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"Stay, Stay, Stay Jessica, Stay".
~ - Abigail/Emily to Jessica after revealing herself to be a vampire just before attempting to bite her.

Abigail Bishop (aka Emily) is the main antagonist of the 1971 John D. Hancock and cult classic horror film, "Let's Scare Jessica to Death."

She is portrayed by Mariclaire Costello.


Prior to the events of the movie, Emily was born as Abigail Bishop sometime in the 19th century to her parents in a rural farmhouse located in what is present day part of upstate New York. She eventually passed away after drowning on the same day as her wedding in 1880.

Somehow by unknown reasons, Emily was resurrected and remained alive for nearly a century but now as a charming, manipulative, and deceptive vampire who would turn the townsfolk which was majority male into vampires and into her followers willing to do anything she wanted including attacking and killing other innocent people that came into town or they came across.

In present day and set in the timeline of the film, main protagonist of the story, Jessica, had recently been released from a mental institution with her husband, Duncan, as her full time caretaker. He had recently also given up his job as a string bassist for the New York Philharmonic and purchased a rundown farmhouse on an island in upstate New York. Upon arriving with Duncan and their hippie friend, Woody, the trio discover a mysterious drifter named Emily already living in the house. After explaining the misunderstanding, Emily politely offers to move, but Jessica declines and invites her to dinner and to stay the night with the three.

Jessica tells Duncan to invite Emily to stay indefinitely the following day after noticing how attracted Woody is to her to which she accepts. Soon after, Jessica begins hearing voices and sees a mysterious young blonde woman looking at her from a distance before disappearing. Later on, Jessica is grabbed by someone under the water in the cove while she is swimming.

Jessica is afraid to talk about these things with Duncan or Woody, for fear that they will think she is reverting to her mental collapsed state. She also becomes aware that Duncan also seems to be attracted to Emily, and that the men in the nearby town, all of whom are bandaged in some way, are hostile and very vulgar towards them.

Duncan and Jessica then agree and decide to sell antiques found in the house at a local shop, one of which is a silver-framed portrait of the house's former owners, the Bishop family—father, mother, and daughter Abigail. The antique dealer, Sam Dorker, tells them the story of how Abigail drowned in 1880 just before her wedding day. Legend claims that she is still alive, roving the island as a vampire. Jessica finds the story fascinating, but Duncan, afraid that hearing about such things will upset his wife, cuts Dorker short.

Later, as Jessica prepares to make a headstone rubbing on Abigail Bishop's grave, she notices the blonde woman beckoning her to follow. The woman leads Jessica to a cliff, at the bottom of which lies Dorker's bloodied body. By the time Jessica finds Duncan and takes him to the scene, she finds the body now gone further making Duncan think she is losing her mind. However, Duncan's suspicions are quickly put aside for the time being after the pair spot the woman standing on the cliff above them, causing Duncan to give chase. When the woman is caught and questioned by the couple, she remains silent and quickly flees when Emily arrives and approaches the trio.

That same night, Duncan tells Jessica he thinks she had to return to New York to recieve more psychiatric treatment. Jessica forces him to sleep on the couch, where he is seduced by Emily who he eventually has intercourse with.

The following day, Jessica discovers the portrait of the Bishop's back in the attic despite previously selling it. With further inspection, she becomes intrigued at how much Abigail resembles Emily but she does not have time to process the information as Emily then invites her to go swimming in the cove.

While swimming, Emily vanishes from sight; Jessica hears Emily's voice in her head and watches as Emily emerges from the lake in a wedding gown. Emily then attempts to bite her neck revealing the legend to be true and that she was Abigail Bishop prior to her death and resurrection, but Jessica quickly breaks free of her grasp and flees to her bedroom in the house. Hours pass and Jessica leaves to hitch a ride into town. Woody, who has been working in the orchard, returns to the house, where Emily bites his neck.

Jessica arrives in town where she finds Duncan's car but he is nowhere to be seen. She attempts to question the townspeople about his location but they proceed to ignore her cries and pleads for help as she then encounters Sam Dorker, but he appears to be alive and fine despite his corpse being seen brutalized and beaten earlier. Terrified, Jessica rushes out of town and back to the house, however along the way, Jessica passes out in the orchard.

She is eventually found by Duncan who returns and takes her back to the house and into bed together as the pair begin to kiss and caress each other. However, Jessica then appears to have a sudden moment of realization as she spots a cut on Duncan's neck as Emily followed by the townspeople enter the house and attempt to attack Jessica while carrying a knife.

Despite initially accepting her fate, Jessica breaks out of the trance Emily has on her as she flees the room past the others as she attempts to escape the house. During this, she knocks over Duncan's bass case and discovers the corpse of mute women who was killed by Jessica.

Jessica runs through the orchard and comes across Woody's corpse with his throat slashed. At daybreak, Jessica makes it to the ferry and tries to board, but the ferryman refuses to let her on as she realizes he is also a vampire and is being controlled by Emily. She jumps into a nearby rowboat and paddles out into the lake as fast as she can.

Suddenly, a hand reaches into the boat from the water, she stabs the person in the back several times with a pole hook. As the body floats away, she sees that it is Duncan. From the shore, Emily and the townsmen watch her before quickly retreating back into the woods as a expressionless Jessica watches from the boat leaving all their fates unknown.


Despite not being directly the killer for some kills, Emily has the full control over her followers. Therefore anyone they kill or if they are hurt or die, Emily is fully responsible.


  • 1: Sam Dorker (Alive, before becoming undead) - Unknown, likely attacked by Emily's followers upon orders from her.
  • 2: Unnamed blonde woman - Unknown, likely attacked by Emily, her followers, or both.
  • 3: Woody - Bitten by Emily, and later had his throat slashed.
  • 4: Duncan - Stabbed several times in the back with a pole hook by Jessica and eventually fatally.

Not Confirmed

  • 1: A unknown number of townspeople, both men and women (Alive, before becoming undead) - Becoming infected after either being bitten, scratched, or cut by Emily possibly along with some of her followers.