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The Vampire's Ghost

The Vampire's Ghost(1945)

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In the small village of Bakunda on the west coast of Africa, a series of mysterious murders, in which the corpses are found drained of blood, have thrown the locals into turmoil. Plantation official Roy Hendrick confers with his fiancée, Julie Vance, her merchant father Tom and a Catholic priest, Father Gilchrist, about the situation, which they believe must have a logical explanation, but is being inflamed by rumors and superstition. Roy decides to seek help from Webb Fallon, a stranger who recently opened a saloon in Bakunda, and who is knowledgeable about the local underworld. After Roy's arrival at the saloon, Fallon becomes engaged in a fistfight with trade boat owner Jim Barrat, who has accused Fallon of cheating at cards. Fallon bests his foe and saves Roy from a beating, after which Roy invites him to dinner at the Vances' home. Fallon is attracted to the beautiful Julie, but one of the servants, Simon Peter, grows suspicious when he notices that Fallon does not cast a reflection in a mirror. The men decide that the village of Malongo, which has always been a trouble spot, must be the source of the rumors of witchcraft and vampires, and the next day, set out on a safari to investigate. During the afternoon, Fallon saves Roy from being killed by a rifle set off by a trip wire, but that night, Simon Peter discovers that the bullet passed through Fallon, even though he was unharmed. Realizing that Fallon must be a vampire, Simon Peter and a friend fashion a silver-tipped spear with which to kill him, but Roy pulls the spear out of Fallen before it can work its powers. Fallon then mesmerizes Roy into taking him to a mountain top, where the full moon restores him. Fallon also informs Roy that he is a four-hundred-year-old vampire and that he intends to take Julie for his undead bride. The safari is cut short and all return to Bakunda, where Roy lays in a feverish state for two weeks. Roy regains consciousness long enough to ask for a book on vampires, but Fallon mesmerizes him into a state of lethargy. Julie also falls under Fallon's spell, and Lisa, a dancer at Fallon's bar, becomes jealous of Fallon's attentions to Julie. Lisa joins forces with Barrat, but their attempt to swindle Fallon at cards results in death for both of them. When the bloodless bodies of Lisa and Barrat are found, the native drums again send out news of a rampaging vampire, and voodoo dolls proliferate. Fallon becomes the target of the natives' suspicions, and Vance urges him to leave for his own protection. Father Gilchrist, who was attending to his followers in the jungle, returns to the village, and, deducing that the drum messages about Roy's hypnotic state are true, urges him to regain his free will. By praying with the priest, Roy regains control and tells Father Gilchrist the truth about Fallon. Simon Peter, who has recovered from injuries received during the safari, confirms Roy's story, but the group returns to the Vance home too late to save Julie, who has departed with Fallon. The men track Fallon and Julie to an ancient temple built by a death-worshipping cult, and, just as Fallon is about to turn Julie into a vampire, Father Gilchrist immobilizes him with a cross. Roy runs Fallon through with a silver spear, then Simon sets the temple on fire. As they watch Fallon's immortality being burned away, Roy assures Julie that her terrible dream is over.