Susy Benner decided to perfect her ballet studies in the most famous school of dance in Europe.
She chose the celebrated academy of Freiburg.
One day at nine in the morning she left the airport of New York and arrived in Germany at 10:40 p.m. local time.
Can you give me a hand?
Where? Escher Strassa.
What? Escher Strassa.
Has it rained this hard for long?
Half an hour.
Can you wait a minute please?
The secret! I saw beyond the door!
Three irises... turn the blue one!
Who is it? Susy Benner.
I just got in from New York. I don't know you.
I have the letter you sent me. It's raining hard. Let me in.
Go away! You don't understand.
Wait! Wait a minute.
Hello? Anybody there?
If you're happy with the couch, you can stay as long as you please.
Thanks, but I'm leaving in the morning. I'm going away forever.
Big deal! So what if you've been thrown out of school.
I always got kicked out of school, beginning from kindergarten.
That's not it. I don't give a damn about being kicked out.
It's useless to explain. You wouldn't understand.
It all seems so absurd, so fantastic. All I can do is get away from here.
As soon as possible.
Would you mind if I used the bathroom? I'd like to dry off.
No, of course not. Go ahead.
Hey! Why don't you close it?
It was just the wind.
You sure are in bad shape.
Tell me all about it. The wind. The windows burst open.
I got scared. No, that's not it.
What is it that got you so upset?
You can tell me about it later.
Let me in! Pat!
Help me! Help me!
Help me! Help! There's a murderer!
There's a murderer!
Good morning. Good morning, Daniel. Good morning, Miss Tanner.
Good morning. May I help you? Yes. I am Susy Benner.
We expected you yesterday evening.
I arrived last night about ten o'clock, but the door was locked.
Somebody said they didn't know who I was and didn't let me in.
Who said that to you? She didn't say her name.
I'm sorry. At any rate, you are here, so welcome to our academy.
I'm Miss Tanner, an instructor. Nice to meet you.
Come. I'd like to introduce you to Madame Blanc, our vice-directress.
She was a famous ballerina.
Madame Blanc? Yes?
Susy Benner, our new student.
Excuse me, gentlemen. Of course.
You're pretty, very pretty indeed.
They're policemen. I knew a woman called Benner years ago in New York.
Carol Benner. She's my aunt.
Good. A marvelous woman. A friend and benefactress of artists.
I'm delighted to have her niece here.
I offer you our academy's welcome in the name of our directress.
Unfortunately, she is abroad. Thanks.
Albert, please wait for me upstairs.
He's my nephew. I'm very attached to him.
I'll tell you everything quickly because the gentlemen are waiting.
Something terrible happened. One of our students, Pat Hingle, expelled yesterday for improper conduct, was murdered last night.
A frightening story. But I always warn our students, don't I?
I tell them not to get involved in questionable friendships.
Your room here isn't free.
Just a slight wait. But don't worry.
We found you a place with one of our students who lives in town.
You'll pay 50 dollars a week but you can deduct it from your fee here.
I'll entrust you to Miss Tanner, one of our veteran teachers here.
Don't be upset if she seems stern. She's even that way with me.
She really is an invaluable teacher.
Come with me.
Our courses last 3 years. You must pass an exam at the end of each year.
So, the girl left the school about 11 o'clock in the evening.
That's my information. Excuse me.
When I got here last night about 11 I saw a girl leaving the school.
She's a new student. She just arrived. What did she look like?
She had blonde hair and was wearing a brown raincoat.
What did she do? I just saw her for a minute.
See? It was eleven o'clock.
We don't teach you to dance here. Our students already know how.
This academy is dedicated to specializing.
This is Pablos, our general handyman.
He's ugly. Don't be afraid to say so. He only speaks Rumanian.
He has gotten very handsome ever since he got those false teeth.
Last year he discovered he had gingivitis of the gums.
So he had all his teeth pulled.
The upper ones one morning, the bottom ones a day later. Bang!
Where are we going? To the locker room.
You can use the pool when you want.
Miss Tanner, I have something to tell you.
Squak, squak, Polly parrot!
Who said that? Enough of these little games!
I want to introduce Susy Benner, our new student.
You'll find fellow Americans among the girls. Miriam, for one.
Your locker is over there. You'll find everything, except shoes.
For today, borrow them from someone who has two pairs.
Hurry up. I'll be waiting for you in the red room.
Come with me.
