Celebrities Who Have Been Involved In The Occult

Many celebrities play their religions close to their chests and are tight-lipped when it comes to their beliefs about ghosts, magical unguents, or the efficacy of crystal healing. Some do not hide it, however. What is there to be embarrassed about? So you incant to the Goddess under a full moon or come from a family of channelers. So you honor the archetype of Lucifer in your chaos magick. We've all been there.

And yes, the seemingly misspelled "magick" is occasionally used (including in this article), a convention started by the self-proclaimed Wickedest Man in the World and the father of much of today's occult gospel, Aleister Crowley. It is a way to distinguish the practices of pagans, witches, and satanists from those of stage magicians. Though it is not universally embraced (because, as you can tell from Crowley's messed-up life story, he is a controversial figure-slash-jerk), it is used here for the sake of clarity. Given the matter of magic(k), one should spell correctly. Here are celebrities who have been involved in the occult.

Henry Zebrowski

Henry Zebrowski is known to most as Alden Kupferberg in "The Wolf of Wall Street." And for the overlap of those who like murder, the supernatural, toilet humor, and podcasts, Zebrowski co-hosts "The Last Podcast on the Left."

He's also an ardent satanist who ends every episode of "LPOTL" with a hearty "Hail Satan!" and, according to Metro Times, combined right-hand path witchcraft and satanic rituals in officiating the marriage of his friend and co-host Marcus Parks. According to Zebrowski (via Kill Pretty), his show "Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell" has satanic vibes because the artistic designer, Shane Morton, is an actual satanist. Morton got Zebrowski interested in that path. They treat the show as "a gigantic magick ritual." Zebrowski claims magick is a matter of changing his perception of reality and, through that, changing reality itself, even if he is just asking reality for "five seasons and a movie."

This particular brand of magick is known as "chaos magick." Zebrowski has an altar in his home and has said, "When it comes down to it, the best thing magick can be used for is cash and power." He believes he got his role in "Heroes: Reborn" thanks to a ritual, albeit one that involved pleasuring himself to charge a magical symbol, or sigil. He says the ceremony added more chaos than magick to his life, though, and he spent a year dealing with the personal fallout.

David Bowie

Psychology Today noted that David Bowie filled his cocaine-induced sleepless nights poring through books on the occult. Bowie's "Thin White Duke" persona was taken from a line in Aleister Crowley's book of poetry "White Stains." The musician also gave the infamous occultist and his beliefs a shout-out when he penned the lines "I'm closer to the Golden Dawn / Immersed in Crowley's uniform / of imagery."

Bowie also took from Kabbalah, a philosophy rooted in Judaism, while simultaneously being fascinated by the magical symbology of the Nazis — something that damaged his career. His friend, Glenn Hughes of Deep Purple, said, "Bowie felt inclined to go on very bizarre tangents about Aleister Crowley or the Nazis or numerals a lot. ... Bowie travelled straight into the heart of psychic darkness, lost in his own world." According to Far Out, Bowie once saw his pool bubble and was so confident that it was possessed that he had it exorcised. After a fight with Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page, Bowie became so terrified that Page would summon demons that he kept anything that might be used against him, including his urine and nail-clippings.

Bowie did not espouse strong occult beliefs later in his life, saying in an interview cited in Fortean Times (via More Dark than Shark), that there was an "abiding need in me to vacillate between atheism or a kind of Gnosticism."

Azealia Banks

People reported that most were unaware that rapper Azealia Banks practiced Brujeria until she posted Instagram videos in 2016 about how difficult it was to clean up the blood of all the chickens she sacrificed, requiring a sandblaster to handle the feathers and hardened blood. "Real witches do real things," Banks noted. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals was horrified, its Senior Vice President Lisa Lange saying that the group hoped "Banks' closet clean-up is a sign that she is planning to clean up her act, become a good witch, and stop the cruel and gruesome sacrifice of frightened animals."

According to MovieWeb, Banks courted more controversy when she disinterred the body of her cat Lucifer, which she boiled down to bones. The internet assumed that she was making a potion, but she was moving and wanted to take his bones with her. To Sia, who publicly objected, Banks wrote, "Have some f***ing respect for my f***ing traditional African religion, you pompous white b****."

