Hocus Pocus
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FAQ Contents

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Hocus Pocus can be found here.

Three 17th-century Salem, Massachusetts witches—Winifred (Bette Midler), Mary (Kathy Najimy), and Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker) Sanderson—are accidentally resurrected on Halloween night in the 20th century by teenager Max Dennison (Omri Katz). Now Max, his girlfriend Allison (Vinessa Shaw) and his pesky sister Dani (Thora Birch), aided by a black cat named Binx, must abolish the sisters before they begin sucking the life out of all of Salem's children.

Hocus Pocus is based on a script by producer David Kirschner and screenwriters Mick Garris and Neil Cuthbert.

Sarah sings:

Come little children, I'll take thee away into a land of Enchantment. / Come little children, the time's come to play here in my garden of Magic. / Come little children, I'll take thee away, into a land of Enchantment. / Come little children, the time's come to play here in my garden of Magic.

Although the story was supposed to be happening in Salem, Massachusetts, not much of the movie was actually filmed there. The opening scenes, when the camera is flying over what is supposed to be 17th century Salem, is the Pioneer Village, a living history museum in Salem's Forest River Park. Exteriors of Alison's house were shot at Ropes Mansion in Salem. Jacob Bailey High School is the old Phillips Elementary School in Salem (which closed a year before filming.) They just put up a new sign for filming. The phone number scene was shot in the Salem Common, a park large across the street from the elementary school in the heart of Salem. Exteriors for Max and Dani's house were shot along a dock on the ocean, at the end of a side street near Forest River Park. Interestingly, the whole right side of the house is literally on the ocean, but it was shot from an angle that makes it look like it's in the middle of town. Most other places, such as the Sanderson Museum, were shot on a studio lot in Los Angeles, California.

Max drinks the potion that witch Winnie intended for Dani, so Winnie tries to suck Max's life force instead. Max manages to knock Winnie off her broom and onto the ground. Since Winnie is standing on hallow ground, she turns to stone. The sun begins to rise and her witch sisters, Sarah and Mary, are flung away and they explode into dust, as does the stone statue of Winnie. Dani mourns Binx's death, but he reappears as the ghost of Thackery Binx (Sean Murray) as a human boy. Thackery joins the ghost of his sister Emily (Jodie-Amy Rivera). As the credits appear, Max and Dani's parents come out of the party, and bullies Jay (Tobias Jelinek) and Ice (Larry Bagby) are still in their cages, singing songs to pass the time. The camera pans to the Sandersons' spell book, and its eye opens and looks around.

Sean Murray did not do the voice for the Thackery Binx cat. Instead, Jason Marsden actually did the voice for both Thackery Binx in human form and as a cat, as the producers wanted an Old English accent for the character.

In the film, Binx says that the cemetery is safe because witches can't set foot on hallowed ground. At the end of the film, however, Winifred stands on it while she tries to suck the life force out of Max. This has been seen as a plot hole by many, but actually it does make sense. Binx never actually says what will happen when a witch sets foot on hallowed ground, he just says that they can't. He never specifies that whatever happens to them will be instantaneous. This is why Winifred turns to stone before she explodes into dust. It can be guessed, then, that in the context of the film, setting foot on hallowed ground turns witches to stone. This is why Sarah and Mary don't turn into stone before they turn to dust: they hadn't set foot on hallowed ground.


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