Vampires might be the supernatural creatures du jour, but witches are more than just a pop culture fad — they're part of our history! In honor of the 25th anniversary of the "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" premiere on Sept. 27, 2021, Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at our all-time favorite witches in pop culture, starting with one of the youngest witches on our list… Anyone who grew up during the '90s is likely to remember with fondness "Sabrina the Teenage Witch," the sitcom adaptation — a cornerstone of ABC's T.G.I.F. lineup — of the "Archie" comics series of the same name. Melissa Joan Hart starred as Sabrina, the titular teenage witch who, on her 16th birthday, discovers she has magical powers. With the help of her spinster aunts, Hilda and Zelda, and her talking black cat, Salem, the peppy blonde tackles high school and the Witches Council while keeping her supernatural abilities hidden from her friends and classmates.
Keep reading for more great witches in pop culture…
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The Sanderson Sisters are welcome to put a spell on us any day of the week! We've been watching "Hocus Pocus" on repeat every Halloween since 1993, when the film debuted. Kathy Najimy, Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker star as witches on an evil mission to restore their youthful beauty by stealing the life force of the children of Salem, Massachusetts. Never has a coven of witches been so spooky and kooky! A sequel starring the original trio is in the works and set to debut on Disney+ in the fall of 2022.
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"The Queen's Gambit" star Anya Taylor-Joy made her feature film debut in 2015's "The Witch," a truly terrifying film about an isolated Puritan family that's targeted by dark forces in 17th century New England. What makes the movie — which has a 91% fresh rating with critics on Rotten Tomatoes — so unique is that the title doesn't necessarily refer to the character you might think. Saying anything more would take away from the thrill of watching this underrated treat for the first time!
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Next up? Agatha Harkness! Kathryn Hahn stars on the hit Disney+ series "WandaVision" as nosey neighbor Agnes, who's later revealed to be a powerful witch — and the puppet master who's been pulling the strings and creating trouble for Wanda since she arrived in Westview. Agatha's villainous history goes all the way back to the Salem witch trials, when she murdered her entire coven — including her own mother. On a less troubling note, she's the first person to refer to Wanda as "The Scarlet Witch." Speaking of Wanda…
Elizabeth Olsen has starred as Wanda Maximoff — the powerful Avenger known as the Scarlet Witch — since a mid-credits scene in 2014's "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." On the Disney+ miniseries "WandaVision," which debuted in early 2021, it's revealed that the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of the character has a slightly different origin story than we were initially led to believe: Her supernatural abilities predate her time as a test subject at a Hydra facility in Sokovia, where she was exposed to the Mind Stone in Loki's scepter — which enhanced her natural gifts.
On the British fantasy-drama "A Discovery of Witches," which is based on the popular "All Souls Trilogy" of books by Deborah Harkness, Teresa Palmer stars as Diana Bishop, a college professor and reluctant witch who finds herself drawn into a dark mystery — and a sexy and forbidden romance — with handsome, aristocratic vampire Matthew Clairmont (played by "Downton Abbey" and "The Crown" actor Matthew Goode) after discovering an ancient bewitched manuscript in an historic library. The second season of the show debuted on AMC in the United States in early 2021 and a third season, based on the final book, is on its way.
"Mad Men" alum Kiernan Shipka played the titular witch on the 2018 Netflix reboot "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina," which came to an end in late 2020. This time around, the stakes were much higher for the teenage witch, who faced much darker magical forces — specifically the Church of the Night, an evil, Satan-worshipping group — while also balancing family, friends, high school and her boyfriend, Harvey.
Alyson Hannigan starred as the fierce Willow Rosenberg on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." No character in the Buffy-verse underwent a greater transformation during the show's seven-season run than the onetime school nerd and wallflower, who slowly grew into one of the world's most powerful witches. (When Willow went dark following the death of her girlfriend, Tara, she amassed so much power through her rage that she almost destroyed the entire world.) Dark Willow may have been one of the most terrifying villains to challenge Buffy's Scooby Gang, but we love her anyway!
Elizabeth Montgomery's Samantha Stephens was the perfect housewife: smart, beautiful, sympathetic — and blessed with supernatural abilities that made cleaning house the smallest of chores! (If only we could complete our spring-cleaning with a simple twitch of the nose.) Samantha's attempts to juggle her suburban life and mortal husband while thwarting her meddling supernatural clan as they brewed up trouble made "Bewitched" one of the most popular sitcoms of the '60s — and it still runs in syndication internationally today!
