25 tiny details in 'Chilling Adventures of Sabrina' that you definitely missed

2 November 2018, 22:19

By Katie Louise Smith

'Sabrina' is jam-packed full of horror movie references, pop culture references and tiny details from history and folklore - but did you spot them all?

We've said it before and we'll say it again, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is THAT show. The storylines, the characters, the actors... they're all brilliant, of course, but it's the incredible attention to detail within the production of the show that makes it stand out as one of the most clever and interesting series Netflix has ever made.

As we already know from watching Riverdale for the past couple of years, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (show runner for both Riverdale and Sabrina) loves a good pop culture reference - and there's no shortage of them in Chilling Adventures.

From the iconic horror movie references and homages to the tiny set details steeped in history and folklore that were probably all blink and you'll miss it moments during your first watch of the show, here are all the key details from season one that you need to take another look at:

There's tons of tiny details in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina you probably missed
There's tons of tiny details in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina you probably missed. Picture: Netflix

1) There's a reference to Johnny Depp's character in Nightmare on Elm Street in episode six.

At one point in the episode, Harvey Kinkle is laying on his bed with his headphones on, wearing a cropped top with the number '10' on it. The scene - including the shirt - is literally identical to Depp's death scene in Elm Street. Thankfully, Harvey doesn't die.

Ross Lynch as Harvey Kinkle and Johnny Depp as Glen from Nightmare on Elm Street
Ross Lynch as Harvey Kinkle and Johnny Depp as Glen from Nightmare on Elm Street. Picture: Netflix/New Line Cinema

2) A lot of characters in the series have surnames that link back to the Salem Witch trials.

The names Putnam, Hawthorne and Wardwell were all linked to the Salem Witch trials. Thomas Putnam and his daughter Ann Putnam Jr. were both accusers, Nathaniel Hawthorne was the great-great grandson of the Salem witch trials judge John Hathorne and Samuel Wardwell was accused of witchcraft and later executed.

3) The spells used in the show are real spells.

Speaking to EW, Tati Gabrielle (who plays Prudence) revealed “when we’re doing certain spells, we’re calling on some really dark forces. In episode eight, we do this ritual in the woods and most of the spells that they use are real spells from the Wiccan faith. It’s so eery.”

4) Sabrina's dark baptism was based on Goya's famous "Witches' Sabbath" painting.

Coincidentally, that exact painting is hanging on the wall in the Spellman's living room. If you rewatch the scene, you'll notice a fair amount of similarities between that and Sabrina in the white dress with people surrounding her.

Sabrina's dark baptism was based on Goya's 'Witches' Sabbath'
Sabrina's dark baptism was based on Goya's 'Witches' Sabbath'. Picture: Netflix

5) Richard Coyle based Father Blackwood on Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada.

According to Fandom UK, he also based hims portrayal on Paul Scofield in The Crucible and Charles Lawton in Spartacus. “There’s something clipped about all of those characters and they way they present themselves and there’s something meticulous about Blackwood, and clean and reptilian and cold-blooded.”

6) Zelda reads newspapers in different languages.

In almost every scene you see Zelda reading a newspaper, it'll be in a different language. Who knew Aunt Z was a multi-lingual legend?

Zelda Spellman reads newspapers in different languages
Zelda Spellman reads newspapers in different languages in 'Chilling Adventures of Sabrina'. Picture: Netflix

7) The crucifix that is placed above Ms Wardwell's fireplace turns upside down once she becomes possessed by Madam Satan.

You can see the normal crucifix in episode 1, just before she's possessed by Lilith and then you can spot the upside down version in episode 10 just before she eats Principal Hawthorne.

Ms Wardwell/Madam Satan crucifix gets flipped after her possession
Ms Wardwell/Madam Satan's crucifix gets flipped after her possession. Picture: Netflix

8) When someone sneezes on the set, the cast say "Hail Satan"

According to Thrillist, the cast have an in joke on set when someone sneezes, but not everyone takes part... "I do not participate in [saying 'Hail, Satan]," says Tati Gabrielle, who was brought up Baptist. "I say, 'Curse you!' as opposed to 'bless you!'"

9) Episode 6 is one big tribute to The Exorcist.

Show creator Aguirre-Sacasa revealed that The Exorcist served as the main inspiration for the sixth episode (aptly titled 'An Exorcism in Greendale') of the season. From the episode storyline to some of the actual scenes and camera shots (even the shot of them approaching the house with the light shining through the window), it's all one big call back to the 1973 film.

Episode 6 of 'Sabrina' pays tribute to 1973's The Exorcist
Episode 6 of 'Sabrina' pays tribute to 1973's The Exorcist. Picture: Netflix/Warner Bros.

10) Susie Putnam can be seen carrying Virginia Woolf's Orlando when she's harassed by the jocks in Cerberus Books.

