Witches have long been portrayed on screens both big and small, and their evolution can be traced back decades. Let’s trigger some magical memories as we consider the history and fashion of the screen witch from the 1930s through today.
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
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Although both “good” and “bad” witches are portrayed in this classic film, it’s the Wicked one we remember. She’s a mean, green, flying monkey-commanding machine with an outfit that’s Pilgrim chic.
Samantha Stevens first appeared in the 1960s in black and white. Happily, Bewitched evolved as Technicolor TV gave us the full effect of this groovy witch’s fashion spectrum. Stevens and her adorable, twitch-tastic nose could rock bold paisley patterns just as well as a quintessential pointed hat and classic black.
The Witches of Eastwick (1987)
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Three witches try to conjure the man of their dreams only to find out he’s really a nightmare. Featuring an all-star cast, luscious hair curls, and shiny gowns, The Witches of Eastwick is the perfect mix of comedic fun and thriller.
Teen Witch (1989)
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High school drama meets the supernatural when Louise Miller inherits magic powers on her 16th birthday. The huge ’80s hairdos, abundance of acid-washed denim, taffeta layered skirts, and a spectacularly cheesy rap scene in the film make for quite the visual treat.
The Witches (1990)
Image via Work Life Balance
Based on the book by Roald Dahl, this movie traumatized me during childhood, when my best friend and I had to step out of the theater at the sight of some seriously strange, melted witch faces. (I’m still confused as to why The Witches is rated “PG.”) The flick does provide quite the young adult adventure, though, as a boy tries to stop the world’s evil witches before they can rid it of children. With Anjelica Huston as head witch, at least the baddies provide us with some wardrobe inspiration. Check out that bling.
The Craft (1996)
Image via fashion.grunge.style.
The Craft has many ’90s grunge fashion staples — chokers, oil-slicked coats, floral prints, bell sleeves, overalls — and a solid cast of mean girl witches.
Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (1996-2003)
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As tweens, so many of us spent our Friday nights watching Sabrina Spellman navigate high school. With two quirky aunts and a talking cat to guide her, Sabrina learns to balance human and witch life through hard-won but charming life lessons. On screen during the transition from late 1990s to early 2000s fashion trends, we saw Sabrina and her friends sport everything from spaghetti straps, Baby Tees, and platform shoes to butterfly clips and rave hair styling.
Image via fanpop
Although it was on air during a similar time frame as Sabrina, Charmed was more of an adult drama that gave a supernatural twist to more mature issues. The show’s styles were edgier, darker, and sultry…okay, well, except in this glitter-dust 2000s fantasy-land photo, which is too amazing not to highlight.
American Horror Story: Coven (2014)
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American Horror Story has some serious fashion sense, and season three in this thrilling series is no exception to the rule. Coven style embraced the messy grunge looks of previous decades but brought them into crisper, modern focus.
The Witches of East End (2014)
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Season two of this relatively new show just ended with some mouth-dropping drama, but I can’t stop thinking about it. Everything about The Witches of East End has me hooked. Sure, there are some “women’s TV” cliche moments, but the strong female leads, fantastic outfits (both current and vintage), and amazing set decor keep me tuning in. Not an episode passes by where I don’t admire Wendy, Joanna, Freya, or Ingrid’s perfectly characteristic accessories.
There are too many other TV and movie witches than we could possibly list, but we’d love to know in the comments: Which witch stands out for you in screen history?