Squak, squak, squak! Mata Hari is going to file her report.
My name is Olga, and you're my tenant.
Hi. Nice to meet you.
They tell me you have to give me 50 dollars a week.
In advance. Don't worry. If you think...
Don't get hot under the collar. That's how people are here.
Can anyone lend me shoes? Yes, me.
You can buy them for 30 Marks. No, thanks.
I have some in my suitcase. I just need a pair for today.
But if you'd rather not...
No, okay. Take them, but give them back, huh?
Excuse me. It doesn't matter.
The talk about money bothers you? I'm not used to it.
Same with me at first, then I found out it was a habit here.
I once read that names which begin with the letter "S" are the names of snakes!
Next year after I finish the course, I've got an offer from the state school of ballet of Geneva. And you?
I'll go back to the States, but I'm not sure what I will do.
Thanks. My room is really pretty. Like it?
That makes me happy. We'll do nicely together. You are sweet.
Even if I've the name of a snake? I was kidding.
You're not touchy like Sara, huh? No.
Hi. No, you did the right thing.
You didn't have to bring them. I could've picked them up myself.
I thought you might be needing them.
Yes, but it wasn't necessary.
Thanks a lot. It's nothing.
Want to stay for a while? No, thanks. I can't.
I live at the school and have to be back for supper in a half hour.
Just for a minute? No. I have to be going.
They get very upset if you show up late for supper.
Okay, see you. Well, ciao.
See you tomorrow.
No, go on.
You caught one.
Yes, I can hear you very well. Did you see how he was blushing?
He's cute, but doesn't have any... Never has money for room and board.
That's why that bitch Tanner gives him a thousand errands to do.
Sure. I got it... okay.
Call me back tomorrow evening. Give me a chance to think it over.
Anyway, he is cute.
Poor Pat. She liked him a lot. Poor kid. Ending up like that.
I can't even think about it.
You saw her yesterday evening? Outside the school.
She was acting very strange.
Mumbling to herself.
She felt terrible when they kicked her out, but she deserved it.
There was so much noise. God, was she difficult.
She said things that made no sense.
She was always arguing, causing trouble.
I remember she mentioned the word "secret".
Then she mentioned a flower. Iris, I think, or lilac.
What's that supposed to mean? I don't know.
She was a busy-body. It was easy for her to find out if one of us was in a jam.
How do you like it at Olga's? It's nice.
Those 8 on the list this morning come with me to the yellow room.
Good morning, Miss Tanner.
Susy. Good morning, Madame.
I've got good news for you. We have your room ready.
You can move today if you like. I'd rather stay at Olga's.
It doesn't matter, but your letter said you would board at the school.
I know, but... The room is free now.
I didn't think it was so important.
As you wish. If that's what you wish, so be it.
I had no idea you were so strong willed.
I see that when you make up your mind, nothing will change it.
And then, towards the end of the 19th Century, the technique of classical ballet assumed a different, more stylized impostation.
Alright. Let's warm up. What wrong? Don't you feel well?
It's nothing. I just feel weak.
If it gets worse, I'll stop.
Now some exercises. Daniel, you may begin.
One, two, three and four.
And one, and two, and three, and four.
And one, and two, and three, and four.
Sorry Miss Tanner, I feel a little weak. Can I rest?
Weak? It's an easy step. This is the first time we work together.
I want to see how far along you are.
Now, come along and join the others. Let's go.
All together now.
And one, and two, and three, and four.
And one and two and three and four!
And one, and two, and three and four! Get your head up higher! You're not paralyzed.
Get your legs up. And one, and two, and three... Keep it!
And one, and two, and three, and four. And one, and two, and three and four.
Come on. Run along!
Come on. Drink up. No.
You must drink. You heard what the doctor said.
The blood lost in the hemorrhage needs an intake of liquids.
Right, Professor Verdegas? Obviously.
Madame, it's nothing, as I told the young lady.
That's a relief.
How do you feel, dear? Better.
It's your excercises. If someone is out of practice those movements can cause tears in the ligaments. That's the hemorrhage.
You look better. You have color back in your cheeks, right?
Yes. She looks much better.
Hold still. This will get you back into shape in no time.
In a day or two you'll be on your feet as good as new.
Who brought my bags? Olga. What a dear!
The minute she heard you were ill, she brought your things.
She also left me your 50 dollars. She didn't take a penny of it.
Why did she do that? If I wanted to, I would...
