The Scariest Classic Witches in film
OK, let me first state that I am not speaking of Wiccan’s, Pagan’s, or any earth religions and followers, and I do realize there is a great difference between the perception of witches and what witches actually are. I also know there is a great difference between the Wicca religion and Satan worshipers.
What I am speaking about is the classic legend of witches, the witch image stereotype that had been used for centuries to scare children and keep them from wandering in the forest; the scary image men conjured in centuries past from their own fears of things they did not understand; the visions that sparked the Salem Witch Trials and the Spanish Inquisition.
And, lastly, I am not talking about the pretty or sexy witch. Ever since Bewitched aired in the late 1960’s, there has been way too many of them in film.
So, without further explanation, here are my favorite scary witches:
5) Black Sunday (1960) - Her face encased with the mask of Satan, tortured and burned at the stake, accused witch, Asa Vajda, comes to life centuries later to exact her revenge upon the descendants of her persecutors. Directed by Mario Bava.
3) The Wizard of Oz (1939) - Margaret Hamilton’s portrayal of a witch in this classic film is the epitome of the witch legend. Ask any child what a witch looks like and they will draw something resembling The Wicked Witch of the West.
2) Pumpkinhead (1988) - Deep in the shadowed woods lives a witch named, Hagis, who can cast a spell upon anyone that has wronged you. In classic evil fashion, your wish always comes with a consequence. When Ed (Lance Henriksen) realizes what he has done, he is angered at himself. “God Damn me!” he says… to which Hagis replies, “He already has, Ed Harley, he already has.” (Side note: this is some of Henriksen’s best acting of his career.)
1) Tales From the Dark side – episode: Trick or Treat
(1st season – 1983) – Damned if you can find a better classic witch than this one. Creepy as hell, a wickedly evil laugh and voice, and a face that could turn you to stone if you stare into it for too long.
Clash of the Titans (1981) – the Stygian Witches
These are not necessarily the best movies about witches or witchcraft but were chosen for their portrayal of the iconic witch image. Perhaps I’ll post future list of top witch/witchcraft/occult movies. I will want to wait until I have seen Lords of Salem (2012 – Rob Zombie) before I do that.
Believe it or not, there were not a whole lot of choices; I thought there would be so much more. So, if you think of a film or show that featured a scary-classic witch (even in a small role) let me know in the comments and I’ll add a photo to my honorable mentions.