Banks said the religion was passed down in her family, as her mother "practiced white table magic. Prayers for the ancestors and prayers for saints and cleansing and praying for all kinds of protection." Banks told Broadly Meets that her favorite spell when someone was messing with her is to rub an egg over her body, then crack it at a crossroads. And it sounds like she might need to use it every time she checks social media.

Dan Aykroyd

According to The Globe and Mail, Dan Aykroyd grew up in a family of spiritualists. His great-grandfather held seances and his father wrote a book titled "History of Ghosts," based on journals passed down from his own father. In a Q with Tom Power interview, Peter Aykroyd, Dan's father, explained that spiritualism is not a religion, only the confidence that one can contact the dead, something Dan's uncle supposedly witnessed when he visited his grandfather's farmhouse and saw a spirit speaking through a levitating trumpet. According to Cheatsheet, Dan Aykroyd's childhood home was filled with magazines from the British Society for Psychical Research and American Society for Psychical Research. "I just grew up with it," Aykroyd said, "There was no way out of it."

Aykroyd told Power that, to him, spiritualism means "that we look beyond the corporeal for some kind of meaning." He has had his share of paranormal experiences that bolster his belief in the phenomena, such as his wife's jewelry dancing next to their bed and "something" getting into bed with him when he thought he was alone.

These are not the only spirits that interest him, though. Aykroyd is also the creator of Crystal Head Vodka, filtered through Herkimer diamonds for that energetic zhuzh.

Sully Erna

Sully Erna, the lead singer of Godsmack and a Wiccan, told Rolling Stone that he "never really wanted to be the poster child for witchcraft." He is open to discussing it, but "as soon as the sarcasm turns on, I shut down the conversation." Erna embraced Wicca because it worked for him and, unlike Christianity, didn't require him to follow one book unquestioningly or go to hell.

Erna understands that being both in a band and a witch is "two weirdo things in one," but it isn't a matter of marketing for him. Kids write to him about his religion, but he says they lose interest once they learn it is a life path and not simply casting spells and Hollywood special effects.

According to MTV, Erna incorporated a Wiccan ceremony into the video for the song "Voodoo," where his pentacle is openly displayed on his bare chest. He stated, "There's no demons or devils that exist in Wicca ... you can't worship something that doesn't exist."

Sammy Davis Jr.

Sammy Davis Jr. briefly flirted with Anton LaVey's Church of Satan, having been invited to a party by a group of actors, each sporting a red fingernail. (To learn more about LaVey, read Dvmmoms's primer on the Church of Satan founder.) The theme of the party, according to Davis' 1989 memoir "Why Me?" (per Vice), was "dungeons and dragons and debauchery." In the center of the room was a naked woman on an altar, though Davis wasn't concerned for her welfare, knowing the night was more about consensual sex than violence.

Vice detailed how Davis' interest in the church might have been more about his taste for indulgence. In his memoir, he wrote, "I wanted to have every human experience." In that era, the Church of Satan was a perfect fit, full of free drugs and freer orgies. Davis did take his involvement with the church somewhat seriously. He made a comedic TV pilot titled "Poor Devil," involving pentagrams and a mention of the Church. Michael Aquino, one of LaVey's associates, referred to it as a "magnificent commercial for the church." They offered Davis honorary second-degree membership. Davis was only too happy to receive it.

Davis left the church in 1974, writing, "One morning after a 'coven' that wasn't all fun and games... I got some nail polish remover and I took off the red fingernail." According to K8 News, he resumed his Judaism until he died in 1990. 

Daryl Hall

The infamous Aleister Crowley got into Daryl Hall's mind, according to Spin, along with "Druidic scriptures." The ethos that attracted Hall was the idea that one could succeed through finding one's true will. According to L.A. Record, he did not adopt Crowley's religion, Thelema. (Heeb Magazine reported that Hall converted from Methodism to Judaism when he married Bryna Lublin, though he was not active.) Still, he did weave it into his music. Though his reading leans more toward "historical fiction and mystical fantasy, plus great detective stories from the fifties," Hall spoke to Spin about his fascination with suppressed mystical doctrines in the Gnostic Gospels later in life. Though he later dismissed occultism, he kept "a sense of my own ability to make things happen, to literally rely on my own soul for strength." 

