Unveiling the Mysteries: How ‘Practical Magic’ Stirred Controversy Among Real-Life Witches

In a fascinating journey back to the ’90s, "Practical Magic" emerges as a spellbinding blend of romantic comedy, domestic violence horror, and supernatural intrigue. Directed by Griffin Dunne and featuring powerhouse performances by Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman, this cinematic gem continues to captivate audiences even 25 years after its release. While the movie’s plot revolves around witchcraft, curses, and a mystical family legacy, it turns out that the film stirred some real-life controversy, particularly among the witchcraft community.

The Movie’s Dark Side: Domestic Violence and the Sisterly Bond


One of the film’s central themes is the horror of domestic violence, as it delves into the life of Gillian, who finds herself in an abusive relationship with Jimmy. This dark aspect of the story resonated with many viewers, but as Griffin Dunne reveals, it was even more intense in his original cut of the film.

The Curse That Haunted the Set

Interestingly, the production of "Practical Magic" might have been hexed. An actual witch consultant was brought on board to ensure the accuracy of the witchcraft ceremony portrayed in the film. While Dunne himself didn’t believe in curses, the notion seemed to have affected some on set. A crew member’s father tragically passed away from a heart attack before shooting began, and some attributed this to the supposed curse. Dunne tried to keep the matter contained, but it became a topic of discussion among the cast and crew.

Conjuring Uncharted Territory: The Exorcism Scene

The film’s plot also took an intense turn with the exorcism scene. Dunne admitted that the atmosphere during the shoot was electric and heightened, giving the eerie sensation that something otherworldly was being conjured. Nicole Kidman’s powerful portrayal, which included convulsions, added to the intensity of the moment.

Midnight Margaritas and Tequila-Infused Fun

A memorable scene in the film involves the Owens women making midnight margaritas together. Griffin Dunne recalls the scene with fondness and humor, revealing that the tequila used on set was indeed real. He joined in on the tequila, and as he puts it, "everyone got shit-faced." This moment of camaraderie and levity offset the darker themes of the film.

Why Didn’t Sally and Gillian Date Women?

Given the curse that befalls any man who falls in love with the Owens women, some have wondered why Sally and Gillian never considered dating women. Dunne’s response is that it was simply a sign of the times, and the idea of same-sex relationships didn’t occur to anyone during the film’s production. However, if a remake were to happen, this aspect might be explored.

The Elusive Spinoffs and Prequels

Over the years, there have been attempts to adapt Alice Hoffman’s prequel books into spinoff series, but none have gained much traction. Griffin Dunne, although aware of these attempts, has not been involved in any of the spinoff projects.

In retrospect, "Practical Magic" remains a cult classic that skillfully balances elements of romance, supernatural intrigue, and darker themes like domestic violence. Its legacy continues to grow, drawing fans and sparking discussions even a quarter-century after its release. While it may have caused a stir in the witchcraft community due to its curse-related storyline, it undeniably cast a spell on moviegoers worldwide.

So, if you ever find yourself watching "Practical Magic" around Halloween, remember that it’s not just a movie; it’s an enchanting journey into a world where love, magic, and sisterhood take center stage, and where the lines between fiction and reality sometimes blur.

How ‘Practical Magic’ Pissed Off a Real-Life Witch may be an unexpected headline, but it’s a testament to the film’s enduring impact and the intriguing stories that continue to surface, even after a quarter-century.

Behind-the-Scenes Secrets:

What was the Practical Magic curse?

In the world of ‘Practical Magic,’ the curse originated with Maria, a heartbroken woman abandoned by the father of her unborn child. Seeking to shield her heart from further pain, Maria cast a fateful spell. This spell evolved into a curse, haunting generations of Owens women. Its chilling effect? Any man who dares to love an Owens woman is doomed, entangled in the web of the Practical Magic curse, as it ensures a tragic fate for those who fall under its enchantment.

Why did Practical Magic flop?

Why did ‘Practical Magic’ experience a flop-to-cult-film transformation? While the flop-to-cult-film phenomenon often results from evolving trends or shifts in audience preferences, the 1998 misstep of ‘Practical Magic’ has an intriguing twist. Some attribute its initial lackluster reception to an unusual culprit: a real-life witch’s curse.

How scary is Practical Magic?

Is ‘Practical Magic’ a scary movie? This enchanting film offers a magical storyline and stellar acting. It avoids explicit sex scenes but contains moments of suggestion. While it may have slightly intense moments towards the end, it remains an enjoyable cinematic experience suitable for viewers aged 8 and older.

How old was Nicole Kidman when she was in Practical Magic?

How old was Nicole Kidman when she starred in ‘Practical Magic’? Nicole Kidman was approximately 30 years old during the filming of this movie, which occurred in 1997. Her portrayal of Gillian Owens received widespread acclaim, making the film a cherished favorite among fans.

What is the Owens curse?

What is the Owens curse? The Owens curse traces its origins to Maria Owens, the ancestral matriarch of the Owens family. Maria’s tumultuous affair with the witch-hunter John Hathorne led to the birth of her daughter Faith. Following betrayal in love, Maria cast a fateful curse upon herself and her bloodline, ensuring that anyone who falls in love with an Owens woman will meet a tragic end.

What is the poison in Practical Magic?

What is the poison in ‘Practical Magic’? In a dire attempt to rescue her sister from the clutches of her dangerous lover, Jimmy, Sally (portrayed by Bullock) and Gillian find themselves in a perilous situation. It’s here that Sally resorts to a cunning move, introducing the toxic plant known as belladonna into Jimmy’s tequila, leading to an unintended yet fatal outcome.

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