'Orlando' tells the story of a poet who "changes sex from man to woman and lives for centuries, meeting the key figures of English literary history." The book is a reference and a subtle nod to Susie's journey with her own gender identity. The book also touches on important issues such as gender, self-knowledge, and truth.

11) Lilith, the demon that possesses Ms Wardwell is a figure in Jewish folklore.

Lilith is often envisioned as a 'dangerous demon of the night', who is sexually wanton and who steals babies in the darkness. In Jewish folklore, Lilith was Adam's first wife who refused to become subservient to him. As a result, she never returned to the Garden of Eden after coupling up with archangel Samael, also known as the angel of death.

In the show, Lilith's goal is to make Sabrina take her place as Satan's foot soldier so she can sit beside him as the Queen of Hell.

12) The ceiling in the Spellman house is a direct reference to Suspiria.

The stained glasses ceiling that you can see in episode 8 of 'Sabrina' is an exact replica of the ceiling in the opening of 1977's Suspiria.

The ceiling in the Spellman house is an exact replica of the one in Suspiria
The ceiling in the Spellman house is an exact replica of the one in Suspiria. Picture: Netflix

13) The exterior of the Academy of Unseen Arts is called 'Gehenna Station'.

The building is a disused train depot and in various historical scriptures, a 'Gehenna' is a destination of the wicked.

14) The interior of Madam Satan's house is modelled on Cotton house in Hellraiser.

The tiles in the entryway of her home, the wallpaper and the stained glass windows are all recreations of the Cotton House in Hellraiser. Madam Satan even mentions 'hellraising' a couple of times throughout the show for good measure.

15) There's a weird shadow figure on the wall on the way to the embalming room.

It's a blink and you'll miss it moment but the figure can be seen in various scenes.

There's a shadowy figure on the wall near the embalming room
There's a shadowy figure on the wall near the embalming room. Picture: Netflix

16) The song Sabrina sings while trying out for the choir at the Academy has a very dark history.

The song, called "I'll Never Say Never to Always," was originally written by Charles Manson. Yes. THAT Charles Manson. The now-dead former cult leader Charles Manson. Yikes!

17) The Greendale mine, founded by the Kinkles, actually has a subtle reference to the Salem witch trials.

The mines were built in 1693, the same year of the witch trials. Of course, the Kinkle family stems from a long line of witch hunters, which makes the whole thing even more interesting.

18) The statue of Baphomet in the Academy of Unseen Arts is an actual Satantic symbol.

In fact, the statue was so similar to the one copyrighted to the Satanic Temple, the cofounders are planning to sue Netflix over it.

Baphomet Statue in 'Chilling Adventures of Sabrina'
Baphomet Statue in 'Chilling Adventures of Sabrina'. Picture: Netflix

19) Production designer Lisa Soper drew tarot cards for each character to figure out their colour palette.

For Sabrina, she drew the Magician card, which is red. Of course, Sabrina’s signature colour is red which signifies power, femininity, and fierceness.

20) A protection spell has been placed on the Spellman house.

Soper is an actual practising occultist and once the set was built, she put an actual protection spell on the house. Crystals and various salts and sages are also spread around set as extra protection.

21) There’s a movie poster for Whatever Happened to Baby Jane in Ambrose’s room.

If you haven't seen the film (or Ryan Murphy's Feud which also happened to star Kiernan Shipka), it features two sisters living together as one torments the other. It's all very Zelda and Hilda, isn't it? ...Ish.

22) The shoes on the wall all belong to Zelda.

Apparently, every time Zelda hexes someone, she takes a shoe, binds the hex to it and places it on the wall. The person remains hexed as long as the shoe is fixed on the wall.

Zelda Spellman's wall of shoes in 'Chilling Adventures of Sabrina'
Zelda Spellman's wall of shoes in 'Chilling Adventures of Sabrina'. Picture: Netflix

23) Michelle Gomez originally based Ms Wardwell's accent on Dame Maggie Smith.

When she auditioned, casting directors asked her to do something different. To be honest, it worked out for the best because Madam Satan's sultry accent is perfect. We can't imagine Maggie Smith ever being that deliciously evil.

24) Sabrina owns Archie Comics memorabilia.

In episode one, Sabrina can be spotted carrying an Archie Comics thermos flask with Principal Weatherbee and the core four illustrated on it. It's just one of many Riverdale/Archie Comics references in the show.

Sabrina owns a piece of Archie Comics memorabilia
Sabrina owns a piece of Archie Comics memorabilia. Picture: Netflix

25) “Jughead was here” has been carved into the Fiction (R-V) bookshelf in the Baxter High Library.

According to Fandom UK, there's a hidden reference to Jughead in the Baxter High Library that we haven't yet seen on TV.