Five Classic Spooky Women to (Re)Watch This Halloween, at Her Story Arc

Cross-posted from: Her Story Arc
Originally published: 15.10.17

Halloween is upon us! Now that my apartment is all decorated, it’s time to devote some posts to the spookiest holiday. Luckily, we have plenty of scary ladies to discuss! In this post, we’ll take a look at five classic female characters and their eerie stories.

  1. Morticia Addams
    Morticia Addams cuts the head off a rose
    “Wednesday, look at all of the other children, their freckles, their bright little eyes, their eager, friendly smiles. Help them.

    An easy favorite of mine! Morticia loves the macabre, as proven by her thorny bouquets and her disappointment upon learning the Cat in the Hat survives to the end of the book. Despite wanting to join the dark forces’ hellish crusade, she always has time for her family. Always dressed for a funeral, Morticia’s calm presence anchors her energetic husband and children and never flinches when she meets the uncanny, spooky, or downright sinister things that visit/live in the Addams’ household.
    Shoutout to: Wednesday Addams, Grandma Addams, and the amazing Debbie Jellinsky from Addams Family Values.

  2. Sally
    Sally singing in a movie still
    I sense there’s something in the wind / That feels like tragedy’s at hand.

    There’s a lot of Tim Burton to choose from, so I went with another personal favorite: Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas. While protagonist Jack is off in his own head, Sally is trying to keep him from making a big mistake. While she doesn’t have firsthand experience, her intuition tells her her friend might get hurt during his great scheme to “improve” Christmas and she tries to protect him. Meanwhile, she has her own drama going on: escaping the clutches of the evil scientist who is keeping her hostage.
    Shoutout to: Pretty much any other Tim Burton movie, all of which feature complex (and often spooky) female characters.

    Need more thrilling feminist scary movies? Read our review for Crimson Peak here.


  3. The Sanderson Sisters
    The three Sanderson Sisters looking confused by the modern day.
    “Go to Hell!” “I’ve been there, thank you. I found it quite lovely.”

    These sisters are bumbling and goofy but don’t be fooled–they have sinister designs. Awakened from deathlike slumber, they waste no time trying to kidnap and kill children to preserve their youth. The three sisters (Winnie, Mary, and Sarah) have distinct personalities. Winnie runs the show, organizing her often-distracted sisters. She is unapologetic about her quest for youth (the ends justify the means, apparently) and skilled in the black arts. And last but not least, the sisters from 1600’s sing a great cover of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’s I’ll Put a Spell On You.
    Shoutout to: Little sister Dani for holding her own against the sisters.


  4. Buffy
    Buffy holding a weapon
    “I’m the thing monsters have nightmares about.”

    Though the movie and TV show have different tones, they’re both classic tales of a high-school vampire hunter kicking ass. Buffy is the original “I-just-want-to-go-to-prom-but-these-monsters-keep-getting-in-the-way” character. Nowadays we have  paranormal romance galore, but they are hard-pressed to compete with seven seasons (or one movie, depending on how much time you have on your hands) of all the demons of hell….and also the tortured romance (Angellll)!
    Shoutout to: The many awesome women from the TV series


  5. Bellatrix Lestrange
    Bellatrix threatens Harry, Ron, and Hermione
    “Avada Kedavra!”

    Haughty, erratic, and extremely dangerous, Bellatrix is played to a T by Helena Bonham Carter in several of the later Harry Potter movies. Bellatrix terrorizing our young heroes in Malfoy Manor is one of her scariest scenes. However, she adds a creeping horror to any scene she’s in, whether it’s begging Voldemort to let her kill Harry, or her casual glee in the face of violence. Bellatrix eventually meets her match, but not before cutting a swath of destruction and earning her place as a great film and literature villainess.
    Shoutout to: Molly Weasley, duh. : Her Story Arc is dedicated to finding and praising honest and progressive stories of women and girls in the media.