So I have a setting where there's this town which is under the domain of a very powerful witch. She can and do occasionally do a puppet master type control and kill people on a whim, and she's generally a villain. The question here is, why wouldn't the townspeople just up and leave? The time period isn't set in stone, but it's sometime after telephones and cars became ubiquitous, and it's not like the town is perfectly isolated from the outside world, although it is rural. The witch isn't even stopping anyone from coming or going. So here's the question, why wouldn't people just up and leave? I'd rather not make her keep the people captive.

She's not a new addition to the town, she's been there long enough for people to just normalize it. "Yeah, she's the witch who rules over this town, except she let's us mostly do whatever we want unless it annoys her, then she makes people rip each other's faces off. Oh, and careful going into the woods! We've lost a lot of hikers to her pet bears. As you do."