October is finally here and as always, the most wonderful time of the year wouldn't be complete without ABC Family's Halloween movie marathons. Ghosts, zombies, monsters, whatever the hell The Addams Family are, all are packaged in bright colors and crammed down our throats. And as much as I love sitting around with three or four friends and seven or eight boxes of wine watching such classics as "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and "Batman Returns" (I still don't understand why it's a Halloween movie...), the only witches, one of Halloween's biggest clichés, who are regularly represented are The Sanderson Sisters.
"Thank you, Andrew, for that MAHvelous introduction." - Winifred Sanderson
So in honor of October's arrival, I've taken the liberty of dusting off some of pop culture's greatest witches.
10. Samantha Stevens
She wasn't scary, mean, and she didn't even have a cauldron or a cat, but from 1964 to 1972 Samantha Stephens (Elizabeth Montgomery) tried to put her powers on pause to play the perfect suburban housewife. Whenever she did use them, it was always for good. Yawn. But sometimes she managed to use her powers to humiliate snobs and bigots, so she wasn't a total bore.
9. Sabrina Spellman
Another kindhearted witch. Sabrina had magic at her fingertips and still had a crappy high school experience. Are you kidding me? Give me those powers and I would've been Prom King four years in a row. I would've had a 5.0. I would've had caviar and champagne waiting for me in the cafeteria every day. Someone pisses you off? Zap, permanent acne, problem solved. Sabrina really dropped the ball.
8. The Grand High Witch
Now we're talking. The Grand High Witch, played to perfection in "The Witches" (based on the Roald Dahl book) by Angelia Huston, was evil incarnate (and nightmare fuel for five year old me). Her main goal in life was to rid the world of children (and, no spoilers, but judging by the last flight I was on, she failed miserably). She's fashionable, she's rich, and she's mean, and if it wasn't for the fact that she was stopped by children, she would be the perfect role model.
I never have and I never will
I have always said that Ursula wasn't a villain. She was a shrewd businesswoman. Is Bill Gates a villain? Was Steve Jobs a villain? Is Donald Trump a villain?
Don't answer that.
But she clearly outlined the terms of the deal. She didn't commit a crime, she capitalized on someone else's stupidity. She uses her powers for profit, unlike any other witch on this list. She's a genius, an entrepreneur, and a patriot!
6. The Wicked Witch of the West
Showing up to parties like
Vicious, hateful, instantly recognizable, the Wicked Witch of the West is an icon. And though she was eventually stopped by a teenager and a bucket of water, the Wicked Witch is still one of cinema's greatest baddies.
5. Fiona Goode
Ryan Murphy's success isn't accidental, and his casting of Jessica Lange for the first four seasons of American Horror Story proves that. In the third season of this anthological series, Lange plays Fiona Goode, the "Supreme" of her coven and one of the worst fictional characters to ever grace the small screen. She'll kill a potential successor, suck a man's soul out, frame a rival for murder and still have time for a dirty martini. She's chic, she's modern, and she's scary, everything a witch must be if she wants to make it in the 21st century.
4. Gillian Holroyd
Gillian Holroyd (played by Kim Novak) is the main character of the 1958 movie "Bell, Book, and Candle". She is a beatnik living in Greenwich Village, she owns her own African art gallery, and she isn't above using a love spell to steal her college rival's fiancé. Even though she makes the idiotic mistake of sacrificing her powers for the man she loves, she's still a great (and underappreciated) witchy woman.
3. Minerva McGonagall
Dame Maggie Smith is an Academy Award-winning actress and a living legend. She has played some amazing characters over her 60 year-long career, but I would be lying if I said that any were better than Professor Minerva McGonagall from the Harry Potter series. If you've read the books and/or seen the movies, you know what I mean. If not, I can't begin to explain why she's as amazing as she is.
Endora (Agnes Moorehead) is Samantha Stephens' mother and my personal favorite of the list. She was less of a cartoonish villain (despite her makeup, hair, and clothes) and for almost every episode of Bewitched's eight season run, she did everything she could to get her daughter to divorce her husband. Like me, Endora hated all mortals, but unlike me, she actually had the powers to do something about it, and only she could take the same plot for every episode and make it so entertaining.
1. Winifred Sanderson
I know I said that The Sanderson Sisters are the only witches regularly shown during October, but there's a reason for that. Winifred Sanderson is October, she is Halloween, she is a legend. This is the role Bette was born to play (no offense, Ms. Midler), and if there isn't a sequel made soon I'm going to relight the Black Flame Candle myself.
Or find somebody to...
Halloween holds a special place in my heart because it combines my favorite things: candy, scaring children, and the same great movies playing ten times a day. There's only one week left before ABC Family starts their annual marathon so be sure to stock up on the necessities (pumpkin spice-flavored vodka and candy corn), kick back, and relax.