Pop Culture's 10 Greatest Witches

Pop Culture's 10 Greatest Witches

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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.


7. Ursula

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.


2. Endora


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.

Cover Image Credit: https://38.media.tumblr.com/ec641a9b53c61ab61f0e02c33b19286e/tumblr_nvlwt5Xcac1tb1bqzo1_500.gif

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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To Percy Jackson, I Hope You're Well...

Percy Jackson and the Olympians and the Heroes of Olympus are both series which helped shape my life. I want to share my love for them here, with you.

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Two days before I moved from New Jersey to California, I had a late night at a friend's house. Just a few miles outside of my small town of Morris Plains, his house was out of the way and a safe haven for myself and my mother during a harrowing and strenuous move. My father had been across the country already for almost two months trying to hold down his new job and prove himself. His absence was trying on me (at the tender young age of nine years old) and my mother, and we often spent time at my friend's home, as our mothers got along well.

That night came the time to say goodbye for the very last time, and as our mothers were tearfully embracing at the door, he ran up to me and shoved a book in my hands. Bewildered and confused, I tried to give him my thanks but he was already gone - running away in a childish fit that expressed his hurt at my leaving more than any words he could've said. I looked down at the book in my hands. It was a battered copy of Rick Riordan's "The Lightning Thief," with its binding bulging slightly out in a strange fashion, the cover slightly torn and bent, and quite a few pages dog-eared. The book wasn't in good condition, but I took the time to read it. I was ensnared and enchanted by the lurid descriptions of mythology, of the lovable characters of Percy, Annabeth, and Grover, and the upside-down world they lived in. Over the course of the move and our eventual settling into our new California home, I devoured the series adamantly, reading "The Battle of the Labyrinth" almost five times in the fifth grade and eventually finishing out with "The Last Olympian." The series accompanied me through a difficult move and a whirlwhind of early puberty; by that time, Percy and friends I knew intimately as my own companions. When the series ended, I happily parted with it, and began other literary conquests (namely in the realm of classics).

After an almost year-long break, I re-discovered the series in sixth grade. I hadn't realized that there was a companion series to the first, in fact, a continuation - The Heroes of Olympus. I lapped up "The Lost Hero" and "The Son of Neptune" with greed, and eagerly awaited the arrival of "The Mark of Athena" the following year.

One of my most vivid memories of middle school was sneaking downstairs the morning of the Kindle release of "The Mark of Athena", sneaking past my parents' bedroom as stealthily as I could in the wee hours of the morning to get my kindle and immerse myself in the world. I believe I finished it in about two days. For the next two books in the series, I followed the same pattern: get up early, read it as fast as I could get my hands on it. "The Blood of Olympus", the last book in the series, came out in my freshman year of high school. After finishing the second series, I shelved my much-loved paperbacks for good, and turned myself to other literary pursuits. I eventually relocated to Virginia, and went to college. Percy and friends were almost forgotten until my first year at the University of Virginia.

I was devastatingly alone my first semester at university. I didn't know what to do with myself, entombed by my loneliness. However, at the bottom of my suitcase, I found my old Kindle Paperwhite, with both of Percy's series neatly installed for me. I made a resolution with myself: I would reread both series, reading only at mealtimes where I sat alone. By the time I was finished, I wanted to see where I was compared to when I started.

Re-reading the series was like coming home. It was nostalgia, sadness, and ecstasy wrapped into one. I delighted in revisiting Percy's old haunts, his friends, his challenges. However, it was sad, knowing I had grown up and left them behind while they had stayed the same. It was a riveting memory train which made me look forward to meals, and eased my loneliness at school. Gradually, as the semester progressed, I was reading on Percy's tales less and less, as I found my friends, clubs, and organizations that gradually took up more and more time.

I still haven't finished my re-read, and am about halfway through "The Blood of Olympus". I've come a long way in the almost decade since I first received that tattered copy of "The Lightning Thief", and I still have some ways to go. So thanks, Percy, Annabeth, Grover, Jason, Piper, Reyna, Nico, Frank, Hazel, Leo. Thank you for growing up with me. I'll never forget you.

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