1 of 21 Michele K. Short/FX; Lifetime
Thanks to the recent premieres of American Horror Story: Coven and The Witches of East End, TV is more bewitching than ever. To celebrate the occasion (and since Halloween is just days away), we decided to look back at some of our favorite TV and movie witches. Click ahead to see which cast a spell on us!
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The Wicked Witch (Margaret Hamilton), The Wizard of Oz
The Wicked Witch of the West, played to career-defining effect by Margaret Hamilton, is such a memorable character that she's gotten her own "spin-offs," including the book/Broadway show Wicked. Her slime-green skin and "I'll get you, my pretty" screech are still terrifying kids (and adults) nearly 75 years after the film debuted. Fortunately, all it took was a little water for the people of Oz to rejoice, "Ding, dong, the witch is dead!"
3 of 21 Viacom/Everett Collection
Prue, Piper, Phoebe (Shannen Doherty, Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano), Charmed
The Power of Three will set you free! Unlike most pop culture witches, who are portrayed as villains or used for comic effect, the Halliwells are just normal, everyday gals. And that's what they were until Phoebe stumbled across the Book of Shadows, which revealed the sisters (which later included Rose McGowan's Paige after Prue's death) to be the most powerful good witches put on Earth to protect the innocent. And the best part? The Halliwells might be coming back!
4 of 21 Kharen Hill/ABC Archive/Getty Images
Regina Mills (Lana Parrilla), Once Upon a Time
Though Regina is more of a sorceress than a witch, she still wields some nasty power. (They don't call her the Evil Queen for nothing!) Regina was at her most powerful in the series premiere, when she enacted a curse that ripped away the happy endings of every fairy tale character, enslaving them with no memory in the real-world town of Storybrooke. But she also has a penchant for ripping out people's hearts.
5 of 21 ABC Photo Archive/Getty Images
Samantha Stephens (Elizabeth Montgomery), Bewitched
Although Samantha agreed to no longer use her magic powers after she married a mortal named Darrin, that proved easier said than done. In nearly every episode, she unleashed some sort of magic with her signature nose wiggle. Samantha's spells were rarely (read: never) dangerous and only involved things like accidentally turning her husband into an artichoke, trying to reunite an unhappy couple or using a magic pin to make everyone tell the truth.
6 of 21 ABC Archive/Getty Images
Sabrina (Melissa Joan Hart), Sabrina the Teenage Witch
It's a pain going through adolescence, but what if you had magic powers to make every zit, bad hair day and horrible grade disappear? It was never that easy for Sabrina, who had two overbearing aunts who always made sure she did "the right thing." But every once in a while, Sabrina used her magic for some pretty cool things. Remember the time she made mean girl Libby trip on her own feet? Or when she used her "reanimation voucher" to talk with her dead grandmother? Her best spell might have been "molecular transference," which allowed witches to teleport. We're surprised she never used it to beat curfew.
7 of 21 20th Century Film Corp/Everett Collection
Willow Rosenberg (Alyson Hannigan), Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Buffy was the Slayer, Xander was the Zeppo, but it was Willow who had our hearts. Good or evil, we loved watching Willow grow from the shy nerd in the pilot to the world's most powerful witch. Yes, she tried to end the world, but she had good reasons. (She just wanted to stop the suffering!) We could have done without the flaying, though.
8 of 21 Walt Disney Pictures/Buena Vista
The White Witch (Tilda Swinton), Chronicles of Narnia films
Little boys with a hankering for Turkish Delight, stay away! This immortal sorceress isn't only responsible for luring impressionable kids, but she also stuck Narnia in everlasting winter (spoiler alert: it ended) and continually battled with her nemesis, the good lion Aslan. Pale as snow, tall, imposing and eerily beautiful, Jadis the White Witch has untold magical powers, but that could all come to an end if four young siblings from Earth fulfill a certain prophecy.
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Grand High Witch (Anjelica Huston), The Witches
Described by author Roald Dahl as "the most evil woman in creation," the hideously ugly Grand High Witch, brought to life with wicked perfection in by Huston in the film adaptation, had one mission: to get rid of all the children of the world. Although she and her cohorts were known to trap children in paintings, most of the film focuses on the Grand High Witch's latest scheme: a potion that turns the drinker into a mouse. That actually doesn't sound so bad…until you meet the witch's cat Liebschen!
10 of 21 Bob Mahoney/The CW
Bonnie Bennett (Kat Graham), The Vampire Diaries
A witch with a heart of gold, Bonnie is always looking out for her friends even if that means her own life is at risk. Although she can't currently practice magic from the other side (RIP) we still hope she utters some of her gibberish-sounding spells in the future.
