a certain night at 10:00.

Did he?

That's the thing that's
got me puzzled, sir. He did.

You look angry.

Maybe that's because I am.

- With me, for bringing you here?
- No. At myself...

for not realizing
what their attitude was bound to be.

Look, Joanna,
let me tell you something about myself.

When I was a kid, I used to walk
down the street with the other kids.

When we'd come to a ladder,
they'd all walk around it.

I'd walk under it, just to see
if anything would happen.

Nothing ever did.
When they'd see a black cat...

they'd run the other way
to keep it from crossing their path.

But I didn't,
and all this ever did for me...

was make me wonder why...

Why people could get so panicky
over absolutely nothing at all.

I've made a career studying it...

maybe just to prove one thing...

That I'm not a superstitious sucker
like about 90 percent of humanity.

But what did you
run from in the woods?

It was a trick gadget that Karswell
had rigged up to frighten me away...

and I fell for the bait
like an idiot.

But he told you himself not
to go back through the trees.

That's good psychology.

The same as he used when he had
your sweet old Mrs. Karswell...

plant the story
about his being away.

Don't bother about him.

He thinks I'm crazy anyway.
I'm beginning to think so myself.

Allowing myself to be stampeded
like this into a state of hysteria...

I suppose you mean by me.

I didn't say you were
doing it deliberately.

But that's what you meant.
Good night, Dr. Holden.

When your partner comes out, tell him
it was just a bad Halloween joke.

I want to clear up everything today,
even if it means...

having the closing session

- Is that all right with you?
- Fine.

Hobart's been send down today
by ambulance under guard.

I want to get back to the States
as soon as possible.

I'll get it.
You finish your breakfast.

Who's calling?

It's Mrs. Karswell.

Tell her I cut my throat.
Anything. Get rid of her.

She's been calling all night.

Dr. Holden has just left
for the day. I'm sorry.

She's hung up.

Karswell's working
his mother overtime.

Let's go, shall we?

All of us here know that
through the use of hypnotism...

we can unlock certain sections
of the human mind...

that are not
accessible to memory.

A great deal of publicity
has been given lately...

A great deal of publicity
has been given lately...

to hypnotized persons
who supposedly recall...

an existence prior to birth.

In all cases,
we must ask ourselves...

"Do hypnotized people
always tell the truth?"

The subject of hypnotism
brings us to a presentation...

of the late Professor Harrington's
study and investigation...

of people who follow
witch cults...

and practice devil worship.

We're going to perform
an experiment on the platform...

with a Mr. Rand Hobart...

who, through an experience
related to devil worship...

has lost all contact with reality.

Professor O'Brien,
the platform is yours.

We have here
an extraordinary subject.

For a period of time,
this man has been as you see him here.

He fails to respond
to any normal stimulation.

His experience, whatever it was...

which we hope here to discover,
has left him...

in a state of absolute
catatonic immobility.

When I first investigated this case,
the problem of how to hypnotize...

an unresponsive person
was the major one.

Now, the proceedings may be somewhat
dramatic, but they are necessary.

The only way of bringing his mind
out of the womb of darkness...

into which it has retreated
to protect itself...

is by therapeutic shock...
Electrical or chemical.

For our purpose,
we are today using pentathol...

and later methyl amphetamine.

Hobart, look at this.

Look at this.
You see only this.

You see nothing else.
Only the light.

Only this.

You see only the light.

Look at this.

You see only this.

You see nothing else.

You see only this.

Your eyelids are getting heavy.


More and more tired.

You're going to sleep.


Calm, restful sleep.

Rest. Sleep.


You hear nothing but my voice.

Do you understand, Hobart?

You hear nothing but my voice.

The patient is now in a deep trance and
will obey the commands of Dr. Holden.

Methyl amphetamine.

- Do you wish to proceed?
- No, I'll turn him over to you.

- Do you wish to proceed?
- No, I'll turn him over to you.

Hobart, you'll next hear
the voice of Prof. O'Brien.

From that point on,
it will be his voice and his alone...

that you will hear and obey.

Do you understand that?


- Do you hear me?
- Yes.

Mine is the only voice you'll hear.
Is that clear?

Only you.

Hobart, what is the order
of the true believer?

Those of us
who believe that...

evil is good...

and good evil.

And who revealed this
to you, Hobart?


The one who has brought us
the wisdom...

of the true belief.

- Julian Karswell?
- Yes.

Now, I want you to come
forward in time.

It is the night of the demon.

You must.

It is the night of the demon.

No! It's there.

I see it in the trees...

the smoke and the fire.

My time allowed
is almost over.

Hobart, what do you mean,
"your time allowed"?

He's not in rapport with you.
Want me to turn him over?

