In their annual Halloween look at what's up next year, American witches are predicting Sen. Jesse Helms and Oliver North will record a rap album attacking the Soviet Union and the National Endowment of the Arts.

Muffin juggling also will became a big fad.In the 17th annual survey released Monday by the New York Center for the Strange, the witches also forecast shortages of volleyballs, garlic and chopsticks and a new book will claim that Elvis Presley was a Soviet agent.

Not only that, Jimmy Carter, Michael Jackson and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher will buy homes on Staten Island, and Dan Quayle will begin his campaign for the presidency in '92.

The tongue-in-cheek predictions from the Center for the Strange - "a non-profit organization involved basically in research" - also is accompanied by Director Richard Blaine's annual plea for a better understanding of witches.

Some of the predictions for next year:

-Walter Cronkite will host a TV game show based on current headlines with Vanna White.

-"Inspired by his close friendship with Jane Fonda," Ted Turner will launch a 24-hour, all-exercise cable TV network.

-Donald Trump will franchise a pizza chain called "The Don."

-A Japanese electronics company will introduce a combination microwave corn-popper and TV set.

Blaine said the 355 witches surveyed this year (an increase of 25 over last year) are not "absurd and hateful" and do not cackle, cast evil spells or ride brooms.

He said the country's practicing witches include the owner of a National League baseball team, a member of the Bush Cabinet, a Wall Street junk bond specialist and the female star of a TV comedy show.

But, please - no names.

"For the millions of ordinary men and women throughout the world who practice witchcraft as a serious religion, Halloween is when they are most often victimized, stigmatized and ostracized," Blaine said.