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Fictional Witches

Updated on March 19, 2016

My Favorite Fictional Witches

Witches are the beloved villains of fiction. Introduced at a young age we soon learn to fear the green, cackling women zooming around on broomsticks. Witches turn handsome princes into frogs and even transform themselves into beautiful queens to manipulate heartbroken kings. They pose as wicked stepmothers to terrorize innocent children. Literature has a long history with these hideous hags, and our love for such wicked women has flowed into the realm of film. Artful storytelling brings these deliciously dark and dangerous beings to life. Yet not all are evil and twisted. We each have a favorite fictional witch and there are certainly many others that spring to mind.

Fictional Enchantresses, Sorcerers, And Witches

Witches have been part of storytelling for centuries. The word "witch" first appeared in the English language in the late 13th century. Prior to this, girls associated with magic were known as "enchantresses" or "sorcerers." References to witches trace back as far as the ancient world. Both Greece and Rome bare epic tales where female creatures enticed men with charms and elixirs. "Homer's Odyssey," introduced "Circe," a beautiful witch who turned Odysseus's men into pigs.

However, Greek and Roman lore speak of one-eyed, single-toothed witches called "Graeae." Legends depicted these mythological spirits as women with the bodies of swans wearing disheveled clothing. It appears as though this is where the image of the hideous hag was born.

Tales of witches appear in the most unlikely of places. The Book of Samuel in the Bible introduces the Witch of Endor. Knowing full well that sorcery was forbidden in his kingdom, King Saul sets out to Endor to seek the wisdom of the witch. She obliging summons the ghost of the prophet Samuel. Stories of witches have also been found in real life events too.

Arthur Miller's, "The Crucible," was inspired by the 1692 Salem Witch Trials. Elizabeth Proctor was the first of nineteen women executed for practicing witchcraft. One of the first women placed on trial was a slave girl named Tituba. Allegedly, Tituba had signed a pact with the devil. She was even reported to have flown through the air on a broomstick. Tituba was imprisoned. Upon her release, she magically disappeared.

Are Witches Are Just Evil?

Now when it comes to storytelling, any writer worth their salt knows good plot and proper character development is essential. Each hero needs a quest, an almost impossible mission where they face their deepest fears for the sake of the greater good. The villain most certainly has a heart-wrenching history that drives the plot of the story. But scanning the works of Hans Christian Andersen or even the Grimm Brothers, it is impossible to find a back-story for a witch.

Evil witches are just that - evil.

More contemporary writers have embellished witch stories by offering explanations for why the witch is present. For example, Rapunzel's witch held her captive simply because she was a childless, lonely old woman.

Ursula, The Sea Witch in, "The Little Mermaid," sort revenge after being banished from the palace. But beyond the plot of the story, these despicable, evil hags simply don't have a past. Their role is purely to scare children.

Witches, like all menacing fictional characters, teach young readers of real life perils. Stories that present the main character falling for the trickery of a witch warn young children of the dangers of talking to strangers.

Hansel and Gretel learn this the hard way. Their evil stepmother convinces the father to leave them deep in the woods. It is here that Hansel and Gretel stumble across the witch living in a gingerbread house. This witch is terrifying. She deliberately sets out to trap and ensnare naive children only to eat them; a trait that is later shared in Roald Dahl's story, 'The Witches.' Behind the mask of the stylish, sophisticated Grand High Witch is an atrocious creature. She is the epitome of evil. She is nasty even to her fellow witches, wielding power by inciting fear.

My Favorite Witch Books

These books are about my favorite witches, and I thought I would share it with you. First on my book list is going to be Harry Potter, there are so many wonderful witch characters in that book series, how can I put it anywhere else?

The Beautiful Creatures Paperback Set: Beautiful Creatures, Beautiful Darkness, Beautiful Chaos
The Beautiful Creatures Paperback Set: Beautiful Creatures, Beautiful Darkness, Beautiful Chaos

Beautiful Creatures is a story about a mortal and a witch, and what they can accomplish together. I enjoyed the books and I loved the movie too.

 

The Character Of The Witch

For a long while, the character of a witch lay dormant in the pages of novels. They merely provided a stereotypical antagonist for stories. The three meddling witches found in Shakespeare's, "Macbeth," have probably delivered the most famous quote associated with their kind. "Double double toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble" This image of cackling, toothless, old women sporting hairy warts, stirring a bubbling brew of bats wings and eye of gnat, has long prevailed. These three Witches' are nothing but "toil and trouble."

The Three Witches

C.S. Lewis terrified his audience with his White Witch, who thrust Narnia into an everlasting winter in, "The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe." This heartless, cold witch held an entire world in her clutches. She delivered nothing but suffering. With the aid of Turkish delight, this wicked witch turned Edward against his siblings, all in an attempt to cement her control over the throne.

The Most Famous Fictional Witches

Glinda Is The Good Witch In The Wizard Of Oz.  The Evil Witch Is Called The Wicked Witch.  This Picture Is From Amazon And You Can Find It For Sale On This Page.
Glinda Is The Good Witch In The Wizard Of Oz. The Evil Witch Is Called The Wicked Witch. This Picture Is From Amazon And You Can Find It For Sale On This Page.

Yet the most famous witches of all are from L. Frank Baum's, "The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz." Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, is the most generous and gentle witch ever known.

Wizard of Oz Glinda "Are You a Good Witch or a Bad Witch?" Tin Sign

Yet it is the Wicked Witch of the West that the world embraced. Brought to life on the silver screen in 1939, this cackling hag was a sight to behold. In reference to the Celtic myth which described witches as having skin as ugly as their souls, MGM embraced the new technology of colored film and colored her green.

Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch of the West
Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch of the West

Wicked Witch of The West Poster, The Wizard of Oz

This nasty being, cloaked in black, who threatened Dorothy with, "I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!" gave children nightmares. Since 1939, her likeness has been a favored Halloween costume. In 1995, Gregory Maguire wrote, "Wicked: the Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West." For the first time, the world was able to get inside the head of the wicked witch, Elphaba Thropp. It appeared that beneath that hard exterior was an ostracized, green girl who was simply misunderstood.

Hermione Granger

Hermoine Grainger, of Harry Potter fame, is one of my very favorite fictional witches! She is a good witch through and through, and she is one of Harry's best friends along with Ron Weasley. If you haven't read the Harry Potter books or seen the Harry Potter movies, I strongly suggest you do. They are very entertaining!

Disney's Malificent

The World of Disney presented two unforgettable witches. Firstly, Queen Grimhilde, the witch intent on killing Snow White in the 1937 cartoon, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." This devilish character famously comes in at number ten, in the 50 Best Movie Villains of All Time. Her evil ways are only outdone by the most spiteful Disney characters, Maleficent, the dispicable witch of Disney's 1959 animated film, "Sleeping Beauty." Yet not all Disney's witches are bad. In the story, "Beauty and the Beast," an un-named witch turns the young prince into a hideous beast to teach him valuable life lessons.

Fictional Witch Quiz


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The White Witch

The White Witch is from the wonderful Chronicles of Narnia.

Molly Takes Down Bellatrix - The Good Witch VS The Bad Witch In Harry Potter

Bewitched - Fictional TV Witch

Bewitched was a sit com aired from 1964 to 1972. The cast of Bewitched included Elizabeth Montgomery, Agnes Moorehead and Dick York. Photo Credit: This Bewitched Picture is in the public domain and I found it on Wikipedia
Bewitched was a sit com aired from 1964 to 1972. The cast of Bewitched included Elizabeth Montgomery, Agnes Moorehead and Dick York. Photo Credit: This Bewitched Picture is in the public domain and I found it on Wikipedia

The supernatural-themed sitcom of the 1960s, "Bewitched,

introduced the world to the sophisticated witch, Samantha. Married to a mortal, Darrin, Samantha presents the idea of witches living among everyday people. Samantha's own children have the gift of magic, but it is her interfering mother, Endora, a sultry sorceress hell-bent on tormenting her human son-in-law, who creates the conflict. Samantha is by all accounts, a good witch.

Fin Raziel and Queen Bavmorda From Willow

Witches Of Hogwarts

Miss Hermione Granger, Harry Potter's Best Friend, Ron Weasley's Girl Friend, And The Best Witch In Her Class At Hogwarts School Of Magic.  This picture is from Amazon and it's a poster you can buy on this page.
Miss Hermione Granger, Harry Potter's Best Friend, Ron Weasley's Girl Friend, And The Best Witch In Her Class At Hogwarts School Of Magic. This picture is from Amazon and it's a poster you can buy on this page.

Forty years later, J.K. Rowling made an entire generation of children believe in good magic once again. Her young, sassy witch, Hermione Granger stole many a heart as she, along with other students of Hogwart's, helped Harry Potter fulfill his destiny.

With the rise of Harry Potter and the success of other magical-themed novels, a renewed interest in all things supernatural has emerged. Hundreds of stories have given birth to a new telling of this mythical creature. A plethora of new witch movies dominate the silver screen. Television's "Charmed," "Supernatural," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Sabrina the Teenaged Witch," to name a few, all breath new life into the fictional witch. Good or bad, young or old, the character of a witch is greatly loved by all.

One More Witch - It's The Halloween Kitchen Witch!

Here's Me - The Halloween Kitchen Witch And I'm A Good Witch!
Here's Me - The Halloween Kitchen Witch And I'm A Good Witch!

I love witches. In fact, my handle on Squidoo is The Halloween Kitchen Witch!

I wanted to share my favorite fictional witches with you and see if your favorites jive with mine. Through the years I've found many witches in books and in movies, and I am sure many of these magical ladies will be familiar names to you, but some of them might be new. You might know of a witch that I have never heard of, so please let me know about her!

Charmed - Piper, Phoebe, and Prue

Charmed - Piper, Phoebe, and Prue
Charmed - Piper, Phoebe, and Prue

Witch Movies & DVDS

If you, like me, love fictional witches you can do one of three things. Read about them, watch movies about them, or write your own fictional witch story ... and let me know when you do. I'd love to read it!

More Witch Movie Titles

  1. Witches of Eastwick
  2. Teen Witch
  3. The Coven
  4. The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe
  5. The Good Witch
  6. Race To Witch Mountain
  7. Hansel And Gretel: Witch Hunters
  8. The Craft
  9. The Crucible
  10. The Wizard Of Oz

The List Of Fictional Witches And The Books Or Movies They Live In

Here's a list of some of my favorite witches of fiction, and the books or movies they live in. Don't you just love a good witch movie or book?

  1. Hermoine Granger - "Harry Potter"
  2. Circe - the witch from "Homer's Odyssey"
  3. Medea - Find a book about this ancient witch on this page all about Medea and read about this interesting witch
  4. The Witch Of Endor - from the "Book Of Samuel"
  5. Elizabeth Proctor - from Arthur Miller's book, "The Crucible"

Real Witches?

The Salem Witch Trials Really Happened

There were witch trials in this country in Salem, Mass. If you like witches, and would be interested in a bit of morbid history, this DVD set is perfect for you.



Here are more fun ideas for Halloween - Do you recognize any of these witch costumes from fiction?

Glinda The Good Witch

Source

Maleficent The Witch

Who is your favorite fictional witch?

Who Are You Calling A Witch?

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