10 Bad Portrayals of Witches and Pagans in Movies and TV

Pagans on How They Are Represented on Screen

The Wicker Man

By Gus diZerega

Recent portrayals of Witches and Pagans in movies and TV shows rarely provide the viewer with a portrait of Pagan practice recognizable to those of us who actually practice these traditions. Even an older film that many Pagans (mostly) love, "The Wicker Man" in its original uncut form, (not the lousy recent version) turns disturbingly dark at the end as the Sergeant discovers he has fallen for an elaborate ruse because of a need for a human sacrifice.

I asked Pagans reading my blog to list the movies and TV shows that most drove them up a wall, limiting my request to those depicting witchcraft and NeoPagans. If I were to include the African Diasporic traditions, to give one example, we'd have a list far longer. The movies and shows included here are not necessarily the worst depictions—there have been so many over the years. But of recent depictions they are the most misleading and likely to have been seen by the general public.

What struck me in trying to integrate all the comments I received was that we Pagans are a pretty tolerant lot, and often can laugh at the exaggerations and caricatures of our path so long as they are not too nasty. That said, some movies were repeatedly mentioned. The following five movies were overwhelmingly criticized by readers.

Gus diZerega writes A Pagan's Blog on Beliefnet.

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