- Yes, please.
- Hobart...

from now on, the only voice you'll hear
is that of Dr. Holden.

Do you understand?

What do you mean by
"your time allowed"?

To prepare for my death.

Why must you die?

I've been chosen.

How will you die?

The parchment was passed to me.

I took it without knowing.

Hobart, open your eyes.

Is this the parchment?

I passed it back to the brother
who gave it to me.

It was the only way.
I had to return it to him.

I didn't want to, but it was
the only way I could save myself.

To save yourself, you had to give it
back to the one who gave it to you?

Yes. Yes.
I had to.

And the demon took him.

Not me! Not me!

You're trying to pass it
to me again.

But I won't take it.

I won't!

Let it escape!
Let it escape!

It was born in fire!

Let it die in fire!

Oh, this is terrible.

Really terrible.

Could you get me a car
to take me to Lufford Hall?

You can use mine.
But why should you want to go there?

I have something to return
to Mr. Karswell. Give me the key.


Dr. Holden. Wait.

- I do not believe he's there.
- How do you know?

Mrs. Karswell told me
earlier on the telephone.

Knowing your attitude, I told her you
would not be interested. Are you?

- Yes, I am.
- She kept saying all evil must end...

but how could it?

- Go on.
- I hardly understood her...

but it seems that her son is taking
the 8:45 train to Southampton tonight.

- Would you know why?
- The 8:45.

Has the Southampton train
come through yet?

- She's in the station now.
- Give me one ticket, please.

Good evening, Dr. Holden.

My boy.
I've been expecting you.

First-stage hypnosis.

Oh, just a convenient way of stopping
idle chatter on the train.

She's not harmed.
I'll bring her out of it.

Now, wake.

There's a friend here.
Talk to him.

- John.
- This is abduction, you know.

Oh, dear me,
no, no, no.

She came quite willingly.

You came willingly,
didn't you?

You remember.
We discussed it...

oh, at great length.

John, he's frightened...
Terrified of you.

I thought it was supposed
to be the other way around.

- He's trying to run away from you.
- You see why I let her sleep?

This idle chatter.

Karswell, I know now...

that you were right
and I was wrong.


But there is a way out for me.
You always said so.

- Here.
- What's this?

Read it.

You want me to admit your power.
You can send this to any newspaper...

and photostatic copies
to all your followers.

- Isn't that what you want?
- Yes, but it's too late now.

It's six minutes to 10:00.

Well, I guess it was my fault
for not listening to Joanna.

I'm sorry now
that I didn't listen.

And I want to thank you
for convincing me...

of the existence of a world
I never thought possible.

Oh, if only
you'd understood sooner.

I suppose...

I still have time
for a last cigarette.

No, thank you.
I've stopped smoking.

It must have been quite recently.

- Have you got a match?
- Yes, of course.

Thank you.

That's all right. You keep them.
I shan't need them anymore.

You're very generous.

Well, I'll leave you two alone.

I know there's a certain feeling between
you, and you might want to be alone.

Sit down. Your generosity is becoming
overwhelming as it gets closer to 10:00.

You're staying with me, Karswell.

You've sold your bill of goods too well,
because I believe you now.

I believe that in five minutes...

something monstrous and horrible
is going to happen.

And when it does,
you're going to be here...

so that whatever happens to me
will happen to you.

You're insane.
You can't do this.

You're staying here, Karswell.

- You're staying right here.
- No!

Let him go, Holden!

- This man's insane. I must go.
- It's all right, Doctor.

We're the police,
as Holden knows.

We've had you under observation
at his request.

- Fortunately for you, as you can see.
- Yes, I see. Thank you.

It's obvious that Holden has got a bit
of a persecution complex about you.

Something about your
putting a hex on him.

That's ridiculous. If you'll excuse me,
I'm getting out of this station.

Johnny, he's lying. He bought a ticket
to Southampton. I saw it myself.

This is idiotic.
I can leave this train when I want.

- Excuse me.
- Here's your book.

It's not mine.
I found it here when I got on the train.

- Your bag, sir?
- My bag... Oh, yes.

- Yes, of course.
- These are his too.

You want your hat and coat,
don't you, sir?

Oh, yes. Very forgetful of me.
Thank you very much.

You passed them.

You slipped them in my pocket.

- It's two minutes of 10:00.
- Come on.

- What was that?
- Come on.

- There's a man on the track!
- What happened?

I don't know, but I think
the train's hit him.

Maybe it's better not to know.

The train must have
hit him and dragged him.

I thought he was on
the other side, sir.

Don't be ridiculous, Simmons.
Look at him.

The train must have hit him.

You're right.
Maybe it's better not to know.