What makes Emma Watson's Hermione Granger so special? In addition to her incomparable intelligence and advanced magical abilities, Harry Potter's female bestie in the "Harry Potter" franchise is half-muggle. That's right: The most skilled young witch in the Wizarding World is part human, which makes her accomplishments all the more impressive.
The Halliwell sisters didn't just vanquish demons with the Power of Three, they also preached a fierce message about girl power while fighting for love and rocking seriously sexy coordinating ensembles. Holly Marie Combs, Rose McGowan and Alyssa Milano starred as the Charmed Ones — Piper, who can freeze her surroundings, telekinetic Paige and Phoebe, who possesses the gift of premonition — for eight seasons of the groundbreaking WB series.
These are four Catholic schoolgirls you don't want to mess with! When Robin Tunney's Sarah (left), a natural witch, brings real magic into a coven of high school witches run by Fairuza Balk's Nancy (second from left) in the 1996 cult hit "The Craft," it spells trouble for mean girls and school bullies alike. We may have loved cheering on Neve Campbell's Bonnie (front) as she healed her ugly scars and Rachel True's Rochelle (right) as she exacted revenge on a particularly nasty classmate, but in the end, the young witches taught us an important lesson about the consequences of taking magic to a dark place. Nearly 25 years after the film debuted, it finally scored a sequel: 2020's "The Craft: Legacy."
Rumors that she's secretly a witch have long plagued Fleetwood Mac frontwoman Stevie Nicks. Sure, she might dress like a witch, her music is reportedly copyrighted under the name Welsh Witch Music, she portrayed a version of herself that is a witch on "American Horror Story: Coven," and she's openly said that her hit "Rhiannon" is about a "Welsh witch." But that doesn't mean Stevie Nicks is a witch. It just doesn't… Does it?
Has there ever been a more glamorous witch than Jessica Lange's Fiona Goode? Sure, the reigning Supreme of a coven of Salem descendants living in New Orleans may have been "good" in name only, but we ate up every bit of her deliciously devious antics as she fought dirty to retain her power on "American Horror Story: Coven." The third season of the FX anthology series featured some of the most fabulously dressed women on television, but Fiona outclassed them all, even with buckets of blood — literal and figurative! — on her hands.
Blake Lively's big sis, Robyn Lively, starred as Louise Miller in 1989's "Teen Witch," which centered around a 16-year-old reincarnated witch who faces high school with the help of newly discovered magic powers. The soundtrack is divine — and Dan Gauthier is heavenly as Louise's cool-guy crush, Brad Powers. But the true magic of this flick is Louise's ridiculously fabulous '80s wardrobe.
Idina Menzel portrayed the misunderstood protagonist, Elphaba, in the original Broadway production of "Wicked," a revisionist look at the history of the Wicked Witch of the West from "The Wizard of Oz." We've never experienced anything more spellbinding than listening to the singer-actress perform the musical's smash hit "Defying Gravity." If that's not magic, we don't know what is!
Meanwhile… with her puffy pink dress and bedazzled wand, Billie Burke's Glinda, the Good Witch of the North in "The Wizard of Oz," has become one of the most iconic characters in pop culture history. She forever shaped our perception of how a witch who's dedicated her powers to the forces of good should look — as she tells a surprised Dorothy in the 1939 film, "Only bad witches are ugly." And her voice is just absolutely lovely to boot. What little girl didn't dream of scoring a helping hand from Glinda — or of slipping into her iconic pink frock?
It may take a man, Jack Nicholson's devilish Daryl Van Horne, to unlock their gifts, but a trio of best friends played by Cher, Susan Sarandon and Michelle Pfeiffer eventually prove the true meaning of girl power in the 1987 cult hit "The Witches of Eastwick." Hell isn't the only thing that's seriously H.O.T. as the suburban witches fight to loosen the devil's hold over them.
Azealia Banks has long claimed to be a real-life witch. In 2016, the music artist said that she'd been practicing "three years worth of brujería" (the Spanish word for witchcraft). "Real witches do real things," she said at the time.
Carice van Houten's Melisandre — a centuries-old witch with the power of prophecy — was a game-changer throughout eight seasons of "Game of Thrones." From reviving Jon Snow to influencing Stannis Baratheon to sacrifice his own daughter, Melisandre proved herself to be an all-powerful red priestess.
