Witches will be zooming around your neighbourhood on broomsticks this Halloween, or simply knocking on your door asking for treats. Either way, this spooky holiday wouldn't be complete without them, and what better way to honour our magical neighbours than to explore some of the greatest fictional witches showbiz has ever seen?
Prue, Piper and Phoebe Halliwell (Charmed)
Witches often come in threes, but these Charmed Ones - played by Shannen Doherty, Holly Marie Combs and Alyssa Milano - are some of the most well-known to millenials. They are sisters who discover that they can fight demons and warlocks who seek to destroy them through combining their magical powers, but they also have to keep it apart from their ordinary lives.
Hermione Granger (Harry Potter)
Portrayed by Emma Watson, Harry Potter's clever bestie is one of the greatest female book characters ever brought to screen. She's bright, an outcast given her Muggle blood, and yet she still manages to win the affections of several Quidditch players (without the use of magic).
Sabrina Spellman (Sabrina the Teenage Witch)
Based on the Archie comic series of the same name, this live action series was all about a 16-year-old half-witch half-mortal and her struggles to juggle her magical path with her two aunts and high-school life with her friends and boyfriend Harvey. Time and time again she must learn that magic and mortals don't mix easily.
Willow Rosenberg (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Buffy's best pal really came into her own when she started practising magic, and she's actually a really important example of TV diversity. Alyson Hannigan's character is a Jewish computer geek, gay (for the last three seasons), and super adorable, though sometimes her wicca practise takes her down a darker road.
Sally and Gillian Owens (Practical Magic)
These sisters are polar opposites when it comes to men and morals but there isn't a pair of sisters in the world more emotionally connected than these two (except perhaps their wacky aunts Jet and Francis). Portrayed by Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman, they have to fight to break a curse on their family which ensures that tragedy plague their love lives.
Nancy Downs (The Craft)
Without doubt the most dynamic of her three friends, this high school goth soon turns pure evil when all of them start to lose control of their powers. She takes her Manon worship to the extreme and uses it to torment her new friend Sarah, only for her greed and jealousy to finally drive her insane.
The Wicked Witch of the West (The Wizard of Oz)
One of the most stereotypical portrayals of witches in film history, but nonetheless an entertaining one. Margaret Hamilton played the green sorceress who wanted Dorothy's ruby slippers, though her wickedness was turned on its head in the later origins stage musical Wicked.
Winnie, Mary and Sarah Sanderson (Hocus Pocus)
Everyone's favourite Halloween film follows three witches played by Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker who set out to kill children on October 31st and absorb their youth. While they were executed long ago, a spell Winnie placed on her book allows them to resurrect thanks to the careless actions of a young teen.
Michelle Pfeiffer was excellent as the Star-hunting sorceress in this 2007 film based on the book by Neil Gaiman. She also played a witch in the epic 80s flick The Witches of Eastwick, so Pfeiffer really knows how to do wicked. Like her Hocus Pocus counterparts, she is also seeking eternal youth with her two sisters.
Miss Ernst (The Witches)
We loved her in The Addams Family, but it's possible we loved Anjelica Huston just a little bit more in this Roald Dahl classic. The stuff of nightmares when we were kids, but now a must-see featuring a convention of witches at a hotel who will stop at nothing to seek out and destroy children, whom they have a deep distaste for.
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