Witches are supernatural beings who are born with the power to affect change by magical means (witchcraft). Although the term "warlock" is commonly used to differentiate male witches from female witches, it appears that "witch" is a gender-neutral term that does apply to both men and women. While many Satanic witches are the devote worshipers of the "Dark Lord," other witches have been known to worship the old gods, or work against the Devil and use their powers for benevolent purposes.
The origin of witchcraft remains unknown, however, it is known that Lilith, under the service of Lucifer, was the first witch and subsequently, numerous witches have existed for many centuries passing down their knowledge and skills through generations of family lines. Consistent with popular belief, Satanic witches do receive their powers from darker forces, and most do worship the Devil.
Pan claimed that the old gods reigned before the false god and the Dark Lord, and pagans worshipped them prior to the existence of Satanic witches. According to Zelda Spellman, pagan witches were thought to have died out when Satanic witches ascended.
Before witches devoted themselves exclusively to the Dark Lord, they worshiped the Lady of the Lake, who was also know as Eostre, Kaguya, Austra, Lady of a Hundred Eyes, Shining Princess, and Lady Star. At the start of every April, back then known as Eostremonath, they would chant her names and dance with bright swords while they leaped towards dawn. 
Lupercalia was started by Roman witches under the reign of Caligula. Lupercalia was named after the Lupercal, the cave where Lupa suckled Romulus and Remus, the twin founders of Rome. Lupercalia was instituted to purify the city and increase health and fertility.
The Feast of Feasts
Centuries ago, the fourteen women belonging to the earliest incarnation of the Church of Night were chased out of the township of Greendale into the hills, the forest. To avoid starvation that winter, Freya, the youngest, strongest witch sacrificed herself and offered up her body as sustenance to her fellow witches. To commemorate this event, witches hold a yearly feast, similar to a mortal Thanksgiving.
The Greendale Thirteen
After the Salem witch trials of 1692, the witches of Greendale were terrified by the ongoing witch hunt. Mortals were identifying and arresting witches, including the original "Greendale Thirteen". To appease the mortal's bloodlust and quell the rising witch hysteria, the other witches willingly allowed these thirteen women to be sacrificed and chose not to rescue them. The Greendale Thirteen were held in the Witch's Cell with no sunlight, water, or food. The Greendale Thirteen walked a path to the noose after surviving torture and imprisonment. Mortals surrounded them on either side and if any witch lifted their eyes to meet a human's gaze, they were stoned to death on the spot. In 1692, these thirteen witches were hung in the forest.
According to Zelda Spellman and Pan, there are two recognized types of witches: Pagan and Satanic.
Pagan witches worshiped the old gods and derived their power from them. Pagans witches were thought, at least by Zelda, to be gone from Greendale, rather the whole country but a fringe group existed. Zelda even confirms Ambrose's belief that pagan witches died out when Satanic witches ascended, as when Christians came to power. According to Sabrina, some pagans possessed unique supernatural powers; for example, the witch Circe possessed powerful magics of transformation which resided in her hands. Her powers allowed her to turn anyone she touched into any creature she's ever seen before. Sabrina also claimed that pagans aren't exactly witches and admitted that while similar, they are from a different time. Colloquially, pagans refer to Pan's Phantasmagoria, however, Circe was the only witch of the pagan tribe.
Satanic witches receive their powers from the Devil and most accordingly worshiped him. Satanic witches appear indistinguishable from mortals. Some witches, such as the Weird Sisters have been known to have ghoulish appearances that consists of glowing eyes, occasionally greyish skin, occasionally no nose, black rimmed eyes and teeth, and sharp teeth. It is unknown if all witches have ghoulish appearances or of this was some sort of glamour. Witches are capable of having children with mortals despite the fact that it is forbidden. According to Zelda Spellman, a witch's term of pregnancy is thirteen months. Whether any of these characteristics are applicable to pagan witches as well is unknown.
Powers and Abilities
Depending on their level of skill, witches possess a number of magical powers. By joining together, witches can increase their magical strength. Among their many supernatural talents are:
- Spell Casting: The power to change, manipulate and control objects, events, actions and phenomena through the use of incantations, commands, rituals, gestures or pure sheer force of will.
- Summoning: The power to summon another witch, a familiar or being from one location to another.