The evil sea witch we all love to hate? Ursula, the baddest witch in the sea, who tricked Ariel into trading her voice for a pair of human legs as she spun a devious plot to overthrow King Triton and rule Atlantica. Pat Carroll voiced Ursula in 1989's "The Little Mermaid," which won two Academy Awards and gave us one of the best villain songs of all time, Ursula's "Poor Unfortunate Souls."
Helena Bonham Carter's Bellatrix Lestrange was so eccentric, evil and skilled, we had to include her on this list. First appearing in the "Harry Potter" novels, Bellatrix made her debut on the big screen in 2007's "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix." She's a pure-blood Death Eater who's obsessed with Voldemort and taking out Harry — even going so far as to kill his godfather (and her cousin!) Sirius Black. Harsh!
Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman starred as Sally and Gillian Owens, two mismatched sisters with supernatural skills, in 1998's "Practical Magic," a (pretty dark) romantic comedy about the occult. We couldn't help falling in love with these beautiful witches as they struggled against a centuries-old family curse dooming the men they love to untimely deaths. It doesn't take the gift of premonition to figure out how this love story ends!
Meryl Streep underwent a major transformation to portray the misguided witch in the 2014 big-screen adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical "Into the Woods" — and earned Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for her efforts. It's a dark and dismal take on some of our favorite fairytales, but it's worth the tears to hear the esteemed actress belt out the showstoppers "Stay With Me" and "Last Midnight."
Kat Graham portrayed our favorite character — Bonnie Bennett — on The CW's "The Vampire Diaries." Time and time again, she saved not just her supernatural friends but the world at large. And though her magical abilities were incomparable, what really made her special was her huge heart, capacity for love and ability to endure an absurd amount of heartbreak. (Seriously, what did the writers room have against poor Bonnie?)
Anjelica Huston gave us nightmares after we saw her performance as the Grand High Witch in 1990's "The Witches," an adaptation of the 1983 Roald Dahl novel. She might have looked chic, but under her fabulous all-black ensemble lay a child-murdering heart of pure evil. And don't even get us started on what's under her character's mask. It's the stuff of nightmares! Though we question why our parents ever let us watch this film, we have to admit: It's pretty fun.
Anne Hathaway took over the role of the Grand High Witch in the 2020 remake of "The Witches," which debuted on HBO Max. It might not have performed well with critics, but the movie is worth a watch for the Oscar winner's deliciously devious performance!
Ruth Connell starred as Rowena, a natural witch and former member of the Grand Coven, on The CW's "Supernatural." After she was introduced during the 10th season of the show, the fiery redhead experienced a major transformation — from the Winchesters' loathed enemy to their trusted ally. She even somehow (extremely shockingly) became a mother-like figure to the boys.
Disney's Evil Queen has had a lot of iterations but her portrayal on ABC's "Once Upon a Time" is definitely one of the best. She is known as the quintessential wicked stepmother who uses dark magic to bring down Snow White after becoming insanely jealous of her beauty. On "OUAT," the queen — played by Lana Parrilla — had a much more nuanced story and background, showing that even the most evil witches can find some goodness within.
Tilda Swinton was both terrific and terrifying as Jadis, the White Witch, in 2005's "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," an adaptation of the allegorical children's book by C.S. Lewis. We get chills just thinking about the villainess, who's responsible for the constant winter in Narnia.
Angela Bassett shook us to the core when she played voodoo queen Marie Laveau on "American Horror Story: Coven." Her high priestess was hundreds of centuries old (and still looked amazing, just like Angela IRL) and proficient at performing fertility rituals, creating potions granting eternal life and mind control, and using the powers of transmutation, levitation and necromancy. This New Orleans witch was not to be taken lightly!
A classic good witch through and through, Minerva McGonagall — as played by Maggie Smith — is one of our all-time favorite witches. The "Harry Potter" franchise character is deputy headmistress, the head of Gryffindor House, a Transfiguration professor, and, later, the headmistress at Hogwarts. Most definitely #witchgoals.
Agnes Moorehead's Endora put a magical spin on the overbearing mother-in-law trope on "Bewitched." Finding the mortal world dull and boring, Endora antagonized Darren with magical tricks and encouraged her daughter, Samantha, to leave him. Her hijinks brought a special charm to the 1960s series and helped make "Bewitched" one of the most popular TV shows of all time.