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Vanessa Hudgens’ journey from Disney star to professing witch

Entertainment/Media Review/Opinion
By Katie Stallings

Image: Deposit, Editorial Use Only

Does anyone else remember the hype surrounding the Disney Channel movie High School Musical? I know; funny question. It has been the talk amongst teens and children since its debut in 2006. I had a High School Musical shirt, the posters, the DVD, the CD, and my sister and I had the karaoke album- and yes, we wore it out! 

The film was an instant success. Among the leads, Vanessa Hudgens found her fame through the portrayal of Gabriella Montez. Compared to the character, Hudgens has presented herself as the shy, calm, collected, and innocent girl next door. However, as time has progressed, Hudgens has surprised many with some of her actions. 

Rookie Mistakes and Early Career

At 18, after the second installment of The High School Musical dominated the Disney network, Hudgens found herself at the center of unwanted attention. Nude photos of the High School Musical actress leaked out to the public. Hudgens opened up to USA Today in a 2020 article about her thoughts on the scandal, relaying how traumatic the incident was. 

Humiliated by the incident, the young actress pressed through the chaos. She reprised her fan-favorite role as Gabriella Montez in the third and final installment of High School Musical in 2008. Other than a few hiccups, however, the actress has not been in the negative media very much.

Although she has yet to face another scandal since her nude photos surfaced years ago, criticism was raised regarding her 2013 film, Spring Breakers, co-starring Selena Gomez and Ashley Benson. The vulgar language, sexual situations, and violence portrayed in this movie seemed to tarnish her good girl reputation for some. The film was very explicit, receiving backlash from many. 

During this time, the movie’s three stars were captured in a photo with a caption explaining that Gomez, Benson, and Hudgens were en route to a Bible study. Gomez has been open about her faith, whereas Hudgens became more vocal in 2015. She claims her connection to the Christian faith was rekindled after her breakup with High School Musical co-star and teen heartthrob Zac Efron. Following their breakup, Hudgens credited Austin Butler, who is best known for his portrayal of Elvis Presley in the recent film Elvis, with bringing her back to faith as they attended Hillsong Church together. 

This is not an article about Hillsong. However, the controversy and the rocky theology rooted in Hillsong are worth noting. Christian Today quotes the actress as she expressed her love for the church. “They focus on you having your own personal relationship with Jesus, which is wonderful,” she said. 

Hudgens seemed to reconnect with the Christian faith after making Spring Breakers. However, her most recent ventures do not seem to reflect Christ in any way. 

Acceptance of the Occult 

Last spring, Hudgens revealed another layer of her life to the world. The Kelly Clarkson Show hosted the actress as a guest in April 2022, where Hudgens revealed her connection to the paranormal. She details an event from her childhood of a toy moving on its own, unnerving her at the time. In her adult life, she credits a few filming locations as contributing to her ghostly encounters list. The actress said realized these experiences were more like opportunities. “I’ve accepted that I see things and hear things,” she told Clarkson. “The unknown is scary. But I recently was like, ‘No, this is a gift and something that I can do, so I’m going to lean into it,'” she said.

Lean into it she did. Hudgens and her friend GG Magree have been forthcoming about their venture into the pagan world. 

For many, this may seem shocking that the actress is walking this path. However, a 2019 Instagram post shows Hudgens sporting a modern Wednesday Adams look and a caption declaring she was a witch. It is only recently that her interest in the occult has become prevalent as she and Magree announced their plans for an unscripted documentary called Dead Hot: Season of the Witch. 

The film debuted recently on April 12 and followed the friends’ pilgrimage to Salem to connect deeply with witchcraft and the spiritual realm. Hudgens and Magree are self-taught in witchcraft and embark on what they refer to as a very personal journey. 

Hudgens claims that her first awakening to being a witch was discovered when she was filming one of the Princess Switch movies. Sitting down with People Magazine, she disclosed her initial realization of her connection to witchcraft. “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,” she said. According to numerous news outlets who have interviewed the starlet, she also hoped to break the stigma of witchcraft being evil or demonic. 

What is the Issue?

Historically, there was usually severe societal punishment for those who were caught practicing witchcraft. When we study witch trials in English class, we can understand that there were many situations in which people were wrongly accused of practicing mysticism. However, there were and still are those who practice it. Why is this even an issue? Why has there been such a stigma around this technique? 

Plain and simple, the Bible warns us strongly against it. Leviticus 20:6 says, “I will set my face against anyone who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute themselves by following them, and I will cut them off from their people.” Moses wrote to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 18:9-12, “When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one is found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, casts spells, or is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord; because of these same detestable practices, the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you.” 

Talking to the ‘Dead’

Hudgens enjoys reaching out to the dearly departed. She uses a “spirit box” during her ghostly outings. What she may not realize, however, is that these spirits she connects with are not lost souls who once lived and are wandering the earth searching for something. These demons look to take the form and voice of someone who has lived before. However, the Lord tells us that when we die, our bodies return to the ground, and our souls return to Him or are separate from Him. (Ecclesiastes 9:4-6 speaks of how the dead no longer have a part of life on earth) 

Hudgens is contacting demons – whether she realizes it or not. Her journey through contacting the spiritual world is making this appealing to young audiences. We must be vigilant and ensure our children are not exposed to this behavior and warn our peers of the danger of engaging in forbidden spiritual dalliances with demonic entities. 


Witchcraft is not new. It was practiced by the pagans in the Old Testament, and God intentionally warned the Israelites to stay away from anyone who dabbled in it. Anything that is not of God and does not come from God is of the enemy. However, we see witchcraft now wholly normalized in modern culture as crystal healings and books of spells/self-help are displayed at bookstores. 

The practice of witchcraft is growing because it is glamorized in the media and by people like Hudgens. They are blinded to the dangers of the craft. 

There is no such thing as dark or light magic – just magic and witchcraft. It is all evil, even though the intentions and appearance may look innocent. Does God not tell us in 2 Corinthians 11:14 that “… Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light?” Let us also remember we are called to be on our guard. 1 Peter 1:8 tells us, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

Satan is after us, and he is especially after our children. He will not present himself in a horrifying way to make people run. He will make things fun and appealing to draw people in until that sin blinds them and they cannot see the harm.

Final Thoughts

Considerable advice: appealing appearances do not always mean a pretty ending. Witchcraft is malicious and leads to destruction. The power that witches receive to perform spells is not given to them by God. Witchcraft seeks to fulfill human will. The power given to humans by God seeks to complete His will. They contrast each other. The force that drives witchcraft is not given out of love. It has selfish tendencies behind it. Hudgens influences millions worldwide, and her new documentary is being unapologetically promoted. Young adults, teens, and children will see this and emulate what she is doing. The occult is nothing to be tampered with, and it very much breaks my heart to see Hudgens and Magree walk this path and shed a “good” light on it. As Christians, we should pray that God reveals to her the evil layered in this world of witchcraft and “connecting with the dead.”

We should not only pray for Hudgens and Magree to come to Jesus Christ but for their protection and for the Holy Spirit to guard those who watch this demonic documentary. 


The opinions in this article are specific to its author, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the entire Counter Culture Mom team.




As a proud North Carolina girl, Katie Stallings follows her love for writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Her other passions include Jesus, Bible Theology and Eschatology, singing, acting, and uncovering the truth about secret societies, the elite, and things hidden in plain sight. Katie discovered the deceit of the entertainment industry in her early 20s, which led her down a path of exposing the darkness that Hollywood promotes and the evil in the political world.

When she is not working, doing school work, or trying to pack her mind full of information, you will find her with her family or friends, spending time with her nephew, and working in her home church, all with a coffee in her hand.

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