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October 17, 2023

Witchy Stevie for Halloween

During the rise of her stardom, Nicks was plagued by one sort-of rumor, sort-of frequently asked question: “Is Stevie Nicks a witch?” 

The notion gained so much traction that a fair number of people came to believe that Nicks had actually practiced witchcraft. Several of Nicks’ songs, “Rhiannon” in particular, seem to indicate that she took her music and distinct fashion style a step or two further into the realm of magic. Yet, Nicks never called herself a witch or claimed to dabble in the dark arts.

Nicks’ penchant for wearing Halloween-themed clothes began when she was just a little kid. Her early obsession with the holiday is perfectly encapsulated by childhood anecdotes, such as when her mother, who worked as a seamstress, gave her a yellow Martha Washington costume that Nicks proceeded to dye black. 

But then, for the first time, the style and aura Nicks had adopted long ago became a little too dark.

Fleetwood Mac’s next album, Rumours, produced another slew of memorable songs, including “Go Your Own Way,” “Gold Dust Woman” and “Dreams.” It was also during this period that Nicks endured the worst of the witch rumor’s impact.

While the band was a critical and financial success, Nicks struggled. According to Nicks, she was receiving mail that referenced witchcraft and was troubling enough for her to become afraid of, among other things, being kidnapped.

Nicks told the LA Times in 2013, “In the beginning of my career, the whole idea that some wacky, creepy people were writing, ‘You're a witch, you're a witch!’ was so arresting. And there I am like, ‘No, I'm not! I just wear black because it makes me look thinner you idiots.’”

Nicks reacted to the situation by distancing herself from the style she had been honing since her childhood passion for Halloween. In this pursuit, she swapped out black for apricot in her wardrobe. 

Maybe it was because Nicks would need to be more herself than ever before as she was about to embark on her first solo record, Bella Donna. But like many cultural conventions, apricot just wasn’t cut out for Nicks, and she went back to black.

While promoting her album The Wild Heart, the “Stand Back” singer clarified her thoughts about witchcraft and reflected upon the rumor’s lasting impact.

“I do not believe in witchcraft as a natural philosophy at all. I just think it’s fun. And I love black clothes and I love moons and stars and Merlin hats and Mickey Mouse. But no, I do not believe in that side of it at all,” Nicks told ET in 1983.

When asked what she thought about those who still believed the rumor, Nicks said, “I don’t like it all and I wish people would stop thinking about that, because I spent thousands of dollars on beautiful black clothes and had to stop wearing them for a long time, because a lot of people scared me.”

Despite her struggle during that era, Nicks went on to write numerous hit songs that came from her passion for all things fantastic and mystical. The cover of The Wild Heart features a medieval font and a photo of Nicks dressed in a ceremonial black robe. 


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