- Cursing: The power to place a curse on someone or something, causing negative effects from physical harm to even death by magical means.
- Hexing: A mild form of cursing causing misfortune.
- Warding: The power to place protection spells and wards on places and people, shielding them from harm or danger.
- Binding: The power to bind or trap an individual to a given area. It can also be used to limit their movements by restraining them completely.
- Memory Manipulation: The power to scan and take away memories from people, and/or add false ones.
- Chlorokinesis: The power to control and manipulate plants.
- Poppet Puppetry: The power to control non-sentient beings and physical events through the use of poppets.
- Astral Projection: The power to project their astral form to another location, essentially becoming ghosts.
- Scrying: The power to spy on another person using a reflective surface.
- Conjuration: The power to conjure demons and other beings.
- Necromancy: The power to control, manipulate, and resurrect the dead.
- Illusion Manipulation: The power to project highly realistic illusions into the physical world.
- Glamour: The power to disguise a physical appearance.
- Demon Trapping: The power to trap a demon.
- Demon Banishing: The power to banish a demon and other beings from a given area.
- Containment: The power to contain a being in a specific area or object.
- Demonic Exorcism: Although forbidden by Witch Laws, particularly skilled witches and warlocks can expel demons from their human hosts.
- Cloaking: The power to render a being, location, or object physically undetectable to the senses.
- Enchantment: The power to imbue a person or object with a magical capability.
- Portal Opening: The power to open a portal to another dimension.
- Atmokinesis: The power to control and manipulate the weather.
- Hellfire Summoning: The power to summon fire from the pit of Hell. In the history of witches, only four of the most powerful witches have accomplished this.
- Animal Transformation: The power to transform an individual into any animal they want.
- Telekinesis: The power to levitate, move and control things with the power of the mind.
- Teleportation: The power to move from one location to another without occupying the space in between.
- Bi-Location: The power to send a witch to another location.
- Potion Making: The ability to brew and concoct potions, remedies, and elixirs that have supernatural properties.
- Divination: The power to obtain direct knowledge about an object, person, location or physical event through means other than the user's physical senses.
- Familiar Communication: The ability to converse with their familiars.
- Mediumship: The ability to see and communicate with the spirits of the dead.
- Mind Control: The power to control another person's actions, thoughts and feelings.
- Dream Walking: The power to enter another person's dreams.
- Telepathy: The power to read the minds of others and project one's thoughts into others' minds.
- Precognition: The power to receive visions of the future through dreams.
- Flight: The power to defy gravity propel oneself through the air at tremendous speeds.
- Levitation: The power to defy gravity and propel oneself in the air and hover.
- Pyrokinesis: The power to generate, control and manipulate fire.
- Resurrection: The power to resurrect the dead without the use of a spell or sacrifice.
- Healing: The power to heal another person of their injuries and wounds.
- Electrokinesis: The power to generate and control electricity.
- Longevity: Witches are extremely long-lived, aging at an especially slow rate; while Zelda, Hilda Spellman, and Gryla appear to be middle-aged women, it has been confirmed they're actually much older. According to Ambrose, once a half-witch undergoes their Dark Baptism and is fully a witch, they stay younger longer. The oldest witch is Lilith, as she is the first witch and first existing woman.
- Dark Lord: As the patron deity of Satanic witches, Lucifer is customarily their power source and can deny them access to his celestial energies. This will render them powerless and force them to seek out other sources of power to replenish their reserves. In 1612, the Pendle Coven suffered a power loss after offending the Dark Lord in some way, and so he withdrew his gifts from them a little at a time and then all at once.
- Distraction: Preventing a witch from concentrating or giving full attention to their spells, may render them ineffective. Since most spells are spoken verbally and take time to take effect, witches are vulnerable to attack before their completion. Additionally, certain spells require items, tools, and/or special events during casting, therefore they can't be invoked on mere whim.
- Mortality: Despite their mystical attributes, witches are still human and share many of the same weaknesses as non-supernatural beings (e.g. blood loss, immolation, snapped neck, etc.). However, witches can get around this weakness through the use of resurrection spells and the Cain Pit.
- Witchcraft: Witches themselves are susceptible to the powers of witchcraft. The mortal Jimmy Platt also revealed that certain sigils can be used to contain and neutralize a witch's power.
