Anyone who grew up in the '90s probably has some memory of The Craft. This witchy Fairuza Balk movie undoubtedly inspired countless rounds of "Light as a Feather" at sleepovers, as well as moved witchcraft from the Goth fringes of high school culture to the forefront of the American zeitgeist. The spooky film - which also features Robin Tunney, Neve Campbell, and Rachel True - follows four teenage witches who try to navigate the fine line between the good and evil of their supernatural powers.
While the movie has many eerie scenes, some are nowhere near as creepy as the behind-the-scenes stories of shooting The Craft. Not only did the production team hire a real witch to ensure authenticity, but the spells performed on camera led to uncanny occurrences on set. The experience was so profound that some of the actresses chose to continue their witchy practices even after the movie wrapped. Others involved with the film refrained from practicing magick, as the experiences from filming The Craft proved ample enough.
Here are some of the weirdest behind-the-scenes stories from The Craft.
Many films today tend to use simulated visual effects to save time on filming complicated scenes; however, the filmmakers of The Craft didn't have this luxury, as their budget was fairly tight. Because using real animals was more cost-effective than CGI, the cast had to endure working with live creatures. Director Andrew Fleming shared, "We had 10,000 snakes. There was an animal trainer, and I just said, 'Let’s get the most bugs and snakes that you can possibly manage.'"
Along with the cast, the stunt doubles had to perform with live creatures crawling all over them.
Given the movie's Wiccan source material, filmmakers wanted to ensure any actions performed on set would not upset real-life spiritual entities. Dianic Elder Priestess and member of Coven Ashesh Hekat Pat Devin joined the production to make suggestions for the ritual scenes, advise on the elemental powers of each character, and write the chants spoken in the film. She also helped the cast with their chants to ensure authenticity.
Director Andrew Fleming noted Devin helped the film perform well at the box office. He explained, "One day, Pat came up to me and said she'd written a spell to make us No. 1 at the box office. It worked."
Though creators had no idea how The Craft would fare at the box office, the film's consulting Wiccan Pat Devin had an inkling the Wiccan aspects could become popular. As such, she was concerned audiences would try to duplicate the incantations of the movie in real life, potentially summoning a real deity.
To prevent this, the writers invented a deity for the film. Early versions of the script listed "Noah" as the entity's name, but it later got changed to Manon, which came from the film Manon of the Spring. Much like Manon, the movie's incantations were also fabricated.
After production of The Craft saw many strange on-set occurrences, some of the cast members began to believe in the power of the Wiccan practice. The film's Wiccan consultant Pat Devin recalled a particular incident:
On the last day of shooting at the beach, one of the actresses asked me to dedicate her to the Path of the Goddess. We walked up the beach in the dark, away from the lights, to a cove where I dedicated her and presented her to all four quarters. For her name, she took a name that I'd told her I would have named my daughter, had I ever had one.
Though Devin never revealed which actress made the request, the film appeared to leave a lasting impression on at least one of its stars.