The Dunwich Horror (1970) Script

Oh, god!

It was a brilliant lecture, doctor.

Yeah. the best of the year.

Careful, all these bravos will go to an old Ph.D.'s head.

And now, if you'll take the Necronomicon and return it to the library, I'll meet you there as soon as I can.

Doctor, don't forget we're picking you up for dinner.

I'll be there.

And you take good care of that book.

You know, some of that stuff he said sort of got to me.

It's ridiculous.

No, no. I know what you mean.

Especially those creepy people and some of the things they did.

Can you lift that?

Could I see that before you put it away?

Do you always sneak up on people like that?

Oh, my, you scare easily.

I'd really like to glance through that book, the Necronomicon.

Well, that's impossible.

I've traveled a long way.

The library is closing.

Come on. Give me 5 minutes.

Absolutely not!

Wait a minute.

I don't suppose it would do any harm.

Are you crazy?

Uh, why don't you take it in there?

Thank you.

You must be insane.

Oh, it'll be all right. He'll take care of it.

He'll take care of it? That book is priceless.

Oh, stop worrying about the book.

Did you notice his eyes?

He's really got great eyes.

Nancy, what do you do?

You're giving his rarest book to the first kook that comes along.

Well, uh... I--I trust him.


"it is the gate whereby the spheres meet.

"only Them from Beyond can make it multiply and work.

"Yog-Sothoth is the key.

"and with the gate open, the Old Ones shall be...

"past, present, future... all are one.

"the Old Ones walk serene and primal...

"undimensioned and unseen...

"the Old Ones broke through of old...

"and they shall break through--"

The book, please.

The book, please.

Oh, there's no need to be upset.

I was only reading it.

Have you any idea what this volume is worth?

It's one of a kind.

Of course, a generation ago, there was another copy...

40 miles from here.

Young man, I am familiar with Dunwich.

I know.

You've read my paper on Oliver Whateley?

He was a great man.

They hanged him.

They were fools.

Who's to say?

I'm Wilbur Whateley, Oliver's great-grandson.

Then you know who I am.

Dr. Henry Armitage.

Yes. It's a pleasure to meet a Whateley.

Thank you.


Oh, it's easy to see why you 2 girls were so effectively charmed.

I'm very glad to have met this young man.

We share a mutual interest.

In fact, I'd like to talk further with you.

We might learn a great deal from each other, don't you think?

About Dunwich, perhaps?

Dunwich, dr. Armitage, might appear to you as just another small town.

The people of Dunwich are just like everyone else.

They're just more honest about it.

You see man as a rather dismal creature.

Yes. Why not?

Look around.

You'll see what's there.

Fear, and frightened people who kill what they can't understand.

It's late. I should be going.

Dr. Armitage, I'd like permission to study the Necronomicon.

For what reason, mr. Whateley?

Well, I'm a student of the occult.

And that book is like a bible.

A rather odious comparison.

Uh, no, not really.

It's not enough to say the book is irreplaceable?

No. You're afraid.

Afraid? Possibly.

In ancient times, that book was said to unlock the gates to another dimension, to another race of beings.

I do not share those beliefs, nor do I fully understand them.

However, I know enough about strange things not to laugh at them.

I don't have to tell you I'd take good care of it.

I'm sorry, I couldn't possibly let the book out of my hands.

I need it in my own field of study.

Dr. Armitage, will you lend me the book?

I will not.

That's your last word?


Let me get part of that.

Oh, nonsense.

Nancy's car is here.

I'll take you to the hotel.

Thank you.

Good night.

Good night.

Mr. Whateley.

Maybe we'll meet again.


I guess I kind of put the damper on a nice evening, but I can't stand pomposity.

I think you've made your point quite clear.

Do you know how much longer he's gonna be in town?

Uh, his last lecture's next Monday.


That's only 3 days.

I wanted to hear one of his lectures.

You won't be here that long?

No. I have to go back to Dunwich tonight.

As a matter of fact, I should get moving, or I'll miss my bus.

What time's your bus?


9:15? You just missed it.


There isn't another bus until tomorrow morning.

Well, uh, I could drive you.

Oh, it's too late. I couldn't let you do that.

No, no, really. I mean, I'd like to.

Oh, fine.

It's only a couple more miles, Nancy.

I hope so. We're almost out of gas.

Oh, saved.

It's past closing time.

Oh, couldn't I have a little gas?

Ok. how much? can you fill it up, please?

Service with a smile.

Say, how far is the town?

Oh, it's down that way.

But we turn off right up here.

I'm sorry. I wanted to see Dunwich.

