13 Witches to Scare You This Halloween

Bookish witch ritual at Halloween
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As Halloween creeps upon us, the veil between the worlds of the living and the spirit gets thinner unleashing paranormal power that no witch can ignore. This chilling season of horror allows witches to experiment with magic and draw strength from the supernatural.

Yet not all witches are created equal. While some harness the healing forces of nature, others bring chaos and destruction with every spell they cast. To help you celebrate Halloween in all its spooky glory, we have selected thirteen most wicked witches in fiction that will make you quiver with fear. 

So curl up with a black cat, brew you favourite potion and enjoy these tales of dark magic.

The Black Rock Witch (Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt)

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Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay ’til death. Whoever settles, never leaves. Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a 17th century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Muzzled, she walks the streets and enters your homes at will. She stands next to your bed for nights on end. Everybody knows that her eyes may never be opened. The elders of Black Spring have virtually quarantined the town by using high-tech surveillance to prevent their curse from spreading. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town’s teenagers decide to break their strict regulations and go viral with the haunting, but in doing so they send the town spiralling into the dark, medieval practices of the past.

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Suzanne of Mayfair (The Witching Hour by Anne Rice)

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“The Witching Hour is an extremely long novel, but don’t let that put you off reading as once you open the first page you soon find yourself completely absorbed in the chilling tale of the Mayfair Witches. This novel is a spellbinding, engrossing, well-written tale with complex and mysterious characters. The settings of each generation of the family, from the plantations on Haiti to the modern day gothic mansion in New Orleans, are so richly described that you can easily imagine yourself in those places. There are plenty of compelling twists and turns in the plot to keep you interested and the suspense is drawn out to perfection.”- Aoibhinn

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The Weird Sisters (Macbeth by William Shakespeare)

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Written in the 17th century, Macbeth exposes all-destructive political ambition to rise to the power and tyranny. Shakespeare’s shortest tragedy tells the story of a Scottish general who receives a prophesy from three witches predicting a royal future for the soldier. Driven by dark desires and spurred on by his wife, Macbeth unleashes his deadly obsession with power setting in motion his murderous plan to fulfil his ambition to the throne.

Shakespeare deftly articulated the pagan belief system by enthusing the play with magic, sexuality and herbalist experimentations fuelling the already spreading witch-fear in England. Notorious for its superstition and witchcraft, Macbeth was often considered to be cursed by many actors.

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Nightsinger (Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf)

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“Zera was murdered in a brutal bandit attack when she was just sixteen years old, but was then “saved” when the witch Nightsinger resurrected her by carving out her heart and keeping the organ safe in a magical jar. Now Zera has become a Heartless—immortal, un-ageing, and unkillable by any earthly means, but this all comes at a very steep price. She is forever bound to serve Nightsinger. Another Sunless War is threatening to break out, and in order to stop it from happening, the witches need a hostage they can control completely. Crown Prince Lucien would make the perfect target—but only if he can be turned Heartless. To lure him into the witches’ trap, Zera has been tasked to pose as a potential bride at the next Spring Welcoming, where she will ingratiate herself with the other nobles in her attempt to steal Lucien’s heart—literally.”- Mogsy

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Baba Yaga (Baba Yaga, The Wild Witch of The East in Russian Fairy Tales)

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Baba Yaga is an ambiguous and fascinating figure. She appears in traditional Russian folktales as a monstrous and hungry cannibal, or as a canny inquisitor of the adolescent hero or heroine of the tale. In new translations and with an introduction by Sibelan Forrester, Baba Yaga: The Wild Witch of the East in Russian Fairy Tales is a selection of tales that draws from the famous collection of Aleksandr Afanas’ev, but also includes some tales from the lesser-known nineteenth-century collection of Ivan Khudiakov. This new collection includes beloved classics such as “Vasilisa the Beautiful” and “The Frog Princess,” as well as a version of the tale that is the basis for the ballet “The Firebird.”

Old Kate (The Bell Witch: An American Haunting by Brent Monahan)

Image Credit: Griffin Publishing

This extraordinary book recounts the only documented case in U.S. history when a spirit actually caused a man’s death. Known throughout Tennessee as “Old Kate,” the Bell Witch took up residence with John Bell’s family in 1818. The local schoolteacher, Richard Powell, witnessed the strange events and recorded them for his daughter. His astonishing manuscript fell into the hands of novelist Brent Monahan, who has prepared the book for publication. Members of the Bell family have previously provided information on this fascinating case, but this book recounts the tale with novelistic vigor and verve.

