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Night of the Demon


Added Wed, 20/04/2022
Release date
Original title
Night of the Demon

"Night of the Demon" is a British horror film released in 1957. It is an adaptation of the short story by M. R. James "Casting the Runes" (with elements borrowed from the short story "A School Story").

It's interesting 

In the 1957 British horror film "Night of the Demon", the prototype of the black magician Julian Carswell became the famous occultist Aleister Crowley in the XX century

In England, Professor Harrington pleads with his rival, Dr. Julian Carswell, to lift the curse that he put on Harrington. In return, Harrington promises to stop investigating Karswell's witchcraft activities. After learning that the parchment he gave to Harrington has been destroyed, Karswell promises to do everything in his power. When Harrington drives up to the house, he notices a giant demon above the trees, crashes into power lines and is killed by an electric shock.

Dr. John Holden arrives in the UK to attend a convention at which Harrington intended to expose Carswell. He is informed that the only link between Harrington's death and Carswell is the suspect in the murder of another man, Rand Hobart, who fell into a catatonic stupor. While Harrington's staff are considering the possibility of supernatural forces, Holden rejects such an option.

Holden meets Carswell in the reading room of the British Museum. He calls to stop the exposure and threatens the professor, while imperceptibly placing a parchment with runic inscriptions on it. At Harrington's funeral, Holden meets the deceased's niece Joanna. She gives him Harrington's diary, in which her uncle details his fear of Karswell's supernatural powers. Holden is still skeptical, but the next day he goes with Joanna to the Karswell mansion. Suddenly, a strong hurricane begins, and Karswell claims that he caused the bad weather with a spell. Holden takes this information skeptically and makes fun of him, after which Carswell declares that Holden will die in three days.

Holden visits Hobart's family to get permission to hypnotize him and learn about the death he is accused of. The mother agrees and says that their family is very religious. When Holden is about to leave, a parchment planted by Carswell falls out of his wallet. Seeing this, Hobart's family gets scared and declares Holden "the chosen one". Later, Holden compares the runes on the parchment with the signs inscribed on one of the stones at Stonehenge.

Joanna brings Holden to a seance, where they were invited by Carswell's mother. The medium claims to be possessed by the spirit of Harrington, and says that Carswell has the key to the cipher of the witchbook, from which he drew his knowledge of the supernatural. Holden leaves, deeming the session nonsense, but Joanna says that she intends to find this key, and they go together to the Karswell mansion. Holden sneaks into the house while the girl is waiting outside. Inside, he is attacked by a cat, which suddenly turns into a panther. Holden is saved from the predator by Karswell, who says that he was waiting for him and specially left the witch guard. Holden leaves and, contrary to Carswell's warning, walks through the woods. There, for the first time, he sees a cloud of smoke and fire chasing him – a demon appeared from the same cloud, which caused Harrington's death.

Under hypnosis, Hobart informs Holden that according to the faith held by his family, he was "chosen" to die, since it was he who was given the runic parchment. But he was cowardly and escaped death by handing the parchment to another person. When Holden shows Hobart a piece of paper covered with runes that he received from Karswell, he recognizes it and decides that the professor is trying to give it to him. Hobart becomes hysterical and jumps out of the window, crashing to his death.

Holden finds out that Carswell is going by train to Southampton, and follows him. Already on the train, he discovers that Karswell has kidnapped and hypnotized Joanna. The time of Holden's death predicted by Carswell is approaching. The train stops at the station and Carswell tries to leave. Holden manages to slip the parchment into his coat pocket, and when Carswell discovers it, it flies out of his hand and the wind drives him along the tracks. Karswell runs along the rails, but when he finally catches up with the parchment, it ignites. A huge demon appears from the clouds of smoke and fire and attacks Karswell. Soon his corpse is found near the tracks, and the police decide that he was hit by a train. Holden, instead of examining the body, leaves with Joanna.

Phenomena in artwork: Witchcraft

The antagonist of the film, Julian Carswell, is a sorcerer who learned black and white magic from an ancient book. The book is written in an unknown language, and only he was able to decipher it.

A sorcerer can control the weather (cause a sudden storm), create inscriptions on paper that disappear without a trace and impose curses on people. He also knows how to create "guarding spells", which, in the case of outsiders entering the room, turn the cat into an aggressive leopard.

The sorcerer dies, becoming a victim of his own curse.

Phenomena in artwork: The evil eye, curses and corruption

The sorcerer Julian Carswell casts curses on his enemies, imperceptibly placing a parchment with an unknown runic inscription on it (one of the victims later discovers the same inscription on a stone at Stonehenge). The parchment tends to escape from the hands of the damned and fly away into the nearest fire. After the parchment burns, the curse can no longer be removed.

After the curse is cast, the date of the victim's death can be predicted to the minute. The damned soon begins to feel a sudden cold, to hear footsteps-like sounds and a mysterious melody (which, according to scientists, is used in witchcraft rites of different countries), to experience a visual disorder. A demon starts chasing him, leaving smoking footprints on the ground. If the curse is not removed, then at the hour specified by the sorcerer, the demon tears the victim to shreds.

You can remove the curse only by handing over a parchment with runes to another (and for this you need to not let it fly away and burn in the fire). In this case, at the appointed hour, the demon comes to the new owner of the parchment and kills him.

Phenomena in artwork: Wandering Fire

In the night forest, the victim of the curse is pursued by a fireball, which later begins to turn into a portal from which a demon appears.

Phenomena in artwork: Spirits

The demon pursues the victim of the curse and seeks to tear him to shreds. It has a huge stature, webbed wings, long sharp horns, clawed four-toed paws and a muzzle similar to a pig's snout. He is very strong, easily lifts an adult into the air.

The demon appears from a kind of portal in bright light and clouds of smoke. It is not completely material, the objects surrounding it are visible through it. Even before its appearance, it leaves smoking traces on the soil.

The demon appears strictly at the time indicated by the sorcerer and attacks the victim of the curse. After the murder, he disappears.

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