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The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Kiernan Shipka and Salem the cat in The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina on Netflix

Meet Salem the cat in this new clip from the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

A little less sass, a lot more demonic shapeshifting creature

Finally, we’ve got our first proper look at the new era of Salem Saberhagen. Rather than a spitting one-liner cat puppet as per the Melissa Joan Hart-fronted Sabrina the Teenage Witch series, Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Salem 3.0 is a demon shapeshifter who arrives to act as a protector.

 The new, brief footage sees Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka) in her room, where she becomes startled by scratches on her open window and a creepy, otherworldly voice saying her name. When she demands that the creature shows itself, it answers: “I heard you calling in the woods, and I came.” 

The demonic, monstrous-looking thing, with glowing blue eyes, spindly fingers and a tail, then shifts to become a black cat. Sabrina takes it in her arms, coos, and asks his name. 

This is pretty different from the 90s TV show cat and the Archie Comics version. On TV, Salem (voiced originally by Nick Bakay) was a warlock who tried to take over the world, but was turned into a cat and sentenced to serve 100 years as an animal for his crimes. In the comic books, Salem was a mortal human who got a witch pregnant and refused to marry her, so her coven made him a cat. We don’t know yet whether this new Salem will be able to have the same power of speech – or memeable quotes – in his current feline form.

A full-length trailer for the Netflix show recently dropped, highlighting the more twisted, darker story of the teenage witch, as she chooses between mortal life and her human friends, or the life of her family and the occult. We got a quick look at Shipka in her starring role, as well as her boyfriend Harvey (played by Ross Lynch) and her aunts Hilda and Zelda. There’s also been some behind-the-scenes shots from set.

Watch the clip below. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina hits Netflix October 26.