In the past, we’ve celebrated many different magical creatures through lists of TV shows about elves and fairies, vampires, magic, and werewolves to name a few.
This time, we’re bringing in some of that witchy folklore to the table!
Of all the most commonly known supernatural beings, witches are one of the few that actually have some mark in real-life history. Just look at the Salem witch trials in the late 1600s and you’ll know exactly what I mean.
Even to this day, however, there are many who practice modern-day witchcraft – though that has more to do with honoring nature and Earth than with the wand-waving spell-casting fantasies we’ve come to know.
With that being said, witchcraft has always been and will continue to be a large part of the collective human experience. It goes without saying that this applies both in real life and in fantasy, such as what we see on our TV screens.
There are so many shows centered on witches and witchcraft, and here we’ve put together a list of the best TV shows about witches for all you magical folks out there!
A Discovery of Witches, SkyOne (2018 – present)
Based on Deborah Harkness’ bestselling novel of the same name, SkyOne’s A Discovery of Witches takes place in a world wherein humans unknowingly live alongside several supernatural species: vampires, daemons, and of course, witches.
The series centers on one witch in particular: an intelligent historian at Yale University named Diana Bishop.
She’s turned away from her identity as a witch but is unexpectedly thrown back into that world when she discovers a bewitched manuscript at the Bodleian Library.
In order to solve its mysteries and protect its secrets from the creatures that wish to use it for evil, Diana forms an unlikely partnership with a geneticist – and vampire – Matthew Clairmont.
Legacies, The CW (2018 – present)
The universe of The Vampire Diaries has expanded to include two spinoffs: The Originals and now Legacies.
While the first two centered on the tenuous relationship between vampires and werewolves, Legacies finds its place on this list because of its inclusion not just of witch folklore, but other creatures as well.
Legacies follows teenaged orphan Hope Mikaelson, daughter of Hayley Marshall and Klaus Mikaelson from the series’ predecessors, who is also a direct descendant of the most powerful vampire, werewolf, and witch bloodlines.
Her heritage earns her a place at the Salvatore School for the Young and Gifted, where she meets fellow supernatural beings and together, learn how to control their abilities.
Charmed, The WB (1998 – 2006)
There are a few shows that immediately come to mind when talking about witches, and the cult hit Charmed is one of them.
Apart from several accolades to its name, it has also found its way into several pop culture references and has expanded into video games, board games, and comic books!
Charmed tells the story of “The Charmed Ones”, three of the most powerful good witches who use their abilities to protect humans from the threats of the supernatural world – and its powerful leader.
They are sisters Prue, Phoebe, and Piper (and later on, half-sister Paige) all of whom have different abilities ranging from telekinesis, astral projection, freezing time, premonition, levitation, and even empathy.
Charmed, The CW (2018 – present)
As a further testament to the influence Charmed had on pop culture, The CW produced a reboot of the same name that has recently been renewed for its 4th season!
This time, we first meet sisters Mel and Maggie who live with their mother (a witch, though unbeknownst to them).
After their mother is suddenly killed by an unknown force, they discover that they have an older half-sister, Macy.
Reunited under the same roof, their magical powers are activated and they’re subsequently guided by an advisor, Whitelighter Harry Greenwood.
As they slowly learn to control their new powers, the sisters come to accept their fate as The Charmed Ones.
WandaVision, Disney+ (2021)
Marvel and Disney showcase true cinematic genius with WandaVision, the miniseries that incorporates directly into the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the starting point for Phase Four and a lead-up to the next Doctor Strange film.
Brilliantly executed, both Wanda Maximoff (the witch in question) and Vision find themselves living a seemingly picture-perfect life in New Jersey while trying to conceal their identities following events in Avengers: Endgame.
Each episode places them living out this life in a different decade, with events unfolding through sitcom tropes popular in that era.
As time goes on, however, the couple becomes more and more aware that their surroundings are not quite what they seem.
Sabrina the Teenage Witch, ABC/The WB (1996 – 2003)
Like Charmed, Sabrina the Teenage Witch is another 90s classic that would almost immediately come to mind when talking about witchy TV shows.
The series centers on Sabrina Spellman, a seemingly normal American teenager who, on her 16th birthday, discovers that she’s anything but normal.
