Sabrina The Teenage Witch was one of the most beloved shows of the 90s, captivating audiences with its blend of magic, humor, and relatable teenage ex...
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is the latest (2018) incarnation of Sabrina The Teenage Witch but this time is a supernatural horror series. Based on the Archie Comics character Sabrina Spellman, the show follows the journey of Sabrina as she navigates her dual nature as a half-witch and half-mortal. Set in the eerie town of Greendale, the series combines elements of witchcraft, dark magic, and coming-of-age themes to create a captivating and suspenseful storyline.
The lead role of Sabrina Spellman is portrayed by Kiernan Shipka, who played Sally Draper in Mad Men. She brings a perfect balance of vulnerability, strength, and determination to the character. Sabrina is depicted as a fiercely independent and morally-driven young woman who challenges the traditional expectations placed upon her as a witch. As the series progresses, Sabrina becomes entangled in a complex web of supernatural forces, constantly battling against evil forces while trying to protect her loved ones.
Other notable cast members include Ross Lynch as Harvey Kinkle, Sabrina's mortal boyfriend. Miranda Otto and Lucy Davis portray Zelda and Hilda Spellman, Sabrina's aunts. Michelle Gomez is Mary Wardwell, who becomes entwined with Sabrina's life in unexpected ways.
Our Chilling Adventures of Sabrina facts include why there was a Riverdale crossover, why the Satanic Temple sued the production and which character names are references to other horror stories.
Created by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa for Netflix, the executive producers of the series include Aguirre-Sacasa, Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, Jon Goldwater, and Lee Toland Krieger.
1. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Was Originally A Companion Of Riverdale
Originally developed for the CW network in September 2017 as a companion series to Riverdale, the project was later moved to Netflix in December 2017, where it received a straight-to-series order of twenty episodes.
The first half of the first season, consisting of ten episodes, premiered on October 26, 2018, and garnered positive reviews from critics. Kiernan Shipka's performance, along with the intriguing premise, stunning visuals, and skillful directing, were particularly praised. A Christmas special episode was released on December 14, 2018, and the second half of the first season, comprising nine episodes, was released on April 5, 2019.
In December 2018, Netflix renewed the series for a second season, which consisted of 16 episodes divided into two equal parts. The first eight episodes premiered on January 24, 2020, followed by the release of the remaining episodes on December 31, 2020.
2. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Was Cancelled Due To COVID19
Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Netflix announced the cancellation of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina in July 2020. However, two crossovers with the show Riverdale took place during the latter series' sixth season, providing closure to certain plot points from Sabrina.
3. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Is A “Slow Burn Horror”
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina draws inspiration from "slow-burn horror" films like The Exorcist and Rosemary's Baby, as well as the satanic horror movies of the 1960s and 1970s.
4. The Titles Include Original Artwork By Robert Hack
The opening title sequence features artwork by Robert Hack, the original artist of the comic book series.
5. A Christmas Episode Was Chosen Due To Previous Holiday Themes
On November 12, 2018, Netflix revealed that the eleventh episode of the planned 20-episode season would be a special Christmas episode. The decision to create a holiday-themed episode arose during the production of the second part when Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’s creator, Aguirre-Sacasa, recognized the need for a Christmas episode to complement the previously explored Halloween and Thanksgiving themes. The episode offered self-contained storytelling while still advancing the overall narrative and mythology.
Additionally, it served as standalone content to bridge the gap between the two parts. Netflix renewed the series for a second season of 16 episodes, divided into two parts, on December 18, 2018.
6. Kiernan Shipka Was Always Set To Play Sabrina
In January 2018, Kiernan Shipka was chosen to portray Sabrina Spellman, a role that writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa had envisioned her in from the start.
The following month, additional cast members were announced, including Jaz Sinclair as Rosalind "Roz" Walker, Michelle Gomez as Mary Wardwell/Madam Satan, Chance Perdomo as Ambrose Spellman, Lucy Davis as Hilda Spellman, Miranda Otto as Zelda Spellman, and Richard Coyle as Father Faustus Blackwood.
