Nobody here is going to put down the phenomenon that is Harry Potter, but when you compare the way such a fantastical universe treats magic to the world of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, it’s child’s play — literally.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina hit Netflix just before Halloween, on October 26, and we’re totally bewitched. Rather than witches and wizards who can wave special sticks and mumble a few Latin words to make feathers move, Sabrina has satanic witches and warlocks contend with demons, voodoo, blood magic, curses, and all other manner of occult magic.

In the years since the first Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, was released on June 26, 1997, many religious groups and protective parents voiced concerns that the “witches” and other aspects of the stories subversively supported occultism. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Anyone who’s actually read a Harry Potter book knows otherwise. The terms “witch” and “wizard” might as well be “sorcerer” or “mage” because they just refer to just about any person who can use magic.

It’s a fun and lighthearted fantastical world full of wondrous magic.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, however, would make those complainers cringe, because the show’s magic is entirely rooted in Satanic practices and grapples in the real-world stereotypes surrounding practitioners of occult magic.

'Chilling Adventures of Sabrina' Dark Baptism
Sabrina at her "dark baptism," in which she is to sign her name in the Book of the Beast in exchange for magical power.

The magic of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina combines various Wiccan principles with voodoo, and the potions and alchemical practices mix real-world holistic medicine with some pretty inspired superstitions. Many spells also utilize poetry-like incantations, perhaps originally rooted in Shakespearean witch spells?

Arguably, the most striking difference between the magic of Sabrina and Harry Potter is the influence of Satan. Sabrina explores dark magic and the coven’s relationship to Satan with the overarching conflict of Season 1 focusing on Sabrina’s soul.

What could be darker than that?


Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is currently available to stream on Netflix, and you can get Harry Potter at pretty much any bookstore, the movies at any retailer, or heck, why not just go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando?

Photos via Netflix, Inverse