It's all right.

There's not much to see at night.

Besides, everything in town closes up pretty early.


$1? I asked you to fill it up.


Aren't you gonna finish the window?

Boy, I could never get used to treatment like that.

They've treated me that way since the day I was born.

They never change.

They're still the same frightened, superstitious fools.

That's even crazier than you said.

Would you like to come in and see the inside?

Oh, no, no. I'd like to, but really, I should start back.

Just have a drink... or cup of tea.

I really shouldn't.




What do you think?

Well, I don't know what to think.

I'm glad you find it interesting.

Would you like a cup of tea?



It's been a long ride.

If you feel like freshening up, there's a bathroom right through that door.

Thank you.



This is my grandfather.

I want to speak to you.

We were just going to have some tea.

I'll see you when we're finished.

I'll be waiting for you.


Sit down, Nancy.

I thought you lived alone.

Gee, I'm sorry he frightened you.

Do you want sugar or cream?

No, thank you.

Tell you the truth, I didn't think he'd be up this late.

Oh, it's all right.

It's just that he startled me.

Wilbur, when you were in the kitchen, I heard strange sounds.

Oh? what kind of sounds?

I'm not sure.

I mean, it sounded like wind... or the ocean.

That's what it was.

This place is so old.

When the wind blows, everything kind of creaks.

Oh, Wilbur, I'm sorry.

I dropped something before.



That's nothing.

It's all right.


I guess I'd better start back.

Finish your tea.

No, really, no. It's late. I must go.

I understand.

Well, you come back and visit soon, will you?

We'll see each other again.

What's wrong?

Hell, I don't know.

I wish I could help, but I don't know much about cars.

I don't think this thing's gonna start.

Maybe we ought to phone a garage.

You wouldn't believe it, but I don't have a telephone.

Well, that's great. now what am I gonna do?

I don't know.

You-you know, this is really a good idea.

I'm completely wiped out.

I--I don't even think I could drive if I had to.

I'm sure you'll feel better in the morning.

Oh, yes. yes.

I'm sorry about this room, but it hasn't been used for years and years.

Oh, no, no. don't apologize. it's fine, fine. uh...let's see.

Here's a nightgown you can put on if you like.

Thank you.


Good night.

Good night.

Who is she?

Just a girl.

She gave me a ride home.

Does anyone know she's out here?


Suppose she goes up there?

She won't.

She has no reason to.

She didn't come home last night.

She must've driven that boy home.

I could see she was attracted to him, but I don't think going out there was such a good idea.

Well, didn't you try to telephone?

I couldn't get a listing.


It's not like her not to have called me.

Now, if he were a straight guy, I wouldn't be worried.

I can't remember much more, except it was the weirdest dream I've ever had.

Sounds kind of sexual to me.

Ok, dr. Freud, tell me what it all means.

Well, this is our first session.

It's a little hard to tell.

Are you prepared to answer some questions?

Ask me anything.

All right. How do you feel about sex?

I think it's great.

So do I, Nancy.

Well, I mean, I think it's great if it's at the right time and the right place.

You've led a strange life here, Wilbur.

I was raised by my grandfather, and he taught me all the things he knows.

I had to work harder than most kids, but it hasn't been so bad.

Well, I come from the city and-- well, I just--I don't know, I never felt so relaxed or had such peace of mind.

I think the country does that for people.

Nancy, why don't you stay the weekend? well, I'd like to, Wilbur, but I--I couldn't.

But you'd like to, though, huh?

Her car's there.

She's gotta be around somewhere.

What do you want?

Pardon us.

We're looking for our friend...

Nancy Wagner.

I'm dr. Armitage and this is Elizabeth Hamilton.

We met your grandson Wilbur yesterday in the university.

Armitage? what would my grandson want with you?

He came to see me about a book I own, the Necronomicon.

Look, is my girlfriend here or isn't she?

No! go away!

Go away!

Were you looking for us, doctor?


Are you all right?

I was worried about you.

Of course she's all right.

She's not a child.

She drove me home last night and then she decided to stay the weekend.

Didn't you, Nancy?

Yes. yes, I did.

So if that's what you came to see about, doctor, I guess we'll be saying goodbye.

Nancy, wait a second.

Do you know what you're doing?

Of course I know what I'm doing.

I'm staying with Wilbur.

Nancy-- bye, Elizabeth.

Boy, I really can't believe She dragged dr. Armitage all the way up here.

I mean, that's something I--

I expect from my mother.

Doesn't matter.

Would you like some more tea?


You tired, or is it the company?

Oh, no, no, no.