Now you need peace and quiet. If the hemorrhage should start, which is very improbable, telephone me.
And Tanner, she must eat bland food for about a week and no fruit.
A drop of vine rouge? Yes.
Good. A glass of red wine with each meal. It works miracles.
It clears up anemia and strengthens red corpuscles.
Rest well. You're in good hands.
Susy, we're next door neighbors.
So, you moved in here. They moved me in here.
I really didn't want to. As soon as I got sick, Olga ran and got my bags and threw me out of her place.
She must have thought I had something contagious.
I can't stand to live in a boarding school like a ten year old.
Wow. You come back strong. I feel really well.
As if nothing had happened. It's incredible.
And thanks to Professor Verdegas. Verdegas?
He looked at you? Yeah.
Keep an eye on that lighter. He really likes it.
I don't think he's a thief. At least you know.
Are you eating up here? Yeah. I have a restricted diet.
On a restricted diet they give you wine?
Verdegas' idea. He says it will build up my blood.
The bell. It's only 15 minutes till supper. I'd better change.
Ciao. See you later. Okay.
Where? Everywhere, the whole floor.
Where are they coming from? I don't know. Let's go see.
They're coming from the ceiling. Everybody downstairs.
Don't let anyone come up.
I'm sorry, truly mortified. Please excuse me.
It has nothing to do with you. It's not Madame Blanc's fault.
We bought those cases of food by mail from a firm we thought was honest.
It arrived spoiled, and in a few days you see what happened.
It was awful! One got in my mouth!
Fortunately, they only reached the floor below the attic.
Are the other floors alright? All except the student rooms floor.
I'll take care of the problem of fumigating in the morning.
For tonight, I thought of a make-shift arrangement.
Go and see how they're getting along.
The boys offered to help. Practice hall will turn into a dormitory.
If someone chooses hotel rooms, I have no objections, but it's already late and the inconvenience will only be tonight.
We'll all sleep together.
Bravo. Alright? Yes, thank you.
Is everything alright? Yes, thank you.
Good. Are you alright? Yes, thank you.
It's very comfortable. Just like being in camp.
Good. Are you sleeping here too?
Certainly, as all the other teachers and Miss Tanner.
Do the teachers live at school? No, they live in town.
They leave after supper at 9:30, just like clockwork.
It's late. I'm turning off the lights. Good night everyone!
Is that guy hot for you? Maybe.
That's funny. I heard he was...
I'm not much of a gossip. Not a gossip? That's a good one.
Come on! You tried to get him and didn't make it!
You liar! Shut up! We want to sleep.
Sara, forget it. It's okay.
Susy! Are you asleep?
Are you sleeping? What's the matter?
You hear that snoring? It's weird.
Where do you think it's coming from?
Behind the sheet.
They lied to us. The directress is here.
It's her. The one you hear snoring.
It's the directress.
How do you know? I'm sure it's her.
Last year for a while I lived in one of the guest rooms.
The one on top of the stairs.
One night I heard someone coming, very late.
They got into bed in the room next to mine.
Then I heard this weird kind of snoring.
It was so weird. I never forgot it.
Hear that whistle? It's exactly the same.
The next morning Madame Blanc told me the directress had spent a few hours at school, and slept in the room next to mine.
You see? So I know she is the directress.
She is here!
She's there right behind that sheet.
Thank you for taking care of the fumigating so promptly.
Good morning, Madame Blanc. Good morning, Daniel.
Is everything in order now? All is done, Madame.
Just to be sure, we'll check the other floors too.
Miss Tanner, did the directress sleep here last night?
No, she didn't.
Good morning, Daniel. Good morning, Miss Tanner.
She is away on a trip. She may come to visit us two weeks from now.
Excuse me, Miss Tanner. Which class do I attend this morning?
The second year class. Red room. Thank you.
Enough! Enough! Do you know what happened?
What is it?
Your disgusting dog has bitten Albert!
He took a piece of Albert's arm! What?
Did you all hear? That miserable dog tired to mutilate him!
Madame Blanc had to take him to a first aid center for stitches!
It's impossible! Let's go to the first aid center!
If you can't see the blood, you'll hear that poor child crying!
That's enough now!
I know that animal well. He's faithful and never hurt anyone.
The boy must have done something to him first!
The poor little animal, the poor little puppy.
If I see him in a mile of this school, I'll have him put to death!
