Whatever comes to mind: Witchcraft works its magic on society

Whatever Comes To MindBy George Flynn | Opinions Editor

Every industry has trends. Some industries deal with music, film, television and fashion. Recently, these industries have been taking on fantasy concepts which are foreign to the human experience.

However, the ever-so-popular supernatural genre seems to have honed in on one specific and magical concept: Witchcraft.

Witches have been a hot topic many times in history, from singers like Florence Welch and icon Stevie Nicks to cult films like The Craft and Hocus Pocus. Recently, witch culture has had a resurgence. The Lifetime network has created a new television series based on a novel of the same name, Witches of East End. Along with this, FX’s hit television series American Horror Story is focusing on witchcraft this season. Even CBS is in the process of creating a reboot series of Charmed, which only ended seven years ago.

People are looking for entertainment with witchcraft and supernatural twists, such as the television show, the Vampire Diaries and films like The Conjuring. Plot lines with monsters are what seem to draw people into the television screen. Ed Martin, a television columnist for MediaPost, was cited for an article by Stuart Elliott for The New York Times.

“‘A well-done, serialized show with monsters and a sexy young cast can grab an audience’,” Martin said regarding to successful television shows like True Blood and Supernatural.

Television is not the only medium receiving the witchy treatment. A new music genre, Witch House, has been growing over the past three years.

Witch House music has interesting beats and is a genre to keep on your radar. Bands such as oOoOO, Salem and Balam Acab have become the faces of the movement.

According to a NYULOCAL article entitled “The Witch House Debate: Is the Music Genre Worth Listening to?” the music is a mixture of synths and drum machines. The songs tend to be of a slower tempo combined with electronic beats. The vocals are usually haunting and hard to hear due to the extremely high or low pitches.

According to the article, “The hazy mysticism [of the music] that shrouds the genre most certainly adds to the appeal.”

The music appears to be cinematic. Many of the songs by these bands could easily be placed in horror films. According to the NYULOCAL article, the songs could have very well been placed in The Blair Witch Project soundtrack.

Besides the music playing on many people computers and iPods across the globe, many fashion trends in retailers are falling under the spells of witchcraft.

Fashion designers like Yves Saint Laurent, Gareth Pugh and Cushnie et Ochs are all offering up witchy trends that depict the malevolence and strength of witches, but with a youthful and beautiful edge.

According to Ruth La Ferla’s New York Times article, the witchy style has taken a different turn. Witches no longer have warts, but are now sexy and sophisticated girls with immense power.

The article cites fashion designer, Carly Cushnie on the topic of the cool fashion trend.

“‘The witch is the ultimate bad girl … you want to be her’,” Cushnie said.

According to the NYT article, the trends that are on the runway consist of peaked hats, pointy shoes and an emphasis on black.

Witches are no longer a sign of pure evil that must be feared. They are now viewed as symbols of authority to be praised. As Cushnie said, they are bad girls to the core, and who doesn’t want to be bad?

Witchcraft is a trending topic all over pop culture, and it is just in time for Halloween and the autumn season. It is a rarity to see music, television and fashion combine and agree one topic. Whether witchcraft interests the population, or people are searching for a portal to escape reality, the one thing that can’t be denied is that this is the season of the witch, and it must be enjoyed.

George Flynn is a senior English major and can be reached at flynng@duq.edu.

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