I don't know, I'm kinda sleepy.

Well, we did take a long walk today.


Maybe you could use a little nap.

You know, that's not a bad idea.

um, we are going to town, aren't we?

Sure. But I think you'll enjoy yourself more if you can keep your eyes open.

um, I'll be all right.

You lied to me.

Now tell me the truth!

Keep your voice down, will you?

Why is she here?

I told you, her car broke down.

What about this?

Don't be ridiculous.

And those people.

You told me no one knew she was here.

They don't matter.

That man Armitage wrote the paper on my father.

He knows all about us.

I don't have to answer to you.

I do what I want.

Come back here!

Let the book be!

You know, it happened

25 years ago.

They were a strange family.

I just hope there's something in there.

This used to be the town bank, you know.

Ah, here it is.

This is the one.

Let's get it out in the light.

Ah, here it is just like I told you.

"Mother named Lavinia, father unknown.

"child called Wilbur."

I set that type myself 25 years ago.

Who was the delivering physician?

Same old doc that delivers all of them around here... doc Cory.

Thank you, mr. Fuller.


Dr. Armitage!

If I were you, I'd stay away from the Whateleys.


That was the original town square.

70 years ago, there was a big oak tree right there in the middle of the street.

That's where the people of Dunwich lynched my great-grandfather.

They just let him hang there for days and days and days and days.

Then they burned the tree down to the ground.

Wilbur, stop it.

It's just history.

Why did they do it?

Because he didn't believe in what they believed.

Because he wasn't afraid of their god or their devil either, for that matter.

In fact, he thought they were pretty much alike.

What did he believe in?

In another race of beings from a different dimension.

An earlier race, superior to man.

And he believed they could be brought back.

You mean they Hanged him for that?


They trumped up A murder charge To cover it up.

A girl had disappeared and--

Then without a shred of evidence, They went after him.

They claimed he used her In some sort of sacrifice.

You must be worried, too, To go to all of this trouble.

Ok, the doctor will see you now.

Thank you. I won't be long.

Dr. Cory?


I'm Henry Armitage, doctor of philosophy.

I'm lecturing at the university in Arkham.

Oh, yes, yes, well...

What can I do for you, doctor?

I'm... not sure.

I have a rather strange request.

Well, a country doctor is used to them. Please, sit down.

Thank you.

Well, now...

Please go ahead.

I'd like to ask you some questions About the Whateley family.

Well, that's an odd bird of an ailment, But it flares up now and again in these parts.

Haven't you ever been there?

Are you kidding?

I wouldn't go near that place.


Oh, that place Gives me the creeps.

But why?

Well... some say That old Whateley and Wilbur aren't alone...

That there's something else.

What do you mean "something else"?

I--I don't know exactly, but, uh...

When I was a little kid, The other children and I, We thought the old Whateley house was haunted.

Of course, I don't believe that anymore, But I keep away And so does everyone else.

Anyway, the old man and Wilbur, they haven't allowed anyone on the place in years.


Well, a friend of mine is out there right now.

What? Yeah.

She's out there with Wilbur.

Wilbur Whateley has a girlfriend?

Oh, I don't believe it!

Well, hasn't it ever happened before?

Not with any girl around here.

I saw your name on the birth records.


You have me in an awkward position, doctor.

And before I can reveal Anything to you, I must know the purpose of your inquiry.

Of course. Dr. Cory, this will sound quite fantastic, but I ask your indulgence.

Please bear with me and then decide for yourself.

Where the Whateleys are concerned, there is very little that is not fantastic.

I wonder what's going on.


I don't want to worry you, but if I had a friend down at weird Wilbur's, I'd get her out of there.

Let me put it this way, doctor.

The legend of the Necronomicon has it that long ago the earth was inhabited by a species from another dimension.

With certain chants from the book, coupled with ancient rites and sacrifices, this race, the Old Ones, can be brought back.

And mankind?


And from what you've seen of young Whateley, You think it's actually possible That he might believe that?

The book, the girl...

I don't know what to think.

If he does believe the legend, from my impression of Wilbur, he'd be capable of anything.

If he does attempt one of those rituals, that girl is in grave danger.

Well, it's hard to accept.

But then, it wouldn't be the first time that someone else paid the penalty for Whateley fanaticism.


Yes, you see...

It wasn't I who delivered young Whateley.

It was his grandfather.

It's been 25 years, but I'll never forget that day As long as I live.

I was in Osborne's store, Just chatting with a few of the locals.

Old Whateley came running in all of a sudden, all wild-eyed and crazier than ever.

