This year we at YRCS are ringing in the most wonderful day of the year by counting down with a new public domain horror movie every day leading up. Sometimes we’ll put a historically relevant pic, sometimes a short, but always tying in to spooky themes.

On Day 5 We cross over the hump with another silent masterpiece from Denmark. Benjamin Christensen conceived the film as a rational answer to what “Witch Hunts” actually were. HAXAN: Witchcraft Through the Ages exposes mental health disorders and superstitions as fuel for the hunts throughout Western history.

The story is laced with both disturbing historical illustrations and breathtaking, creative dramatizations and plenty of stop-action animation. The picture was banned in the U.S., the U.K. and several other Western European countries for nudity and other disturbing content. In the modern day, Christensen’s work is highly regarded; so much so that it’s been included in the Criterion Collection.

This particular version is from 1968 and features the vocal stylings of the beatnik legend, William S. Burroughs.

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