Something Witchy This Way Comes: Fictional Books and Movies About Witches

Witches are portrayed in books and movies in many different ways, and have been showing up in literature for a long, long time. Take Circe from The Odyssey or Morgan Le Fay in the legends of King Arthur. Now, real witches may not have actually been portrayed in The Crucible by Arthur Miller (whose birthday happens to be today!), but you can see the relationship between witchcraft and society during the time of the Salem Witch Trials. If you’re interested in reading or listening to the play, you can check it out in the following formats: print, book on CD, Overdrive ebook and e-audiobook, and hoopla e-audiobook, and the movie adaptation

For other fictional portrayals of witches and witchcraft for teens and adults, check out the titles below! Print copies can be reserved on your online account for Curbside Pickup (read the full instructions here). Currently there is no check out fee for DVDs, so now is a good time to reserve them! For electronic versions of titles, all you need is your library card to access them on Overdrive/the Libby app or hoopla.

Fans of the beloved Bewitched series, starring Elizabeth Montgomery as witch and housewife Samantha Stevens, will enjoy the film adaptation (which currently has no check out fee!) with Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell. For more magical romances, try one of hoopla’s October Movies of the Month, You Cast a Spell On Me, about a warlock who is having problems with his powers after meeting a mortal with whom he has an instant connection; or Hallmark channel’s The Good Witch, about Cassie Nightingale, a mysterious new resident of Middleton who seems to have the magic touch with helping the people in the small town.

also on hoopla

In Sabrina the Teenage Witch, you’ll find out how the character from the popular TV show found out about being a witch, much like how Harry Potter discovers he’s a wizard in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Local residents will appreciate the Salem setting in the movie Hocus Pocus, which even has some scenes shot in Marblehead! Read Hocus Pocus and The All-New Sequel in ebook format on Overdrive or hoopla, or listen to the e-audiobook on Overdrive. 

Click the item covers below for more portrayals of witches, including more witch stories set in Salem or Massachusetts, fairy tale retellings, and more macabre tales to give you goosebumps!

also on hoopla
book or movie

Celebrate Your Freedom To Read With Banned Books Week!

Every year, certain books are challenged in public schools and libraries for a number of different reasons, including profanity, vulgarity, LGBTQIA+ content, references to magic and witchcraft, going against “family values/morals, being sensitive, controversial, or politically charged, and so on. In order to inform the public about this censorship, the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles a list of the top challenged books based on reports and media stories. 

566 books were targeted in 2019, and of those books the most challenged are listed below. You can check all of them out in at least one format from Abbot Public LIbrary, and many are in multiple physical or digital formats. Some even have movies or TV shows based on them, which you can reserve in DVD format for curbside pickup, currently with no charge! 

George by Alex Gino (print, Overdrive/Libby app ebook and e-audiobook, hoopla e-audiobook)

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin (print and Overdrive/Libby app ebook

A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss, illustrated by EG Keller (Overdrive/Libby app ebook and hoopla ebook)

Sex is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg, illustrated by Fiona Smyth (print and hoopla ebook)

Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack, illustrated by Stevie Lewis (print only)

I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas (print only)

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (regular print, large print, book on CD, related TV show Seasons 1-3, and Overdrive/Libby app ebooks)

Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier (print and Overdrive/Libby app ebooks)

The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling:

All the Harry Potter books are also available on hoopla in different languages in ebook and audiobook format.

And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson illustrated by Henry Cole (print and hoopla e-audiobook)

Celebrate your freedom to read what you choose by reserving the above titles for Curbside Pickup (please read about the process here for reserving titles and setting up an appointment to pick them up), or checking them out online through our digital services.

Find out more about Banned Books Week on the American Library Association website or the Banned Book Week website, including the history of Banned Books Week, virtual events taking place this week, the Top 100 Most Banned and Challenged Books or the decade, and more! 

