The Best Onscreen Witches of All Time

These ain’t no basic witches.
We’re just gonna come out and say it: witches are awesome. Whether they’re scaring the pants off of us or saving the day, powerful leading ladies who cast spells and kick butt are a fixture of the best TV and moves out there. With The Witches hitting screens soon, and with Anne Hathaway’s Grand High Witch already giving us nightmares, we decided to round up the greatest ever on-screen witches. Hop on your broomstick and lets go!

Hermione Granger – Harry Potter

We’d be negligent if we didn’t kick things off with the real hero of the Harry Potter series, Hermione freaking Granger. Hermione has non-magical parents (muggles), but somehow she ends up being the brightest witch of her age (in the words of Sirius Black). She’s an excellent spell-caster, has an exhaustive knowledge of magical lore, is stupidly brave, and ends up basically running the Ministry of Magic down the line. Ten points for you, Hermione!

The Wicked Witch of the West – The Wizard of Oz

Look, she might be evil, but maybe she’s just misunderstood. Next to Dorothy, she’s the most iconic character from The Wizard of Oz – and the only reason she goes bezerk and tries to foil our hero? Some idiot drops a house on her sister. She’s excellent at broom-handling, she has a strong look (black and green pair well together), and she’s great at managing her minions. Also, she’s very fond of flying monkeys.

Sabrina Spellman – Sabrina

Wait. Which Sabrina are we talking here? The nineties version, or the modern Netflix version? Either way, Sabrina Spellman is the ultimate relatable witch. She’s a teenager, trying to negotiate the perils of high school. She has a really weird family full of colourful characters. Oh, and she’s trying to figure out how to deal with relationship stuff. Plus she’s got incredible witchy powers!

Minerva McGonagall – Harry Potter

Some of the coolest witches are also the oldest. That’s one of the great things about witches: they’re powerful women, and who is more powerful than a sassy older lady? Minerva ends up headmaster at Hogwarts, plays a pivotal role in the downfall of Voldemort, and is arguably the reason Harry Potter ends up where he does. Plus, she’s played by the truly iconic Dame Maggie Smith!

Ursula – The Little Mermaid

Talk about fashion icons. Ursula is technically a sea-witch, meaning that from the waist up she’s like a smoky, over-sexed version of infamous drag queen, Divine. From the waist down? A svelte black octopus. Ursula commands terrifying powers (she might be the most powerful witch on this list, provided you were unlucky enough to meet her on a bad day), but honestly, she’s so stylish that we can’t stay mad at her.

Willow Rosenberg – Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Another high school witch, Willow is truly one for the ages. She’s one of Buffy’s best mates, and she possesses some insane powers which do eventually get the better of her after she loses her better half. Alyson Hannigan, who played Willow, ended up being Lily Aldrin on How I Met Your Mother, a show which really could have used some of Willow’s magical prowess.

The Grand High Witch –The Witches (1990)

We’ve finally arrived at the Grand High Witch! First, we need to look at Anjelica Huston’s devastating, drop-dead performance from the classic 1990 interpretation of Roald Dahl’s most seminal book, The Witches. Huston’s Grand High Witch was a flouncing bombshell, oozing sex appeal and leaving her followers speechless in her wake. But after she reveals her true form… well. Let’s just say a generation of kids had trouble sleeping at night as a result.

The Grand High Witch – The Witches (2020)

Anne Hathaway’s Grand High Witch takes the source material and runs with it in some truly terrifying new directions. First of all, Hathaway’s got some serious fashion clout – her looks in The Witches would make even her boss from The Devil Wears Prada stand up and applaud. Secondly, her transformation into her true form looks like a cross between Pennywise from IT, and Heath Ledger’s Joker. Of all the witches on this list, this Grand High Witch is the one we’re the most frightened of. 

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