As Halloween approaches, a young woman’s fancy turns towards thoughts of spooky things, and also spooky women. Like witches! We can agree that all vampires are bisexual, but are all witches as gay as Willow and Tara led us to hope? We present one theoretical exploration of fictional witches ranked by lesbianism for you to enjoy disagreeing with both in substance and in terms of who was and was not included. Thank you to Carmen, who has watched the few shows featuring witches that I have not and was helpful enough to weigh in!
55. Vanessa Ives, Penny Dreadful
Upsettingly, honestly offensively not gay! Had several opportunities to be gay with Mina and squandered them. Managed to find a way to fuck her best friend’s man without any gay subtextual undertones, which should be and I think maybe actually is illegal.
54. Constance Clootie/the Stone Witch, Wynnona Earp
VERY focused on her son, engaging in harmful intracommunity practices against other women in order to uplift and reify the social position of a dangerous man! Not a lesbian.
53. Sabrina the Teenage Witch
Sabrina (as played by Melissa Joan Hart) embodies the same kind of seamless, chipper heterosexuality as Buffy Summers does outside of her interactions with Faith. The new Sabrina reboot offers new possibilities, though! Let’s hope.
52. Zoe Benson, AHS Coven
51. Bonnie, The Craft
Bonnie is the straightest of the girls in The Craft, unfortunately, as demonstrated by how consistently I forget about her presence in this movie.
50. Samantha, Bewitched
49. White Witch, the Chronicles of Narnia
Problematic! Not ecologically conscious, uses magic to wipe out entire world and also cast eternal winter. Not community-oriented. Not a lesbian.
48. Sarah, The Craft
Sarah has very straight vibes, but practicing witchcraft to make friends with some goth girls you think are cool is a solid nod to gay culture.
47. Zelda Spellman, Sabrina the Teenage Witch
Zelda is not a lesbian but does like lesbian porn, like in a respectful way.
Broom-Hilda is a “man-crazy, cigar-smoking, beer-guzzling, 1,500-year-old witch and her motley crew of friends.” Fun! Broom-Hilda is the friend who’s fun and interesting and usually shows up at the queer dance party and never shaves, but then once in a while she’ll say something just — very straight! And you remember that she’s straight, because she is. Go with God, Broom-hilda.
45. Amy Madison, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Amy’s actions with Willow in later seasons of Buffy do not indicate that she has chosen to center women in her life!! Amy is not a lesbian.
44. The evil witches in Penny Dreadful
Hm. Don’t like these girls. Not a good vibe from them. They are not gonna spot you a dollar when you are one short for the cash cover at the combo dance party/bail bond fundraiser.
43. Alice, The Magicians
Technically the women of The Magicians shouldn’t really count here because they’re magicians, not witches, but then this inconsistently adjusted list of the Magicians characters as ranked by whether I would sleep with them that I’ve kept in my Notes app since March would really have come to nothing, so. Anyways, Alice is so fucking straight but has also definitely has sex dreams about Margot.
42. Hermione, Harry Potter
Potentially hot take but Hermione is such a rule-follower! As depicted in both the books and the movies, she feels so straight! Argue with me!
41. Rochelle, The Craft
Rochelle feels pretty straight but her fictional character gets a boost from the fact that real-life Rachel True now reads tarot at this hip boutique occult shop in LA. You can book a reading with her! Hail Manon.
40. Morgan le Fey, Arthurian folklore and various media interpretations
Most depictions of Morgan le Fey have her in some very strong outfits, and indicate that she is hated and feared by men, which are positive, if vague, indicators of lesbianism. Could also just be indicators of being a powerful witch trying to usurp her brother’s prophesied throne though! Tough call here.
39. Fiona Goode, AHS Coven
Jessica Lange’s extreme Mommi vibes supercede her actual sexual orientation.
38. Madison Montgomery, AHS Coven
Straight with occasional flashes of gay potential, in the same way that a broken clock is still right twice a day.
37. Grandmama, the Addams Family
A “disrespectful old hag” with frizzy hair and a shawl, enjoys knife throwing a “foolishly good-natured … a weak character [who] is easily led.” Same!!
