Despite being a fantastic go-to costume on Halloween, witches in the West have never had it easy. There were the Salem witch trials of the 1690s, and similar trials elsewhere in North America and Europe through the 17th century, which served as warnings to independent women that they could be persecuted at any moment.

In Hollywood, the witch has gotten mixed treatment. If it wasn’t for one wicked witch, Dorothy would’ve gone home sooner in “The Wizard of Oz” (1939). “The Witches of Eastwick” (1987) were fun but had to suppress their malevolent streaks, and on the 1964-72 TV series “Bewitched,” the nose-twitching witch Samantha had identity issues.

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