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15 Movies & Shows Inspired By The Salem Witch Trials, Ranked (According To IMDb)

Witchcraft is a well-liked matter within the realms of horror and fantasy, however the topic is made all of the extra impactful when it is primarily based on actual occurrences. Many have heard the tales in regards to the historic occasions which came about in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692, and there have been many movies that use the notorious Salem Witch Trials as both a backdrop or plot level.

RELATED: 10 Most Powerful Witches In Horror Movies, Ranked

The Salem Witch Trials had been a interval from 1692 till 1693 during which Massachusetts townspeople had been placed on trial after being accused of witchcraft. There have been many documentaries made over time about girls who had been killed. This time period has impressed many on-screen works in terms of magic, witchcraft, and the supernatural.

Up to date on October 2nd, 2021 by Tanner Fox: Although usually extremely exaggerated for dramatic impact or to play up the unnerving undertones, the Salem Witch Trials have been a continuing popular culture fixation. From Rob Zombie-directed horror movies to serialized tales of stripling romance, the centuries-old occasions which transpired in Salem, Massachusettes proceed to be a macabre cultural touchstone.

Whereas there is a ton of media that focuses on them primarily, different reveals and films have used the Salem Witch Trials as a foundation from which to inform scary tales of each witchcraft and non secular hysteria. From primetime TV to PBS documentaries, the affect of the Salem Witch Trials on media might be seen in lots of surprising locations.

15 The Lords Of Salem (2012) – 5.2

Sheri Moon Zombie in The Lords Of Salem

● Accessible on Tubi

In 2012, the American musician and director Rob Zombie created a movie that focuses on a modernized tackle the centuries-old myths and legends surrounding Salem. The Lords of Salem is a supernatural horror movie that takes place the place the trials originated, in Salem, Massachusetts.

A DJ at a tough rock station discovers an album by a band known as The Lords. When listening to the report, she begins having weird nightmares. The subsequent day, she interviews a author who simply wrote a guide in regards to the Salem Witch Trials and performs the report. The report has hypnotic powers that trigger the girl of Salem to fall right into a trance. Because the visions progress, she uncovers a secret cult of Devil worshippers and a curse placed on the ladies of Salem.

14 The Covenant (2006) – 5.3

Tyler Kitsch, Steven Strait, Chace Crawford in The Covenant

● Accessible on Pluto TV

The Covenant was a responsible pleasure movie for a lot of teenagers within the late 2000s when the supernatural was at its peak in popular culture. It starred Sebastian Stan, Tyler Kitsch, Steven Strait, Chace Crawford, amongst others. The movie facilities round a gaggle of male associates who grew up collectively and are is aware of because the Sons of Ipswitch. They arrive from the founding households and wield magical talents.

The tie to the Salem Witch Trials is seen within the city the place they reside and the boys’ lineage. In 1878, there was a second wave of witch accusations that occurred in Salem which got here to be often called the Ipswich Witchcraft Trials. Within the movie, the boys are direct descendants of the founding households who fashioned a coven to maintain their magic a secret. There’s additionally a small backstory that makes use of a few of the household names of the unique accusers in the course of the trials.

13 The Blair Witch Challenge (1999) – 6.5

Still from the found footage horror movie The Blair Witch Project.

● Accessible on Fubo TV

Notable for its viral advertising marketing campaign, 1999’s The Blair Witch Project popularized the discovered footage horror subgenre and remodeled $200 million on a price range of round $5000,000, making it one of the most profitable movies ever made. Specializing in a gaggle of beginner documentarians exploring a wooded space round Burkittsville, Maryland, the movie comprises no specific references to the Salem Witch Trials.

RELATED: 10 Movies To Watch If You Love The Blair Witch Project

Nevertheless, many native legends touched upon by the characters parallel the occasions which transpired in Seventeenth-century Salem. From the supposed discovery of a ritualistic slaughter within the woods to the point out of a mysterious girl whose “ft by no means touched the bottom,” the fictional occasions within the movie might nicely have been primarily based on generations-old real-world rumors.