Given that he had already managed to turn meeting John Oates during a knife fight into a partnership and a distinguished career that has lasted nearly half a century, his will must have already been pretty powerful.

Jimmy Page

In the early '70s, Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin purchased Aleister Crowley's former home, Boleskine House, on the shores of Loch Ness. According to The Scotsman, Crowley had owned Boleskine in the early 1900s, conducting rituals there from the Book of Abramelin. Page apparently did not spend much time there. The Scotsman quoted Page from a 1975 interview: "Strange things have happened in that house which have nothing to do with Crowley. The bad vibes were already there." He instead let his childhood friend live there for 20 years before selling it.

Page hasn't gone on record for much, telling Rolling Stone (via Far Out), "I don't really want to go on about my personal beliefs or my involvement in magic." However, he did answer a student at Oxford Union in 2017, saying that he was interested in the Golden Dawn and "sort of what went on and the off-shoots of it, of that sort of love of all things mystical and magical..."

It is a common urban legend that Page must have some affiliation with the Devil because playing "Stairway to Heaven" backward supposedly produces messages about "sweet Satan," rather than just garbled nonsense to which the human mind gives meaning. Page said of this, "Gosh, it's hard enough writing music one way round."

Gisele Bündchen

"You're lucky you married a witch — I'm just a good witch," Gisele Bündchen, the internationally famous model, told her husband Tom Brady, according to CBS Boston. Rick Wiles, a radio host and the founder of TruNews, started fearing for Brady's soul, saying on his radio show (also via CBS Boston), "He's sleeping with a witch. There's deep spiritual ramifications for that. ... His soul is defiled." Besides the soul-defilement issue, Wiles also warned that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell might suspend Brady for using witchcraft for a competitive edge.

Brady noted that Bündchen is "so about the power of intention and believing things that are really going to happen." Bündchen maintains an altar for her husband. She gives him healing stones and teaches him mantras to repeat. He says that he stopped questioning it, primarily when her directions resulted in him winning.

However, Deseret News reported, their home is full of an amalgam of religious representation. Brady said, "But I think we're into everything. ... I don't know what I believe. I think there's a belief system, I'm just not sure what it is." If Bündchen is a witch, she is an eclectic one.

Alan Moore

Looking at the gloomy, bearded comic god Alan Moore, who could pass for a mad mystic with ease, it seems obvious that he is a wizard who might worship the snake god Glycon. Moore's occultism is not a secret in his genre-defining comics "Watchmen," "From Hell," and "V for Vendetta." For instance, Aleister Crowley's edict, "Do what thou wilt ... that shall be the whole of the law," is quoted in full in "V for Vendetta," published well before Moore came out as a magickal practitioner. Moore's occultism appeared in his work most concretely in "Promethea." One book of the comic takes the reader through the Tree of Life, where one encounters Aleister Crowley once again (though dressed as a woman).

It bears mention that Moore had been in a magickal battle with his fellow creator and occult practitioner Grant Morrison. According to The Psycho Path, Moore felt that he had helped an ungrateful Morrison's career. "I've read Morrison's work twice," Moore said, "first when I wrote it, then when [they] wrote it." On the other hand, Morrison made their occult devotion known sooner, so they felt that Moore was hopping on their coattails.

Moore is a traditionalist when it comes to magick, which has led to further annoyance when it comes to Morrison. Moore believes magick is meant to be a transcendent art, not only a matter of getting things done.

[Featured image by Matt Biddulph from UK via Wikimedia Commons | cropped and scaled | CC BY-SA 2.0]

Grant Morrison

According to The Psycho Path, Grant Morrison came out of the magic closet a few years before Alan Moore did. The themes were evident in their books well before they admitted their leanings, however.

Morrison, who uses they/them pronouns, practices chaos magick, more interested in making things happen than how they did it; the writer is not one for elaborate and ossified rituals. This pop-cultural mishmash is on display in their comic series "The Invisibles," where Morrison throws the whole of the magickal canon into a blender to form their occult protagonists who are trying to wake the world from the grips of evil. As they put it in "Pop Magic!," "The use of ritual para­phernalia functions as an aid to the imagination only." Unlike Alan Moore, Morrison doesn't see a reason to get too attached to what has been done before. They consider "The Invisibles" their "hypersigil." A thinly disguised version of Morrison even shows up as a character in the series in the guise of King Mob — a problem because Morrison says King Mob's illnesses and misfortunes then fell on Morrison themself, almost killing them. It seems fitting, given that Morrison got the idea after supposedly being abducted by aliens in Kathmandu.