Stop it 1 I won't allow such talk! You won't allow it?
Then get out, you and your dog! Get moving!
You bitch! Out!
I'm going, but remember that I am blind, not deaf!
Not deaf. You understand that?
Fresh air! Let me out of this place.
Get out of here. Good riddance!
Pablos, how much longer do I have to eat like this?
There they go, right on schedule. The teachers... remember?
Can you hear them?
They're going away.
You hear them?
They're not leaving the school. What?
What did you say? Wake up!
I said it doesn't seem to me they're going out.
The front door is on the left.
Their footsteps are going to the right, inside the school.
Jesus, Susy! You're a genius.
Fantastic! How come I never noticed that before?
Susy, if they don't leave, where do they go?
Wake up I Susy, wake up I
I'm sleepy. I don't know why. I'm sorry.
Maybe we can find out where they really go.
Of course! Yes!
We need to count the steps as they go.
It's like the thread of Ariadne.
What is it? Come on.
Come on, let's go.
What is it? Who's there?
What is it?
Poor Daniel, torn to pieces. Incredible.
You can never trust wolfhounds. They're crazy. We had two once.
First Pat is murdered by a madman, now Daniel is murdered by his dog.
Maybe there's a hex on the place. Let's call in the exorcist.
Is something wrong? No. Everything is alright.
Is it something personal, dear?
No, nothing like that.
Miss Tanner, I'd like a few moments alone with Susy.
Well? What is it?
I want to talk to you about things that have been happening here.
I know you're upset about Daniel's death as we all have been...
It's more than that.
Does anybody know anything about who killed Pat?
I spoke to the chief of police. He said they have some definite clues.
You know that I saw her the night that I arrived here.
Yes, you told me that.
She was mumbling some strange, unrelated words.
No, you didn't tell me that.
Because it didn't make any sense. There was a thunder storm.
I only caught two words: "secret" and "irises".
I thought they might be important.
You've done very well. I don't know what those words mean either.
But we should let the police know about it.
I am amazed you waited two days before... Hello?
You really messed things up.
Maybe Pat was talking to someone inside the building.
We know that someone wasn't one of the teachers.
Now you put them on the hunt for somebody.
What difference does that make to you?
Because I was Pat's friend.
She was telling me something when you suddenly showed up.
She got scared and she ran away.
She was in hysterics almost.
And then she was killed.
Remember that voice when you rang the bell?
Well, that was me.
A lot of strange, incredible, absurd events.
Pat was taking notes on them for months.
Before going away, she gave me all the notes.
I only told one person, a very good friend of mine.
Frank Mandel. He's here now.
I'll let you read them tonight.
Please Susy, wake up!
The notes are gone. Someone stole them from me.
Understand? They disappeared.
Don't fall asleep! Help me!
Help me. I can't.
This is the only thing I've got left, because I kept it on me.
What is it? What's the matter?
Don't you remember? What's going on?
This is the key that will get us where the teachers go.
I wrote it yesterday evening when I was sitting next to you.
Susy, do you know anything about witches?
Don't leave me alone.
I must get away!
Looking for Sara? She disappeared.
I talked to her last night. She left this morning.
Without telling anyone... just packed her bags and left.
She was heard leaving about six. You heard her leave?
Sara? I heard the door closing and her footsteps down the hall.
And then I heard a car driving off down the street.
It's impossible. She wasn't happy here.
She could have told someone. Why sneak off like a thief?
Hello? May I speak to Frank Mandel, please?
Yes, thank you.
Hello? This is Susy Benner.
No, we've never met. I'm a friend of Sara's.
Yes, hello. Do you know where Sara is?
She disappeared from school this morning.
It seems she left and took all her luggage. Yes.
Could I see you sometime today?
I'm really worried about her.
Oh, great. Where?
At the Convention Center? Okay, I'll see you there.
She didn't warn any of her classmates. I asked all of them.
It's very upsetting. I can't understand why she did it.
I'm the one held responsible by the family.
Call her father in Geneva. Perhaps she went there.
I've already phoned Sara's father.
He's the Italian consul in Geneva, but he wasn't there today.
He's away for the week-end. They don't know anything about her there.
Do you understand why I am so worried?
Yes, but before we both get upset, let's wait for her father's return.
Maybe they got together this morning and went off on their own.
I know her quite well. She was a patient of mine three years ago.
Were you aware of that?
No. I didn't know you were a psychiatrist.
