The Witch opens Friday, and it’s already getting a well-deserved reputation as one of the scariest horror films in recent memory. But witches have terrorized the big screen since the very beginning of cinema. Here are the nine movie witches who’ve haunted us the most.
There are some action movies that just embrace the total absurdity of their own existence, and invite you to come along for a crazy silly ride. These are among my favorite sorts of movies out there, and I’m happy to report that The Last Witch Hunter is a pretty good addition to this canon.
In 2014, Italian archaeologists discovered a 15th century skeleton of a young woman, dubbed “witch girl” because she was buried face down. But new analysis of her bones has shown she suffered from scurvy, an ailment whose frightening symptoms (seizures, bleeding) likely led to her becoming an outcast.
On Thursday, Wiccan high priestess Deborah Maynard led the Iowa legislature in prayer. Invited by representative Liz Bennett (make your Pride and Prejudice jokes, please), Maynard was the first Wiccan to deliver the morning blessing.
HBO's pilot for "provocative period drama" set during the Salem witch trials, The Devil You Know, has added a grip of new cast members as it rolls toward production this spring, including Karen Gillan (Doctor Who, Guardians of the Galaxy). The actor shared her excitement yesterday:
The peacock flower (or flos pavonis) is an arresting plant, standing nine feet tall in full bloom, with brilliant red and yellow blossoms. But it's more than beautiful; it's an abortifacient, too. One of the most striking records of the plant comes from German-born botanical illustrator Maria Sibylla Merian who, in…
Some of the most terrifying supernatural imagery from centuries ago doesn't feature demons and devils. Instead, it shows us what we did to people who were accused of witchcraft. Here are some terrifying visual records of how people imagined witches — and how they killed them.
Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy are all down for a sequel film to Hocus Pocus. Hey, Disney — get a shovel because it's time to resurrect Thackery Binx in cat form!
There are some storybook creatures that seem to have some serious cultural staying power: vampires, werewolves, fairies, and, of course, witches. But what is it about stories about witches that keep us coming back for more after so long?
The first season of Salem has come to close with a good deal of blood and a major revelation, but as we reflect on the season, it's clear that the show missed an opportunity to mine its historical inspiration. While Salem went for gore and the occasional bit of shock value, it ignored the truly terrifying paranoia…
In this corner, we have Increase Mather, the torture-loving witch hunter supreme of Salem. And in the other corner, we have a pair of Satan's handmaidens, armed with a cauldron of magical tricks. When they cross blades, who will come out on top?
Okay, you win, Increase Mather. You are the worst person on Salem—no matter how many devil-worshipping witches are about. But we really didn't need to see the rapey torture methods you use to expose witches.
Salem has been built around some bizarre and gruesome visuals—a toad nursing on a woman's thigh, a girl muzzled and led about like a dog, dead faces stretched out and made to speak. But sometimes, there's nothing quite like a gaggle of girls dressed all in white with murder in their hearts.
Salem can be fun, but it often lets its plot meander in favor of big, bloody spectacles. But now that Cotton Mather's father, the fearsome Puritan minister Increase, is in town, these witch trials are finally starting to get interesting.
Somehow Cotton Mather continues to be the most reasonable, rational person on Salem—and it's pretty weird. But at last we're getting a Puritan who kills accused witches first, asks questions later, and quite literally expects God to sort them out.
Salem is a strange show. After all, it takes the Salem witch trials, a period of history during which women were especially vulnerable to persecution, and inserts actual witches. But the thesis of the show may be that becoming a witch—or participating in witch hysteria—is the best option many women in Salem have.
How do you get to be the top witch in Salem? It's not by being an especially skilled magic user. It's by manipulating people into doing what you want them to do, and last night's episode all about Mary turning people into her semi-willing pawns—or blaming them for attracting her ire.
For its third episode, Salem accuses a third member of its Puritan town of witchcraft. But what happens when two of the most powerful local witches disagree on what should happen to the accused?
Really, Salem? Last week, the show about the Salem witch trials seemed off to a fun start as its witches plotted their revenge against the town's Puritan leaders. But the second episode pushed some of the show's more troubling aspects to the forefront.
When we learned that Brannon Braga was returning to television drama with a fantasy show about the Salem witch trials, we had high hopes. And Salem is off to a fun and demented start, imagining that the American colonial witch hysteria involved real witches, while keeping its questions about good and evil complicated.