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Going on a witch hunt

From the top; The Wicked Witch of the West, Hermione Granger, Queen Grimhilde, Wilhelmina W. Witchiepoo, Samantha in Bewitched, Scarlet Witch and The Witch of EndorFrom the top; The Wicked Witch of the West, Hermione Granger, Queen Grimhilde, Wilhelmina W. Witchiepoo, Samantha in Bewitched, Scarlet Witch and The Witch of Endor
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The witching hour is upon us. Christine O'Donnell, who put a spell on the Republican Party to win the GOP nomination in Delaware's U.S. Senate race, has been stirring the political pot in recent days. An 11-year-old video clip has Ms. O'Donnell saying she once "dabbled into witchcraft." The "professionally outraged" class seems out to dunk this popular "tea party" politician. In the spirit of the hour, we list some famous witches in popular culture of past and present.

  • Queen Grimhilde - This Disney villain seeks to kill Snow White in the 1937 cartoon "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." Sometimes known simply as "the Witch," the evil queen is ranked No. 10 in the American Film Institute's list of the 50 Best Movie Villains of All Time and is the highest-ranked animated villain.
  • Samantha in Bewitched - Played by Elizabeth Montgomery, Samantha is a friendly witch who marries a mortal in the supernaturally long-running sitcom of the 1960s and '70s. "I'm not a bad witch! I'm a good witch!" she says.
  • Elizabeth Proctor - During the Salem witch trials in 1692, she was accused of witchcraft and later executed by hanging. She also is dramatized fictitiously in Arthur Miller's play "The Crucible."
  • Witches in Macbeth - These witches predict events and conjure up spirits in the Shakespeare tragedy. "Double, double toil and trouble. Fire burn, and caldron bubble" is their famed chant.
  • Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff) - Well-known in the comic-book world, this former member of the Avengers was ranked the 97th Greatest Comic Book Character Ever in Wizard Magazine's 200 Greatest Comic Book Characters of all Time list.
  • The Witch of Endor - She called up the ghost of the prophet Samuel at the command of King Saul, the first king of Israel, who seeks advice on how to beat the Philistines. Instead, the ghost predicts Saul's downfall.
  • The Wicked Witch of the West - She has given kids nightmares over the years. Played by Margaret Hamilton in the 1939 film "The Wizard of Oz," she is green-skinned and dressed entirely in black with a black pointed hat. "I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!" she says as she puts the fear in Dorothy.
  • Glinda, the Good Witch of the North - The kindest witch in all of history. How can we not love the beautiful Glinda, played by Billie Burke in "The Wizard of Oz." "Only bad witches are ugly," she says.
  • Hermione Granger - This Hogwart student and know-it-all friend of Harry Potter is the smartest witch of her age.
  • Wilhelmina W. Witchiepoo - From the TV show "H.R. Pufnstuf" and played by Billie Hayes. Witchiepoo rode on a broomsticklike vehicle called the Vroom Broom. The show was broadcast between 1969 and 1972 and produced by Sid and Marty Krofft.
  • Maleficent - This self-proclaimed "Mistress of All Evil" in Disney's 1959 "Sleeping Beauty" is one of Disney's darkest villains.
  • The Witches of Eastwick - In this 1987 comic-horror film, Cher, Susan Sarandon and Michelle Pfeiffer use witchcraft to rid themselves finally of serial seducer Daryl Van Horne, played by Jack Nicholson.

Sources:, numerous websites.


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