- Warning: Spoilers ahead for part two of “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.”
- The “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” is based on the series from Archie Comics.
- The Netflix series hides references to Archie Comics in the background of scenes.
- The series also makes pop culture references and mentions real Biblical characters.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.
“Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” is back for its second season, and the young teen witch is going head-to-head with Satan.
Between a few references to Archie Comics, who publishes the “Sabrina” comics, pop culture mentions, and Biblical characters, the Netflix series sneaks in a number of hidden details for viewers.
Some references, like Harvey’s “Archie’s Mad House” posters and the meaning behind Gehenna Station, are from the first season.
We worked with Archie Comics to find some of the comic references used on the series.
Here are some details you may have missed.
The professors at the Academy of Unseen Arts are named after real people.
- Brother Machen is most likely named for theologian John Gresham Machen. He taught at Princeton Seminary but rebelled against the modern Presbyterian theology and helped form a more orthodox version.
- Sister Karswell could be named after Julian Karswell, a character from the 1957 horror movie “Night of the Demon.” In the movie, Karswell ran a Satanic cult.
- Brother Lovecraft is named for HP Lovecraft, a writer known for his horror fiction.
- Brother Bierce is probably named after Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce, a writer and poet. He wrote a satirical dictionary titled “The Devil’s Dictionary.”
- Sister Jackson is named for author Shirley Jackson. Jackson was known for her horror and mystery stories.
Dorian’s Grey Room is named after Dorian Grey.
Dorian Grey is the main character in Oscar Wilde’s “The Picture of Dorian Grey.” Obsessed with his beauty, Grey sells his soul so that he will not age. A portrait of Grey grows old instead.
Salome dances for the boys at Dorian’s Grey Room.
Salome is often referred to as the daughter of Herodias and is said to have danced for King Herod. Though she’s never actually named in the Bible, Salome is often identified as the girl who presents John the Baptist’s head on a platter to her mother. On the series, Salome presents Nick with a fake version of Sabrina’s head.
Oscar Wilde featured Salome and the dance in his tragic play “Salome,” in which he names her dance, the “Dance of the Seven Veils.”
Sabrina is attacked by the three Plague Kings during the first episode.
- In the Book of Tobit, Asmodeus is a demon often associated with lust. He is sometimes considered a prince of hell or king of demons. He sends rats after Sabrina.
- Purson is considered a king of Hell and sends bats after Sabrina.
- Beelzebub is sometimes another name for the Devil, but like Asmodeus, in some demon classifications, he is another prince of hell. He is also sometimes known as the “Lord of Flies.”
Father Blackwood asks questions from the Corpus Arcanum.
“Corpus” means a collection of written works or “body” in Latin. Arcanum comes from the Latin word for “secret.”
Sabrina’s test to become Top Boy consists of real people and events.
- The Lesser Key of Solomon is a spell book on demonology.
- John Dee was an advisor to Queen Elizabeth I, but he was also a mathematician, astronomer, and astrologer who also studied the occult.
- Published in 1487, the “Malleus Maleficarum,” often translated to “Hammer of Witches,” argued that all witches or anyone who dealt with magic should be killed. It also recommended methods of gaining a confession from those accused.
- More than 200 people were accused of being witches during the infamous Salem witch trials that took place in Salem, Massachusetts.
- The Pendle trials took place near Pendle Hill in England where 12 people were accused of witchcraft and murder.
- Anne Boleyn was King Henry VIII’s second wife who was beheaded after being accused of treason and adultery.
- Grigori Rasputin was a mystic who described himself as a holy man and acted as a healer for Russia’s Tsar Nicholas II and his family. He was a controversial figure and was assassinated.
Nick calls Doctor Cerberus’ bookstore Dr. Cyclops.
“Dr. Cyclops” is a sci-fi horror film based on a short story of the same name about a scientist who’s shrinking his subjects.
Doctor Cerberus’ bookstore has a tie to showrunner and creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. Aguirre-Sacasa wrote a play called “Doctor Cerberus” about a teen who is bullied and struggles to fit in.
Some issues from various Archie Comics publications can be seen in Doctor Cerberus’ bookstore on the second episode.
When Sabrina almost steals a pack of gum, she walks past an issue of “Archie’s Mad House.” Issues of “Afterlife With Archie” can be seen by Ms. Wardwell’s head after Sabrina leaves. The issues can be spotted on the shelves throughout the season.
Lucifer Morningstar may sound familiar.
Lucifer Morningstar is a character from the DC comic “The Sandman.” He’s also portrayed on the series “Lucifer.”
Lucifer itself translates to “light-bringing” or “morning star” from Latin.
Sabrina still has her Thermos with Archie characters on it.
During play rehearsals, Sabrina’s Thermos can quickly be seen.
Harvey buys “Afterlife With Archie” comics.
At the end of the second episode, Sabrina runs into Harvey at Doctor Cerebus’ as he is buying some comics.
