Hocus Pocus is my favourite Halloween movie. I am still in shock that it turned 25 in 2018! See, I cannot stand horror films, scary movies, or anything that involves gory brutal death. I’m a tamer Halloweener who prefers The Peanuts Great Pumpkin special, Hotel Transylvania, and any other spooky entertainment that celebrates the costume-wearing time of year to a more whimsical degree. Plus Hocus Pocus is also a Disney film – that puts it a step above the rest in my books. And can you believe it has been around since 1993!? (I almost fell off my chair to realize that Dani is 36 years old…) So with this adoration in full swing paired with the fact that Halloween is one of the spookiest and fun times of the year, here is our comprehensive guide to all things Hocus Pocus, Hocus Pocus filming locations, The Hocus Pocus tour in Salem, themed merchandise, events, and more.

Hocus Pocus tour in Salem, Filming locations and Comprehensive Guide
Hocus Pocus tour in Salem Filming locations and Comprehensive Guide
Credit: Inside the Magic

Book a Tour: Salem Witch Museum Admission Ticket

First, Hocus Pocus Movie Fun Facts

  • The movie was originally intended to be a bedtime story! Wow…that would have been interesting!
  • Leonardo Di Caprio turned down the role of Max in this film to do What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? instead.
  • Bette Midler supposedly loves the film and said it was her favourite character role of all.

  • Bette Midler needed dictionary help to remember archaic words used in ancient spells!
  • When the cast went to the Salem to learn more about the Hocus Pocus filming locations, it was the 300th anniversary of the infamous Witch Trials
  • Can you spot Penny and Garry Marshall? They cameo in this film!
  • Hocus Pocus is also named Abracadabra in some countries.
  • The moths that escaped Billy Butcherson’s mouth at the end of the film were REAL! ewwwww
  • The movie was released in the summer of 1993 so that it didn’t compete with Nightmare Before Christmas.
  • Jason Marsden (not related to James) is the voice of Binx and it took 9 cats to play him!
  • There were 7 stone statues of Winnie (Bette Midler’s character) in order to perfect the scene.
  • Sarah Jessica Parker actually sang “Come Little Children” in the film! She was not dubbed.
  • Sarah Jessica Parker discovered when researching the role, that an ancestor of hers was accused of witchery. She was not hanged though because it was accused after 1693.
Hocus Pocus Filming locations and Comprehensive Guide Credit: Diane @Vintage Zest
Hocus Pocus tour in Salem Filming locations and Comprehensive Guide Credit: Diane @Vintage Zest

Book a Tour: Boston’s Freedom Trail Walk Into History® Tour

Hocus Pocus Tour in Salem – Filming Locations, etc.

Now comes the fun part! Learning just where this Halloween classic was filmed. Any guesses? Well, besides the usual California studio sets, it shouldn’t come to any surprise that our favourite witchy and spirited comedy would have filming locations in the heart of Salem – AKA the Witch City. The Hocus Pocus tour in Salem of significant filming locations showcases some of the most fascinating areas of the city that bring travellers that tragic history they have come to know over the years. And with the Sanderson sisters depicted circa 1692 – the years of the infamous trials, the treasure trove of landmarks is the perfect excursion for the excited historian.

Salem, The Witch City
Hocus Pocus Tour in Salem, The Witch City

The Pioneer Village

As you watch the film for the nth time during the festive Halloween season, you may recognize the Pioneer Village in the background as the Sanderson Sister emerge in the opening scenes. Binx is human in these scenes before he is turned indefinitely into a cat for the duration of the film. The Pioneer Village is a great spot to visit while in the Witch City as it has quite a bit of valuable history enclosed within its boundaries. Tours can be taken daily through June-September. Check out their website for further details on festivals, events, and what is happening for Halloween.

Note: At the moment, the Pioneer Village is open seasonally as construction takes place in the area. Please check their website for further information and updates.

Salem Pioneer Village
Salem Pioneer Village
Credit: Destination Salem

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Dani & Max’s House

300 years after the Sanderson sisters were zapped into oblivion, Max, Dani and his family moved to Salem. Disgruntled by the move and feeling completely out of place, Max openly debates the existence of witches and the history surrounding his new home. Here you can see just where the family new to the neighbourhood began their adventure surrounded by spirits, magic, and legend. The home is located at 4 Ocean Avenue. It is not really in walking distance so make sure you save some time to check it out. As well, it is a private residence. So please respect the current owners when completing your Hocus Pocus tour in Salem filming locations pilgrimage.

Dani and Max's House - One of the many Hocus Pocus Filming Locations in Salem MA
Dani and Max’s House – One of the many Filming Locations on the Hocus Pocus Tour in Salem MA
credit: Madeleine Deaton

Old Burial Cemetery

Did you wonder where Billy the Butcher finally laid to rest? This ex-lover of Winnie Sanderson, and eventually one of Max and Dani’s biggest allies against the sorcerer finally sought refuge in the afterlife  in Old Burial Hill. The daytime cemetery scenes in Hocus Pocus were filmed here – a cemetery located outside of Salem in Marblehead, MA, none of the evening scenes with Billy were shot there.

Old Burial Hill - Visit this amazing spot on your Hocus Pocus Tour in Salem Credit:Brittany DiCologero, Destination Salem
Old Burial Hill – Visit this amazing spot on your Hocus Pocus Tour in Salem
Credit:Brittany DiCologero, Destination Salem

The scenes with Billy shot in the nighttime were not filmed here, but the daytime scenes certainly were. And where better than one of the oldest cemeteries in the USA that was created in 1638?