Well, she had a nervous breakdown after her mother's death.
She came to me for treatment. After she got better, we remained friends.
Lately she was upset by some notions put in her head by a friend.
Not you, I hope. No.
They were wild ideas.
She had discovered that the Tam Academy was founded in 1895, by a certain Helena Marcos, a Greek immigrant.
The local people believed her to be a witch.
You knew that?
No, but I have a strange feeling that somebody already told me about it.
Or something similar. I can't remember.
Well, that really got Sara's imagination going.
Earlier in the 19th Century, the Marcos woman had been expelled from several European countries.
She had something about her which urged religious people to persecute her.
She also wrote a number of books and I read that among the initiated, she went by the name of Black Queen.
After she settled down here, she became subject of a lot of gossip.
She put her hands on a lot of money and founded the Tam Academy.
At first a sort of school of dance and occult sciences.
It didn't last long because in 1905, after being cursed at for 10 years, Madame Marcos died in a fire.
That's all there is, as far as witchcraft is concerned.
The school was taken over by her favorite pupil.
The study of the occult was abandoned, and soon the place became the famous dance academy.
But what does it mean to be a witch?
As a believer in the material world, and being a psychiatrist, I'm convinced that the current belief in magic and the occult, is part of mental illness.
Bad luck isn't brought by broken mirrors, but by broken minds.
Excuse me. Milius?
Professor Milius can answer you. He wrote "Paranoia or Magic?"
Believe me, it's the final word in the subject.
Excuse me Milius. I'd like you to meet a friend.
She's interested in your favorite subject... witches.
Can you tell her something about the mysterious?
Well, I have an appointment. Keep me posted.
Hello. I'm sorry to bother you.
What would you like to know?
Do you believe in the existence of witches?
I have known some women who have said to be witches.
I've studied the phenomenon for a long time.
I feel it is an important appendage of contemporary psychiatry.
You're skeptical, my dear.
It is a little hard to believe.
What do witches do?
They're malefic, negative and destructive.
Their knowledge of the art of the occult gives them tremendous powers.
They can change the course of events and people's lives, through harm.
You don't believe me?
Their goal is to accumulate great personal wealth.
It can only be achieved by injury to others.
They can cause suffering, sickness, and even the death of those who for whatever reason offended them.
Why do you have all this interest in the occult?
Because friends spoke to me about witches. I read some stuff.
Ever hear of Helena Marcos? She was the famous Black Queen.
The witch with a tremendous talent for doing evil, mistress of magic.
She lived and died in this city. Did you know that?
Yes. Might there exist a guild of witches?
The correct word is a "coven" of witches. A woman becomes queen if her magic is a hundred times more powerful than the rest of the coven.
It's like a serpent. Its strength rests with its leader, with its head.
A convent deprived of its leader is like a headless cobra... harmless.
Skepticism is the natural reaction of people nowadays.
But magic is ever-present.
"Quoddam ubiquae, quoddam semper quoddam ab omnibus creditum est".
It means, "Magic is everywhere, and all over the world.
It's a recognized fact. Always."
Excuse me. Where is everybody?
They have all gone to the theater for the opening of the Bolshoi.
Why didn't anyone tell me about it?
I don't know. Miss Tanner obtained tickets for everybody.
Frank. It's Susy, Sara's friend. Susy? Hello?
I can't... Talk louder. Something happen?
I haven't heard from Sara, but a lot of strange things are happening.
For example, when I eat at night, I...
Hello? Hello, Frank?
Can you hear me? Frank?
Hello, Frank, can you hear me?
They don't leave the school. The door is left, their footsteps go right.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven.
I can find out where they're going by counting their footsteps.
The carpet. That's why the footsteps stopped here.
It's impossible. There's got to be another way out.
The secret! I saw beyond the door. Three irises! Turn the blue one!
The secret! I saw beyond the door. Three irises! Turn the blue one!
We've got to get rid of that bitch American girl.
Make her disappear! Understand?
She hasn't eaten or had anything to drink this evening.
Vanish! She must vanish! She must die! Die! Die!
Helena, give me power.
Sickness! Sickness! Away with trouble! Dead!
Who is it? Who's there?
I've been expecting you, the American girl.
I knew you'd come.
You want to kill me. You want to kill Helena Marcos.
Now death is coming for you,
You wanted to kill Elena Marcos?
Hell is behind that door!
You're going to meet death, now!
The living death!