But nobody ever saw much of the Whateleys in town, so it was a surprise right off.

He always took a lot of jeering from the townsfolk.

Well, they didn't waste a minute's time before they started in on him.

I don't care what you folks say.

If Lavinia's boy looked like his pa, he'd wouldn't look like nothing you expect.

You needn't think that the only folks are the folks hereabouts.

Lavinia's read some And has seen some things that most of you can only tell about.

Some day, you folks'll hear a child of Lavinia's Calling his Father's name from the top of Sentinel Hill.

And then you'll know!

And you'll wish to god you didn't!

All right, fellas, that's it.

As I entered the bedroom, there were 2 elderly albino women, robed entirely in black, standing watchfully over her.

She was burning up with fever and soaking wet.

God only knows what went on out there that day.

It was plain to see she'd been out in the rain.

They told me that she'd had twins.

One of them was stillborn.

Though I never saw the body.

And since old Whateley's not allowed anyone out there since, it's possible that baby may have lived.

It's a miracle that Wilbur came through it all right.

Lavinia's insides were all torn up.

Well, I did everything I could for her.

She was so far gone, I was lucky to save her life.

Her mind was gone forever.

Of course, we never did find out who the father was.

And the 2 old women?

I don't know.

Never saw them around here before or since.

Where's Lavinia now?


It is hard to believe That she's only 45 years old.

She's been here now for more than 20 years.

There's been no appreciable change.

Walk unseen In lonely places...

Old Ones...

Oh, my sons, Open the Gate, my sons!

Could I go in And talk to her?

I'm afraid not.

She's violent. At times, extremely so.

I'd like to try.

It wouldn't do any good.

Lavinia? Lavinia?

I want to talk to you.

Kill them all!

Let them in! Kill them all!

Do you think you've had enough to eat?

Oh, plenty.

Well, let's take a walk.

There's something I want to show you.


You all right?

Yeah. I'm just a little dizzy.

I'll help you. It's not far.

I'll be all right.

It's not much further.

What's in the package?


It's just fantastic.

What is it?

No one knows exactly.

Legend has it that it's been here forever.

It's called the Devil's Hopyard.

Fertility rites were practiced here, so they say.

Is this an altar?


But what was it used for?

When the seasons And the cycles of the moon were ripe, Then they came one by one and gathered among these stones. and they selected a beautiful girl like you.

Do you remember what we talked about this morning?


When you asked me that question about sex?


I lied.

I know.

Then they placed the girl's virginal body upon the altar, naked to the elements.

And their black robes blending into the night, they lighted candles and gathered round to observe and to relish her nakedness.

And then they waited.

They waited for the moment When she would allow the power of darkness to enter her.

The moment when the gate would open and the Old Ones would come through.

And a strange chant echoed in the night.



Hello! Is anybody here?


I thought I told you to stay away from here.

I'm not staying away from anywhere.

I'm looking for my girlfriend, And I wanna see her now.

She's not here!

Now get off my land!

I'm going inside!

No, you're-- Don't touch me!


Nancy, it's Elizabeth!



Nancy? Where are you?


There's a car outside. Who's here?

She came looking for her friend.

Make sense, will you?

Who's here?

She went up those stairs.


Wilbur, where's Elizabeth?

I don't know.

He knows.

Shut up, you old fool!

You're the fool!

I know your plan!

You can't succeed!

You disgust me.

You've taken their abuse, and you've given up.

They've broken you.

But the Old Ones are coming back.

I'm going to let them through.

No! I tried and I destroyed your mother.

You'll fail, too.

You'll destroy her!

Oliver had the book. It didn't help.

He had the wrong girl.

She resisted and she died.

Now you listen to me.

I'm going to succeed where you failed.

I'll stop you!

I'll stop you!


Wilbur...those birds...

What does it mean?

They were trying to capture his soul as it left his body.

But they're quiet now.

They didn't get him. He's free.

Darkness leads unto darkness.

Let this soul transcend the bounds of earth and be delivered to the spirit of darkness.

Death shall be the carriage of this soul.

Let the cry of the birds transport the spirit.


Accept this man into the death of darkness.

Hear me, Old Ones, for your time is coming.

This death shall mark the beginning of your journey.



Nyagh Yog-Sothoth.

See? I told you he was here.

He's burying the old man.

Like hell, he is!

From darkness we came--

All right, hold it!

We bury our trash at the county dump, not here!

This is a christian cemetery.

No place here for your kind.

From darkness we came--

I said hold it!

Give me that book.

Now, you get out here.

You take your garbage with you!

When I'm finished.