Ross Lynch joined the cast as Harvey Kinkle in March 2018, and Tati Gabrielle was cast as Prudence Night. Bronson Pinchot, Adeline Rudolph, and Abigail Cowen were also added to the cast as George Hawthorne, Agatha, and Dorcas, respectively.
In November 2018, it was revealed that Alexis Denisof, Jedidiah Goodacre, and Mckenna Grace would join the second part of the series in recurring roles as Adam Masters, Dorian Gray, and a young Sabrina in the Christmas special episode, respectively.
In June 2019, it was announced that Lachlan Watson and Gavin Leatherwood had been promoted to the main cast for the second season. Later, in December 2019, Sam Corlett, Skye Marshall, and Jonathan Whitesell were cast in recurring roles for the third part of the series.
7. The Riverdale Crew Also Worked On Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Filming for the first part began on March 19, 2018, immediately following the conclusion of filming for the second season of Riverdale, allowing for the same crew members to work on both series.
The first two parts were filmed consecutively, with production on the second part wrapping up on December 21, 2018. Initially scheduled to begin in February 2018 and conclude in June 2018, the filming schedule was adjusted to accommodate the Christmas special episode. As a result, the first episode of the second part was filmed as the eleventh episode overall, while the Christmas special became the twelfth episode filmed.
Despite the rearrangement, Aguirre-Sacasa stated that the first episode of the second part was written as a premiere episode and served as a launching point for the subsequent storylines. Production on the second season, encompassing the third and fourth parts, started on May 17, 2019, and concluded on February 22, 2020.
8. There Was Some Debate About A Riverdale Crossover
Originally conceived as a companion series to Riverdale during its development for the CW, the connection between the two shows became uncertain after Chilling Adventures of Sabrina moved to Netflix.
In January 2018, CW President Mark Pedowitz stated that there were no discussions about a crossover at the time. However, in March 2018, Jon Goldwater expressed a desire for the two series to find a way to cross over, suggesting that characters from Sabrina could potentially appear on future episodes of Riverdale, considering the mention of Greendale on the show.
9. So What Are The Riverdale Crossovers?
The town of Greendale, where Sabrina resides, is introduced in the second season of Riverdale. Subsequently, both Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and Riverdale make regular visual and dialogue references to each other.
In the first season of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Moses Thiessen reprises his role as Ben Button from Riverdale in one episode. Likewise, in an episode titled "Chapter Sixty-Seven: Varsity Blues" from Riverdale's fourth season, Ty Wood reprises his role as Billy Marlin from Sabrina.
In the third part of Sabrina, in an episode titled "Chapter Twenty-Three: Heavy Is the Crown," Sabrina and her cousin visit Riverdale in search of a crown once owned by Benjamin Blossom, an ancestor of Cheryl. As they pass the town sign, they find Jughead Jones' signature spray-painted on the back. In a later episode, a member of the Southside Serpents is attacked by Hilda Spellman.
In the fourth part of Sabrina, specifically in the episode "Chapter Thirty-Four: The Returned," a battle-of-the-bands poster lists the "Fred Heads" as participants in the competition. This was the name of Archie's father Fred Andrews' high school garage band.
On October 7, 2021, it was announced that Kiernan Shipka would reprise her role as Sabrina in the sixth season of Riverdale. In the same season, the show introduced Heather, portrayed by Caroline Day, a witch from Greendale and a member of Sabrina's coven.
10. The Riverdale Characters Could Break Into Sabrina’s House
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa expressed in an October 2018 interview that he would hate for a crossover to never happen. He mentioned an idea where the characters from Riverdale would hear about a haunted house in Greendale and attempt to break in, only to discover it is Sabrina's house.
11. There Could Be A Sabrina And Riverdale Film
Aguirre-Sacasa also proposed the possibility of a standalone film featuring both casts, possibly titled “Afterlife with Archie”, based on the Archie Horror comic book series of the same name.
