Netflix ‘Sabrina’ reboot has real Wiccans fact-checking the details of witchcraft, star tells Kimmel
April 12, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Kiernan Shipka, the lead actress of Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina reboot, told late-night host Jimmy Kimmel this week that real-life Wiccans advise the show’s writers to ensure fidelity in their depictions of the occult.
“How do you prepare to play a witch?” Kimmel asked. “Do you do a ride-along on a broom or whatnot?”
“A few ride-alongs, a few seances,” Shipka joked, before seriously answering, “we have a few people who are practicing Wiccans … it’s nice. You feel like you’re making the right moves and doing the right things.”
“You feel like you have some advisory, which is really nice,” she continued. “We’re not all just doing this.” They then joked about whether they would place spells on her if she angered them, which transitioned to a conversation about Shipka’s enthusiasm to encounter a ghost someday.
Last fall, Vanity Fair detailed the input of Chilling Adventures’ production designer Lisa Soper, a practicing member of the occult, on the show, including various design elements of the sets such as Sabrina’s home, as well as the variou spells the characters perform. She even “put a protection spell on the house,” she said.
Soper told Vanity Fair she started out Catholic, but her family changed faiths multiple times over the course of her upbringing, and as she grew up she took to studying older belief systems. Eventually, she says, she “became completely comfortable and confident” in her occult beliefs after visiting the site of a car wreck that killed a friend who had been driving home from Soper’s birthday party. “I’m not saying ghosts exist, but I felt him — my friend — come to the side (of my car) and say, It’s OK,” she claims.
Sabrina the Teenage Witch began as an Archie Comics character in the 1960s, but is most well-known for the 1990s, family-aimed sitcom starring Melissa Joan Hart. The Netflix version strikes a decidely-darker, more adult tone, featuring blood, orgies, Satanic imagery, and a far-less-cartoonish depiction of witchcraft.
In October, survey data from Connecticut’s Trinity College revealed that the United States’ Wiccan population skyrocketed from 8,000 in 1990 to 340,000 in 2008, a year that also found roughly 340,000 self-described Pagans. Since 1990, self-identification with Protestant Christian denominations dropped eight percent while the share of Americans with no religious affiliation almost tripled.
“When it comes to what ultimately counts, witchcraft and Christianity (but not witches and Christians) are mortal foes,” warns Richard Howe of the Christian Research Institute. “Without the sacrifice of Christ to wash away our sins and reconcile us to our Maker, there is no hope in the world to come. Witchcraft teaches that our destiny is to return again to this world through reincarnation.”