There are very few things in life that scare children more than evil characters and villains in a movie or television show. These characters often haunt the dreams of kids even after the very first viewing. One prime example of this is The Wizard of Oz and the character that Margaret Hamilton embodied in the classic 1939 film. Applauded by critics at the time and simultaneously terrifying children with her cackling laugh and flying monkeys, Hamilton made her mark on classic Hollywood cinema. Recently, an episode of Sesame Street featuring Hamilton’s Wicked Witch of the West was posted to social media, and it has many viewers reliving old nightmares.
A user named sarsaparilla170170 posted the episode of Sesame Street with the Wicked Witch of the West to Reddit, causing quite the stir among many of Reddit’s users. The episode in question is from season seventeen of the long-running children’s program, where Hamilton reprised her famous role in 1976. According to The AV Club, the episode was deemed too frightening for children at the time, so much so that parents complained and the episode was never put into the normal rerun rotation. There were supposedly several low-quality versions of the episode that made their way onto the internet since the 1990s, but this is one of the first times the show can be seen as intended. Now, the scariest episode of Sesame Street ever lives on through social media, particularly in the clip that has now been posted to YouTube. You can see the video below:
When Margaret Hamilton donned her well-known costume and green face makeup on Sesame Street to play the Wicked Witch again, she was most likely doing it with the best of intentions. Per NBC News, Hamilton used to be a kindergarten teacher before her career as an actor, which accounts for her desire to bring the character back for a series aimed at educating children. Not the first time she reprised her role, as she did again on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, Hamilton specifically joined this episode of Sesame Street to discuss the idea of kids getting over their fears in life. The episode may have scared many children in the 1970s, particularly because it showed a child named David who is present in the scenes with the actor, being tormented by Hamilton’s Wicked Witch.
The episode of Sesame Street with the Wicked Witch of the West was never shown on television again, but it was eventually added to the archives of the Library of Congress. This seemed to further cement Margaret Hamilton’s presence as an actor, as she had been working at the time for over 40 years. The character of the Wicked Witch has been ranked #4 on the American Film Institute’s list of Greatest Screen Villains, while her line from the film “I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!” has often been quoted from fans around the world. Hamilton went on to have a lengthy career in commercials and television shows before her death in 1985 at the age of 82.