It’s revealed to her that she’s actually a witch, and it’s up to her 600-year-old aunts Hilda and Zelda, as well as their talking black cat Salem, to teach her about the magical world.
Much of the show covers the obstacles and mishaps that occur while Sabrina learns more about her abilities, all while trying to live life as a Boston teenager.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Netflix (2018 – 2020)
Like its predecessor on this list, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina tells the story of Sabrina Spellman, a character borrowed from the Archie comics of the same name.
However, where Sabrina the Teenage Witch is fun and very lighthearted, Netflix’s adaptation takes on a much darker – and spookier – tone.
When Sabrina reaches the critical age of sixteen, she must make a choice between keeping the human life she’s been living so far and the darkly magical world that she was born into.
As she begins her real education in magic, Sabrina relies on the help of her friends (both human and witch) and family to fight the evil forces that have their roots in satanic beliefs.
Witches of East End, Lifetime (2013 – 2014)
A common factor in many shows about supernatural beings is that the main character is often unaware of their abilities until a critical event in their life triggers it – either awakening their dormant powers or simply making them aware of the fact that they even exist.
Such is the case in Lifetime’s Witches of East End, where sisters Freya and Ingrid Beauchamp are kept in the dark by their mother in order to protect them from the same fate they suffered in their past lives: to die young.
When they finally develop their powers, they are able to use them to prevent a vengeful witch and shapeshifter from wreaking havoc and their and their mother’s lives.
Good Witch, Hallmark Channel (2015 – 2021)
Hallmark’s Good Witch is a little different from the previous shows on the list; while many were spinoffs or adaptations of popular novels, Good Witch is the series continuation of movies – seven, in fact, that were released via Hallmark between 2008 and 2014.
Thus, the first season of the series picks up where the last movie left off and continues to follow the life of the titular “good witch”, Cassie Nightingale. A
t the onset of the series, Cassie is newly widowed and lives (still) in the fictional Middleton with her teenage daughter, Grace.
The series progresses to involve many more of the town’s residents, including the Nightingale’s new neighbors, the Radfords.
Motherland: Fort Salem, Freeform (2018 – present)
Motherland: Fort Salem is a supernatural drama with a bit of patriotism mixed in, and the best part about it is how centered on the female perspective it is.
Not only are the three main characters strong, formidable women, but the entire series is set in a female-dominated world.
That’s where we meet Raelle, Tally, and Abigail, three witches who have been drafted into the US Army, where they train in combat magic and casting powerful spells.
In this alternate universe, the Salem witch trials ended peacefully thanks to the Salem Accords, which ended the persecution of witches, but there are still those at present who stand against the conscription of witches.
American Horror Story: Coven, FX (2013 – 2014)
In the third season of hit anthology series American Horror Story, Coven is set in New Orleans, a city overflowing with magic, both good and bad.
Here viewers meet a group of young, powerful women who are descended from the witches hunted during the Salem witch trials.
In an attempt to hide their identities and protect them, they live together under the guise of an all-girls boarding school, under the watchful eye of Headmistress and head of the Witches Council, Cordelia Foxx.
As the girls train to both strengthen and control their powers, it all comes to a head when they all have their eyes set on becoming the next Supreme witch.
The Magicians, Syfy (2015 – 2020)
I’m sure we all had daydreams as kids that involved our favorite fantasy worlds becoming a reality; whether that world was Hogwarts, the Magic Faraway Tree, or Middle Earth, we all wanted it to be real at some point.
In Syfy’s The Magicians, protagonist Quentin Coldwater experiences just that after he enrolls at the Brakebills University for Magical Pedagogy.
All he had planned was to train to become a magician, but he soon discovers that his favorite childhood book, Fillory, and Further, is very real.
Beyond that, it also poses a very real threat to the unsuspecting human world.
The Secret Circle, The CW (2011 – 2012)
The CW brings another show to our list with teen drama The Secret Circle.
The title is a reference to a group of four high schoolers who form a secret coven as descendants from a long line of witches.
When newcomer Cassie Blake moves into town, they realize they’ve found their last member and their circle is complete.
