Follow the Witch Through Decades of American Entertainment
Deviant mistress of the dark arts. Goddess worshipper dancing in the moonlight. Crystal-wielding bookworm with a black hat and broom. We recognize the witch because no industry has been quite so influential in shaping our vision of her as Hollywood. This comprehensive book delves into the fascinating history of witchcraft and witches in American film and television.
From Joan the Woman and The Wizard of Oz to Carrie and Charmed, author and film scholar Heather Greene explores how these movies and TV shows helped influence the public image of the witch and profoundly affected how women negotiate their power in a patriarchal society. Greene presents more than two hundred examples spanning silent reels to present-day blockbusters. As you travel through each decade, you'll discover compelling insights into the intersection of entertainment, critical theory, gender studies, and spirituality.
"Greene provides a full-landscape survey of our modern conceptions of the witch through the medium of film. Lights, Camera, Witchcraft is enthralling, comprehensive, and clarifying on so many levels, whether for cinephile, student, seeker, or practitioner."—Mitch Horowitz, PEN Award-winning author of Occult America
"Greene has conjured a comprehensive compendium of witch films from the very earliest silent reels right up to the present...This is an invaluable handbook which follows themes threading through the whole history of movies."—Dr. K.A. Laity, author and tenured professor of medieval literature, film, gender studies, digital humanities, and popular culture
"A must-read for anyone interested in US history, film studies, anthropology, psychology, literature, folklore, practicing witches, and for people who like movies. It is a meticulously researched and scholarly, yet highly readable, humorous, and entertaining analysis."—Candace C. Kant, PhD, academic dean of Cherry Hill Seminary
"Greene provides a helpful discussion...that is both entertaining and informative."—John W. Morehead, creator of www.TheoFantastique.com and coeditor of The Journal of Gods and Monsters
"A comprehensive look at some of the rarer and more revealing Witch tropes on film. The book discusses racism, female agency, and more, while artfully depicting film's obsession with the Witch in all its wild and wonderful glory."—Lilith Dorsey, author of Water Magic
"Greene's beautiful compendium of TV and movie witches is a rich source of information on the times in the US and the witch figures that embody the zeitgeist of each."—H. Byron Ballard, author of Roots, Branches & Spirits
"Greene offers a thorough and well-written historical overview.'"—Dr. Ethan Doyle White, author of Wicca: History, Belief, and Community in Modern Pagan Witchcraft
"American cinema has greatly impacted how both the public sees Witchcraft and how Witches see themselves. That fascinating history has never been told before now. This book is a 'must read' for anyone interested in the history of Modern Witchcraft."—Jason Mankey, author of Transformative Witchcraft
"A definitive guide to the subject of witchcraft in American television and film...Greene expertly maps out the archetype of the witch and the witch's evolution as portrayed by the media, both positive and negative lights...The book is informative, intelligent, and entertaining."—Mat Auryn, bestselling author of Psychic Witch
"A perceptive, nuanced, and comprehensive overview of the witch figure in American film and television, from the late 1800s to the present day...This book will appeal to anyone interested in film and media history."—Sabina Magliocco, professor of anthropology and chair, program in the Study of Religion at University of British Columbia, Vancouver
"If you've been hunting for a thorough—and thoroughly enjoyable—tome about witches in pop occulture, look no further! Heather Greene has written the definitive book on the subject."—Pam Grossman, author of Waking the Witch and host of The Witch Wave podcast
"Scholarly yet accessible, Greene provides a masterful visual and symbolic taxonomy of the witch, framed expertly within the context of American film and media history."—Amy Hale, PhD, anthropologist and folklorist, writing about the occult, culture, and women
"Greene's comprehensive and lively survey of witches in US film and television deftly digs into the inherent tension within this fascinating recurring figure."—Dr. Jonathan Lupo, Associate Professor of Communication, English Department, Saint Anselm College