Joan Fontaine Meets “The Witches” In a Hammer Horror Favorite

Does witchcraft exist today?

That question was posed to audiences in 1966 on the movie poster for the Hammer Horror release The Witches.(Released in the United States as The Devil’s Own). Not to be confused with the Roald Dahl-inspired movie of the same name, this film stars Joan Fontaine as Gwen Mayfield — a former missionary who had a bizarre and life-altering experience with witch doctors while stationed in Africa. Determined to move on following the disturbing encounter, she returns to her native England and is happy to take job as a headmistress at a private school. Her dream job quickly becomes a nightmare however when she discovers that her new workplace is actually a cover for a coven of witches who are using the institution’s students for their own evil purposes.

Packed with the atmosphere and chills that Hammer Films made their trademark, The Witches is a stylish, scare-packed affair. A recent special edition Blu-ray of the film includes the following special features:

– Audio Commentary With Filmmaker/Historian Ted Newsom
– Hammer Glamour – A Featurette On The Women Of Hammer
– U.S. Trailer for The Devil’s Own
– Double Feature Trailer for Prehistoric Women and The Devil’s Own
– Still Gallery

Here’s the film’s trailer:

The Witches is now available…and waiting to cast its spell on you!


This article originally ran earlier this year and is being reprinted as part of our 31 Days of Halloween celebrations!