- Book of the Beast: The most ancient tome in existence and unholy grimoire that is a property of the Dark Lord. This tome is notably used in a witch's Dark Baptism.
- Demonomicon: An ancient grimoire filled with spells, such as to summon a familiar.
- Book of the Dead: A grimoire filled with necromantic spells and rites.
- Candles: Candles are used in certain spells and rituals.
- Cauldrons: Cauldrons are used to brew potions.
- Poppet: A poppet is a human figurine used by witches to represent their victims and establish a magical connection with them.
Types of Magics
- Conjuration: A form of magic that associates with summoning demons and other beings.
- Necromancy: A form of magic that associates with controlling, manipulating, and resurrecting the dead.
- Herbalism: A form of magic that associates with the study of botany and use of plants intended for medicinal purposes.
- Spiritualism: A form of magic that associates with the summoning of and communication with ghosts; it is mainly used in séances.
- Fertility: A form of magic that associates with the conception and birth of babies.
- Kitchen Magick: A form of magick that associates food with supernatural or magical properties.
- Blood Magic: A form of magic that associates with blood.
- Sex Magic: A form of magic that associates with sex and arousal.
- Vodou Hoodoo: A form of magic that associates with the Afro-American religion and the spirits. It has also been referred to as "Voodoo" and "Haitian Voodoo".
- Time Magick: A form of higher magicks that associates with time, warping the very fabric of time and space.
Witches tend to belong to covens, often referred to as churches, which themselves are part of the many Churches of Darkness. They are led by a single hierarch, a High Priest. While each coven is mandated to follow the set of Witch Laws imposed by the Anti-Pope and the Witches' Council, a coven's High Priest can expand these laws with specific rules and traditions that all in the coven are expected to abide by. If a witch goes against their church's sanctioned rules, they may be excommunicated.
- Order of Hecate
- Church of Night (defunct)
- Church of Shadows (unconfirmed)
- Gryla's unnamed coven
- The Pendle Coven
Many young witches and warlocks attend schools where they are educated in magic and presumably learn to control their powers.
Known Witch Schools
Feast of Feasts
The Feast of Feasts is an annual holiday hosted by the High Priest of the Church of Night. A witch is chosen to sacrifice her life to be feasted upon by their fellow witches. One witch is selected from fourteen families.
Witches light a Yule Log to keep the bad things out. The Winter Solstice is when the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest form. Like mortal Christmas, the Winter Solstice is about families coming together.
Lupercalia is an annual holiday that coincides with mortal Valentine's Day. The festival is comprised of three events that climaxes in a frenzy of orgiastic carnality in the woods.
When a witch and warlock get married, they undergo a Black Wedding. The Black Wedding is conducted by a High-level warlock such as the High Priest or the Anti-Pope. Demons who rule marriage and lust are invoked during the wedding such as Astaroth, Furfur, Hathor, Ishtar, Saleous, Uvall, and Vassage.
Hare Moon is a traditional lunar festival which is celebrated by the Church of Night coven. It's a symbolic gesture, giving thanks to the rabbits.
Spells and Rituals
Witches are able to make potions by using different herbs and plants; Hilda Spellman is particularly gifted in potion-making.
- Love Potion: Hilda poured a love potion into Luke Chalfant's coffee after he didn't return Ambrose's calls.
- Truth Potion: The truth potion is a recipe of Sabrina's grandmother. Sabrina and Prudence used a cake that was laced with a truth potion to force Lady Blackwood into confessing that she tampered with the Feast Of Feasts lottery.
- Sleeping Potion: Sabrina used the sleeping potion in a jar of water to put the recently resurrected Tommy Kinkle to sleep.
- Alcoholism Healing Potion: A recipe of Hilda's, Sabrina made egg nogg laced with this potion to cure Harvey's dad of his alcoholism.
- Warding Resin: Although not explicitly a "potion", Ambrose created a warding resin by mixing the Dark Lord's residue with a bit of salt, thieves vinegar and Hoyt's Cologne. He believed that with it painted over every door jamb and crevice, the resin may provide enough protection to keep the pagans at bay, at least for a short while.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
- "Chapter Ninety-Nine: The Witching Hour(s)" (Rivervale dream)
- "Chapter One Hundred and Nine: Venomous"
- "Chapter One Hundred and Ten: Things That Go Bump in the Night"
- Witches bare a distinctive mark on their body, known as a "witch's mark", identifying them as such.
