Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Netflix’s recently concluded teen drama based on Archie Comics’ Sabrina the Teenage Witch series of the same name, was a tongue-in-cheekily spooky TV show. While it wasn’t exactly a horror series itself — the weird occurrences in Greendale never got too scary — it had an altogether ooky atmosphere and was packed with little tributes to horror classics.
In the fourth and final season alone, there are nods to the memorable 1981 slasher movie My Bloody Valentine, in the form of the murderous, gas-masked miners who start appearing in town; the classic Stephen King adaptation Carrie, when a murdered high school student in a bloody prom dress comes back from the dead and gets revenge on the people who wronged her by using her telekinetic powers to set them on fire, in a manner very similar to what happens in 1976 movie; and the films of contemporary horror master Ari Aster.
The aforementioned references are all pretty obvious, but there’s one that even horror super-fans might not have caught unless they were paying close attention. One episode of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina contains a blink-and-you-miss-it Easter egg paying tribute to the misunderstood cult classic Halloween III: Season of the Witch.
It’s always Season of the Witch on Sabrina
Halloween III is unique in the venerable horror franchise in that it doesn’t feature the masked killer Michael Myers. After the first two movies told the story of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), the third installment was supposed to transform Halloween into an anthology series that told all kinds of different tales under the Halloween brand name. Halloween III failed at this, alienating fans of the first two movies and underperforming at the box office. Michael Myers returned for Halloween 4, leaving Halloween III a weird little outlier that developed a cult following among horror fans who appreciated its atmospheric chills and critique of consumer culture.
Written and directed by Tommy Lee Wallace, Halloween III: Season of the Witch centers around a Halloween mask company called Silver Shamrock Novelties. The company’s founder, Conal Cochran (Dan O’Herlihy), uses the masks to distribute ancient fragments of Stonehenge hidden inside microchip. When activated by a special signal, the microchips containing the bits of Stonehenge will kill the mask’s wearer and unleash bugs and snakes from their body. Cochran’s goal is to sacrifice as many children as he can in order to bring back the age of witchcraft. Silver Shamrock’s most popular masks are a witch, a skeleton, and a jack o’ lantern.
In Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’s series finale, “Chapter Thirty-Six: At the Mountains of Madness,” Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka) opens the door to three trick-or-treaters — who are dressed as a witch, a skeleton, and a jack o’ lantern. Sabrina should have checked them for the Silver Shamrock microchip.