To Morrison, it doesn't matter if one is skeptical. As they wrote in "Pop Magic!," "The point is not to BELIEVE in magic, the point is to DO it and see how it works."

Gabrielle Anwar

Gabrielle Anwar might be best known for dancing the tango with Al Pacino in "Scent of a Woman," but she has had a long career, notably with her television roles in "Burn Notice" and "Once Upon a Time."

Anwar discussed her religion with The OCR in 2007, saying that she did not wish to marry again because her husband, no matter how wonderful he might be, wasn't pulling the same weight when it came to raising their children: "I'm doing all this stuff, and I'm feeling this incredible inequality ... And I'm a pagan. I'm a ... pagan and this isn't for me. This institution that was invented to control women and I'm not willing to be controlled any longer." Her feminism and paganism are inextricably coupled. (Nevertheless, she did marry Shareef Malnik in 2015.)

According to DNA, Anwar comes from mixed theological stock. Her paternal grandmother, Edith Reich, was a Jewish woman from Austria, and her father, the producer and editor Tariq Anwar, was an Indian Muslim. It's no wonder she felt comfortable exploring different forms of religious expression.

Princess Nokia

In addition to being an actor, podcaster, and poet, Destiny Nicole Frasqueri, best known as the rapper Princess Nokia, is deeply involved with Regla de Ocha (aka Santería), an amalgam of Yoruba religious practices, Roman Catholicism, and spiritism. The Fader quoted Frasqueri as explaining that it "come[s] with mediumship, clairvoyance, and healing abilities." Frasqueri is herself a mix of backgrounds — Caribbean and Puerto Rican — and gender non-conforming, using both she/her and they/them pronouns, according to Them.

Remezcla stated that the video for her 2017 track "Brujas" shows witchcraft rituals cribbed from the movie "The Craft" as well as the Yoruba spirituality of the African diaspora. To Cultured in 2019, Frasqueri said the next phase of Princess Nokia would focus more on being a bruja, which involves healing from her own trauma. It took a tarot reading that she did for herself to begin asking for help with the business aspects of her career. "Everything I'm planning on putting out this year," Frasqueri said, "is based in this witch aesthetic of a goddess."

Frasqueri is also a believer in astrology to help organize herself and said to Them, "Spirituality helped me focus on taking Princess Nokia to the next level — a mainstream artist who was still independent."

Carlton Gebbia

"The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" reality star Carlton Gebbia spoke with Bravo about being a practicing Wiccan. She identifies as a Celtic practitioner but does not belong to a coven. Gebbia felt naturally drawn to it beyond reading and studying, focused on nature and the moon, though having her grandmother teach her helped the process. Wicca is about respecting the world and oneself, and her adherence to the religion is fairly traditional.

Unlike some Wiccans, Gebbia does practice magick, saying, "It's all about love, it's about harmony, and just acknowledgment that there is something beyond this universe that deals with miracles and that miracles are at work." Her then-husband didn't practice it with her — he is a non-practicing Catholic — but by 2013, Gebbia had introduced the religion to her children. They put crystals under their pillows when they weren't feeling well, and they used prayer candles. However, Gebbia was leaving the decision to continue practicing in her children's hands. Gebbia didn't even celebrate Samhain (Halloween) around her kids, since she sees it as something private and sacred. (She did enjoy trick-or-treating with her children. She's a witch, not a monster.)

Screenrant reported that her castmate Kyle Richards feared Gebbia, which led to friction on the set, particularly after Gebbia was horrified when Richards asked a friend to kill a bee. She was also convinced that Gebbia had hexed her computer.

Vanessa Hudgens

Vanessa Hudgens told InStyle, "I was filming 'The Princess Switch 2' or '3' and I had my first conscious witchy awakening. I was learning about the history of the women who were wrongfully accused of witchcraft and learning about what witchcraft even is." Although she initially kept it private, she's now filmed the documentary "Dead Hot," which follows her spiritual journey through Salem as she and friend GG Magree interview witches and mediums, experiment with Ouija boards, and learn about spirit boxes.

