|“||I heard you calling in the woods. And I came. Meow!||”|
— Salem in answering Sabrina's summoning spell.[src]
Salem is Sabrina Spellman's familiar, who was summoned through a spell. Despite believing it unsuccessful, Salem approached her later that night and took on the form of a cat, officially becoming her familiar. Sabrina stressed that she didn't view herself as his master but as equals. Salem would later go on to protect Sabrina against various threats, including a scarecrow brought to life by Madam Satan and from the sleep demon Batibat.
Salem is a slim black cat with a small white tuft of fur on his chest, and yellow-gold eyes.
A fierce and loyal familiar, Salem has saved Sabrina many times, such as from an animated scarecrow controlled by Madam Satan as well as guarding Sabrina when during her harrowing from the Weird Sisters when she first came to the Academy of Unseen Arts. Despite this, he likes to snooze but won't object to a good adventure.
Powers and Abilities
- Shapeshifting: Salem's true appearance resembles that of a dark, slim and long figure, but he can transform himself into a cat in order to blend into the realm of mortals. According to Sabrina, Salem can also squeeze himself into any hole or crack. Salem performed this ability when he entered Sabrina's cell to protect her from all harm when she received her harrowing from the Weird Sisters. Salem also shape-shifted when protecting Sabrina from the scarecrow when she was going to retrieve the Malum Malus.
- Telepathy: Salem can communicate with his partner even if he is not uttering any understandable language. Salem can also hear/feel Sabrina when she is in distress or in trouble.
- Enhanced Speed: Salem possess the ability to enhance his speed, this was showcased when he saved Sabrina from the scarecrow controlled by Madam Satan, by rushing towards the creature in such a speed, successfully pouncing it by surprise.
- Five cat actors portray Salem.
- Salem's limited screen time in the series is likely due to Kiernan Shipka ("Sabrina")'s cat allergy.
- The dark tone of the series in line with the horror movies from the 1960s and 1970s is the reason why Salem doesn't talk so much.
- In the Archie Comics, Salem is one of the main characters in all iterations featuring Sabrina Spellman.
- Salem first appeared alongside Sabrina in Archie's Mad House #22 in 1962, and was created by George Gladir and Dan DeCarlo.
- In the 1970 animated series as well as in the comics published in the same period, Salem was an orange American Shorthair cat communicating with Sabrina through mews and with the magical ability to teleport. He was in a constant feud with Hot Dog, Jughead Jones's dog.
- In most comics, Salem is depicted as a Tuxedo cat, although since the 90s sitcom he is popularly known and represented as a totally black cat.
- In the 2014 comic series, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa reinvented Salem backstory and retrieved the old appearance as a Tuxedo cat. In this iteration, he was a mortal named Samuel, who landed in the Boston Harbor and was hired as a laborer by John Proctor. After impregnating one of the maids who, unbeknownst to him, was a witch, he was cursed and turned into a familiar, renamed Salem by the Dark Lord to remember forever the Salem witches whom he betrayed.
- Salem is better known to younger generations for his appearance in the 90s sitcom.
- In the sitcom, Salem is a sagacious talking cat filling the gap left from writing off Cousin Ambrose.
- His backstory is expanded, and now he's Salem Saberhagen, a witch stripped of all his powers and turned into a talking black cat by the Witch's Council due to his megalomaniac plan to conquer the world and entrusted to Hilda Spellman for the duration of the sentence, as Hilda was one of his acolytes and to take care of Salem is her punishment.
- In the sitcom, Salem was often played by an animatronic puppet and by 4 real cats for moving scenes.
- See also: Category:Images of Salem
- Aguirre-Sacasa, Roberto (writer) & Krieger, Lee Toland (director) (October 26, 2018). "Chapter One: October Country". Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Part 1. Episode 1. Netflix.
- Barry, Matthew (writer) & Kiley, Maggie (director) (October 26, 2018). "Chapter Five: Dreams in a Witch House". Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Part 1. Episode 5. Netflix.
- Hail Salt Inhaler! Sabrina Is Allergic to Her Feline Familiar - Gizmodo
- Kiernan Shipka Is Allergic to the Cat Who Plays Salem - SyFy Wire