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Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Gives Us a Sneak Peek at Salem the Cat

He's more demonic than animatronic.

It’s clear that Netflix’s upcoming Chilling Adventures of Sabrina series will share little in common with its Melissa Joan Hart-starring predecessor. While Sabrina the Teenage Witch was a part of ABC’s family-friendly TGIF line-up, the new Netflix series looks to have more in common with Riverdale and American Horror Story, if its trailers are anything to go by.


Now, a new clip from the show features the introduction of Salem the cat, Sabrina’s trusty familiar. But this new Salem does not appear to be the animatronic quip machine of our childhoods. The clip opens with Sabrina inspecting claw marks on her window, before a demonic voice calls out to her, “Sabrina, I heard you calling in the woods, and I came.” We get glimpses of a slithery tail and a creature in the shadows, before a black cat meows and walks into Sabrina’s arms.

We already know that the Sabrina of this series is half witch/half mortal, and must choose a side when she turns 16. Salem is clearly a supernatural creature, but we don’t know which side he’ll be on yet. In the comic series, written by showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Salem’s backstory is that he was a mortal man named Samuel in old-timey Salem Village who was turned into a cat after he impregnated a witch and refused to marry her (aka the original fuckboi). His duty is to protect Sabrina, and if he fulfills that prophecy then he may turn back into a human.


This deviates from Salem’s origin story in Sabrina the Teenage Witch, where they were formerly Salem Saberhagen, a warlock sentenced to the form of a cat because he tried to take over the world. We don’t know yet how much time Salem will spend in his cat form in the new series, but it’s clear that he will be Sabrina’s familiar, aka a supernatural animal guide that helps a witch with her magic.

So far, we’ve been pretty impressed with the trailers for Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. The show premieres on Netflix on October 26th, just in time for a Halloween-friendly binge session.

(via The Wrap, image: Netflix)

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.