A Little Summertime Hocus Pocus

If you weren’t ready for Christmas in July, what about Halloween in August? You may remember that last summer, Marblehead was overrun with ghosts, pumpkins, and cobwebs during the filming of the upcoming Netflix original, Hubie Halloween. To get back into that spooky spirit, here are some Halloween Items you can check out online or reserve for Curbside Pickup!

Another movie filmed in Marblehead and the surrounding areas, Hocus Pocus features a trio of evil witches who are brought back from the dead and wreak havoc on Salem, Massachusetts. You can enjoy the book version, Hocus Pocus and The All-New Sequel, as an ebook or audiobook on Overdrive or an ebook on hoopla. The book contains the original tale as well as a new adventure that takes place one generation later.

This year, Salem’s Haunted Happenings will be quite different. You can read about Salem and its Halloween happenings in J. W. Ocker’s A Season with the Witch: The Magic and Mayhem of Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts, which you can reserve  in print format for Curbside Pickup or read on Overdrive as an ebook. The book includes the occult enthusiast’s experiences visiting the attractions and historical sites, as well as black-and-white photos which give a glimpse into Witch City.

If you want to stay safe and healthy at home this October 31st, you can make your own Halloween celebration! Listen to Halloween music on hoopla to get in the groove and have a good motivational backdrop for crafting and making decorations and costumes. The Spirit Of Halloween – 62 Classic Halloween Songs has theme songs from Harry Potter, The Addams Family, Corpse Bride, GhostBusters, and more! Some of these as well and others can be found in Halloween Treats – 50 Spooky Songs And Tunes For The Spirit Of Halloween!. For music geared towards kids, try this trio of Kidz Bop Halloween or Drew’s Famous – The Very Best Halloween Songs For Kids, or even Mickey’s Monster Mash.

Creative Costumes & Halloween Decor: 50 Projects to Sew & Craft will give you ideas not only of costumes you can easily make, with designs for tabards, gowns, and full suits; but it will also give you ideas for how to decorate your house with common household items and popular craft materials such as papier mache, felt, craft foam, floral materials, and polymer clay. You can make it even more simple and decorate with origami from Origami for Halloween.

Some other ways to decorate are carving pumpkins, creating a haunted house, and making festive fall quilts. If you need more ideas, reserve some of these Halloween decorating items for Curbside Pickup, which include Martha’s Halloween Ideas (DVD), Halloween: The Best of Martha Stewart Living, Spooky & Bright : 101 Halloween Ideas, and Better Homes and Gardens Halloween : 101 Frightfully Fun Ideas.

If you don’t want to think about decorating for Halloween yet, get comfortable with a cozy like Halloween Murder: a Lucy Stone Mystery by Leslie Meier, which you can check out in ebook format on Overdrive/the Libby app or hoopla. The book includes two Halloween mysteries set in Tinker’s Cove, Maine. More books in the series can be found in print and ebook format, including a few more Halloween stories such as Trick or Treat Murder (in print and ebook format) and Wicked Witch Murder (also in print and ebook format – these two mysteries are the ones that make up Halloween Murder), as well as Candy Corn Murder (print and ebook), and Haunted House Murder (print and ebook).

Browse through all the Halloween print books, ebooks, audiobooks, music, movies, and more on the library catalog for Curbside Pickup, or online through Overdrive, hoopla, and IndieFlix!

Reading on Broadway

Pull up a front row seat as the curtain opens…to reveal these fantastic scripts and stories made for the stage! 

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

Lorraine Hansberry wrote A Raisin in the Sun in 1959. Set in Chicago, it is the story of a black working class family struggling with economic pressures and living in a small apartment. Sadly, the grandfather has died, and they must carefully decide what to do with the life insurance money. They choose to invest in a home, but are met with brutal racism as it is in a white community. The title is a quote from the Langston Hughes poem Harlem.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child created by J.K. Rowling and written by Jack Thorne

Harry Potter leaves the pages for the stage in this script for the eighth volume featuring the famous wizard. Years after the end of Deathly Hallows, Harry, Ginny, Ron, and Hermione are now sending their own children to Hogwarts.

