Forget ghouls, ghosts, swamp creatures, and things lurking under the bed—of all the otherworldly scaremongering fiends featured in folklore, books, film, and TV—witches are the most unnerving by a country mile.
Throughout the decades, witches have played a pivotal role in the scary film or television genre and come in all sorts of spine-curdling shapes or sizes.
The ill-fated spiritual presence of the witch coupled with the kind of contorted stare that can have even the toughest among us cowering under the covers makes witches a formidable supernatural force.
With 31st October fast approaching, here we explore seven of the world’s most iconic witches and consider how you can get the look for your Halloween party.
Witch - Into the Woods
Okay, this may be a Disney musical but Meryl Streep’s witch-ly portrayal deserves an honourable mention purely because the deviously dark eeriness she injected into the role.
The film itself is more or less a satirical Disney remake of a Disney original—which gives it a real offbeat quality—and there’s just something about Meryl's witch that will haunt you long after the credits roll.
Witches - The Witches
Noone could bridge the gap between entertaining children’s tale and sweat-inducing adult imagery like Roald Dahl. And The Witches is no exception.
The film adaptation of the author’s most chilling of stories, The Witches features a host of ugly, chilling, and incredibly menacing, well, witches. While The High Witch is possibly the most frightening of the bunch, this collective of evil women still haunt me as an adult—a sure-fire Halloween party head turner.
Get the look: Go as ‘alternative glam’ as you possibly can from the neck downwards, going for gothic or vintage overtones, sourcing a bald cap or prosthetic nose for the face and head.
Asa Vajda – Black Sunday
Barbara Steele is without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most ruthless, vengeful witches the world has ever seen.
A beautiful woman, gothic from head to toe, when Barbara's character, Asa Vajda, returns from the grave in search of blood, a transformation occurs—an ill metamorphosis that will literally make your hair stand on end.
The amazing thing about Asa Vajda is the fact that throughout the film, she is cool and creepy in equal measures—no easy feat in anyone’s book.
Get the look: Wear a skeletal top, a flowing black cloak, and bring your best gothic glam to the party. Give yourself a pale complexion with your makeup combination and wear your hair down for a maximum witch-ly impact.
Meg Mucklebones – Legend
The slight but sh—scary return of the swamp witch, Meg Muckelberry's presence in Ridley Scott's 1985 fantasy, legend, is nothing short of legendary.
While Tom Cruise, who played wiley hero Jack in the movie, managed to appease Muckleberry with flattery, her grotesque features alone are enough to put the fear into anyone who crosses her path.
Get the look: If you’re looking to go all out Muckleberry, we recommend sourcing your costume now—you might need to go to a fancy dress store for this one!
The Blair Witch – The Blair Witch Project
Often it's what we can't see that gets under our skin the most.
As you're probably aware, The Blair Witch never makes a physical appearance during 'the project.' Instead, we're left to fester in our own imaginations, letting our fears get the better of us until we're rocking back and forth in a fit of frenzy...
Get the look: A conceptual Halloween party outfit, here you can go as one of the Blair Witch victims (a woolly hat, some snot, and a camera will do) or you can go wild and wear something subtle yet spooky—creating an element of mystery about your costume until the very end of the party.
Haggis – Pumpkinhead
It’s not often that the supporting character in a horror movie is more frightening than the main monster, but that’s certainly the case in Pumpkinhead.
The classic witch in the woods, Florence Schauffler’s Haggis is truly terrifying. Not only is she demonic and bloodthirsty but if you look at her face for too long, you’ll probably cry or vomit. A real icon of the witching world.
Get the look: Use a bed head-style product to make your hair messy and unkempt, using makeup or face paint to make your face appear contorted and wrinkled. Source a weathered & worn vintage gown and accessories, sporting long fingernails to complete the wicked witch in the woods aesthetic.
Bathsheba Sherman – The Conjuring
The Conjuring will make you lose sleep—particularly as its based on a spine-chilling true story.
Essentially, Bathsheba Sherman is like Regan Macneil's demon on steroids, in witch form. Yes, if you haven't seen The Conjuring, prepare to hold onto your hat.
The story of The Conjuring is so incredibly dark, and the way she’s depicted in the movie is so unnerving that Bathsheba Sherman is one of the scariest witches the world has ever seen and is likely to see.
Get the look: Wild hair, a victorian nightgown, demonic contact lenses, a little fake blood, and the will to scare everyone in the party into submission—that should do it.
"I don't know that I have a fascination with witches per se - well, maybe I just have a fascination with everything that's weird." - Rob Zombie
Halloween is a time to embrace the strange and scary. Let your inner demons run wild, taking inspiration from our rundown of iconic witches and for extra guidance, check our spooky selection of dedicated witch garments.
Which witch will you pick?
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