The Most Underrated Supernatural Creatures (Because They Don't Need Men)

Hermione Granger. Sabrina.Winnie, Mary, and Sarah Sanderson. The Wicked Witch of the West. All of American Horror Story’s witches from the Coven and Apocalypse seasons. These are all witches we know and love. Why? Not only are they badass women with witchy powers, they are fiercely independent and phenomenal at all things witchcraft. Despite today’s acceptance of witches in popular culture, why does it seem to be that witches are such a polarized topic? 

Well, witches overall have a rather dark history. The beef with witchcraft dates back to the BC time era, but really starts in the 1500- to mid-1600s. Essentially, we don’t even really know if the 80,000 women sentenced to death via burning at the stake or hanging were even “witches” at all. Not only were these women forced to confess to crimes they may not have committed, but they were deemed “suspicious” due to their marital status. Essentially, if a woman were to be single, widowed, or otherwise independent of a man, then they were considered “witchy”. 

Then there’s the oh-so-famous Salem Witch Trials. Essentially what kicked this all off was some younger girls were ill and “dashed about, dove under furniture, contorted in pain, and complained of fever.”Basically, everyone freaked out and somehow figured that the Devil had come for Salem’s young women. What’s unique in this situation is that some men were sentenced to death, too, but not as often women. Though only 19 men and women were killed, hundreds stood accused of witchcraft, thus pinning mostly women as Satanic beings seeking to end the patriarchal world as we know it. Or, that was the thought at least.

Now we’ve obviously had some shift in thought regarding witches. But, the underlying theme is still the same. In my three years of college, I’ve heard lots of my peers say that they weren’t allowed to watch any of the Harry Potter films growing up. Why? Witchcraft. Are we still an antiquated society that harps on powerful women with actual powers? Clearly.

Another observation in today’s rendition of witches is the lack of a male presence. Men don’t make magic. Men really aren’t witches either, sure there are the occasional warlocks, but they don’t catch as much traction as witches. Witches are iconography depicted in the image of evil, but that’s likely because they stray from the norm. Essentially, the historical murders of these women is basically the mass-genocide of nonconformist women. Perhaps witchcraft isn’t related to magic at all, and rather the concept of witchcraft is related to feminist eccentricity (which may as well be Satan trying to gauge his way through the Earth’s core to destroy any semblance of the never-ending patriarchy).