Ruth Watkins is a resident of northern Louisiana. Her husband is Ben Watkins.
During the events of The Evictors (1979) played by Jessica Harper
Jake Rudd shows Ben and Ruth a house for sale. After the tour around the house, Jake hands them the keys to the house and tells them he will try and push the mortgage paperwork as soon as possible. A few days later Jake sees them again and congratulates them on buying the house. He gives Ruth an extra key and tells them good luck. They find a note inside welcoming them from Olie Gibson. Ruth walks into town and tells Jake the locals aren't very friendly. As she is walking home she sees the mailman dropping off mail. She finds a note in the mailbox with the words "I want you to move". Ben comes home and he tells her about an upcoming picnic and she asks if they can go to church and then shows him the note from the mailbox. A Peddler stops by the house and tries to sell some things to Ruth. He tells her the house had been abandoned for a long time and that multiple people had been killed in the house. He then tells her the story of Mrs. Mullins who was supposedly kicked to death by a mule and Mr. Mullins who was dragged to death by the mule.
Jake says hello to Ben and Ruth after church service with Preacher Higgins and then Olie introduces herself to them. She invites them over for food and tells Ruth if she ever gets lonely to come and visit her. At the employee picnic, Mr. Wheeler introduces Ben and Ruth to Mr. Buckner. Lady at Party introduces Ruth to Mrs. Bland and her daughter, Barbara. The maid tells Lady at Party that someone is calling for her and Jake approaches Ruth. Ruth asks him about what happened in 1934 and accuses him of knowingly not telling her and Ben about the incident. She tells Ben all the woman keep on talking about the house and none of them will come over even when they are invited. Before they leave, Lady at Party gives them a pie to take with them. As Ruth is cutting Ben a piece of pie, she sees a man standing outside staring at her. She screams and calls for Ben, but when he comes downstairs the man is gone. Ben goes on a business trip and Ruth goes to visit Olie. Olie tells her about her past and the death of her husband. Ruth brings up the incident in 1934, and Olie tells her about something that happened in 1939 at the house.
As the man is driving the Peddler's vehicle away, Ruth sees him. Ruth goes inside and finds the fireplace going and a note on the ax "thanks pay later Roy Lee". As she is putting away books, she hears a creaking noise coming from upstairs. Ben calls and tells her he is coming home early and she tells him she thinks someone is in the house, but he can't hear her and hangs up. The man appears at the top of the stairs and when Ruth tries to open the door, it is jammed by a piece of wood. She uses a pan to break a window and manages to run away. She goes to Olie's house and tells her what happened. Ben arrives at Olie's house and Ruth tells him what happened. Ben asks Olie if he can borrow a shotgun and she also gives him a box of shells. Ben and Ruth return home and they search the house for the man, but don't find him. Ruth tells Ben she wants to go back to New Orleans, but he tells her they can't afford to. They go into town and Ruth buys bacon from Man at Store. Ben buys a gun and teaches Ruth how to use it. He calls Ruth and tells her he is going to have to work late, but Olie said she could stay with her. Ruth goes to Olie's house, but she doesn't answer the door. Ruth returns home and notices the phone won't work. She sees the man and tries to shoot him, but misses. The man breaks into the house, but walks out again when he sees Ben driving up. Ben walks into the house and Ruth shoots him. The man then walks into the house and attacks Ruth with a large knife, but is shot by Ben and crawls away. The Doctor tells Ruth there was nothing they could do and Ben is dead. Preacher Higgins presides over Ben's funeral. Jake drives Ruth to Olie's house to say goodbye. Dwayne Monroe attacks Ruth and Jake runs into the house and shoots Dwayne to death.
Five years later, Mr. Bumford and Mrs. Bumford go to Jake's office. They tell him that the houses he told them about were junk, but they saw a house they liked, which turns out to be Ben and Ruth's old house. Jake accepts their offer and pulls out his glasses, which match those of Dwayne's brother. Ruth walks in and Jake introduces her as his wife. Mr. Bumford and Mrs. Bumford leave and after Ruth finds out that they are going to buy her old house, she tells Jake she doesn't want anyone else to live in the house.