In a 2023 interview with Today, Hudgens went on to say that she'd been dabbling in the occult for a long time, explaining that she regularly saw a ghost in her former house. She said that she had used witchcraft to help manifest relationships, and that she had been the one to tell ex-boyfriend Austin Butler that he should definitely play Elvis. (Which he did, to critical acclaim in Baz Luhrmann's "Elvis.") She said that the documentary allowed her to realize that many of these experiences came from her connection to the spiritual realm, and nurturing it had only made that connection stronger.

"I could call myself a witch, and another person [could] call themselves a witch. What we believe and what we are inspired by could be completely different things. But [it all comes down to] connecting to spirit. ... I feel like I've been calling things ever since I was young. When I realized that is foresight, I was like, maybe I should learn how to hone into this."

Anya Taylor-Joy

Anya Taylor-Joy told Vanity Fair that she's always felt a connection to the spiritual realm. When the conversation turned to her ad campaign for a Viktor & Rolf perfume, she said, "I had a moment in the last two weeks where I stood back and said, 'If I were to pull a tarot card for this' — which I did — 'it's the Hermit.' I just need to go into my own little velvet cave and put my head down and make this happen, you know?"

Taylor-Joy also said that it wasn't "The Witch" that led her to witchcraft, but that it actually happened the other way around. "I'm such a big believer in cosmic destiny and putting one foot in front of the other, and my feet led me to that film." (And no: The devil isn't the scariest thing about "The Witch.") She also said she was thrilled to see a wider acceptance of practices that involved things like the healing power of crystals, which she always carries with her.

In a Spanish-language interview with Vogue, she gave an intimate look at what she always carried in her bag: Among her notebooks and books was a deck of tarot cards and some crystals. The tarot cards, she explained, were always a great ice-breaker, and as for the crystals, she said they simply gave her comfort. "I love to hold them all in my hand. I don't know why ... I sleep with them ... I don't know, I love them." 

Lana Del Rey

In 2017, news broke that a series of no-context dates that had been tweeted by Lana Del Rey were connected to a movement called Bind Trump, which was being promoted through a now-defunct Facebook page. The idea was that those in-the-know were going to conduct a massive, sprawling ritual on the days in question, which coincided with the waning crescent moon. The end goal? Get then-President Donald Trump out of office. While she didn't give explicit directions, she did hint that those could be found online, and that anyone who wanted to participate should definitely do so. 

Later, she sat down for an interview with NME and confirmed that not only was that tweet definitely referencing an occult ritual, but she added, "I'm in line with Yoko [Ono] and John [Lennon] and the belief that there's a power to the vibration of a thought. Your thoughts are very powerful things and they become words, and words become actions, and actions lead to physical charges."

Interestingly, there is some scientific basis to that: Studies have shown that words are pretty powerful on all different levels, from increasing in-the-moment anxiety to being able to change the course of lives. Del Rey agrees, saying, "I really do believe that words are one of the last forms of magic, and I'm a bit of a mystic at heart."

Dave Mustaine

In a 2011 interview with MusicRadar, Dave Mustaine explained the reason that he refused to play "The Conjuring" live: The instructions for performing black magic rituals were very real, he said, and he didn't want to be a part of spreading that sort of thing anymore. "When I got into black magic, I put a couple of spells on people when I was a teenager, and it haunted me forever, and I've had so much torment," he said. (Read about Dave Mustaine's tragic life story here.)

He went on to say that he's since become a born-again Christian, but he has gone into some detail about his experiences with witchcraft. He was on "The Joe Rogan Experience" (via Louder Sound) when he shared the stories of two hexes that he claimed had very real-world consequences.

In one, Mustaine said that he had cast a "sex hex" to get the attention of a girl he liked, and that it absolutely worked. For the other, he said that he had targeted a classmate who had made it clear that he was going to be Mustaine's relentless bully for the foreseeable future. That one worked too, he claimed, saying that he had made a doll that represented his bully. "I broke the leg off and the guy got in a car crash and his leg got mauled," he said. Mustaine said that he was led down the black magic path after seeing his sister practicing white magic, and that he was quite content to not have anything more to do with it.

