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* WickedWitch: Granny Rigg fills many of the requirements - keeps a cat, elderly woman, no husband or children in sight, has plenty of herbal remedies and potions and curses children. [[spoiler: However Stephanie is the coven head - and Granny Rigg draws the line at sacrificing her own granddaughter]].

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* WickedWitch: Granny Rigg fills many of the requirements - keeps a cat, elderly woman, no husband or children in sight, has plenty of herbal remedies and potions and curses children. [[spoiler: However Stephanie is the coven head - and Granny Rigg draws the line at sacrificing her own granddaughter]].granddaughter]].
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* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: Inspired by the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Walton_(murder_victim) Charles Walton murder]] of 1945 - where a man in a countryside hamlet was found murdered in what looked like a ritual sacrifice. The un-cooporative locals lead to rumors that he had run afoul of a coven of witches (conflicting rumors said he himself was a witch).


* WickedWitch: Granny Rigg fills many of the requirements - keeps a cat, elderly woman, no husband or children in sight, has plenty of herbal remedies and potions and curses children. [[spoiler: However Stephanie is the coven head - and Granny Rigg draws the line at sacrificing her own granddaughter]].
* WomanInWhite: [[spoiler: Linda is to be sacrificed wearing a white gown]]. Gwen also wears a white robe for the ritual too.

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* WhiteShirtOfDeath: [[spoiler: Linda is to be sacrificed wearing a white gown]]. Gwen also wears a white robe for the ritual too.
* WickedWitch: Granny Rigg fills many of the requirements - keeps a cat, elderly woman, no husband or children in sight, has plenty of herbal remedies and potions and curses children. [[spoiler: However Stephanie is the coven head - and Granny Rigg draws the line at sacrificing her own granddaughter]].
* WomanInWhite: [[spoiler: Linda is to be sacrificed wearing a white gown]]. Gwen also wears a white robe for the ritual too.
granddaughter]].

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* AluminumChristmasTrees: Ms Mayfield's class at school is very small, and includes students as old as fifteen. In small towns it's not uncommon for there to be one teacher taking several grades at once in the same room.


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* GoodShepherd: Alan wants to be seen as this, and wears the clothing of a minister to put people at ease.


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* TwoTeacherSchool: The Heddaby school appears to just have two teachers - one for the junior classes and one for the senior classes.


* CerebusRetcon:
** When Gwen and Stephanie first meet and talk about the latter's articles, Stephanie is pleased when Gwen says she sometimes disagrees "violently" with her opinions. [[spoiler: Gwen later violently disagrees with Stephanie's plan to sacrifice Linda]].
** Linda's first scene has Gwen joking that she's "a bit big" to be playing with dolls. [[spoiler: It turns out Linda is just the right age to be a sacrifice]].



* DenserAndWackier: The film goes there in is third act with a truly bizarre black magic ritual.

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* DenserAndWackier: The film goes there in is third act with a truly bizarre black magic ritual. The film itself was actually an inverse going from script to screen - where the first draft was a dark satire and the finished piece is a straight horror film.



* EvenEvilHasLovedOnes: [[spoiler: Stephanie is willing to sacrifice an innocent girl but she seems to have some affection for her brother, and her friendship towards Ms Mayfield is sincere]].

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* EvenEvilHasLovedOnes: EvenEvilHasLovedOnes:
**
[[spoiler: Stephanie is willing to sacrifice an innocent girl but she seems to have some affection for her brother, and her friendship towards Ms Mayfield is sincere]].sincere]].
** [[spoiler: Granny Rigg has used her magic to torture members of the Dowsett family, but she cares deeply for Linda]].



* EvilCannotComprehendGood: [[spoiler: Stephanie never considered Gwen sabotaging the ritual purely to save Linda]].



* GrandTheftMe: [[spoiler: Stephanie's plan is to kill Linda and take control of her body]].



* ImpliedLoveInterest: Both of the Bax siblings share this with Gwen, even though there is no actual romantic attraction between them.
** Alan has several intimate scenes with Gwen, and she appeals to him in ways that a lover would. In some scenes it almost comes across as a LoveTriangle with Stephanie as the third person.
** Stephanie is Gwen's confidant, and helps her whenever she has fears or worries about the happenings in town.



* NiceHat: [[spoiler: Stephanie]] has a ceremonial hat with antlers that have candles on the end of them.



* WomanInWhite: [[spoiler: Linda is to be sacrificed wearing a white gown]].

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* WomanInWhite: [[spoiler: Linda is to be sacrificed wearing a white gown]]. Gwen also wears a white robe for the ritual too.


* ChekhovsGun: "Not a single drop of blood be spilled." [[spoiler: Ms Mayfield cuts Stephanie and causes her to bleed, rendering the ritual useless]].

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* ChekhovsGun: "Not a single drop of blood be spilled." [[spoiler: Ms Mayfield cuts Stephanie her own arm and causes her to bleed, wipes the blood on Stephanie's robe, rendering the ritual useless]].


* GenreSavvy: Ms Mayfield figures out quite early that the reason they want to keep Linda and Ronnie apart is [[spoiler: to keep Linda a virgin]]. She turns out to be quite right.