12. The Satanic Temple Filed A Lawsuit Against Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina
In November 2018, activists from the Satanic Temple filed a lawsuit against the production team of Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina, alleging that the depiction of the Statue of Baphomet in the show was a direct copy of their own statue and portrayed the Temple inaccurately and disrespectfully. They were particularly concerned about the portrayal of Satanists as cannibals engaged in forced worship.
On November 21, 2018, it was confirmed that the Satanic Temple and Netflix had reached a settlement and resolved the lawsuit in an amicable manner. The details of the settlement were not disclosed to the public.
13. The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina Have An Album
On March 15, 2019, WaterTower Music released a digital EP featuring four songs performed by members of the series' cast during the first part of the first season. Additionally, a compilation of songs from the first season, including six cast performances (four from the EP and two new songs), was released digitally by WaterTower Music on April 5, 2019. The soundtrack for the first part of the second season was released on January 24, 2020, followed by the soundtrack for the final part on January 1, 2021.
An album featuring Adam Taylor's score for season 1 was released on compact disc by La-La Land Records and made available for download by WaterTower Music on August 16, 2020. Waxwork Records also released the soundtrack and score from the first season on 180-gram vinyl in 2020, featuring a triple LP format.
14. Kiernan Shipka Starred In Riverdale After Being Summoned By Cheryl
Following the cancellation of the series, Kiernan Shipka reprised her role as Sabrina in the episode "Chapter Ninety-Nine: The Witching Hour(s)" from the sixth season of Riverdale. Set in an alternate universe called Rivervale, Sabrina is summoned by Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch) to assist with a spell. Shipka also returned in the episode "Chapter One Hundred and Fourteen: The Witches of Riverdale" during the same season, which is set in the original continuity of the two series and takes place after the events of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. This episode provides closure to various plot points from the series. Nicholas Scratch, portrayed by Cole Sprouse, also appeared in the episode after being temporarily resurrected through a spell used on Jughead Jones's body.
15. Season 5 Is In Comic Book Form
In July 2021, it was announced that the potential fifth part and third season would continue in the form of a comic book sequel series titled The Occult World of Sabrina. The first arc of the series will conclude the "World Without Sabrina" storyline that began in the series finale. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa also mentioned the possibility of comic crossovers between Riverdale and the original comic book series.
16. There Is An Artistic Connection With Hellraiser
Clive Barker, the creative mind behind Hellraiser and Candyman, contributed over 150 paintings for use in the show.
17. The Weird Sisters Are Inspired By Macbeth’s Witches
The Weird Sisters, a trio of witches in Shakespeare's play Macbeth, inspired the characters in the series. Sabrina's spell to summon them is directly taken from lines spoken by the witches in Macbeth (Act 1, scene 3).
18. Zelda Speaks Multiple Languages
Aunt Zelda exhibits fluency in at least a dozen languages, including French, Italian, Russian, Japanese, Spanish, and German. This is showcased by the newspapers she reads at the kitchen table in each episode.
19. Now You Know What A “Craven” Is
Stolas, Wardwell's familiar in Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina, is a unique hybrid creature that combines the size and proportions of a raven with the beak shape of a crow. The visual effects team refers to Stolas as a "craven."
20. The Time Period Is Intentionally Ambiguous
Similar to Riverdale, the specific year in which Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina takes place is intentionally left unspecified. This allows the show to have a blend of modern and retro elements. Greendale's town, schools, and clothing styles have a nostalgic feel reminiscent of the 1960s, the era in which the source material is set. However, the show also includes modern references, as well as the presence of cellphones and computers.
21. Sabrina’s Poster Is Of A 1920s Witch Documentary
Sabrina's bedroom features a poster of the 1922 Swedish/Danish documentary-style film on witchcraft through the ages, Haxan.
22. Do You Know What Father Faustus’ Name Means?
The character of Father Faustus Blackwood, the right-hand man of the Dark Lord in Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina, derives his name from the German folklore character Faust, who famously made a pact with the Devil for unlimited knowledge. The historical Dr. Faust, upon whom the tales are based, lived in the region known as Schwarzwald, meaning "Black Forest," which inspired the choice of the name Blackwood.