12 The Crucible (1996) – 6.8

Winona Ryder with a group of women in The Crucible

● Accessible for buy on Prime Video

The Crucible is a traditional from 1996 that particulars the occasions that occurred in the course of the Salem Witch Trials. It starred Winona Ryder in one among her extra notable roles as Abigail Williams and Daniel Day-Lewis as John Proctor. The historic drama is an adaptation of the 1953 play of the identical identify.

In Salem, 1692, Proctor decides to finish his affair with the younger Abigail. She later goes off to the woods with different women to have a conjuring ceremony. Angered, Abigail requires revenge towards her lover’s spouse, and issues escalate uncontrolled when the women are accused of witchcraft after the reverend witnesses their ceremony. Creating false accusations to save lots of herself, Abigail turns into consumed with new energy because the city is overturned with concern.

11 The Post-mortem Of Jane Doe (2016) – 6.8

● Accessible on AMC+

This 2016 supernatural horror movie facilities round an unidentified feminine cadaver. Father-and-son coroners begin experiencing supernatural occurrences whereas making an attempt to look at the physique.

The coroners endure tragic occasions however come to the belief that Jane Doe is in charge. After re-examination, they uncover that the physique has markers referring to Leviticus 20:27, which was used to sentence witches in the course of the yr 1693. Throughout that point, the Salem authorities accused an harmless girl of being a witch, who now desires revenge.

10 The Witch (2015) – 6.9

● Accessible on Showtime

The Witch—generally stylized as “The VVitch“—is a 2015 semi-biographical horror movie directed by Robert Eggers. Set in 1630s New England, it takes place a long time earlier than the Salem Witch Trials came about. Nevertheless, the affect of these occasions actually performed an element within the movie’s improvement.

Based mostly on native legends and surviving paperwork from the period, The Witch tells the story of a household who should survive within the wilderness after being exiled from their neighborhood. Regardless of their sturdy religion, they’re accosted by seemingly supernatural occasions, all of which lead as much as a stunning conclusion.

9 Hocus Pocus (1993) – 6.9

Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker in Hocus Pocus

● Accessible on Disney+

Hocus Pocus is undeniably one of the vital well-known witch films to have been made in the ’90s. Many children had nightmares in regards to the Sanderson sisters, and it is a cult traditional that followers love. The movie takes place within the crux of witchcraft: Salem, Massachusetts. The start of the movie provides a little bit of backstory to the sisters.

RELATED: 10 Hidden Details Fans Never Noticed In Hocus Pocus

All of it begins in 1693 when the witch trials occurred in Salem. The three sisters are accused of witchcraft after an area city lady goes lacking. They’re hanged, however not earlier than casting a spell on a candle that can convey them again to life if it’s lit by a virgin. The movie then fasts forwards to 1993 Salem, the place a virgin does simply this and brings the Sanderson sisters again.

8 ParaNorman (2012) – 7

Stop Motion film ParaNorman

● Accessible on Netflix

When in search of a enjoyable and comedic movie for the spooky season, ParaNorman is an efficient match, and the movie’s storyline additionally ties again to the witch trials. Although the story does happen in Massachusetts, it is in a city known as Blithe Hole. The storyline carefully resembles the thought of a girl being falsely accused throughout this time interval.

Norman is a younger boy who’s remoted and ridiculed for his capacity to talk to the useless. Sooner or later, he has a imaginative and prescient of townspeople chasing witches by the forest. He is quickly tasked with recovering an previous guide of fairytales to carry out a safety ritual. The arrival of a witch spirit results in the rise of the undead. He quickly discovers that the witch who triggered the uproar was a younger lady who was a medium however was accused of witchcraft by her city.

7 Witches Of Salem (2019) – 7

Travel Channel mini-series Witches of Salem

● Accessible on Discovery+

Witches of Salem is a mini-series that aired in 2019. It was created by the Journey Channel and is a historic dramatization of what occurred in Salem in 1692. The docu-drama particulars the city’s fast spiral into hysteria when the daughter of the native reverend begins to behave erratically. This quickly progresses to different younger girls affected by the identical affliction, which ends up in the accusation of a household slave being a witch.

The small city is riddled with concern and turmoil, inflicting the deaths of many townspeople who’re falsely accused of witchcraft. The mini-series makes use of unique transcripts from the time interval to recreate accusations of possession and witchcraft.