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* ActorAllusion: Creator/JoanFontaine escaping an abusive situation to find solace in a teaching job? [[Film/JaneEyre Hmm...]]


* AmbiguouslyGay: The coding is there for Stephanie, who is [[OldMaid an unmarried older woman]] that lives with her brother, with a short haircut and a very dull, masculine wardrobe compared to Ms Mayfield. She's also very devoted to the latter, insisting on a FirstNameBasis and acting very affectionately towards her. [[spoiler: Her desire for Ms Mayfield to help her in the ritual sounds rather like a lover wanting their partner's approval]].



* ChekhovsSkill: Ms Mayfield's knowledge of Latin [[spoiler: helps her understand how to stop the ritual]].



* DissonantSerenity: The locals' attitudes to [[spoiler: Mr Dowsett being drowned]], which is what tips Ms Mayfield off to their behaviour.



* EvenEvilHasLovedOnes: [[spoiler: Stephanie is willing to sacrifice an innocent girl but she seems to have some affection for her brother, and her friendship towards Ms Mayfield is sincere]].



* IndyPloy: Ms Mayfield escapes [[spoiler: the mental hospital by hitching a lift with a delivery man, pretending to be trying to get a piece of equipment repaired]].



* KarmaHoudini: It's unknown what happened to the rest of the witches who made Ronnie ill and [[spoiler: killed Mr Dowsett. But since they were acting under Stephanie's orders, it's possible Ms Mayfield gives them the benefit of the doubt]].

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* KarmaHoudini: It's unknown what happened to the rest of the witches who made Ronnie ill and [[spoiler: killed Mr Dowsett. But since they were acting under Stephanie's orders, it's possible Ms Mayfield gives them the benefit of the doubt]]. Likewise [[spoiler: Granny Rigg is never punished for having made Mrs Dowsett ill the previous year]].



* OminousLatinChanting: Part of the ritual includes [[spoiler: Stephanie]] chanting in Latin.



* WickedWitch: Granny Rigg fills many of the requirements - keeps a cat, elderly woman, no husband or children in sight, has plenty of herbal remedies and potions and curses children. [[spoiler: However Stephanie is the coven head - and Granny Rigg draws the line at sacrificing her own granddaughter]].

to:

* WickedWitch: Granny Rigg fills many of the requirements - keeps a cat, elderly woman, no husband or children in sight, has plenty of herbal remedies and potions and curses children. [[spoiler: However Stephanie is the coven head - and Granny Rigg draws the line at sacrificing her own granddaughter]].granddaughter]].
* WomanInWhite: [[spoiler: Linda is to be sacrificed wearing a white gown]].


* BaitTheDog: [[spoiler: Stephanie spends the first two acts as a seemingly kind and friendly person who is Ms Mayfield's confidant. Then it turns out she's the head of the coven, willing to make a teenage boy slip into a coma, drown an innocent man and sacrifice a young girl]].



* CostumePorn: Ms Mayfield is dressed in the high fashion of the 60s in nearly every scene. The DVD even has a feature dedicated to her wardrobe, titled 'Hammer Glamour'.



* DenserAndWackier: The film goes there in is third act with a truly bizarre black magic ritual.



* GossipyHens: They're the antagonists of the film.



* HystericalWoman: The film actually deconstructs this, with Ms Mayfield being looked down on by several characters due to her nervous breakdown in Africa. The witches' plans seem to be to get her to think she's going mad so no one will believe her.



* NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent: Martin Stephens plays Heddaby local Ronnie Dowsett but inexplicably has a well-spoken RP dialect. This is in heavy contrast to his parents, who have regional accents.



* OohMeAccentsSlipping: A large portion of the cast are attempting West Country accents but their RP voices slip through on occasions.



* RewatchBonus: Astute viewers will notice that Gwen doesn't start having her hallucinations until after [[spoiler: she has talked with Stephanie about witches]].

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* RewatchBonus: RewatchBonus:
**
Astute viewers will notice that Gwen doesn't start having her hallucinations until after [[spoiler: she has talked with Stephanie about witches]].witches]].
** They'll also notice that when Ms Mayfield first starts talking about witchcraft [[spoiler: Stephanie says she's studied it and then insists the psychology behind it, which sounds a bit like InsistentTerminology or a SuspiciouslySpecificDenial]].


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* UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom: Ronnie Dowsett is simply going around with a girl he has a crush on. The locals' suspicious attitudes are what lead to Ms Mayfield uncovering the plot.

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* RewatchBonus: Astute viewers will notice that Gwen doesn't start having her hallucinations until after [[spoiler: she has talked with Stephanie about witches]].


''The Witches'' is a 1966 Film/HammerHorror film, featuring Creator/JoanFontaine in her final role. She plays Gwen Mayfield, a former missionary in Africa - who was driven out by the native witch doctors. After she has recovered from her breakdown, she's asked to act as the headmistress for a school in Heddaby - a quaint little town in the countryside. Ms Mayfield is happy with the town at first...until she notices some curious behaviour from a lot of the locals. Particularly towards one of her students - 14-year-old Linda Rigg. Ms Mayfield is determined to find out the mystery of the town - even if it means confronting some sinister inner demons.

