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Woman Who Came Back (1945)

Approved | | Horror, Mystery | 13 December 1945 (USA)
After a bus accident, a woman comes to believe that she's actually a 300-year-old witch.



(screenplay) (as Dennis Cooper), (story) | 2 more credits »

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Ruth Ford ...
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An old woman flags down a bus in woods near Eden Rock, Massachusetts. She sits next to Lorna Webster, who's coming home after being away two years. The old woman calls Lorna by name, prattles on about events in the village 300 years ago when women were burned at the stake for witchcraft at trials convened by Lorna's ancestor, and the bus veers off the road into a lake. Only Lorna survives; the woman is missing. In town, Lorna's former fiancé, Matt Adams, is the only person glad to see her. Strange things begin to happen, and Lorna and many villagers begin to think she's possessed. Is she? Will fears drive Lorna mad and the town to a frenzy? Is an old prophecy about to be fulfilled? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Plot Keywords:

bus | old woman | village | lake | fear | See All (44) »


Hate-filled eyes...Accusing fingers...Whispered words...All repeated this dread phrase..."LORNA WEBSTER IS A WITCH!"


Horror | Mystery






Release Date:

13 December 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Woman Who Came Back  »

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1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

A nifty, Poverty Row Lewtonian thriller!
11 February 2000 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

THE WOMAN WHO CAME BACK stars Nancy Kelly (THE BAD SEED) as Lorna Webster, direct descendent of the 17th Century magistrate responsible for "sending eighteen women to their fiery deaths," in the infamous Massachusetts town of Eben Rock. Coming back by bus, Lorna shares her seat with a black-veiled hag (THE OLD DARK HOUSE's Elspeth Dudgeon) who claims to be Jezebel Trister, Judge Elijah Webster's most famous victim. When the bus plunges into Shadow Lake, Lorna is the sole survivor - with the body of the strange woman nowhere to be found. So begins a series of strange encounters that threaten to plunge modern Eben Rock back into the dark ages.

THE WOMAN WHO CAME BACK is a neat little Lewtonian drama about Old Country superstitions festering in the New World. Eben Rock is a town unable to rest comfortably on its own foundations (the Webster family tree hangs heavy with the kind of scoundrels that found nations), making less a story about the supernatural than of how superstition drives the sensitive and marginal away from reason and true faith (embodied here by the friendship between John Loder's town doctor and Otto Kruger's sage minister).

Although THE WOMAN WHO CAME BACK seems influenced by the psychological horror films being produced by Val Lewton at RKO around the same time, the film also anticipates a key bit of business in the later CARNIVAL OF SOULS (the survivor of an aquatic auto accident later coming to doubt her sanity). Highly recommended.

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