ILLINOIS (WCIA) — According to a recent survey, Illinois has witches on the brain.

Whether you prefer the fantastical witches of movies, or you are more interested in the real-life witches that may have lived right in our area, there is no denying everyone has a favorite witch.

Here are a few surprising facts though that you may not know about some of the most famous witches in pop culture.

Wicked Witch of the West

Margaret Hamilton played the green-skinned Wicked Witch of the West in the 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz.” Although this is her most notable role, she didn’t have a great time on set.

She suffered multiple severe burns as a result of a special effects misfire during various filming days throughout the making of the movie.

Sabrina Spellman

Sabrina is best known in the 1996-2003 TV series titled “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” with Melissa Joan Hart in the titular role. However, she first appeared in Archie’s Madhouse #22 in October 1962 created by writer George Gladir and artist Dan DeCarlo.


In 1969, Sid and Marty Krofft’s created the short-run TV series “H.R. Pufnstuf” featuring a large dragon who served as mayor of the town and his trusted sidekick Freddy and his magic flute.

Only two women auditioned for the role of the show’s villain Witchiepoo. They were Billie Hayes and then-unknown actress Penny Marshall.

Hayes won the role of Witchiepoo and Marshall went on to later star in “Laverne and Shirley,” her most noted role.

Samantha Stephens

In the hit fantasy comedy TV series “Bewitched,” which ran from 1964-72, it was star Elizabeth Montgomery’s idea to name her on-screen daughter.

“I loved it, because it was so old-fashioned,” she said in 1967. “I got it from one of the daughters of Edward Andrews, the actor. The two Andrews girls are named Tabitha and Abigail. … But, somehow or other, her name came out ‘Tabatha’ on the credit roll, and that’s the way it’s been ever since. Honestly, I shudder every time I see it. It’s like a squeaky piece of chalk scratching on my nerves.”

Minerva McGonagall

“Harry Potter” is known as the boy who lived, but other names in the wonderful wizarding world still live on. Professor Minerva McGonagal was the beloved head professor at Hogwarts.

Author J.K. Rowling chose the name “Minerva” based on the Roman name for Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom and war. The name “McGonagall” comes from the Celtic name “Conegal” which means “Son of the bravest.”