Hamilton: the Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda

This hit Tony and Grammy Award-winning musical tells the story of Alexander Hamilton, who was the first United States Secretary of the Treasury. Miranda was inspired by Ron Chernow’s biography, Alexander Hamilton

Accessible on Overdrive as an ebook and audiobook. You can also listen to the Original Broadway Soundtrack on hoopla.

Wicked by Gregory Maguire

First in the Wicked Years Series, this highly imaginative portrayal of L. Frank Baum’s Wicked Witch of the West was adapted to become a popular Broadway play. Set before Dorothy’s arrival, Elphaba (a.k.a. The Wicked Witch of the West) and Galinda (later known as Glinda) are good friends but unfortunately love the same man. Familiar characters emerge as this interesting perspective of the tale unfolds. The play won multiple Tony Awards and a Grammy.

Listen to the 2003, 2013, and 15th Anniversary 2019 soundtracks on hoopla!

A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

This play opened in 1947 and takes place in New Orleans. Blanche DuBois was going through financial hardships and moved to New Orleans to live with her sister, Stella, and her husband, Stanley. Blanche becomes involved with Stanley’s friend, Mitch, until rumors come to light about why Blanche was fired from her teaching position and how her husband died. There are disturbing scenes depicting cruelty in the flawed characters. This play won many awards, including the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Awards.

Accessible as an ebook and audiobook.

The Importance of being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

The play first premiered in 1895 in London. It was Wilde’s most successful play. Written by the king of the epigram, it abounds with humor. The story is about Algernon Moncrieff and his good friend, Jack Worthing. Jack wants to propose to Algernon’s cousin, Gwendolyn, but has told her his name was Earnest, and she seems to love him more for that fact. Meanwhile, Algernon is intrigued to meet Jack’s niece, Cecily, in the country, and Cecily thinks Algernon’s name is Earnest. This is a light hearted romantic comedy. 

Accessible as an ebook and audiobook

Fleabag by Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Written as a monologue and starring the writer, this funny and moving story debuted in 2013 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe before going on to theatre in London, and eventually becoming a BBC series which she won a Golden Globe for Best Television Series. She is engaged with the audience during the story, sharing her events with us.

If you want to be swept away in even more screenplays, check out our The Majesty and Magic of Live Performance post, as well as this drama collection on Overdrive/Libby as well as these screenplays, drama movies, musicals, and soundtracks on hoopla.

Read J. K. Rowling’s Tale of The Ickabog Online And Compete To Have Your Illustrations Published!

J. K. Rowling is best known for her Harry Potter series, which you can check out online with your Abbot Public Library card through Overdrive or on the Libby app. She has even published some adult books under the name Robert Galbraith. Now she is back with a children’s book she originally shared only with her children: The Ickabog. Set to be officially published in November, she is posting her story a few chapters at a time on The Ickabog website

Not only can you read the story for free online, bit by bit, but you can compete to have your illustrations printed in the published book! Children between seven and twelve years old are invited to have a parent or guardian submit their drawings or paintings for them in the official competition run by the author’s publishers. Find out more about how to enter the competition here

Each week when a new chapter (or two or three) is published, J. K. Rowling gives suggestions for what to draw to go along with the text, but she wants kids to let their imaginations run wild! She won’t be judging the competition – the publishers will. You can still share your artwork on Social Media with the hashtag #TheIckabog. Feel free to post your artwork on the Abbot Public Library Facebook page!