23. The Characters’ Surnames Are A Nod To Arthur Miller
The surnames "Hawthorne" and "Putnam" are borrowed from Arthur Miller's play "The Crucible," which centres around the witch trials in Salem.
24. Dr Sapperstein Is Referencing Rosemary’s Baby
In episode 1, Mrs. Wardwell mentions Dr. Sapperstein in the car, referencing the Satanic doctor character from the 1968 film Rosemary's Baby.
25. There Is A Stephen King Connection
The opening scene at the Paramount Theatre was filmed at the same location used for Stephen King's 1990s TV mini-series IT.
26. It Was Originally Scheduled To Air On The CW
Originally slated to air on The CW, the rights to produce Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina were acquired by Netflix in December 2017.
27. Salem The Cat Was Nearly A Dog Due To Shipka’s Allergies
In this series, Salem the cat doesn't talk or have as much screen time as in Sabrina the Teenage Witch (1996). One of the reasons for this, apart from the show's darker tone, is that Kiernan Shipka, who plays Sabrina, is actually allergic to cats. At one point, showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa even considered transforming Salem into a dog.
28. Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina Involved A Lot Of Hair Dye!
During her first screen test for Sabrina, Kiernan Shipka had long brown hair. However, she was asked to return for another screen test with short blonde hair. After she changed her hair, she was offered the role. Similarly, Ross Lynch, who plays Harvey, was asked to dye his hair brown because the producers felt that he looked too similar to Kiernan Shipka with blonde hair.
29. The Surnames Are Also Present During The Salem Witch Trials
While the characters in Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina are cited as being based on those from The Crucible, the Putnam and Hawthorne families were actual Puritan families in Salem, Massachusetts. John Hathorne (later changed to Hawthorne) was the Chief Examiner during the Salem Witch Trials, and the Putnam family had multiple individuals who served as accusers during the trials.
30. There Are References To Suspiria And A Nightmare On Elm Street
Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina pays homage to both Suspiria and A Nightmare on Elm Street. The living room features a glass ceiling with a similar colour scheme as seen in Suspiria, which is also centred around a coven of witches.
Additionally, the scene with Harvey (Ross Lynch) falling asleep with headphones on and a crop top is an homage to Johnny Depp's character in Elm Street.
31. None Of The Witches Use Mobile Phones
None of the witches in the series use mobile phones in keeping with the temporally ambiguous setting.
32. Sabrina The Teenage Witch Finally Was A Real Teenager In This Adaptation
When Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina premiered on Netflix, Kiernan Shipka was in her teens, making her the first actual teenager to portray the teenage Sabrina Spellman in a live-action TV series. However, Melissa Joan Hart, who starred in Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (1996), was in her twenties during the show's run, although she was still 19 when the non-canonical Sabrina the Teenage Witch (1996) movie aired earlier that year.
33. Ross Lynch And Jaz Sinclair Dated In Real Life
Ross Lynch (Harvey) and Jaz Sinclair (Roz) are in a real-life relationship.
34. Sabrina’s 1990s Aunts Reprised Their Roles In Part Four
Caroline Rhea and Beth Broderick, who played the Aunts Hilda and Zelda in Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (1996), reprise their roles as the "sitcom" versions of the characters in the final episodes of Part Four.
35. A Petition To Renew The Series Has Thousands Of Signatures
Following its cancellation, there has been a petition to HBO MAX to save the Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina, which has gained over 300,000 signatures and continues to grow.
36. Who Is Vinegar Tom?
Zelda's previous familiar was a dog named Vinegar Tom, which shares its title with a 1976 play by British playwright Caryl Churchill. The play explores gender and power dynamics through the context of 17th-century witchcraft trials in England.
Another dog fact from Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina is that the store and its owner Cerberus in the show are references to the three-headed dog from hell.
37. Kiernan Shipka And Miranda Otto Have Previously Worked Together
Kiernan Shipka (Sabrina) and Miranda Otto (Aunt Zelda) also co-starred in The Silence (2019).