- Half-witches may not bare such a mark.
- Faustus Blackwood claims that in exchange for serving the Dark Lord, witches are exempt from Hell.
- Witches are forbidden to perform exorcisms.
- However, they are fully capable of performing exorcisms.
- Witches consider themselves a separate race from mortals, despite being of similar appearance.
- Midnight is referred to as the 'witching hour'.
- Madame Satan mentioned that she was excommunicated from the Church of Shadows in New Hampshire. While Lilith was probably lying about her expulsion from said church, there is implied to be a Church of Shadows in New Hampshire as if anyone didn't believe her and looked it up and found it didn't exist, they would discover she was lying.
- According to Zelda, witches are home-schooled until their Dark Baptism, after which they will attend the Academy of Unseen Arts.
- According to Tati Gabrielle, Ambrose Spellman is the "eldest", topping his age at 90 years old while she feels like Prudence Blackwood is in her late 70s. She goes on to state that Gavin Leatherwood thinks Nicholas Scratch is in his 50s.
- Witches usually specialize in a certain aspect of magic. For example, Nicholas specializes in conjuring, Hilda specializes in herbalism and kitchen magic, Ambrose specializes in necromancy, Agatha specializes in spiritualism, Zelda specializes in fertility, and Circe was specialized in transformations.
- Witch oaths are often the inverse of vaguely religious human ones; i.e. "Unholy shit", "What the Heaven", "Thank Lucifer", "Praise Satan" and etc.
- Witches' hearts are harder because they need to beat longer.
- Warlocks are rarer than witches.
- According to Sabrina in the prequel novel, witches come from the skies and fly on brooms.
- When Melvin tried to recite a prayer of the Order of the Innocents, his face began to boil and he vomited blood which indicates that any kind of holiness is lethal to satanic witches.
- Witches seem to be divided into different categories, as Faustus Blackwood once referred to Sabrina as a hedge witch and Dezmelda as a wood-witch. Hedge witches are loosely categorized as witches that are without formal schooling or have been disenfranchised, covenless, banished, or exiled.
- It's considered good luck among the old traditional witch families to have an infernally-inflected name.
- Witches are trained to disarm an opponent, and cut a throat before the age of seven.
- According to the novels, the food preferences of witches are notably different from mortal food preferences. Examples would be that Hilda cooked marmalade and lasagna with eyeballs, and Zelda mentioning that worms are very nutritious.
- In the Pilot, Zelda implies they eat the deceased that come to their mortuary, should a closed casket ceremony be preferred. Though only for mortals.
- Witches can see perfectly in the dark.
- Half-Witches are not able to see in the dark.
- Before devoting themselves exclusively to the Dark Lord, witches used to worship Eostre Lady of the Lake.
- Likely due to their long lives and choice to settle in one location, witches seem to avoid mortal doctors. Even for modern and accurate help with pregnancies.
- It seems that in order to become a witch or receive magical powers, one has to pledge themselves to a higher entity.
- Nick‘s claim that witches are unable to feel love has been proven wrong in later episodes.
- According to Sarah Rees Brennan witches have old fashioned names, because these names were considered to be trendy in the 17th century.
- In the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina comics, witches are gathered in covens, like the Church of Night, and are ruled by a High Council which establishes the Witch Laws and enforce them with harsh methods of punishment.
- One of the important rules is that of to not mingle with mortals. Subsequently, half-witches are victims of prejudices, in particular, among young witches at the Academy of Unseen Arts.
- Likewise important is the Witch Baptism. At the age of 16, young witches must decide whether to accept the Dark Lord in a Black Mass and embrace their powers or renounce them forever.
- Although "witch" seems to be a gender-neutral term, male witches are often called "warlocks" in the comics and series.
- Nicholas Scratch, a TV series original character, is described as a warlock.
- Betty and Veronica are practicing witches in the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina comic series.
- In the comic series, Zelda states that witches are incapable of producing tears, which is not the case in the TV series as Sabrina, Zelda, Prudence, Ambrose, Nicholas and Lilith did cry on certain occasions.