If you miss reading Rowling’s Harry Potter series, check out the related items in Abbot Public Library’s Overdrive and hoopla collections of fact books, quiz books, cookbooks, music, and even a movie, including:

101 Amazing Harry Potter Facts by Jack Goldstein and Frankie Taylor

Harry Potter: A History of Magic 

The Science of Harry Potter by Mark Brake and Jon Chase (also available on hoopla)

Harry Potter: The Ultimate Quiz Book by Jack Goldstein (also available on hoopla)

The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook by Dinah Bucholz (there’s also a Summer Treats edition!)

The Unofficial Harry Potter Fan’s Cookbook by Aurélia Beaupommier

50 Amazing Cocktails Inspired by Harry Potter by Archie Thomas

The Unofficial Harry Potter Jokebook series for Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin (or you can check out the 4-book boxed set)

The Harry Potter Spellbook Unofficial Guide by S.G. Eastment 

Mischief Managed – The Harry Potter Collection (music)

Harry Potter’s Halloween (music)

The Original soundtracks for each of the eight films

J. K. Rowling and the Birth of Harry Potter movie

Fun YA Themed Quizzes from the Interwebs

Internet quizzes are great. You can spend hours down the rabbit hole of figuring out what kind of soup you are or if you can guess which Disney movie a close-up photo was taken from. Completing these quizzes can be mindless fun that doesn’t require a lot of stress, and while stuck at home sometimes that is exactly what is needed. We especially appreciate when internet quizzes include books where you are able to test your knowledge and try to guess the answer before you finish. 

So, if you are looking for a fun way to pass the time while you are stuck at home, here are a few YA themed quizzes. 

Can You Remember Which YA Books These Quotes Came From? from Epic Reads

Which YA Series Do You Belong In? from Bookstr

Which Boy from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Fits Your Personality? from Book Riot

You can read To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han on Overdrive or through the Libby app! 

Can You Guess the YA Novel from its First Sentence? by SparkNotes 

And the amazing quizzes from the Wizarding World are always fun.

Don’t forget – you can access teen books on Overdrive/Libby and hoopla!

Explore the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

If you’ve visited Overdrive in April, you may have noticed that you could read or listen to the first Harry Potter book with no wait. The ebook and audiobook have also been available as Bonus Borrows on hoopla. Exciting, right? Whether you’re new to the wizarding world or a longtime follower of the series, you’ll be pleased to know that J.K. Rowling is now bringing Hogwarts right to you at home.

By visiting the Wizarding World: The Official Home of Harry Potter, you’ll get your very own Wizarding passport, be sorted into your house, matched with your wand, and paired with your Patronus. And it doesn’t end there! J.K. Rowling has gotten together with a few friends to help children, parents, carers, and teachers add a touch of magic to our daily lives. Find fun articles, craft videos, quizzes, and puzzles for your enjoyment. Play Wizard’s hangman and Harry Potter Bingo, draw a Niffler and make a paper craft Howler, test your knowledge with a First Year Muggle Quiz, and so much more! This is Harry Potter like we’ve never seen it before!

For more Harry Poter enjoyment, you can also play a Hogwarts Digital Escape Room created by librarians at Peters Township Public Library in Pennsylvania.

A Hogwarts Digital Escape Room!

Hey teens! Are you bored being stuck at home with your parents? Take a look at this fun interactive program created by some fellow librarians for Harry Potter fans!

Librarians at Peters Township Public Library in Pennsylvania have created a digital Hogwarts Escape Room open to anyone who wishes to test their skills. Discover clues, solve puzzles, and complete tasks in order to escape the locked room in Hogwarts. 

Follow the directions and prompts on each page and pay attention to the details to find the clues needed to move onto the next step. You can complete the escape room alone or with your friends, whether that would be working with them or competing to see who can complete the room first. It is completely free and you can play as many times as you want! Just click here to start your first adventure. Enjoy!

Also, throughout the month of April, you can revisit or discover the first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, in eBook or audiobook format through hoopla and Overdrive/Libby with no wait and without it counting against your item limit! And, if you are revisiting the magical world of Harry Potter, try listening to the audiobook as the perfect background to any quarantine activities you are doing.