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Witchy Girl Fall: Halloween Movies with Strong Female Characters

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Lafayette chapter.

One of the biggest things in my family is Halloween, a holiday that we’ve been prepping for since last October ended. Now that we’ve made it to fall, it’s finally socially acceptable for me to have Halloween movie nights with my friends. While I went through my list, I noticed that many of these movies had strong female leads, and seeing as how witches are a prominent figure in Halloween, it seemed like an ironic fuel back of power to women. While the term “witch” was used as an insult, I think it merely was men feeling threatened by the powerful and fascinating women portrayed in these timeless cult classics that will definitely get you in the mood for Halloween. 

  •  Hocus Pocus (1993), Hocus Pocus 2 (out September 30, 2022!)

This movie has been and always will be a classic, and with the sequel coming out September 30, anyone who hasn’t seen the original movie needs to watch it immediately. It’s not Halloween until someone has played “I Put A Spell On You” and this movie is a classic for its scene with that song. With witches, a black cat, and a dead annoying but endearing ex… you can’t let Halloween pass without watching this at least once. Seeing the return of these witches after all this time is incredibly exciting and I know I will probably watch the sequel at least three times. 

  • The Addams Family (1991)

Another classic! Wednesday Addams also has a new show coming out on Netflix starring Jenna Ortega. What better way to prepare for its release date of November 23, 2022 than to watch my personal favorite adaptation of the classic family with Christina Ricci as Wednesday Adams. 

  •  Carrie (1976)

Of course I could not make a Halloween movie list without at least one Stephen King adaptation. Granted I am biased because it is the only Stephen King movie I have both read and watched, but the amount of adaptations it has inspired also seems to speak for itself. The 1976 version with Sissy Spacek, however, was my favorite and I still get chills from the ending. Another movie that seems to also expose the worst of humanity through teenagers, Carrie is a very often quoted movie for the pouring of pigs blood onto Sissy Spacek. But you just can’t understand that phrase until you’ve sat through that scene and been captivated by the rage that comes from Carrie in the scene that follows. It reimagined the way I see prom; I’ll never look at a pink dress the same way. 

  •  Heathers (1988)

Winona Ryder, who I think is the most influential for her more spooky roles (Beetlejuice, The Crucible, Edward Scissorhands, and Stranger Things) is perfect in this movie. This movie is a classic for its one liners like, “Dear Diary: My teen angst bullshit now has a body count”, and the dark and satirical way it exposes the worst sides of humanity through teenagers. It’s dark, it’s creatively funny, and it’s an inspiration for the recent Netflix original, Do Revenge which features one of Winona Ryder’s co-stars in Stranger Things, Maya Hawke.

These movies include witches good, bad and in between and there are so many more out there, so with that I encourage you to find them all (Jennifer’s Body, Practical Magic etc. etc. etc.!) and I wish you a witchy girl fall. 

And if you’re not a movie person, check out one of these playlists :)

witchy women

halloween hath arrived

carrie white did no wrong

McKenna Graf

Lafayette '26

McKenna is at Lafayette College studying English and FAMS. She spends her free time reading or rambling about her favorite movies/tv shows. Her favorite feeling is sitting next to a fire reading a book after a long day of skiing. She loves to write articles about things she's experienced (and obviously adding fun anecdotes about her family) and she hopes you enjoy reading.