Something wicked this way comes…VAMPIRES! Nah, I’m just messing with ya mind! Last week saw the annual Bologna Children’s Book Fair, and the big story this year, without doubt, was witches. If dystopian was the new vampires, witches are, we are told, are the new dystopian.
Therefore, UK readers, you should be proud that two homegrown authors – myself and Ruth Warburton (author of A Witch in Winter) pre-empted this new craze. Hollow Pike and A Witch in Winter are OUT NOW and although wildly different in tone, make fantastic and sexy bookshelf companions (even I do say so myself).
But how is it that haggard, warty, green wenches of Satan became beautiful, doe-eyed, misunderstood outsiders? It could be, that like vampires, as a defence mechanism, we needed to make frightening concepts more cuddly – we metaphorically castrate our monsters. I prefer the idea that where something is EVIL, it becomes intrinsically tempting, seductive and a little bit sexay. The idea of a gorgeous young thing using the dark arts to spellbind their victim is, well, let’s face it, kinky.
With this in mind I present my TOP TEN SEXIEST WITCHES! In reverse order…
10. Samantha Stephens in Bewitched (Elizabeth Montgomery): In the film version, Nicole Kidman was frostier than a penguin’s bottom, but the original witch housewife was quite the suburban minx. In the classic witch-marries-a-human sitcom, Montgomery practiced a strong line in feminist career magic, as Samantha essentially kept her husband in advertising ideas with a well-timed (not to mention cute) wiggle of her nose. Try as I might, I can’t get my nose to do that.
9. Lafayette Reynolds in True Blood (Nelson Ellis): That’s right, men can be witches too. In season three of True Blood, Lafayette and his boyfriend Jesus begin to explore the dark arts, and by season 4 it’s clear Lafayette is a badass wicca – channeling the dead is his forte. On a more superficial level, those arms are so impressive, I’ll overlook the guyliner and funny little mohawk.
8. Faye Chamberlain/Jake Armstrong in The Secret Circle (Phoebe Tonkin and Chris Zylka): I’m going to be very honest. I haven’t warmed to Secret Circle in the way I hoped I would. Why? The main characters are so insipid – you’re witches! Do some scary stuff! Luckily town scamps Faye and Jake are MUCH naughtier and hence much sexier. Power hungry and unpredictable – my kinda guys.
7. Paige Matthews in Charmed (Rose McGowan): Shannon Doherty’s sour-faced Prue Halliwell was never in danger of making the list, so when she quit Charmed after three years, Scream siren McGowan was hastily drafted in as the Halliwell’s long-lost half sister. Convenient. Paige is telekenetic, not to mention half white-lighter, but more importantly was a lot less emo than her half sisters and a lot more fun. As an ex girlfriend of Marilyn Manson and a fan of drastic plastic surgery, she’s great tabloid fodder too!
6. Sukie Ridgemont in The Witches of Eastwick (Michelle Pheiffer): Pheiffer was at the height of her eighties fame when she starred as one of three housewives lured into the dark arts by Satan (Jack Nicholson). Pheiffer is gorgeously pouty as journalist mum-of-six Sukie. Her witchcraft street cred was further consolidated by another star turn as witch queen Lamia in 2007’s Stardust.
5. Bellatrix Lestrange in Harry Potter (Helena Bonham Carter): Yes, Bellatrix is sexy. Don’t fight it. Things that make Bellatrix sexy: 1. She’s insane. 2. She’s incredibly powerful. 3. She’s deadly. 4. There’s no safety word. Helena Bonham Carter serves rockstar realness, and in many ways is far scarier than Voldemort, who at least seems to have a plan. With Bellatrix, anything goes.
4. Pogue Parry in The Covenant (Taylor Kitsch): Proving that there’s no shit he won’t lend his name to, the ‘John Carter’ and ‘Battleships’ star plays one of a coven of sexy teenage warlocks in this truly awful film. That said, just because the film is drivel doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate the aesthetic value of Kitsch alongside Gossip Girl hunks Chase Crawford and Sebastian Stan.
3. Willow Rosenberg in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Alyson Hannigan): Willow became the unlikely pin-up of Buffy. By the time her character had come out and turned to the dark arts, Hannigan surpassed Buffy herself in FHM’s sexiest women poll. Willow was always ‘cute’ but her slide into ‘magic addiction’ revealed a more adult side, not to mention a goddess of evil makeover.
2. Nancy Downs in The Craft (Fairuza Balk): Before Bellatrix there was Nancy, schoolgirl harlot/raving psycho. Now, if, like me, you’re a child of the nineties, you were in one of two camps – Team Nancy or Team Sarah. Good girl Sarah (played by Robin Tunney) has an appeal, but is about as vanilla as it gets. The scene in which Nancy glamours poor old Skeet Ulrich into a snog before launching him out of a window is MUCH more my style.
1. Serafina Pekkala in The Golden Compass (Eva Green): Taking our top spot with high-fashion, Vogue poise is the stunning Eva Green in the shoddy adaptation of Philip Pullman’s masterpiece ‘Northern Lights’. Pekkala is the witch queen of the Inari, Finland. If true sex appeal derives from oneness with self, then wise and serene Pekkala has had 300 years to perfect her cool. In Pullman’s universe the witches take human lovers on the basis of their bravery, intelligence and beauty, only to watch them grow old and die, while they remain as youthful and lovely as Eva Green. Gutted.
Who did I miss? Did I get the order wrong? Be sure to tell me about your favourite witches in the handy box below!