11 of 21 NBC
Tabitha Lenox (Juliet Mills), Passions
This centuries-old practitioner of the Dark Arts used to rub elbows with Cleopatra and Caligula, but in the Eastern seaport town of Harmony, she's just known as the kooky lady who carries around a doll named Timmy, whom she brought to life. Her main goals — besides revenge on the descendants who burned her at the stake — is to keep the sweet Charity Standish from making whoopee with Miguel Lopez-Fitzgerald, an act that would eradicate all the evil in the universe. And who wants that?!
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Louise Miller (Robyn Lively), Teen Witch
Nothing says happy sweet 16 like suddenly waking up with magical powers! And like a teenage witch should, Louise used her new skill set to make the hottest guy in school fall for her. Despite her overnight rise to popularity, in the end, Louise decided she needed to believe in herself and not "cheat" her way to happiness. And seriously, who needs magic powers when you have dancing skills like these?
13 of 21 Mary Evans/Walt Disney/Ronald Grant/Everett Collection
Eglantine Price (Angela Lansbury), Bedknobs and Broomsticks
Eglantine tried to keep her magical skills under wraps, but she doesn't succeed after her adopted children discover her powers. Set in England during World War II, the movie is also a touching story about the power of family. Ms. Price's workshop is eventually destroyed by the Germans, but not before she shows off a bit of teleportation and uses her powers to create an entire army!
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Jennifer (Veronica Lake), I Married a Witch
The platinum blonde witch Jennifer looks great for her age and is seeking revenge on the descendant of the man who burned her at the stake during the Salem Witch Trials. The only problem? She bumbles her magic and falls for him instead! Jennifer may have once been evil and prone to laying curses, but now she and that peekaboo hairstyle of hers are totally, dare we say, "bewitching"? No man can resist that!
15 of 21 Warner Bros Entertainment
Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter) Harry Potter
Even though Bellatrix is the one who pushed Sirius beyond the veil, we have a soft spot in our hearts for the unstable sadist. Though she never hesitates to use an Unforgivable Curse, she does it with such flash and style that we can't help love watching her work.
16 of 21 Walt Disney/Everett Collection
Ursula, The Little Mermaid
You'd want to be part of that world too if you lived under the sea with Ursula. Manipulative, sinister and powerful even without a Trident, the half-human, half-octopus sea witch could turn mer-people into polyps if they failed to carry out their end of the deal. Poor unfortunate souls indeed.
17 of 21 HBO
Marnie Stonebrook (Fiona Shaw), True Blood
The leader of a Wiccan coven Marnie causes al sorts of trouble for the Bon Temps crew when her body is taken over by a spirit that is determined to kill all vampires. Marnie's spell causes all vampires to want to go to the sun, so they all have to go to ground with silver draped across their bodies. At one point, the witch — who was behind Eric losing his memory — makes our beloved Mr. Northman her personal slave. As if we needed another reason to hate her…
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The Sanderson Sisters (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy), Hocus Pocus
What happens when a trio of witches from the 1600s are accidentally resurrected by two modern teens and subsequently run "amok, amok, amok" in present day? A whole lot of mayhem. The Sanderson sisters prey on the children of Salem, Mass. on Halloween night in hopes of breaking the curse that banished them originally. Although often more hilarious than haunting, we still wouldn't recommend that you call Winnie (Midler), the eldest, meanest (and bucktoothed) witch, ugly.
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Nancy Downs (Fairuza Balk), The Craft
When it comes to the baddest witches, it's hard to find one more dangerous than Nancy. An outcast just looking to fit in, she becomes drunk with power and gets struck by lightning when she joins the rite, the Invocation of the Spirit, which in turn renders her completely crazy and kill-happy. At least the film ends with — spoiler alert! — her in a mental hospital.
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Sally and Gillian Owens (Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman) Practical Magic
We learned so much from the Owens sisters — always throw spilt salt over your left shoulder, keep rosemary by your garden gate, plant lavender for luck, and fall in love whenever you can. Oh, and never try to bring the psycho ex-boyfriend you accidentally murdered back from the dead. But through all their troubles, Sally and Gillian stuck together and in the end, their bond was strong enough to overcome everything that came their way.
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Alexandra, Jane, and Sukie (Cher, Susan Sarandon, and Michelle Pfeiffer), The Witches of Eastwick
Unlike most of the witches on this list, these three suburban women weren't aware of their powers until a mysterious (devilish) man (Jack Nicholson) comes to town and "arouses" their magic. When their newfound powers make them outcasts, they take out naysayers. (In one memorable scene, a woman they have cursed vomits cherry stones until her confused husband beats her to death with a fire poker!) But these witches' most troubling curse? The awful (and, thankfully, short-lived) TV adaptation on ABC.