You're finished now!

All right, hold on! Hold on, you two!

What in hell are you trying to do?

I was trying to bury my grandfather.

We got family buried here.

We don't want no Whateleys among them.

We own this plot, And I have the right to use it.

No one's getting buried just yet.

There's been no death certificate issued on this body.

We'll have to take it back till it's all straightened out legally.

Come on, Nancy.

Now, Nancy, you'll wait right here, won't you?

I'll wait.

Put it back.

Pick it up.



Uh, Cory here.

Raskin just telephoned me from the asylum.

I thought you'd want to know.

Lavinia is dying.

From what? What happened?

Well, I'm not sure, but it sounds as if all hell's breaking loose.

Well, can we go over there?

I'll pick you up.

No, it'll be faster if I meet you there.

Oh, do you remember the girl that was with me yesterday?


I still haven't been able to reach her.

It just occurred to me.

She was talking with your nurse.

Well, Cora's right here, I'll ask her.

Cora, the girl with dr. Armitage, She didn't happen to say where she was going, did she?

Why no, doctor.

Well, I'm sorry, Armitage, You're out of luck.

I'll see you at the asylum.

All right. Ok.

Now, Cora, I won't be back tonight, So why don't you leave all that work till the morning?

No, I'd rather get it done this evening, doctor.

All right. Well, suit yourself.

And be sure you--

Be sure you lock up, won't you?

Good night.

Good night.

We've done everything we can.

Blood pressure, pulse, respiration-- Everything is sky-high.

So it can't last much longer.

What caused it?

I wish i knew.


The birds are in rhythm with her breathing.

Listen! son.

She's finished.

They've stopped.

What was she muttering?

The birds.

That chant.

The Necronomicon.

Dr. Cory, I've got to get to the library right away.

Land of light... the army of darkness shall sweep down.

They are gathered like a horde of avengers, life within life, the power that summons.

Come back, Old Ones...

Princes of Darkness, and repossess the earth.




I summon you.

Come, brother of darkness.

Leave your prison and help me bring the Old Ones through.

Brother of my blood, my soul, I summon you.

The time has arrived.

Now we wait no longer.

We must act. Upon this sacrifice, shall the journey begin.

"Yog-o-oth. Yog-o-oth.

"Join the circle, complete the chain.

"Yog-Sothoth is the gate

"whereby the spheres meet.

"And with the gate open, "the Old Ones shall be.

"Man rules now where they ruled once.

"They wait, patient and potent, "for here they shall reign again, "and rule where they once walked.

"The Old Ones broke through of old, "and they shall break through again."


We thank thee, o Lord, for the food we are about to take for the nourishment of our bodies.


Something's bothering Rusty.

Been acting strange, all right.

What's the matter, baby lamb?




The gate is opening now.

We don't have long to wait.

You're one of us now.

It's time.

You saw what Wilbur did to get the book.

He's going to try to let the Old Ones through.

Whether they exist or not doesn't matter.

He's not responsible for his actions.

If you're right, how are we going to handle it?

What? Something's going on.

Well, that's the Cole place.


I tried to call you, doc.

What's happened?

All hell's busted loose.

Damn Whateleys.

No man would have mutilated the bodies that way.

I don't say the Whateleys did it, But damn it, they're responsible.

Settle down, Reeger.

Settle down? There're dead people in there.

What do you mean settle down?

Reeger's right.

Let's go get them!

You can't do this.

You stop them, Reeger, or I will.

Well, let's go! My family's not gonna--

Come on, let's go!

Stop! Stop, you can't kill Wilbur Whateley.

He didn't do this, But he may be the only man who can save us from what did.

Why should we listen to you?

Well, you all know me.

I delivered most of you.

I'm telling you to listen to this man.

He's the only one who can help us.

What do you want me to do?

Get in your cars, And meet us at the Whateley place.

Come on.


What in god's name is that?

I've never heard anything like that.

Henry, it's really happening, isn't it?

It's moving toward the hill.

The Devil's Hopyard.

We've got to get up there.

All right, now, Let's all spread out, And all of you, stay on your toes.

Hurry up, let's go.

Start up that way.

You all right, Reeger?

Yeah Go on, I'll catch up.

I jammed the damn rifle.

You find anything?





My god, what's he doing?









Oh, no. No.

I'm sorry, Nancy.

There were 2 children born that night

25 years ago.

Dr. Cory was told the other one died, but it didn't.

It was caught between this world and another.

Wilbur's twin took after the father.

And the father?

Not of this earth.

It's all over now.

The last of the Whateleys is dead.