36. Wicked Witch of the West
Her commitment to witch traditionalism — green skin, hat, broom, all black — feels very earnest in a lesbian way, like how much we like canning and being honest about our feelings. She was doing her best, you know?
35. Circe, The Odyssey
Circe lived on an island alone for centuries and turned a lot of men into animals because they were annoying.
34. Piper Halliwell, Charmed
“I’d probably rank Piper as the least gay of the three, not just because she gets straight married and has a baby (queer people can do those things too), but I’d say her vibe is very… middle of the road? I love her! And she’s the tree that holds the family together. But, even though I think all witches are gay, I don’t think Piper has awoken her inner Sappho just yet.” — Carmen
33. Wanda Maximoff, Marvel Cinematic Universe
Burgundy leather is a very gay look, as is the fact that the only guy she can be with is the one made out of computers and outer space has a strong sense about it of extraordinarily high standards for men as a signifier of lesbianism.
32. Baba Yaga, General Eastern European Folklore
A “deformed and/or ferocious-looking woman” who lives alone in a hut in the woods? Isn’t that the dream!
31. Hilda Spellman, Sabrina the Teenage Witch
Hilda has the energy of someone that you can have a perfectly friendly relationship with for 10+ years before finding out in a casual reveal that she has lived with her longterm partner Candace the entire time, they foster dogs, they have an active and vibrant social life that you’ve never really been invited to because Hilda barely even thinks of you as a friend from work.
30. Wicked Witch of the East, Wizard of Oz
Dies immediately in The Wizard of Oz, which is something that would happen to a lesbian.
29. Mary Sibley, Salem
Mary is gay but in a very career-focused way; she knows that the most advanced level of witchery is being a power lesbian witch, but I’m not sure her heart is really in it.
28. Sophie Hatter, Howl’s Moving Castle
Embodies a sort of can-do attitude that feels commendably not-straight.
27. Minerva McGonagall, Harry Potter
I’m sorry but no one that competent can be straight!
26. Endora, Bewitched
Once I saw Heather Hogan stop a man who had been calling her “doll” in his tracks by asking him “What’s your name, buddy?” and that’s the same energy as Endora refusing to remember Darrin’s name correctly.
25. Bellatrix, Harry Potter
Very bitter, the weird sister and cousin, entered into a seemingly obligate marriage to fulfill family duties. Good hair. Just saying!
24. Zelena Mills, Once Upon a Time
“Zelena Mills is the only main character on the show who isn’t given a long term love interest (gay), she’s an infamous fan of dramatic entrances and exits (gay), she also rolls her eyes at public displays of straight affection (gay), and all of the land of Oz is obviously gay anyway. So case closed.” — Carmen
23. Julia, The Magicians
Julia likes girls but also likes sending you eight-paragraph text messages at 3 am about how she’s too emotionally damaged to be in a relationship but she really loves you but also you find out via instagram stories a week later that she definitely got back together with her skater ex-boyfriend.
22. The Bene Gesserit, Dune
For people whose ideology revolves around a male super-being, the Bene Gesserit really seem to hate men, which makes sense when you consider that they’re basically independently organized space nuns with psychic sex powers. We all know at least one lesbian who’s very into breath work and who “has full control over each muscle in her body through training known as prana-bindu,” and who won’t fucking shut up about it in Facebook statuses.
21. Cordelia Foxx, AHS Coven
Look at this:
20. Myrtle Snow, AHS Coven
Are you KIDDING me. Myrtle Snow is a lesbian and her hair, separately, also identifies as a lesbian.
19. Glinda the Good Witch of the South, Wizard of Oz
High femme who gets really into Folsom every year, her girlfriend is a blacksmith.
18. Gillian and Sally Owens, Practical Magic
Despite the aggressively heterosexual literal storyline of Practical Magic, the Goodbye Earl Principle holds that any arc that involves killing a man out of protection and/or revenge for his abuse is spiritually gay.