6 Salem (2014) – 7.2

Janet Montgomery as Mary in Salem

● Accessible on Hulu

Salem is tagged as being loosely impressed by the Seventeenth-century witch trials. The supernatural horror collection took the trials to a brand new and extra dramatized degree that hasn’t been seen earlier than. All of it begins with a strong witch who’s the puppeteer behind the Witch Trials. She makes use of the trials as a strategy to create mass hysteria among the many Puritans. In actuality, she’s utilizing it as a canopy to satisfy her plan to summon the Satan.

The present even makes use of acquainted characters from the unique transcripts like a slave named Tituba. Her plans are sophisticated when new enemies and previous love get in the way in which of her journey to energy.

5 Motherland: Fort Salem (2020) – 7.3

Jessica Sutton in Motherland Fort Salem

● Accessible on Hulu

Motherland: Fort Salem was a 2020 show created by Freefrom. The present takes a singular spin on witches, main again to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Within the modern-day, witches are on the forefront of the US navy after a strong witch helps finish the persecution of witches.

RELATED: 10 Things You Need To Know Before Watching Motherland: Fort Salem

The Salem Witch Trials did happen and led to the deaths of many witches, however a deal struck with the present commanding normal 300 years in the past, The Salem Accords, stopped the persecution of witches and as a substitute used them as a weapon to assist defend the U.S. from international and home enemies.

4 Bewitched (1964–1972) – 7.6

Samantha in a witch hat in Bewitched

● Accessible on Tubi

Successful three primetime Emmys and galvanizing many spinoffs and remakes, Bewitched was a Nineteen Sixties sitcom that noticed Elizabeth Montgomery’s Samantha Stephens use witchcraft to assist her non-magical household of their day-to-day lives. Although it touched on all kinds of matters, a portion of the present’s seventh season was devoted to the Salem Witch Trials.

Samantha travels again in time to 1692 and visits many essential landmarks that might come to be emblematic of the notorious occasions within the Massachusetts city. Although maybe not as nuanced as later depictions, this Bewitched saga stands as one of many first variations of Salem historical past in trendy in style tradition.

3 The Vampire Diaries (2009–2017) – 7.7

Cast of characters from the CW drama series The Vampire Diaries.

● Accessible on Netflix

A supernatural drama collection that first aired on The CW in 2009, The Vampire Diaries is primarily involved with preternatural love triangles and vampiric conspiracies. It bears virtually no connection to the historical past of Salem, Massachusettes upon first examination, however avid viewers will have the ability to level out just a few connections.

The collection primarily takes place in the town of Mystic Falls, Virginia, a city recognized for its transcendental legacy. Moreover, one of many present’s protagonists is defined to be a descendant of witches who fled Salem within the late 1600s to flee persecution.

2 Three Sovereigns For Sarah (1985) – 7.9

Promotional image for the 1985 PBS drama Three Sovereigns For Sarah

● Accessible on PBS Masterpiece

Three Sovereigns For Sarah was a three-part house video miniseries produced by PBS in 1985. Meant as a sensible depiction of the occasions which came about in 1692 and 1693, it is an impactful drama that focuses on the real-life struggling of the people accused of witchcraft.

Whereas it does aggrandize some points of its historic foundation and comes throughout as past dated attributable to its VHS origins, it stays an fascinating, grounded method to an occasion that is sometimes used as a footing for horror motion pictures.

1 American Horror Story: Coven (2011) – 8

Taissa Farmiga in American Horror Story Coven

● Accessible on Prime Video

American Horror Story created a season fully primarily based on witchcraft, titled “Coven.” The season is predicated in New Orleans and makes use of actual voodoo legends, however the primary characters are descendants of witch households from Salem.

Like many different on-screen works that use the trials as a premise, the primary characters are descendants of witches who managed to flee prosecution in 1692 and 1693. The primary character learns of her new lineage and is shipped to a non-public faculty that teaches younger witches tips on how to survive within the trendy world.

NEXT: 10 Scariest Scenes In American Horror Story: Coven

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Aila Slisco

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