Witches in literature come in all shapes, sizes and voices. They can be wicked or innocent, powerless or omnipotent, old or young. Packed with sinister details and dark drama, with the right narrator, a witch story can come alive. Ripe for the telling, these historical and fictional witch-centered audiobooks will have you spellbound.
Interested in the Salem witch trials? Stacy Schiff's meticulously researched The Witches presents the events from the perspective of the colonists who got drawn into a miasma of suspicion, accusation, and supernatural explanations for inconvenient truths. It also sheds light on the political conditions that created the perfect environment for the rapid-fire spread of false narratives. Eliza Foss' narration provides an eerie authenticity.
For more history, Marilynne Roach's Six Women of Salem zooms in on the lives of six women accused of witchcraft. Roach describes their experiences before emigrating from the old world to the new, their interactions with their accusers and the harsh conditions they faced in the colonies.
I'm a sucker for a scary story set in a library about a bewitched rare book, and Deborah Harkness' A Discovery of Witches doesn't disappoint. The gothic arches, mullioned windows and dark wooden beams of Oxford's gloomy Bodleian library set the scene for the adventures of historian Diana Bishop, a witch whose line dates back to a Bishop who perished in Salem in 1692. In the course of her research, Diana stumbles upon an enchanted manuscript hunted by vampire, demon and witch alike. Jennifer Ikeda's crisp, evocative narration is a delight.
Brunonia Barry's mystery The Fifth Petal is set in contemporary Salem, where a teenager is murdered, recalling a triple homicide cold case from 1989 with a link back to the infamous witch trials. Enjoy the New England accents!
Want to try your hand at modern witchcraft? While you won't be flying through the trees on a broomstick or turning your neighbor into a toadstool, you can use Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft to learn about the history and practice of Wicca. In Gildart Jackson's deeply resonant voice, Buckland's offers step-by-step instructions for tarot card reading, meditation and herbalism.
Which witch stories are your favorites? Happy Halloween!