17. Prue Halliwell, Charmed
“She’s the medium gay of the sisters because she’s played by Shannen Doherty who has always felt like we lived in a topsy-turvy world where Bette Porter and Jenny Schecter raised a baby with Dawn Denbo, if you asked me. (which is to say, she’s a destructive and bitchy gay that I wouldn’t want to be friends with irl)” — Carmen
16. Paige Matthews, Charmed
“She was the same as Shannen Doherty, but gayer. Prue Gay.0.” — Carmen
15. Margot, The Magicians
Margot has some intense Santana Lopez bitchy queen bee lesbian vibes and would absolutely ruin your life.
14. Regina Mills, Once Upon a Time
“Most fans headcanon Regina Mills as bisexual, which is just the plain truth. She’s a hard femme bi femme all day.” — Carmen
13. Phoebe Halliwell, Charmed
“Definitely the gayest of the three is Phoebe. Not just because of my aforementioned crush on Alyssa Milano, but also because she’s the youngest sister and wore a lot of Steve Madden platform boots and chokers. She’s definitely made out with a few girls while drunk.” —Carmen
12. Lily Rabe, AHS Coven
Lily Rabe’s obsession with Stevie Nicks, as indicated by “dressing like Stevie, talking like Stevie and only listening to Stevie/Fleetwood Mac” has been determined by Carmen to be “very homosexual behavior.”
11. Tituba, Salem
Her heart is definitely in it. Gay.
10. Nancy, The Craft
Nancy’s eyebrows, trauma history and whole situation are extremely not heterosexual, and vengefully sleeping with the guy your crush likes is a powerfully gay move, as is killing him.
9. The Three Witches, Macbeth
They just want to hang out in the woods and also ruin a man’s life in the most dramatic fashion possible.
8. Maleficent, Once Upon a Time
“Maleficent, played by Kristin Bauer van Straten (who’s also Pam in True Blood) is dapper daddy dyke and I love her for it. I believe that she and Regina used to sleep together when they ruled the Enchanted Forest as Dragon & Queen. Maleficent helped teach Regina dark magic and their entire dynamic is “Hot For Teacher.” There’s a scene where Maleficent LITERALLY asks Regina if she still remembers how to be a bad girl. While they are both wearing leather and taking shots. Anyway!” — Carmen
7. Kady, The Magicians
Lol PLEASE if Kady isn’t even a little bit gay I’m throwing in the towel, what are we even doing here.
6. Tara Thornton, True Blood
“Tara is also a witch and my favorite bisexual. That’s canon-canon, not head canon.” — Carmen
Aside from her character design being literally based on Divine, the idea of Ursula as a straight person strains credulity. She lives in a cave with eels! She doesn’t give a fuck! Her endgame is based on the misandrist suspicion that Prince Eric will be unable or unwilling to differentiate between two hot nonverbal girls who appear out of nowhere on the beach, and she is 100% correct.
4. The Cut-Wife, Penny Dreadful
Like a straight woman is going to live in the woods alone for fifty years, with that haircut, being shunned by the local townsfolk while simultaneously relied upon by them, provide abortions, learn to identify medicinal herbs and plants while hunting for her own food and drinking tea while dramatically casting ominous portents and eventually being locked in battle with her evil high femme nemesis? Ok.
3. Willow, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Willow, the variously interpreted bisexual/sexually fluid/lesbian witch of our hearts and our souls, holds space to honor the seminal lesbian experiences of accessorizing very badly in middle school, having your first “boyfriend” be someone you only knew over the internet so you never had to actually interact with him, getting very into Wicca through Geocities websites and message boards, and also falling deeply in love with a woman and entering into a committed sexual and romantic relationship with her.
2. Tara, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Tara, God bless her and keep her, is canonically gay and also was murdered on TV and broke all of our hearts, which is an extremely lesbian thing to do.
1. Dark Willow, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Dark Willow is everything Willow is — a lesbian witch — and also evil and slutty, which is incredibly hot and also makes her gayer. It’s like the baseline levels of gayness were refracted through a dark prism to become something indescribably more potent. As is the case sometimes with men making television about women, somehow completely by accident Joss Whedon stumbled onto something incandescently gay with Dark Willow, and however it happened I am grateful.