Season of the witch casts a powerful spell on culture – and empowers teenage girls
it is on television that the season of the witch has truly taken hold. In addition to American Horror Story, with its tale of voodoo queens and teenage witches, there's Lifetime's The Witches of East End, adapted from a novel by Melissa de la Cruz and featuring a family of spellcasters led by Julia Ormond. Vampire Diaries spinoff The Originals (on the Syfy channel) has a central storyline about witchcraft and in Universal's Sleepy Hollow,Ichabod Crane deals with duelling covens in present-day America.
So why witches – and why now? "The idea of being able to manipulate supernatural forces still resonates," says Owen Davies, professor of social history at the University of Hertfordshire and author of America Bewitched: The Story of Witchcraft after Salem. "Witches and ghosts speak to something fundamental and innate in our psyche. It's an emotional connection."