Sarah Bailey is one of the main characters in The Craft. After arriving in Los Angeles with her father and stepmother, Sarah befriends a group of girls, Nancy Downs, Rochelle and Bonnie, who are rumored to be witches.
Sarah's new friends believe that she will complete their coven, making them all powerful, though unlike them, Sarah has exhibited supernatural powers at a young age. Nancy's hunger for power quickly gets out of hand and the girls begin tormenting Sarah when she decides to leave the coven. With the help of Lirio, Sarah invokes the spirit of Manon, a powerful deity the girls worship, to take down Nancy, Bonnie and Rochelle, stripping them of their powers.
Sarah is a natural witch, having inherited her magical abilities from her mother.
She is portrayed by Robin Tunney.
Early Life Edit
Sarah Bailey was born in San Francisco, California. After the discovery that her mother, Mrs. Bailey died during childbirth, Sarah blamed herself and fell into a deep depression. During this time, Sarah began to hallucinate herself drowning in a pool of insects and reptiles. Apparently, the severity of these hallucinations drove Sarah to attempt suicide. However, she was saved by her father who found her body on the bathroom floor with blood coming from her wrists. After a year of therapy, Sarah overcame her depression and moved to Los Angeles with her father and stepmother, Jenny. Unbeknownst to Sarah, she was also born with the ability to use magic, occasionally manifesting her powers without meaning to.
After moving to Los Angeles with her father and stepmother to start a new life, Sarah is soon enrolled into a Catholic high school where she comes in contact with three outcasts: Bonnie, Nancy and Rochelle. During class, Bonnie witnesses Sarah telekinetically drill a pencil into her desk and the girls start to take interest in her.
While at the school, Sarah also meets the charming captain of the football team, Chris Hooker, who tells her to stay away from Nancy and her friends because they are witches. However, when Sarah is caught by the girls watching Chris play football, they invite her on a shopping trip to a local occult store owned by a woman named Lirio. Later, as the girls are walking through the streets of Downtown LA, Sarah is confronted by the same vagrant who broke into her home the previous day. Afraid, Sarah rushes to catch up with the girls but the vagrant follows her while shouting about her life being in danger. Together, the girls unknowingly combine their power and wish death upon the man. The vagrant is then run over by a car and instantly dies.
Upon realizing that potential of their power, Sarah and her new coven begin to cast spells on their classmates and each other. However, a downtrodden Nancy thirsts for more power each day, and finally convinces the others to join her in a ritual that will help her "Invoke the Spirit". On completion of the spell, Nancy is blessed with more power than she can handle which causes her to lose all sense of compassion and rationality. Meanwhile, as the girls continue to practice their Wiccan rites, they soon begin to reap the consequences of their previous spells, threefold: Bonnie (who had cast a spell for beauty) becomes more and more conceited; Rochelle (who cast a curse on a popular girl who bullies her) starts to feel remorse after finding the girl bald and hysterical on the restroom floor; and Sarah (who cast a love spell on Chris) is stalked by him, who eventually attempts to rape her.
Nancy decides to exact revenge on Chris resulting in his death and Sarah begins to fear Nancy and her newfound powers. Racked with guilt over Chris' death, Sarah performs a spell to bind Nancy's powers to prevent any further harm. However, the spell is unsuccessful and Nancy (who is able sense the binding spell) convinces Bonnie and Rochelle to help her scare off Sarah. With no one else to turn to, Sarah goes to Lirio, who informs her that the only way to defeat Nancy is by calling a "Higher Power". Sarah is reluctant of this, knowing what the same thing did to Nancy's mind, but agrees to do it. Nancy is able to sense that Sarah is attempting to invoke the spirit herself, scares her with a glamour, and causes Sarah to flee to her house.
Nancy, Rochelle, and Bonnie chase after Sarah and scare her even more by bringing back her nightmare of the snakes and insects. Nancy convinces Sarah to commit suicide that night and slitting her wrists, telling her that her father and stepmother have died trying to find her. Afraid and alone, Sarah lies bleeding on her bedroom when she hears the comforting voice of her mother's spirit, giving her courage to try invoking the spirit again. With the strength of Manon, Sarah is finally strong enough to overpower and eventually bind Nancy from further practicing witchcraft.
Later, a powerless Nancy is committed to a psychiatric hospital as Sarah and her family decide to move again. Bonnie and Rochelle have lost their powers either as punishment for their betrayal, or because the circle is broken, while Sarah is still blessed with hers.
Sarah is shown to be kind girl, though lonely and suffering from poor self-esteem. She seems to have suffered from depression in the past and at one point attempted to commit suicide. Sarah seems to want to be loved and feel as though she belongs more than anything else. She dislikes hurting others and seems to have a stronger sense of morality and self-control when compared to the other girls. She also has a fear of snakes, rodents and insects, stating she used to hallucinate these creatures crawling over the ground of floor. It is hinted that she may also blame herself for her mother dying in childbirth.
Although she has practiced magical ability before, she is not yet convinced that witchcraft is real but after becoming a true believer she is concerned by the girls' misuse of their powers and respects the laws of magic, in particular the Rule of Threefold. She is deeply remorseful when her actions cause harm to others and does her best to fix things. Sarah is also rather witty and responds with passive-aggressive sarcasm towards people she dislikes. Sarah tries to be strong and brave, though her fears sometimes get the better of her. However, by the end of the film she emerges as a confident young woman, comfortable in her own skin and with her powers.
Powers and abilities Edit
Sarah has been described as a "natural witch", meaning her powers "come from within", unlike her friends who needed her to complete the circle to actually perform magic. Originally she had no control over her powers and would be prone to affecting herself such as temporarily deafness when she wants silence. Upon joining the coven and practicing her craft with them she becomes skilled enough to make a love spell that increased it potency the longer it stayed active and creating minor glamour spell. Upon invoking Manon her magic increased to drastic levels.
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- Sarah Bailey was portrayed by Robin Tunney. At the time Robin auditioned for the film, her hair was an inch long because she shaved it for a previous film (Empire Records). She ended up being cast, but had to wear a red wig throughout the film, though Tunney is originally a brunette.
- She was the only actor (out of the four) to not have studied witchcraft for the film. Fairuza Balk (Nancy Downs) at the time of the film was already a practicing Wiccan and afterwards bought an occult shop in Hollywood that she went to to study for the role and Rachel True (Rochelle) read from a copy of the Spiral Dance (a famous book on Wicca and its relationship with feminism and goddess-worship).
- Robin Tunney was already friends with Skeet Ulrich (Chris Hooker) before The Craft.
- According to the filmmakers, Sarah's classical element is earth, which is the strongest of the Wiccan basic four elements and signifies the powers of all Mother, Earth, Nurture and Nature.