When a succession of child killings rattle a southern Italian village, the police and two urban exiles seek the perpetrator amid scapegoating among the superstitious population. Directed by Lucio Fulci.
The youngster Bruno Lo Casio goes missing in the primitive community of Accendura, and the police inspector, local commissioner, and village Captain Modesti investigate the matter. When his father gets the ransom request, the police arrest Giuseppe and learn he is innocent. The lads Michele and Tonino are then slain, and the authorities assume the local witch Maciara, who performs black magic, is the murderer, although she is also innocent. However, the people are superstitious and stupid and mercilessly murder her. Meanwhile, the area is teeming with journalists, including Rome’s seasoned Andrea Martelli (Tomas Milian).
They meet Don Alberto Avallone, the town priest, who has a group of boys who play soccer at the church and is the son of the strange Dona Aurelia Avallone, who raises her delayed six-year-old daughter. They believe the youngster observed the murders and may know who the perpetrator is.