The Town Hall

You may recall sightings of this historic building (the oldest surviving government structure in the city) in Hocus Pocus when the locals were entranced by the sisters’ incantation. It is this moment when they nearly nab the souls of the children to remain immortal. Nowadays, the building serves as the venue for the Salem Museum that showcases quite a few artifacts that make up the the city’s incredibly tragic history of fires, hangings, and of course, witchery and magic.

The Salem Town Hall was one of the many Hocus Pocus Filming Locations in Salem MA
The Salem Town Hall was one of the many Hocus Pocus Filming Locations in Salem MA

The Ropes Mansion – 318 Essex Street

Wonder where Max’s puppy love resides in Salem? Look no further than than this beautiful plantation style mansion in the heart of the city. This 18th century spot is responsible for the beginning of the film’s shenanigans. This mansion is actually open to the public so feel free to check it out while there.

The Ropes Mansion - Hocus Pocus Filming Locations in Salem
The Ropes Mansion – Hocus Pocus Filming Locations in Salem Credit: Dex

The Hocus Pocus School

Here in the autumn grounds of golden foliage you will see the school where Max went to school.

The School featured in Hocus Pocus
The School featured in Hocus Pocus
Credit: Dex

So there you have the enchanting Hocus Pocus filming locations in one of the most magical and spirited cities in the world. Halloween is the craziest and busiest time to visit the mystifying hamlet so make sure you book way in advance should you wish to travel there.

Hocus Pocus at the Disney Parks

Switching gears slightly from simply showcasing the Hocus Pocus filming locations, the Disney Parks do bring quite a bit of the Sanderson Sisters’ legend to life and to the Halloween spotlight! Lovers of the film will be happy knowing that during the festive month of October, the sisters make regular appearances to celebrate their most favourite day of the year – Halloween.

Disney Brings the Hocus Pocus Sanderson Sisters out for Fans at Halloween!
Disney Brings the Hocus Pocus Sanderson Sisters out for Fans at Halloween! Credit: Nomad by Trade

Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular

So just like in the film, the Sanderson Sister return! They are reenacting their incredible show during the Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween Party again this year for the 2018 Halloween season.

Winnie, Mary and Sarah head on to the stage near Cinderella’s castle and call on their villainous Disney friends that we all know so well! They plot together and bring a wicked potion to guests and cast a spel on everyone in the park. As part of the wickedly fun spectacle, keep an eye out for Oogie Boogie and Maleficent. Plus, there will be a host of visual effects, lighting, dancers, and music. Do keep in mind that this show only takes place during the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party hours and is not a daily show during regular park hours. You will need to purchase separate event tickets in order to see this show and enjoy the other exclusive activities within the party.

Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular at the Magic Kingdom in Mickey's No So Scary Halloween Party Credit: Nomad By Trade
Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular at the Magic Kingdom in Mickey’s No So Scary Halloween Party
Credit: Nomad By Trade

 

Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular at the Magic Kingdom in Mickey's No So Scary Halloween Party
Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular at the Magic Kingdom in Mickey’s No So Scary Halloween Party
Credit: Nomad By Trade

 

Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular at the Magic Kingdom in Mickey's No So Scary Halloween Party Credit: Nomad By Trade
Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular at the Magic Kingdom in Mickey’s No So Scary Halloween Party
Credit: Nomad By Trade

Exclusive Hocus Pocus Disney Merchandise

If you are as big a Hocus Pocus fan as I am (heck, I have tracked the Hocus Pocus filming locations, watch the film on loop, AND have ordered a custom skirt with all things Sanderson on it…) thank you will want this exclusive t-shirt available during the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party this year. Head to Walt Disney World and purchase this top during the party hours. It won’t be available during the regular hours as the shops will bring out the exclusive souvenirs during the party hours.

Exclusive Disney Merchandise with Hocus Pocus available at Mickey's Not so Scary Halloween Party
Exclusive Disney Merchandise with Hocus Pocus available at Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween Party
Credit: Nomad by Trade

 

Hocus Pocus merchandise Available at the Disney Parks- Credit: Disney Parks Blog
Hocus Pocus merchandise Available at the Disney Parks- Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Show your Fan-hood on the Hocus Pocus Tour in Salem

Want to dress the part? You can find some incredibly unique dresses, tops, and other items that will bring out your inner Sanderson. Here are two outfits from a favourite tailor that will have you showing your spirit and passion on the Hocus Pocus tour in Salem or at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.

The Awesome Hocus Pocus Skirt! Grab Yours!

Hocus Pocus Skirt
Hocus Pocus Skirt – Perfect for any Halloween Event! Credit: TheBraveLittleTailor

The Awesome Halloween Dress! Grab yours!

 

Hocus Pocus Dress!
Hocus Pocus Dress! – Credit: TheBraveLittleTailor

Both of these dresses are made by TheBraveLittleTailor on Etsy! Her clothing is amazing. They fit perfectly and are made well with good quality fabric. I have a few of her dresses and can only say good things! In fact, I will be grabbing a few more for my upcoming trip in January!

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So there you have our comprehensive Hocus Pocus tour in Salem, Hocus Pocus Disney guide, and tips on where to get some truly awesome fandom clothes. Enjoy your October and Halloween moments, play Hocus Pocus on loop for its 25th anniversary, and seriously consider the trip to the Witch City. Now, the countdown is on until October!

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Bring on the Sanderson Sisters! Our Hocus Pocus tour in Salem of the many filming locations, how Disney celebrates the film, and merchandise you can buy is the ultimate resource for you to plan your pilgrimage to the favourite Halloween Film! #hocuspocus #salem #witchcity #salemma #usa #halloween #sandersonsisters #disney #magickingdom #mickeysnotsoscaryhalloweenparty #halloweenparty #traveltips #USAtravel
The Ultimate Guide and Hocus Pocus Tour in Salem, Disney and Beyond Credit: Vintage Zest

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