38. Nicholas Scratch Really Is The Devil
The name Nicholas Scratch is a combination of colloquial and euphemistic terms for the Devil, such as "Old Nick" and "Old Scratch" (as used in "The Devil and Daniel Webster"). Marvel Comics also has a character with the same name who possesses magical abilities.
Also in "Flowers in the Attic," Kiernan Shipka's character is referred to as "The Devil's Spawn," while in this show, she is literally the offspring of the Devil.
39. Lucy Davis Has Played A Witch Before
Lucy Davis (Aunt Hilda) previously portrayed a witch in the children's TV show Belfry Witches (1999), where she played the mischievous Old Noshie.
40. “Farm Boy” Was Used By Roland In The 1990s Version Of Sabrina
Nick frequently refers to Harvey as "Farm Boy" in multiple instances. In the series "Sabrina The Teenage Witch" (1996), a recurring character named Roland consistently called Harvey "Farm Boy."
41. Miranda Otto Has Another Sabrina Connection
Miranda Otto's husband, Peter O'Brien, appeared as a doctor in Sabrina Down Under (1999).
42. There Is A Coupling Connection
Richard Coyle, who stars in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, previously appeared in the British sitcom Coupling (2000) alongside Jack Davenport, who is the husband of Michelle Gomez, a co-star in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
43. Did You Notice The Halloween III Reference In The Finale?
In the series finale, Sabrina welcomes three trick-or-treaters at her front door: a green-faced witch, a skeleton, and a jack-o'-lantern. These costumes bear a striking resemblance to the three deadly masks featured in the film "Halloween III: Season of the Witch" which was marketed to children.
44. There Is A The Vampire Diaries Connection
Both Jaz Sinclair (Rosalind Walker) and McKenna Grace (young Sabrina Spellman) previously appeared in The Vampire Diaries (2009-2017) as Beatrice Bennett, an ancestor of Bonnie Bennett, and Young Caroline Forbes, respectively. Additionally, Jedidiah Goodacre (Dorian Gray) starred in The Vampire Diaries' spin-off shows, The Originals (2013-2018) and Legacies (2019-), as Roman.
45. Michelle Gomez And Richard Coyle Have Previously Worked Together
Michelle Gomez (Madam Satan) and Richard Coyle (Faustus Blackwood) previously acted together in The Collection (2016).
46. May Calamawy Auditioned For Sabrina
Before the role went to Kiernan Shipka, May Calamawy auditioned for the role of Sabrina.
47. There Is A Connection To The Conjuring 2 In The Dialogue
In Sabrina's reading of her father's diary, the name "Valac the Defiler, the Profane, the Marquis of Snakes" is mentioned, which is the main character in the movie "The Conjuring 2."
48. There Is A Shirley Jackson Connection
Constance Blackwood shares a name with a young woman accused of poisoning her entire family in the novel "We Have Always Lived in the Castle" by Shirley Jackson. Shirley Jackson, known for her horror novels, including the famous "The Haunting of Hill House," is also a character in the show, and in Part 2, she haunts Constance Blackwood's character through Zelda Spellman.
49. Baterman Could Reference Pet Sematary
In episode 9 of Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina, when Roz asks Sabrina if Tommy has returned to life, she mentions that "Mr. Baterman was delivering a UPS package..." This could be a reference to Timmy Baterman from "Pet Sematary," who was also killed and resurrected.
50. Dr. Phibes Is Mentioned
The mention of Doc Phibes after Tommy's resurrection is likely paying homage to the character played by Vincent Price in "The Abominable Dr. Phibes" and "Dr. Phibes Rises Again."
51. There Are A Lot Of Similarities Between Chilling Adventures And The Fog
Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina also pays homage to John Carpenter's "The Fog." Both open with a narrator telling a story before midnight, and the witches are shrouded in fog as they attack the town.
The 13 witches in the show were betrayed, similar to the lepers at Spivey Point in "The Fog."
Both stories involve characters with ancestral connections to those who betrayed them, and the antagonists seek revenge against the town that betrayed them.
Thanks for reading "51 Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina Facts Every Netflix Fan Should Know" on January Media.