More strange events unsettle Holden, forcing him to question his senses enough to burgle Karswell's house to find answers. A terrifying encounter with Grimalkin, the witch's familiar and watch-cat, reinforces Holden's growing concern that he's dealing with things outside the scope of his understanding. Ignoring Karswell's suggestion to avoid the woods, Holden becomes more unraveled when the fire demon puts in a brief appearance. Through the use of diffused light, shadows, and increasingly unexplainable events, Holden is pushed more and more toward a realization he's still not fully willing to accept.
The turning point comes when Holden interviews a former cult member who, having survived Karswell's witchcraft by passing the runic-covered paper to his brother, is left in catatonic shock. While the scientific plausibility of the hypnotic session to awaken him is questionable, Tourneur's direction sums Holden's disquieting supernatural encounters into one riveting moment of desperate action. He learns enough to know he must return the paper to Karswell, but can he do it in time?
The final confrontation between Holden and Karswell, two men frightened and desperate--one anxious to return the paper, the other anxious to keep it from being returned--moves the film to it's smoke-filled, "demon demon, who's going to get the demon?" denouement at a brisk pace. Night of the Demon, while it has its faults (mostly due to budget), rises above them through its story of a rational, scientific man pitted against the inexplicable, and Tourneur's noir direction that transitions Holden's uncertainty to certainty in incremental encounters with an unknown that's gunning for him.