Based on the work of Edgar Allen Poe, The Raven is about the rivalry between two powerful wizards. Featuring Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Boris Carloff, Hazel Court, Olive Sturgess and a young Jack Nicholson, The Raven begins with Dr. Erasmus Craven (Price) studying one evening as he laments the apparent death of his beloved wife, Lenore (Court). While alone, Craven hears a tapping and inspects to find a raven trying to enter the room. The raven, it turns out is Dr. Adolphus Bedlo (Lorre), who was having an argument with Dr. Scarabus (Karloff) and was turned into a raven. Craven helps change Bedlo back into a human, and as they are discussing the events, Bedlo notices the painting of Lenore and tells Craven that he saw that same lady at Scarabus' keep.
Craven and Bedlo make plans to confront Scarabus. However, before they can leave, Bedlo's son, Rexford (Nicholson), finds his father, and Craven's daughter, Estelle (Sturgess), is attacked by their servant, who is under Scarabus' control. The group decides that, for safety sake, they must all make the journey to confront Scarabus. They soon find their way to Scarabus' keep and find what appears to be a meek and docile old man who asserts that he was only defending himself against Bedlo when he transformed him and insists that the group stay the night.
While Craven remains conversing with Scarabus, the rest of the group are shown to their rooms, only to be taken prisoner and placed in the castle's dungeon. Craven soon learns that his beloved Lenore is, in fact, alive and has been living the entire time with Scarabus. Scarabus soon divulges his true intentions, to force the secret of Craven's hand manipulation for magic for his own nefarious purposes. Craven refuses and is told of his daughter's and friend's imprisonment, and he reluctantly agrees to a wizard's duel, with the loser relinquishing his magical powers.