With Halloween coming up, everyone is tuning into their spooky films to watch. And, for every millennial, one of those films is Disney’s Hocus Pocus. The Sanderson sisters became such incredibly prominent characters that Halloween wouldn’t be complete without them. Disney even revisited the Sanderson sisters after 25 years with Hocus Pocus 2, bringing more nostalgia with a new story to new audiences.
Looking for the perfect fall trip? If you’re considering a pilgrimage to visit the locations where the first Hocus Pocus was filmed, we’ve got you covered. Most of the scenes in the original movie were filmed on location in Salem, Massachusetts. There are a number of locations featured in the film that are private property and, therefore, can not be accessed. But, there are several that fans can visit and grab a quick photo!
As for the locations in Hocus Pocus 2, most of the filming took place in Rhode Island. The streets were made to look like the ones in Salem. Additionally, some reshoots also took place in New York City.
Dani & Max’s House
Dani and Max Dennison are the siblings forced to face off against the Sanderson sisters after accidentally summoning them back to life in Hocus Pocus. Played by Thora Birch and Omri Katz, the home where the Dennison siblings reside can be found on 4 Ocean Ave. in Salem. Several scenes in Hocus Pocus take place in the house, including the one where the witches kidnap Dani.
As the house is not located in the areas deemed tourist attractions in Salem, it’s advisable to drive there instead, rather than go on foot. The house also happens to be private property. So keep that in mind before taking a picture. While the owners of the house reportedly do allow people to take pictures, they do not allow trespassing.
“It’s inundated with visitors,” Destination Salem executive director Katie Fox told Boston.com in 2018. Fox added that she felt bad for the owners “because not everybody minds their manners. They’re really good sports about it, to a point. But people walk right up to their porch or leave trash in their yard. It’s very disrespectful.”
Several other scenes in Hocus Pocus take place in the cemetery in Salem, but it was actually shot in Marblehead near Salem. One of the first scenes the cemetery is seen in is during the day when Max is riding his bike but comes across two of the local bullies. Jake and Ernie, also known as Ice, steal his shoes and give him the nickname Hollywood.
The cemetery in Marblehead is Old Burial Hill and also happens to be one of New England’s oldest cemeteries. It’s also close to the Dennison house, so you can travel to the cemetery after stopping by the residence.
Thackery Binx’s Home & Old Salem Village
The beginning of Hocus Pocus takes place in the 1600s. When we first see Thackery Binx (in his human form) looking for his sister Emily, he discovers that the Sanderson sisters have taken her. When Thackery sneaks in and confronts the sisters, they already sucked the youth out of Emily and cursed him as a cat.
This entire sequence was filmed at Salem’s Pioneer Village, with the exception of the Sanderson sisters’ house, as it seems like it was filmed on a studio set. Still, it’s easy to imagine that the Sanderson house could be found within the old village. Thackery’s house is actually the Governor’s Faire House and can be found within the village. It’s one of the best Hocus Pocus filming locations to visit!
With Salem known for the infamous witch trials that took place in the 1600s, there’s also “The Witch House.” That site is the home of witch trial judge Jonathan Corwin. It may also remind fans of the Sanderson house because of its name. The Pioneer Village was built in 1930 to preserve the historic sites and is the first living history museum in the US.
Salem’s Pioneer Village is located at 310 West Ave. Tours of the Pioneer Village are usually offered from June through September and is also where different events and festivals are held every year.
The Halloween Party
In Hocus Pocus, Dani, and Max, along with Allison and Binx, go to the town’s Halloween party to tell their parents about the situation, only to get laughed at. The Sanderson sisters also crash the party, where Winifred breaks into her famous “I Put a Spell on You” song number, after which she really puts a spell on the guests to keep dancing.
The Halloween party in Salem was filmed at the Old Town Hall at the heart of the city, it’s one of the great Hocus Pocus filming locations to visit! The building is located at 161 Essex Street and also hosts the Salem Museum. It’s close enough to the shops in the area as well. Luckily, no dancing spells are included, or you’ll be there the whole day.
Winifred’s musical number, however, was filmed in California on set.
Jacob Bailey High School
The high school that Max and Allison attend in Hocus Pocus is the fictional Jacob Bailey High School. This is where the audience first meets Max. In one of the early sequences of the movie, he expresses his skepticism over the stories of the Sanderson sisters. Later in the film, Dani, Max, and Allison lure the witches into the school in an attempt to get rid of them for good.
The school’s exterior is the Phillips Elementary School in South Washington Square. The school closed down in 1992 and is no longer open to the public today. The building is now a residential area. But for those seeking to visit the site, it can be viewed from the Common.
Another one of the Hocus Pocus filming locations to visit is Alison’s house.
In the film, Max and Dani visit Allison, played by Vinessa Shaw, whose family is throwing a Halloween party. It’s where Max asks her out to check out the Sanderson house. In real life, Allison’s house is the Ropes Mansion and is considered the most haunted house in Salem.
The “ghost” that is believed to be haunting the house is Abigail Ropes, the granddaughter of Judge Nathaniel Ropes. Abigail died in the 1800s when her dress caught fire. She burned to death after standing too close to the fireplace in her bedroom.
Is there even more Hocus Pocus Coming? What We Know About Hocus Pocus 3
Following Hocus Pocus 2, Disney has also confirmed that a Hocus Pocus 3 would be in the works. The details remain scarce regarding the third Hocus Pocus film. But we do know it will have the same director and writer from the sequel attached. It is also likely that Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy will return as Winifred, Sarah, and Mary Sanderson.
With the film’s three stars interested (or at least aren’t ruling out reprising their roles), we’re excited to see what the future holds for Hocus Pocus 3!