Lupercalia was a real pagan festival.
The pagan festival of Lupercalia was held in Rome and was believed to occur as a way to please the god of fertility, Lupercal. The festival included a sacrifice and a feast.
Nick’s magician’s poster on episode four takes inspiration from old posters.
From the font to the demon on his shoulder, Nick’s poster looks similar to posters from 1800s magicians such as Howard Thurston and Harry Keller. Viewers can see more of the same type of posters on the walls at Doctor Cerberus’ bookstore.
The Anti-Pope draws his name from the Bible.
The Anti-Pope is named Enoch of Antioch. Enoch was the son of Cain, who murdered his brother Abel in the Book of Genesis. There is also another Enoch who is said to have written the Book of Enoch, an ancient Jewish work.
Antioch was an ancient Greek city on the Orontes River.
When Father Blackwood and Zelda are planning the seating arrangements for their wedding, some of the last names can be seen.
The names Soper, Rojek, and Terpstra appear on the chart. Alexandra Rojek does the set design, Isaac Terpstra is an on-set dresser, Lisa Soper does the production design on the series.
Sabrina says they are going to throw a “Hail Malphas pass.”
A “Hail Mary pass” is made in football as a last-ditch effort to score. Instead of Mary, Sabrina references Malphas, a demon often described as a Great Prince of Hell.
Father Blackwood references a number of demons during the wedding ceremony.
- Astaroth is a demon who’s often depicted as the Great Duke of Hell.
- Furfur is often depicted as a Great Earl of Hell.
- Hathor was an ancient Egyptian goddess who was associated with goodness and love.
- Ishtar was a Mesopotamian goddess who was associated with love and sex.
- Saleos is a demon who was often depicted as a Great Duke of Hell.
- Uvall was also depicted as a Great Duke of Hell.
- Vassago is often depicted as a Prince of Hell.
Nick says they need a “Hand of Glory” to get into the Academy after being expelled on the sixth episode.
A “Hand of Glory” is the preserved hand from a dead man, usually one who had been hung. According to 18th-century legends, if the hand was used as a candlestick and presented to someone, it would make them unable to move.
Methuselah is a member of the Witches Council.
Methuselah is a Biblical figure mentioned in Genesis.
Ambrose comes up with the Melmoth spell to hide Sabrina from the Dark Lord.
Written by an Irish author in 1820, “Melmoth the Wanderer” is a novel about a man who sells his soul to the devil in exchange for 150 years of life. But as he continues to live, he tries to find someone who will take his place.
Satan tells Sabrina they must dance the Mephisto Waltz.
The demon Mephisto, or Mephistopheles, is mentioned in German folklore. He represents the devil in the legend of Faust, another tale of a man who sells his soul to the devil.
As the saying goes, Sabrina literally “dances with the devil.” That phrase is often used to mean risky or reckless behaviour.
Sabrina mentions Saint Dunstan when she tries to trap Satan.
Saint Dunstan was first a monk before becoming the Abbot of Glastonbury Abbey. He moved up in rank before eventually becoming the Archbishop of Canterbury. He worked as a silversmith, which makes sense for her mentioning the saint when she traps Satan with a horseshoe.
Satan says only the Spear of Longinus can kill him.
Also known as the Holy Lance, the Spear of Longinus is mentioned in the Book of John. It is said to be the spear that was used to stab Jesus as he hung on the cross. The spear is named for Saint Longinus, the name given to the Roman soldier who stabbed Jesus.
When Prudence transports her sisters to the Spellman’s, she says, “Son of Pazuzu.”
Pazuzu is a demon of wind in the Mesopotamian religion. He is also the demon featured in “The Exorcist.”
Other pop culture references on part two of the series include:
- Father Blackwood calls Sabrina “Agatha Christie,” a reference to the author known for her detective and mystery novels.
- When Sabrina tells her friends that she is rehearsing for a play, Harvey asks her if it’s “The Crucible.” “The Crucible” is a dramatization of the Salem witch trials.
- Theo picks up a copy of Franz Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis” at Doctor Cerebus’ bookstore. The story is about a man who wakes up and discovers that he has transformed into a bug.
- Ms. Wardwell has a book about Eleanor of Aquitaine in her home. Eleanor a powerful woman who was the queen consort of France, and then after an annulment and second marriage, she became queen of England.
- When the ghost of Constance appears on the fifth episode, she is singing an English folk song called “Lavender’s Blue.” A version called “Lavender Blue” was included in the Disney movie “So Dear to My Heart.”
- On the sixth episode, Ambrose mentions “Fawlty Towers,” a British sitcom that starred John Cleese.
- Harvey compares Sabrina to Dark Phoenix from the “X-Men” comics during the seventh episode.
- At Sabrina’s coronation during the season finale, they sing “Masquerade” from “The Phantom of the Opera.”
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