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The Witches of Hollywood:
"The Wizard of Oz"


"The Craft"

"Practical Magic"


Bewitched by witches? You're not alone

Web posted on:
Tuesday, October 27, 1998 4:25:10 PM EST

From Correspondent Gloria Hillard

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Sure, Halloween is just around the corner, but the number of witches invading prime time and movie theaters these days is downright scary.

In the last few years, movie audiences have been treated to witchy films like "Hocus Pocus," "The Craft," and the recent box office topper "Practical Magic," starring Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock.

On TV, there's "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" on ABC, and "Charmed" on WB.

So what is the attraction to witches?

"I think we're in the time when the metaphysical world is so interesting," says actress Alyssa Milano, who stars as one of three sibling witches in "Charmed." "The psychics and the psychic hotlines, people are looking for something to believe in."

Kathleen McGowen, a Wiccan priestess (a witch), says being a witch is about being a woman.

"(It) is about reclaiming the divine female's aspects, which is something that's been denied to us for a very, very long time," McGowen says.

If there's any spell to be cast by the movies and shows, it's against the negative stereotypes associated with the term "witch." Phyllis Currot, a Wiccan high priestess currently on a book tour promoting "Book of Shadows," says the pop culture demand for witches is a good thing.

"A witch is anyone who cultivates divine and sacred gifts," she says. "But what's important about 'Practical Magic' and all these shows is that they're showing witches are good."

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