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While teaching at a mission school in central Africa, Gwen Mayfield is subjected to a traumatic encounter with a voodoo witch doctor and suffers a nervous collapse. Once recovered, she returns to England and accepts a position as headmistress of a small private school run by Alan Bax, who poses as a priest, and his sister Stephanie, a journalist with a strong interest in witchcraft. Although the village and school are pleasant, Gwen soon senses that her brightest pupil, 13-year-old Linda Rigg, is looked upon with suspicion by most of the townspeople. Further investigation proves that Linda's best friend, Ronnie Dowsett, is being kept away from the girl because of the belief that a local voodoo cult is planning to offer her as a virgin sacrifice. Matters come to a head when Ronnie becomes seriously ill, and a voodoo image of a young boy is found with pins stuck in it. Soon after, Ronnie's father meets a strange death while attempting to find the reason for his son's illness. Gwen plans to speak out at the dead father's inquest, but that night a horrifying voodoo image appears in her bedroom, and she again suffers a nervous breakdown. While at a nursing home, she recovers her memory and escapes back to the village. Aided by Alan, she makes her way to a secret cave and learns that Stephanie has the entire village in her control through the practice of witchcraft. In the cave, Stephanie is preparing to immortalize herself by sacrificing Linda. Gwen is forcibly initiated into the cult, but by spilling her own blood, she is able to break the spell and bring about Stephanie's death. With the village freed of the practitioners of black magic, Gwen chooses to remain on as headmistress of Alan's school.