Oh, The Witches I Have Known
I grew up in the 60s and 70s. During that era, witches made it into books, TV shows, and movies--even into the Saturday morning cartoons. Hanna Barbera, Looney Toons, Disney, Scholastic Books, and more created witchy characters to love and revile.
I thought I'd show off a couple of my favorite witches from different media. They may not be your traditional witches. Some are a bit wacky. A couple look just like regular kids.
I've also put together some nifty ideas for children's witch costumes and accessories. Everything you need to be a witch.
So, sit back and enjoy my witchy favorites. You are more likely to laugh than be scared.
When Witches Were Groovy in the 1960s and 1970s
The 1960s and 1970s brought us witches in books, movies, and TV. These witches took on many forms.
The witch in the Looney Tunes cartoons bordered on crazy. Witchie-Poo from the H.R. PuffnStuff show. I thought Witchie-Poo downright mean. I never did like Witchie Poo very much!
Then you have the friendly witches like Samantha, Wendy, and Winnie. These witches attempted to live with their human companions. Though, there were times that Winnie got a bit tired of humans and unleashed her Ippity Pippity Pow on them.
Witches come in many forms--scary and nice. The books, movies, and TV shows tell us that there is no one type of witches. Witches come in a whole lot of shapes, sizes, and personalities.
Classic Black Witch Costume
Here's the classic all black witch costume. I think I wore something similar in third grade when I dressed up as a witch for the second time. I really had a thing with witches back then.
This is sure to scare the other trick or treaters away from the candy. Dress is black and has a cape. Kit includes a hat and belt
Wendy Only Wanted To Do Good - Any friend of Caspar's is a friend of mine
Caspar was a friendly ghost, so naturally he needed a friend. This is where Wendy, The Good Little Witch, came in.
She and Caspar first met up in 1954 in the comic book "Caspar the Friendly Ghost #20". They had many adventures together . In most stories, Wendy is at odds with the three Aunts that she shares a cottage with. While they're up to no good, Wendy only wants to do good in the world.
Wendy didn't wear the traditional black dress. She was decked out all in red. I always thought she was wearing pajamas--but that's just me.
The Wendy character appeared in comic books, TV shows, story books, and movies.
This is a cartoon featuring Caspar and Wendy.
The Winsome Witch - Misfires Abound
Remember this little charmer from the Hanna Barbera cartoons? Winsome W. Witch, also known as Winnie, was a staple for our afternoon cartoons. She was decked out in blue, rather than black and had a bow on her witch's hat.
The Winsome Witch ran from 1965-1966. The cartoon was part of the Atom Ant/Secret Squirrel show.
Winnie tried to mingle with the rest of the human's around her with hilarious results. She wasn't the most powerful witch and sometimes her spells came out all wrong. When Winnie yelled out Ippity-Pippity-Pow, you better look out!
I really liked Winnie. I may have even tried calling "Here Broom" to see if one of the brooms in the house was magical.
Hanna Barbera cartoons still live on as part of the Cartoon Network. They don't make cartoons like these anymore!
When I was a child, I participated in the Scholastic Book Club. One of the books that I bought was Wednesday's Witch by Ruth Chew. It was published in 1969.
The story was about a little girl who finds a witch at her door. This witch rides a vacuum. I thought that was pretty cool. She had a black cat. Hilda, the witch, was not very nice though. The little girl one ups the witch with her own magic scissors.
Unfortunately, this classic is no longer in print. It was one of many wonderful books by Ruth Chew. Though, in 2010, Scholastic Books relinquished rights to the Wednesday Witch back to the family. So, maybe this will classic will be back in print once again.
Ruth Chew wrote 29 books, all them involving magic. Her first book was published in 1969 and her last in 1996. She died in 2010 at the age of 90. Her website has a complete list of all her books.
Not all witches enjoy the traditional way to travel
In Wednesday's Witch, Hilda travels on a vacuum cleaner. Not necessarily the preferred way to travel for most witches, but it gets her around.
Some might prefer a regular ol' broom...or maybe a Nimbus 2000.
