On May 3, 1996, The Craft was released in theaters, introducing a generation of teen girls to the idea of a coven. Forming a powerful group of witches didn't work out so well for the young women depicted in the film, but that doesn't mean the idea of practicing Wicca wasn't intriguing to its audience.
"For me, I was inspired to look up Wicca because I loved the idea of sisterhood, and nature being worshipped as well as giving you power," explained Allie, a producer living in Brooklyn. "The girls in the movie had grown so powerful and had such a close bond (at first, at least), and that was very appealing." Allie practiced Wicca for about four years, turning to the web to get her start before deciding, rather fittingly, to turn to the non-digital world. She discovered her first magic book at her elementary school library — Black Magic, White Magic by Gary Jennings, a tome that tackles the history of magic and how non-practitioners have reacted to it over time. It would be two years before Silver Ravenwolf's Teen Witch: Wicca for a New Generation became the essential guide for teenagers inspired by The Craft, Buffy, and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.
After finding spell books at her local Barnes and Noble, Allie would do them secretly in her bathroom, first practicing alone, but eventually finding other Wiccans to share stories with online. The spells she tried were sometimes meant to bring positivity into her life, though she admitted they were often love spells: the kind a "lonely middle schooler" would tend to appreciate.
Allie first saw the film, which opened to mixed reviews and went on to gross over $24 million, when she was 9. It would be a few years before some conservative Christian parents wondered whether reading Harry Potter could turn their kids into evil sorcerers. But Allie noticed concerns swirling around The Craft and other bits of magical pop culture of the late-'90s. "I did notice pushback, after school shootings became widely reported," Allie said. "The media [and] things to do with the occult, like Buffy and Marilyn Manson, were blamed for inciting that kind of violence. People also just don't tend to take Wicca seriously and will act like you're the weird kid if you try to talk about it."
Allie didn't open up to her parents about practicing Wicca, explaining, "I know my mom must have noticed the books as she was the one buying them for me, but she also always knew I had an interest in the paranormal. I think if they had known, they wouldn't have understood and would have thought I was worshipping Satan or something and probably would have tried to put a stop to it." Though Allie's days of casting spells in the bathroom are behind her, she hasn't forgotten her Wiccan past.
"I do not still practice as I am more of an agnostic now, but I do still love the idea of a religion worshipping nature and the elements as well as women."