Heather Graham

It's no coincidence that Heather Graham's pet project of more than a decade is the story of a woman who feels underestimated and ostracized by men, and then finds comfort in a circle of female friends who practice witchcraft. She told Well+Good that some of the scenes in the movie "Half Magic" were based on her real-life experiences with the supernatural: "We had dance parties and [did things like] call upon the elements. One night, we were calling on the elements on my friend's rooftop and a storm broke out."

Graham said that the whole thing started when she attended a female empowerment class and became friends with other attendees, who also happened to be interested in witchcraft. "So, we came up with some fun rituals," she recalled. She said it's wildly rewarding and has taught her about self-worth, self-love, self-esteem, and gratitude, and that it gave her more confidence to stand up for herself in the cutthroat world of Hollywood. That included getting "Half Magic" made, but Graham is also quick to stress that it's not about manipulating the outside world, but finding something within herself.

"As a woman, sometimes I feel disempowered in this society," she told The New York Times. "To be a witch seems to me to be the opposite of that. Witches are powerful and wise and misunderstood. ... I think we, as women, are much more powerful than we give ourselves credit for. For us to see the power we have is the next step."

Andie MacDowell

When Andie MacDowell sat down with Vulture for an interview about the 1990s-era classic "Michael," the conversation perhaps predictably turned to the supernatural. She shared that she had started to believe in the spirit world because of her father, who had claimed he'd seen a ghost — and "My dad is the last person who'd say something like that," she explained. She said that she had seen several ghosts, and had spent some time as a teenager visiting cemeteries and trying to talk to the dead. Did it work? She claims it did.

In an interview with People Now, MacDowell said that she and her sisters used to communicate with their deceased uncle via a Ouija board. The Ouija board — a device long reputed to be the home of a demon named Zozo — had apparently predicted a number of things that came true over the years, including her career, her children, and her horses.

MacDowell also added that wasn't all they could do. She claimed that when they joined hands around the table, they could make the table walk. It had been a while, but the interview seemed to make her wonder if they could still make it happen.

Jill Janus

Paganism, witchcraft, and the occult was a way of life for Huntress lead singer Jill Janus for a long time. She told Louder Sound that she had grown up on a farm, "so I was very open to nature worship and seeing all of these amazing aspects of paganism come into play in my daily life — mostly the power of visualization — seeing it, believing it, and obtaining it." She was a young teenager when she found her first coven, and stressed that although she had seen the damage that black magic could do, that absolutely was never her thing.

"I've stood at the edge of black magic and I've seen the darkness envelop people, and it's sad, really. You see negativity root within a person like an evil tree. There's a lot of danger lurking within the corners of witchcraft, so you really have to be strong and truthful and you really have to protect yourself," she explained.

It makes sense, then, that many of Huntress' songs are rooted in very real practices. She explained to Loudwire that references to numerology, alchemy, and the casting of spells are all very real, saying that this other, occult world has been a part of her world for as long as she could remember. She even credited Huntress to her practice, saying that she had imagined it, willed it, and it happened. "People can say white witch, but you know, I'm just a witch. I'm a little witch that loves heavy metal."

Rachel True

Fans of the cult classic "The Craft" will be happy to know that one of the teenage witches is a real-life practitioner of the tarot. In an interview with Shondaland, Rachel True said that her fascination with the occult started when she was given her first tarot deck at the age of 8, and she told Dazed Digital that over the years, she's not only felt like a perpetual outsider, but that she takes comfort in the spiritual. She says that she used crystals to manifest her role in "The Craft," and explained just what it was about the tarot that had captured her imagination in the first place.

"The idea that there were mysteries locked inside the images intrigued me, but I don't think I understood the deepest discoveries would be about my own subconscious desires. In the end, I'm a Scorpio and love a mystery, so tarot was a perfect fit."

True has even written a tarot guide and designed her own deck, but stresses that even tarot is limited as to what it can show. It's all based in the present, she says, but it's incredibly powerful. She explained, "I really do view it as a kind of therapist in a box." She says that she found magic not in an innate ability for the cards to predict the future, but to reveal "your own visceral subconscious, how they unlock your intuition." (Curious? Check this out for everything you ever wanted to know about tarot.)