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The Near Witch (The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab)

IMage Credit: Hyperion Books

“Lexi lives on the outskirts of town with her younger sister, Wren, and her mother. While her father taught her how to be a hunter, her uncle feels that she needs to learn to perform the tasks that will make her a good wife. She is fascinated by the two old women who live in a cottage close to hers and who are witches whose powers have greatly dwindled. One night she sees a mysterious shadow moving through the woods. She is surprised to find out the next day that a child has gone missing. Sneaking out at night, she meets the phantom, finding him to be an unusual boy, whom she names Cole. Unlike the villagers who believe him to be responsible for the abduction, Lexi believes otherwise, and is moved by Cole’s skills in helping her search. Clues seem to point to the legend of the Near Witch, purported to be dead. Lexi searches for hints in the old rhymes and stories told to her by her father, as more children disappear, and a frenzied search begins for Cole.”- M.Boytim

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Bridget FitzGerald (The Poor Clare by Elizabeth Gaskell)

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Elizabeth Gaskell’s chilling Gothic tale captures the different shades of paranormal world. Told in flashbacks by a witness to the events, the story is centred around a witch, who unwittingly puts a decades-old curse on her estranged family conjuring an evil Doppelgänger, wreaking the havoc. Realising the terrible consequences of her bitter actions, the witch seeks help from a mysterious sect.

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The Swan Sisters (The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw)

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“Two centuries ago three sisters were drowned in the harbor off Sparrow Island after being charged with witchcraft. Ever since then during the Swan Season, the three sisters return to the island by claiming the body of three young girls. With those bodies, the sisters each lure a boy to their death, exacting revenge on the town that murdered them. 

Bo Carter arrives on the shores of Sparrow on the eve of the Swan season unaware of the danger he’s in. This year things get complicated when Penny, who can see what others cannot, tries to protect Bo from the sisters’ siren song.”- J.Zantopoulos

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Alexandra Spofford, Sukie Rougemont and Jane Smart (The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike)

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Sukie, Jane and Alexandra have been best friends for as long as they can remember-loneliness is what bonds them together. However, their lives, marred by loss, divorce and gossip, turn upside down with the arrival of a mysterious stranger. Dark and broody, the rich mogul causes quite a stir in a close-knit community, whose eccentricity and a devil-may-care attitude soon become the talk of the town. One by one, Daryl charms each woman with his seductive appeal, awakening their supernatural powers. Unable to resist the influence of their diabolical lover, the witches indulge in mischief, sorcery and promiscuous orgies. But will this twisted love square have a happy ending?

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Queen Morgan le Fay (Le Morte d’Arthur by Thomas Malory)

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Thomas Malory’s electrifying reworking of Arthurian legends will captivate all fans of mythic fiction. From Merlin’s prophecies and the encounter with the Lady of the Lake to the quest for the Holy Grail and the treason of Arthur’s witch half-sister Morgan le Fay, these spellbinding familiar tales ooze a delightful escapism where courage, chivalry and enchantment play a central role. With a rare ability to immerse the readers into the world of knights and nobles, Knowles neatly interweaves historical facts with elements of folklore and mythology blurring the boundaries between reality and fantasy.

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Circe (Circe by Madeline Miller)

Image Credit: Little Brown Company

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe has neither the look nor the voice of divinity, and is scorned and rejected by her kin. Increasingly isolated, she turns to mortals for companionship, leading her to discover a power forbidden to the gods: witchcraft. When love drives Circe to cast a dark spell, wrathful Zeus banishes her to the remote island of Aiaia. There she learns to harness her occult craft, drawing strength from nature. But she will not always be alone; many are destined to pass through Circe’s place of exile, entwining their fates with hers. The messenger god, Hermes. The craftsman, Daedalus. A ship bearing a golden fleece. And wily Odysseus, on his epic voyage home…

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The White Witch (The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis)

Image Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

From the moment four siblings step through a wardrobe door, you are invited to leave the mundane behind and join them on a journey through the wondrous world eternally frozen in winter. Great magic seeps from the pages as evil spirits, exotic animals and Greek mythological creatures roam the land of Narnia. However, in spite of its seemingly tranquil beauty, this mysterious land harbours a dark secret. Having discovered the devastating power of a spell cast over Narnia by the White Witch, the Pevensie siblings set off on a mission filled with danger, forcing them to conquer their fears and overcome many obstacles.

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Stella is a Marketing Consultant and has been writing content for Full Text Archive since 2015. When she is not writing, she is meticulously planning our social and e-mail campaigns. Stella holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Russian Literature, which has provided a broad foundation from which she continues to explore the written world.

She spends her free time reading, visiting old castles and discovering new coffee shops. She can be reached at stella

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