|“||Better is no good either! I demand maximum results!||„|
|~ The Grand High Witch to her followers.|
|“||A stupid witch who answers back must BURN UNTIL HER BONES ARE BLACK! A foolish witch without a brain, must sizzle into fire and flame! An idiotic witch like you, must roast upon the barbecue! A witch who dares to say I'm wrong, will not be with us... VERY LONG!||„|
|~ The Grand High Witch, before zapping and killing another witch who questioned her.|
|“||Y-you're doomed, old woman! You're doomed forever!||„|
|~ Eva Ernst (Grand High Witch) pointing her spoon at Helga as her witches turn into mice.|
The Grand High Witch is the main antagonist of the 1983 children's book The Witches by Roald Dahl and the 1990 and 2020 dark fantasy film adaptations of the same name.
She was portrayed by Anjelica Huston in the 1990 film, who also plays Baroness Rodmilla de Ghent in Ever After, Emily Grierson in the television adaptation of A Rose For Emily, Miss Battle-Axe in the film adaptation of Horrid Henry and Miss Harridan in the 2003 film Daddy Day Care. In the 2020 film, she will be played by Anne Hathaway, who also played Catwoman in The Dark Knight.
The Grand High Witch booked into a hotel in disguise and her name was Evangeline Ernst. The other witches also booked in to hold a meeting at the hotel. The day before the meeting, The Grand High Witch made her first move on a child named Bruno Jenkins and gave him a chocolate bar and then told him she would give him more if he came to the meeting. The next day the Grand High Witch called the other witches for the meeting, not knowing that a young boy named Luke Eveshim, grandson of former witchophile Helga Eveshim, was hiding inside. When she thought no one was there, she ordered the other witches to remove their wigs, gloves, and shoes. The Grand High Witch removes her mask, revealing a grotesque and deformed face.
After berating the other witches for their failure to wipe out all the children in England, the Grand High Witch demands that every child in England be eliminated. When one witch expresses astonishment at a seemingly impossible task, the enraged Grand High Witch incinerates her to prove a point to the other witches. Afterwards, the Grand High Witch reveals her new potion, the Formula 86 Delayed Action Mouse Maker, which transforms whoever consumes it into mice. The Grand High Witch explained her plan to have all the children in England be turned into mice and be killed by the adults via putting the formula into candies. She also revealed that the chocolate bar she gave to Bruno contained the formula. Soon afterwards, she brought Bruno onto the stage, where the other witches witnessed him transform into a mouse.
Having shown her plan to be a success, the Grand High Witch announced that the ancient witches, who had served her for many years, would come and receive the readily-prepared formula, as they were too old to get the ingredients themselves. As the meeting came to a close, Luke, who had hoped to escape, was discovered when one witch smelled him. The Grand High Witch ordered the other witches to capture him and take him to her. The witches obeyed and the Grand High Witch poured the formula into Luke's mouse, transforming him into a mouse. Believing Luke to have been disposed of, the Grand High Witch returned to her hotel on room 454.
Some time afterwards, the ancient witches arrived to receive the formula. As the Grand High Witch let the witches in, Luke, though still a mouse, infiltrated her room and managed to steal her formula without the Grand High Witch noticing. Afterwards, the witches, including the Grand High Witch, arrive for dinner. However, Luke pours the contents of the formula into the witches dinner. As the witches eat, the formula causes them to be turned into mice. The Grand High Witch, possibly due to her immense power, takes a longer time to transform and, upon being exposed by Helga, advances on her with the intentions of killing her.
Before she can murder Helga, Bruno bites her, distracting her and causing the formula to finally take its toll. As the Grand High Witch begins to transform, she is berated by Helga for her cruel actions. Enraged, the Grand High Witch declares that she isn't finished with Helga yet, but transforms into a mouse. Helga manages to trap her under a glass cup before alerting Mr. Stringer, who had ordered the kitchen staff to eliminate the recently-transformed witches. Mr. Stringer, upon being told that the Grand High Witch is especially contagious, removes the glass cup and slashes her witch a butcher knife, killing her and ending her reign of terror for good.