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|Dana Andrews||Dr. John Holden|
|Peggy Cummins||Joanna Harrington|
|Niall MacGinnis||Dr. Julian Karswell|
|Maurice Denham||Professor Henry Harrington|
|Athene Seyler||Mrs. Karswell|
|Liam Redmond||Professor Mark O'Brien|
|Reginald Beckwith||Mr. Meek|
|Ewan Roberts||Lloyd Williamson|
|Peter Elliott||Professor K.T. Kumar|
|Rosamund Greenwood||Mrs. Meek|
|Brian Wilde||Rand Hobart|
|Richard Leech||Inspector Mottrarn|
|Lloyd Lamble||Detective Simmons|
|Charles Lloyd Pack||Chemist|
|Janet Barrow||Mrs. Hobart (deleted from US print)|
|Percy Herbert||Farmer (deleted from US print)|
|Lynn Tracy||Air Hostess (deleted from US print)|
In England, Professor Harrington (Maurice Denham) approaches Dr. Julian Karswell (Niall MacGinnis), the leader of a satanic cult, promising to call off an investigation of the cult if Karswell will call off "what he has started". After learning that a parchment given to Harrington has disintegrated, and seeing by the clock it is already too late, Karswell says that he will do all that he can and ushers Harrington out. After Harrington arrives at his home, a demon materialises in the woods and approaches. Fleeing in his car, Harrington crashes into a telegraph pole, which apparently causes falling power lines to electrocute him.
Dr. John Holden (Dana Andrews) arrives in England to attend a convention where Harrington had intended to expose Karswell's cult. Holden is informed of Harrington's death and that the only link between it and Karswell's cult is an accused murderer, Rand Hobart (Brian Wilde), who has fallen into a catatonic stupor. While Harrington's collaborators consider the possibility of supernatural forces, Holden rejects the idea as superstition.
Following Harrington's notes, Holden visits the British Museum's library to examine books on witchcraft. A book Harrington requests is discovered to be missing. He is approached by Karswell, who offers to show Holden his own copy at his mansion. At Harrington's funeral, Holden meets the dead man's niece, Joanna (Peggy Cummins), who provides him with Harrington's diary. The diary reveals Harrington's increasing fear of Karswell's power. Holden remains sceptical, but goes with Joanna to Karswell's mansion the next day.