Top TV & Film Witches
So which witches have what it takes to make our list? Let's not waste another moment; it is time to get bewitched, bothered, and bewildered:
The Sanderson Sisters: Winifred, Sarah and Mary (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy)
Hocus Pocus (1993)
Originally planned as a TV movie, "Hocus Pocus" was brought to the big screen with the help of a famous celeb called Bette. She was the head of this trio of baddies whose plan was to literally suck the lives out of all the children of Salem. From siren songs to the ability to raise the dead, these women were not a force to be fooled with. A pre "Sex and the City" Sarah Jessica Parker is a particular highlight as the ditzy Sarah Sanderson. Oh, and lest we forget a certain musical number. If this is how spells are cast, sign us up!
Louise Miller (Robyn Lively)
Teen Witch (1989)
It's the classic story of an unpopular girl who learns she's a witch and uses her powers to get a guy and commit family friendly revenge on her peers. Louise Miller introduced a generation to teenage witches who didn't need a talking cat. More importantly though, everyone learned that magic should be used responsibly, because it isn't right to get everything you want. There is a remake in the works with Ashley Tisdale as the star. Will we see a fresh take on this now cliché story?
Sabrina Spellman (Melissa Joan Hart)
Sabrina the Teenage Witch (1996-2003)
A throwback from the 70s, Sabrina came to TGIF in the mid nineties as a vehicle for former Clarissa Explains It All star Melissa Joan Hart. Again using magic as a metaphor for growing up, Sabrina was helped along by her aunts Hilda and Zelda along with Salem, a former dictator turned cat. The most unnerving part of the show was Sabrina learning valuable lessons about magic while her two aunts were busy zapping themselves new furniture or hiring pirates as butlers. Apparently, after Sabrina learns how to be a witch the real fun begins.
The Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton)
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Depending on who you talk to, this witch is plain evil or just plain misunderstood. The musical "Wicked" may have altered our perception of the Wicked Witch of the West, but she still takes a spot on our list of top witches. Never one to back away from a fight, this dastardly lady uses fireballs and poppies to attack her foes. Maybe she should have read a bit farther in her spell book, and then she might have stood a chance against Dorothy and her crew.
The Halliwell Sisters: Piper, Phoebe, Paige, and Prue (Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano, Rose McGowan, and Shannen Doherty)
The sisters of "Charmed" fought evil as a threesome. Although some cast members are better known for rhyming with witch than actually being a witch, the show lasted for eight years and in that time taught us all the greatest lesson of all. No matter who our siblings are, the answer to all life's questions and the spells to vanquish every demon both discovered and undiscovered are located in a book the attic. Oh, and also don't mess with Alyssa Milano. She can have you replaced. Looks like they were real witches after all.
The Blair Witch
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
How does a witch who might not even exist in her own movie make our list? If you've watched the ending of "The Blair Witch Project" you wouldn't be arguing. The Blair Witch may not be real, but her influence over the characters in two films cannot be denied. What keeps happening to those that venture out into the woods of Burketsville? Only the witch herself knows, and for all those that witness her power, life is too short to care.
Sarah, Nancy, Bonnie and Rochelle (Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell, and Rachel True)
The Craft (1996)
The movie that started the Wicca-Woman craze centers on four catholic school girls finding their inner goddess. Exploring the dark side of teen witchcraft, these ladies get everything they ever wanted, and then something goes wrong. Revenge spells won't stop, love spells create stalkers, and one of the coven decides to invoke one pissed-off spirit. At least their heart was in the right place. Although sensationalized, their views of witchcraft are sort of based in reality (the ideas are, not the crazy spell casting). Don't rush out to pick up that spell book quite yet.
The Sons of Ipswich (Steven Strait, Toby Hemingway, Taylor Kitsch, and Chace Crawford)
The Covenant (2006)
Now a little something for the ladies. Not all witches are women, and these lads are proof enough that when witchcraft gets a Y-chromosome, life becomes an Abercrombie and Fitch catalogue. The Sons of Ipswich use their power in the most predictable way ever - they use it to score with girls and become popular. The lesson they learn in the process? Four is a coven, and five is a crowd. The addition of another member follows the rule set up by "The Craft," and mayhem ensues. At least these guys know how to use magic to fight, a skill that is lacking in some of their teenage witch counterparts.
Willow (Alyson Hannigan)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003)
There are teen witches, there are wicked witches, and then there's Willow Rosenberg. Sidekick to her demon fighting best friend Buffy, Willow grew into a witch slowly with a few pencil floating tricks and a spell or two gone awry. Fast forward to season six and not only does Willow bring Buffy back from the dead, but she also goes to a very dark place when her girlfriend Tara is shot and killed. She loses a few points for being part of a magic/addiction storyline but comes through in the end when she turns several thousand girls into slayers for the not-so-final fight.
Sally and Gillian Owens (Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman)
Practical Magic (1998)
Witchcraft favors sisters. We've seen them fight evil, be evil, and in "Practical Magic" Sally and Gillian are just trying to live their lives. This doesn't go according to plan when the sisters kill an abusive boyfriend, twice, and then have to deal with his haunting spirit. As all magical movies go, love conquers all, and Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman come out on top with nobody questioning why the pair of them don't even resemble distant cousins, let alone sisters.
Samantha Stephens and Endora (Elizabeth Montgomery and Agnes Moorehead)
Here's a mother/daughter team who shook up the lives of two Darrins and kept audiences laughing the entire eight-year run of the show. Samantha tried her hardest to live as a mortal, much in the vein of a certain teenage witch, but with Endora popping in and turning Darrin into different animals, Samantha got dragged into scheme after scheme. It's the ultimate metaphor for mixed marriages and a mother-in-law who won't butt out.
Mildred Hubble (Fairuza Balk)
The Worst Witch (1986)
It took Fairuza Balk years of practice before she could join "The Craft." The actress starred in "The Worst Witch" about an accident prone spellcaster at a school for witches and wizards. She must learn how to control her powers and fight the evil twin of the headmaster. This sounds rather familiar doesn't it? Looks like Harry Potter had some competition a decade before he first arrived at Hogwart's.
Alexandra, Jane, and Sukie (Cher, Susan Sarandon, and Michelle Pfeiffer)
The Witches of Eastwick (1987)
What happens when three women summon a not-so-friendly Jack Nicholson? Well, for most women a restraining order and a cold shower follows but for Alexandra, Jane, and Sukie they get powers beyond their imagination. Being a film about witches, sex and revenge follow before the trio decide to rid themselves of the devilish being in their midst. For those looking for a grittier version of the story, pick up the story by John Updike, which casts an even darker tone on the goings on in Eastwick. Bonus trivia: Marcia Cross of Desperate Housewives was cast in a television pilot based on the novel. It was never picked up, but there has always been something supernatural about Bree's cooking.
Story by Dan Chruscinski
Starpulse contributing writer
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