Cassie originally rejects the idea of being a witch despite having witnessed her own abilities, but the discovery of a manuscript from her late mother leads her to accept her destiny.
The circle fights to keep each other safe, as the combination of their powers also draws in dark forces that seek to do them harm.
Salem, WGN America (2014 – 2017)
If you’ve ever been curious about the Salem witch trials and their role in the history of witches, Salem may be a good series to start with.
Of course, the show is only very loosely based on recorded events and people during the trials and should be taken with a grain of salt, but it’s interesting to see another perspective on it.
Salem unfolds primarily through the lens of Mary Sibley (based on Mary Walcott, one of those accused during the trials), a powerful witch who fuels the fire of hysteria engulfing the Puritans.
She has plans to summon the devil, but this is derailed when her former lover, Captain John Alden, comes back into town.
Hex, Sky One (2004 – 2005)
The mythology and history in Hex borrows a little from the Salem trials in that back in the 18th century, female members of the Medenham line were tried and executed in a witchcraft scandal.
On this site now sits Medenham Hall, a remote British boarding school.
Cassie Hughes is a new student who struggles to fit into the social environment at the school, at least until she discovers she has telekinetic, pyrokinetic, and clairvoyant powers.
These dormant abilities were awakened when she touched a Medenham artifact, as it turns out she’s a direct descendant of the line.
This attracts not only stronger power, but also a dangerous – and charming – stranger named Azazeal.
Eastwick, ABC (2009)
Eastwick is based on the 1984 novel by John Updike entitled The Witches of Eastwick.
This comedy-drama series adaptation focuses on three very different women who have become disillusioned by the banality of their daily lives.
Enter Darryl Van Horne, a mysterious stranger they all encounter who then unleashes supernatural abilities within each of them.
Kat, a motherly nurse, possesses healing abilities and elementalism; Joanna develops hypnosis of men and telekinesis; and Roxanne develops strong clairvoyance.
Though initially overjoyed at this newfound excitement, the women slowly begin to suspect Darryl’s ulterior motives as their powers begin to affect the innocent people in Eastwick.
Bewitched, ABC (1964 – 1972)
Despite having aired way back in the 1960s, the popularity of the ABC sitcom Bewitched resonates to this day.
One such testament to that is the previously mentioned WandaVision, which heavily references this classic in its second episode!
Bewitched follows Samantha, a beautiful witch who meets and marries a mortal man, and promises to live the life of a typical suburban household.
However, her magical family disapproves of her marrying a mortal. As a result, they often interfere in her life and this leads to many mishaps on the unsuspecting humans around them – which is what mainly drives the plot of the series.
The Worst Witch, CBBC/ZDF/Netflix (2017 – 2020)
The Worst Witch is a joint British and German fantasy drama production that is targeted at a much younger audience than even the teen dramas on this list.
The series is based on the series of novels of the same name, and is just one of several adaptations of these books.
We meet the main character, Mildred Hubble, just as she finds out that she is a witch despite being born into a completely normal, human family.
In order to learn more about her powers, she attends Miss Cackle’s Academy for witches – and even ends up saving the school from total annihilation by a jealous rival!
Always a Witch (Siempre Bruja), Netflix (2019 – 2020)
In Netflix’s Colombian series Always a Witch (Siempre Bruja in the original Spanish), we find that the 1600s wasn’t just the time of the Salem witch trials.
Across the world in Cartagena, Colombia, the Inquisition was underway and with it, the hunt for witches and their persecution by way of burning at the stake.
Here we meet Carmen Eguiluz, a witch and slave, desperate to escape her fate.
While imprisoned and waiting for her sentence, she strikes a deal with a wizard that sends her to the present.
All she has to do is live a normal life and not use her powers lest she be found, but Carmen finds it increasingly difficult to suppress her witchy nature.
Luna Nera, Netflix (2020)
To end our list, we’re giving another foreign language series with Luna Nera, an Italian historical drama that premiered on Netflix for one season.
Yet another set in the dangerous times of the 17th century, Luna Nera tells the story of women accused of being witches and being persecuted for it.
In particular, the show follows Ade, a teenaged midwife with strong powers who is forced to flee after her grandmother is executed.
At a safe haven for witches, Ade must face her destiny to fight against those who oppress them.