For the Good Witch: The Fairy Tale Look
A costume for the cute little witch just like those you see in storybooks. Except for the green stripes, this is kind of like the outfit Winsome Witch wore. Well, if the apron was blue.
Dress has the tattered look with a cat design on apron. Kit also includes a hat.
Witches In The Movies
I'm sure everyone in my generation was first exposed to the two witches in the Wizard of Oz. Most of us are more inclined to see witch as the bad witch with those dastardly flying monkeys. The monkeys were enough to frighten anyone.
In 1975, my best friend and I went to see Escape to Witch Mountain at the cinema. I was 11 years old at the time. This was the best movie I had ever seen--a proclamation that usually lasted until I saw another movie.
This story is about orphaned siblings, Tony and Tia, who have special powers. The are orphans who've lost their birth parents and foster parents. They have no clue to their origins or why they have special powers. A map of Witch Mountain is the only clue they have to go by. As with many children's stories, grown ups are waiting in the wings to take advantage of their powers and manipulate them for their own purposes.
Today, this movie would most likely be considered hokey and the special effects cheesy. But we didn't know any better. Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind hadn't been released yet. To a couple of kids growing up in the 70s, this movie was cool (we didn't know about awesome yet either).
What does every witch need?
Want to be a witch for Halloween? You're going to need a few things. This list should get you started:
~Tall pointed hat
~Pointy toe shoes with buckles
~Broom, one that flies preferred, but a regular broom will do
~A black cat...preferably the stuffed animal kind
Most Witches Are Green, Aren't They? - See how it's done
When we think of witches, we think of the old hag, though none of the witches on my favorites list fit the bill. They always have a wart on their nose, too.
Yet, it seems the green skin of the witch from the Wizard of Oz, known as Elphaba, is what we think of when we dress up as a witch. So, if you really want to look creepy and scary, you've got to go green!
Not sure how to go about it? This is a witch face painting tutorial that shows you how to paint a child's face as a witch. You should be able to do up a mean witch after watching that!
Would You Like To Be An Evil Witch? - Green and Evil!
So, you want to be mean, bad witch for Halloween. That's okay. Just don't come to my house and scare me with that get up.
You'll love this costume! This is the witch from the Wizard of Oz--and who is more evil? In addition to a black dress, the kit comes with a black hat and green and black cape.
All you need is the green skin and you are ready to go!
© 2011 Melody Lassalle
Stop by and say boo!
Melody Lassalle (author) from California on November 14, 2015:
Jodah, There were quite a few witches that fill our childhood memories. I'll admit I wasn't much of a fan of Witchie Poo.
Melody Lassalle (author) from California on November 14, 2015:
Mel, I missed Samantha. There never was another witch like her on TV. And, what's not to like about Wendy? She was good enough for Caspar.
John Hansen from Gondwana Land on November 06, 2015:
I remember a few witches from my childhood.: Samantha and her family from Bewitched, Wendy, Broomhilda, and Witchie-Poo. I cant remember Winsome Witch but I can remember Atom Ant and Secret Squirrel so I must have seen her. Interesting nostalgia here.
Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on November 06, 2015:
How about good witches like Samantha on Bewitched. I read the Wendy comic books too. It's sort of a guilty pleasure I'm not quick to admit, but I did enjoy them. Great hub!
Melody Lassalle (author) from California on October 27, 2015:
Thanks for your comment, LadyGuitarPicker! I am partial to the good witches myself.
stella vadakin from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619 on September 30, 2015:
Nice, nothing like a good old witch for Halloween.
grannysage on February 07, 2013:
Witches are still groovy. I should know (cackles to self). I really liked Wendy. Many witch movies are corny but still fun. Practical Magic is one of my favorites.
anonymous on August 12, 2012:
Hey there, based on what you said at the top about being into retro witch related things, I was wondering if you might be able to help me figure out the -picture book I'm looking for. I don't know who it's by but there were two witches and one rode a vacuum I think and by the end of the story it was raining ice cream. I don't know much else but I think it was published pre-95. Any ideas?
anonymous on March 10, 2012:
boo..!! i like to be Vampire, but i do like witches