As a kid I was obsessed with the witches in stories. I loved the notion of spells and that it was powerful women who wove them. Sure there were many “wicked” witches in the media and my religious upbringing trying to scare me away. It would have worked too if not for a twist in fate which resulted in my doing a book report about the Salem Witchcraft Trials. Learning that so many innocent people had been accused and killed by a group of frightened people gave me a lot to think about. As I got older my world view widened but I have always been very fascinated by witches.
There are so many different pieces of media available right now that feature witches in some form. I wanted to write an article featuring some of my favorites and quickly realized that my list was getting extremely long. I have limited myself to my top ten favorites that I have finished. I am excited to share this list with you. Some are wicked, some are women wronged by men in power and some draw their stories from historical folklore. All of them are fantastic.
1.The Witch– Yes, we are starting strong with this pick. The Witch is a film that was released in 2015. The story follows a New England family in the 1600s. They are isolated, living in a world where the threat of evil is everywhere and seeking an almost unattainable religious lifestyle. In this world of fear a series of events take place that will shake this family to its core.
2. Practical Magic– I can honestly say this is one of my favorite and one of my formative movies. It has everything. Beautiful scenery, a curse, family drama, magic and an amazing soundtrack. This is one of my ultimate comfort movies. It gave my friends and me great comfort through our teenage years. Honestly, it still does. Just do yourself a favor and watch it.
3. Motherland: Fort Salem– This show came to us in 2020 when we needed it the most. It is a story about a version of America where a powerful witch survived witchcraft trials by agreeing to help the military. From then on all with magic have to join the army to serve. It is an interesting take on American witchcraft and a society where women have most of the power and family status comes from your mother. I also love the fact that the magic is not always pretty even when cast through song. They use their vocal cords, and sometimes the sound is guttural, even wonderfully feral.
4. Bewitched– There is a reason why this series ran from 1964-1972 and that is because it is fantastic. A witch meets a mortal man, decides to give up witchcraft and marries him. From there we get lots of shenanigans and laughs. Also the practical effects are wonderful. It is a little dated but it very much helped cement little me’s love of witches. Yes there is a movie that came out in the early 2000s that I also enjoyed. Look don’t come for me, it is a feel good romp with the spirit of the show in mind.
5. The Craft– 1996 gave us a movie that changed so many of us fundamentally. The Craft was not only a coming of age movie, it was also a movie about power. About teenage girls seeking power for themselves and using it. Sometimes with reckless abandon. It was beautiful, making my friends and me want to form a coven. It made us afraid. It made us proud to be teenage girls who were weirdos.
6. The Fear Street Series– The premise of this series is fantastic. Throughout the trilogy we learn the myth of a witch who cursed a town. Then try to figure out how to stop the killers that the witch’s curse summons. In the final chapter we learn the real story of what happened back in the 1600s. It is such a great idea for a trilogy. It pays homage to different genres of horror movies and is a must-watch.
7. Hocus Pocus– This top ten would not be happening without this movie. Honestly I don’t know what I would be like without Hocus Pocus. I was obsessed with this movie about witches who have come back and the kids who are trying to stop them from their nefarious plot. I cannot gush over this movie enough. It is my favorite movie and I watch it throughout the year. It is a great movie to start the holiday season for the whole family.
8. The Scapegracers– This book blew me away. A teenage witch named Sideways has never fit in until she agrees to do magic at a party for some extra cash. There is nothing that can prepare her for what will happen next. This book is such a fantastic depiction of teenage girls. It is messy, feral and just beautiful. A must read. Check out my full review here.
9. The Blair Witch Project– I would be terribly remiss to not include this movie. The Blair Witch Project changed the horror game in 1999. They even made a whole website full of “evidence” to help promote this found footage film. When Heather and her crew go to make a documentary about the legendary Blair Witch they get more than they bargained for. This film had audiences terrified. I will never not be blown away by how they marketed and made this film.
10. The Witches: Salem– Stacy Schiff is an amazing historical writer. In this novel she reveals the realities and myths of the Salem Witchcraft trials. She also takes the time to break down the trials themselves and also gives insights to the life of everyday Puritans that most people would not know. Stacy makes it just a little bit easier to understand how a whole group of people could be whipped into the hysteria that lead to the deaths of their neighbors. If you want to learn more about the facts of what happened in Salem Village in the 1600s then this is the book for you.
Well there we go! One magical list of different forms of witchy media to consume. I hope there was something you enjoy here, and maybe something you haven’t heard of yet. Did I miss your favorite? Comment below and let me know.
ALWAYS KEEP SPARKLING!!!