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Nancy Downs

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Nancy Downs

Nancy Downs

"We are the weirdos, mister"
~ - Nancy Downs about herself and her coven.

Nancy Downs is the main antagonist of the 1996 horror supernatrual thriller film The Craft.

She was played by Fairuza Balk.

Nancy is a sexually aggressive, ill-tempered girl who has a tumultuous personal life, including a druken mother and an abusive stepfather.


Sarah Bailey, a troubled teenager, has just moved from San Francisco to Los Angeles with her father and stepmother. At her new school, she forms a friendship with a group of girls rumored to be witches, Bonnie, Nancy and Rochelle. At the same time, Sarah becomes attracted to the popular Chris.

Sarah exhibits supernatural powers from the onset of the film, and her new friends believe that she will complete their coven, making them all powerful. When Sarah is harassed by a vagrant with a snake (whom she had encountered before in her new house), he is immediately hit by a car and the girls believe that together they willed it to happen.

After a date with Chris, Sarah is upset to find that he has spread the false rumor that they have had sex, and now treats her disrespectfully. In response, Sarah casts a love spell upon him, while Rochelle casts a revenge spell on a hateful racist bully Laura Lizzie, Bonnie casts a spell for beauty, and Nancy for power. It very soon becomes clear that the spells have been successful: Chris becomes infatuated with Sarah, scars that Bonnie has on her back miraculously heal, and Rochelle's bully Laura begins to lose her hair. Nancy goes further by causing her abusive stepfather to have a heart attack and die.

Nancy becomes greedy for power and encourages the others to join her in a rite called "invoking the spirit". On completion of the spell, she is seen to be struck by lightning, and afterwards lacks empathy and begins taking risks with her life and those of others.

The spells that the girls have cast soon begin to show negative outcomes; Bonnie becomes more conceited each day; Rochelle feels remorse as her bully Laura Lizzie is seen bald and hysterically sobbing; Sarah's love spell goes too far when Chris attempts to rape her. In retaliation, Nancy uses her power to kill Chris.

Sarah performs a binding spell to prevent Nancy from doing harm, but this does not work and the coven turns on Sarah, invading her dreams, threatening her and finally using their powers of illusion to make Sarah believe that her parents have been killed in an accident. They taunt her with visions of swarms of insects and snakes and try to persuade her to commit suicide, before Nancy cuts Sarah's wrists herself. Sarah successfully "invokes the spirit" and is able to heal herself and fight back. Sarah scares off Bonnie and Rochelle and defeats Nancy, binding her power to prevent her from doing harm. Mean Nancy in a psychiatric hospital.

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