Road to Halloween: Top 5 Movie Witches

Written by Jesse Gelinas October 28, 2012

A classic illustration of a Halloween witch.

For all you know, a witch might be living next door…

You can’t talk about All Hallows’ Eve and not mention our favourite broom riding, cauldron stirring, Satan worshipping dark sister, the witch! Witchcraft has been feared and revered all throughout history. Now, we all have some nice, lovable witches that make us smile, but this being Halloween and all, let’s keep it scary. The magic these particular wiccans cast will haunt you long after Samhain is over…

5. Nancy Downs (Faruza Balk, “The Craft”)

Fairuza Balk as Nancy Downs, the witch, in "The Craft".

“We are the weirdos, mister.”

Nancy is not like most girls. Sure, she gossips, and has a very keen fashion sense, but she also levitates, walks through walls, and commands the supernatural slaughter of a shipload of sea life by a mystical spirit demon named Manon. Maybe that’s normal in California; I don’t know. This girl is a borderline psychopath who just gets crazier as she goes along. It’s like “Clueless” with broomsticks. Punk rock!

4. The Warlock (Julian Sands, “Warlock”)

Julian Sands as the self-proclaimed male witch in "Warlock".

“‘Tis I who others fear.”

Yes, according to our titular villain, men can be witches. And this guy would know. He’s straight out of 17th century Massachusetts, the heart of witch country at the time. He’s a simple man with simple tastes. He enjoys cutting out tongues, cursing you with blindness, skinning children to make flying potion, and assembling demonic texts in his spare time. Plus, he wants to learn the name of God so he can say it backwards and usher in the “Uncreation”. He also kind of looks like Lucius Malfoy’s less glamourous brother. Bonus.

3. Eva Ernst (Anjelica Huston, “The Witches”)

Anjelica Huston as the Grand High Witch in "The Witches"


Miss Eva Ernst is a fine, classy woman. She stays at only the best hotels, eats at the best restaurants, and always travels around the globe with her entourage, preaching the tenets of the RSPCC (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children). What most people don’t know is that behind closed doors, she takes off her mask and her pointy shoes and becomes the Grand High Witch, who’d love nothing more than to wipe out every child in the world. Now, she can accomplish this by murdering them all, or turning them all into talking mice. She goes with the obvious choice, and is an obvious choice for #3.

2. Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh, “Willow”)

Jean Marsh as the evil witch queen, Bavmorda in "Willow".

“You will watch me draw upon the powers of the universe!”

Bavmorda, the evil Queen of Nockmaar is a powerful sorceress. With a few words, she turns an entire army of men into pigs. When magic is impractical, she commands a huge army of devoted followers. She has the whole package. I think every witch should have an army for backup. The only thing she fears is the prophecy of a red-haired baby who will rise to destroy her. So, clearly she dedicates all her efforts to slaughtering babies, and opening portals to the Netherworld to cast their souls into. Badass. She only loses the #1 spot because she let a Peck with an acorn get the better of her.

1. Mortianna (Geraldine McEwan, “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”)

Geraldine McEwan as the evil witch, Mortianna in "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves".

“My twisted seed will rule throughout the land, and who’ll be freakish then?”

You weren’t planning on sleeping tonight, right? Good, because – Oh my God; look at that face! Mortianna, the witch who guides the Sheriff of Nottingham is a devious old crone. She reads the bones to see the future, and fears the “painted man” of her visions, who she is certain will kill her one day. This creepy witch is no pushover though. She’s managed to place her own son in command of the country by killing an highborn infant and replacing it with her own (seriously, apparently all witches kill children, see above), and she’s deadly with both spear and dagger. Yes, she fears her own death, but to be fair, the “painted man” is Morgan Freeman. If I knew he was coming for me, I’d be terrified too.

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About Jesse Gelinas

After years attempting to escape the Matrix, Jesse has accepted his fate as a writer and Senior Editor. Now that's he finished with his film degree, it gives him something to do while waiting for the machines to get careless.

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