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''The Witches'' is a 1966 Film/HammerHorror film, featuring Creator/JoanFontaine in her final cinematic role. She plays Gwen Mayfield, a former missionary in Africa - who was driven out by the native witch doctors. After she has recovered from her breakdown, she's asked to act as the headmistress for a school in Heddaby - a quaint little town in the countryside. Ms Mayfield is happy with the town at first...until she notices some curious behaviour from a lot of the locals. Particularly towards one of her students - 14-year-old Linda Rigg. Ms Mayfield is determined to find out the mystery of the town - even if it means confronting some sinister inner demons.
demons. Also stars Kay Walsh as Stephanie Bax and British horror regular Martin Stephens in a small role as Ronnie Dowsett.



* {{Foreshadowing}}: Alan offers to pay for Ronnie to go to a boarding school to catch up with his coursework. He seems very keen to get Ronnie out of town without any trouble...



* HollywoodSatanism: Oh boy yeah.



* MissingMom: Dialogue from Granny Rigg implies that Linda's mother had her illegitimately and that's why she isn't around.



* PowerHair: Stephanie as a powerful career woman has her hair like this.



** [[spoiler: Dr Wallace]] seems as if he could be part of the conspiracy too. However [[spoiler: he apparently is innocent]].

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** [[spoiler: Dr Wallace]] Wallis]] seems as if he could be part of the conspiracy too. However [[spoiler: he apparently is innocent]].


[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_witches_poster.jpg]]



Not to be confused with the [[Literature/TheWitches Roald Dahl novel of the same name]]. Or its film adaptation.

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Not to be confused with the [[Literature/TheWitches Roald Dahl novel of the same name]]. Or its film adaptation.
adaptation. Or ''The Witch's Hammer''.


''The Witches'' is a 1966 Film/HammerHorror film, featuring Joan Fontaine in her final role. She plays Gwen Mayfield, a former missionary in Africa - who was driven out by the native witch doctors. After she has recovered from her breakdown, she's asked to act as the headmistress for a school in Heddaby - a quaint little town in the countryside. Ms Mayfield is happy with the town at first...until she notices some curious behaviour from a lot of the locals. Particularly towards one of her students - 14-year-old Linda Rigg. Ms Mayfield is determined to find out the mystery of the town - even if it means confronting some sinister inner demons.

to:

''The Witches'' is a 1966 Film/HammerHorror film, featuring Joan Fontaine Creator/JoanFontaine in her final role. She plays Gwen Mayfield, a former missionary in Africa - who was driven out by the native witch doctors. After she has recovered from her breakdown, she's asked to act as the headmistress for a school in Heddaby - a quaint little town in the countryside. Ms Mayfield is happy with the town at first...until she notices some curious behaviour from a lot of the locals. Particularly towards one of her students - 14-year-old Linda Rigg. Ms Mayfield is determined to find out the mystery of the town - even if it means confronting some sinister inner demons.


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!! Give me a trope for dancing in...:

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!! Give me a trope skin for dancing troping in...:



* {{Arcadia}}: Heddaby appears to be this. It isn't. [[spoiler: But possibly by the end]].



** [[spoiler: Stephanie Backs]] is a curious spin on the trope. [[spoiler: While revealed to be the coven head, her friendship towards Gwen is genuine and she still wants her to join them]].

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** [[spoiler: Stephanie Backs]] Bax]] is a curious spin on the trope. [[spoiler: While revealed to be the coven head, her friendship towards Gwen is genuine and she still wants her to join them]].



* CatsAreMagic: Granny Rigg owns a cat that is used in some kind of ritual towards the end.

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* CatsAreMagic: Granny Rigg owns a cat that is used in some kind of ritual towards seems to be able to understand her commands. It's implied the end.cat is watching Ms Mayfield at her instruction.



* KarmaHoudini: It's unknown what happened to the rest of the witches who made Ronnie ill and [[spoiler: killed Mr Dowsett. But since they were acting under Stephanie's orders, it's possible Ms Mayfield gives them the benefit of the doubt]].



* NoOntologicalInertia: [[spoiler: After Ms Mayfield ruins the ritual, Stephanie just dies]].



* RedHerring: Double subverted. [[spoiler: Granny Rigg ''is'' a witch and responsible for making Ronnie ill. However it is Stephanie that is the head witch]].

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* RedHerring: RedHerring:
**
Double subverted. [[spoiler: Granny Rigg ''is'' a witch and responsible for making Ronnie ill. However it is Stephanie that is the head witch]].witch]].
** [[spoiler: Dr Wallace]] seems as if he could be part of the conspiracy too. However [[spoiler: he apparently is innocent]].
** The various African totems that the witch doctors used to scare Ms Mayfield away keep popping up, raising the possibility that they could also be involved. [[spoiler: It turns out it's just Stephanie screwing with her]].


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* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: By the end of the film [[spoiler: Ronnie Dowsett and his mother have moved out of town, with no mention of them hearing about Mr Dowsett's death]].

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