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hocus pocus, salem

The Ultimate Hocus Pocus Film Location Guide

Disney has just announced a release date for its sequel to its beloved Halloween classic: Hocus Pocus 2 will officially stream on Disney+ starting September 30!


It’s been a long 25 years since the spooky flick starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy debuted, but luckily we don’t have to wait much longer for a follow-up!


Now that a new group of teens are set to light the black-flamed candle and unleash the witches on modern-day Salem, there’s no better time to revisit the original film.


If you’re a Hocus Pocus mega fan, you may even be tempted to visit the original filming locations to stoke your nostalgia to the max before the new installment.


With that in mind, we’ve compiled a guide to where the first Hocus Pocus was filmed.


Note: International Hocus Pocus fans should be aware that the majority of these locations are in the northeast United States, so they might need a visa or travel authorization to visit. Check here for further information.

hocus pocus, salem

Hocus Pocus Filming Location Guide in Anticipation of the New Movie

Where Was Hocus Pocus Filmed?

The filmmakers behind the original Hocus Pocus went all-in for authenticity and most of the exterior scenes were shot on location in the setting for the story: Salem, Massachusetts.


For those not in the know, the original film told the story of the wicked Sanderson sisters (Milder, Parker, and Najimy), three kooky witches in colonial Salem who were burned at the stake for attempting to steal the souls of local children.


Before they went up in flames, they vowed to return for revenge if a virgin ever lit their enchanted black-flamed candle.


Unfortunately for Salem, 90’s teen Max decided to do just that for a prank, leading to the resurrection of the witchy sisters.


Max then had to team up with his crush Allison to stop the cackling hags from sucking the soul out of his little sister Dani.


While the plot sounds pretty dark for kids in hindsight, the movie has become beloved for its campy comedy and endearing characters.


But a large part of the film’s success came from the spooky production design and authentic New England locations, many of which you can still visit in real-life, historic Salem.


Need a history lesson? Salem, Massachusetts has a long history of witchcraft. Most notably, the Salem Witch Trials occurred here from 1692 and 1693.


Hundreds of people were accused of witchcraft and ultimately more than a handful were executed because of it. The whole town is witch-themed, for the local high school athletic team is called the Witches. 


All of the Hocus Pocus daytime scenes were shot in Salem! As you can see, there are a lot of ties between the witches of Hocus Pocus and Salem, Massachusetts. hocus pocus, salem

Hocus Pocus: Salem Location Guide

Hocus Pocus was filmed in the fall of 1992. The crew made use of many locations in the real Salem around Halloween time, meaning far less work for the set dressers!


Several iconic scenes in the movie were shot right in the middle of historic Salem, such as Max and Allison’s after-school meet-cute in Salem Common, also known as Washington Square.


The nearby abandoned Phillips Elementary School was used as a stand-in for the film’s Jacob Bailey High School.


While the building has since been converted into an apartment complex and is not readily accessible, several other historic sites used in the movie are freely open to the public.

hocus pocus, salem

Pioneer Village

The opening sequence for Hocus Pocus, which sees Thackery Binx attempting to rescue his sister Emily from the witches’ clutches, boasts an authentic recreation of 1600s Salem.


The filmmakers actually made use of an existing living history museum in the town to bring the colonial setting to life, Pioneer Village.


Built-in the 1930s, this outdoor museum sits on three acres of land and continues to welcome visitors to this day.


Guests can explore the thatched cottages, wigwams, blacksmith’s shop, and culinary and medicinal gardens. 

hocus pocus, salem

Ropes Mansion

Located in Salem’s McIntire Historic District, this impressive 18th-century mansion served as the exterior for Allison’s house in the original film.


It is currently operated by the Peabody Essex Museum and you can take a guided tour inside. However, the interiors may not look too familiar as Allison’s Halloween party was actually filmed in a studio.


You can also visit the exterior of Max and Dani’s house on Salem’s Ocean Avenue, although the home is a private residence and not open to the public.


But apparently, the current owners are actually quite cool with tourists snapping keepsake selfies out front.

hocus pocus, salem

Salem Old Town Hall

The location for the Halloween party where the Sanderson sisters bewitch Max’s parents and the other adults in the town, the Old Town Hall is a National Historic Site and the oldest surviving municipal building in Salem.


It is also home to The Salem Museum, which explores the events of the town’s witch trials and the history of witches in general. It’s open year-round, with extended hours in July, August, and October.

hocus pocus, salem

Other Hocus Pocus Locations You Can Visit

While in Salem, you can also visit a couple of other filming locations for the movie in nearby Marblehead.


Old Burial Hill stood in for the cemetery where the bullies steal Max’s sneakers, and Sarah Sanderson flew over Lighthouse Point while singing her spell to enchant the town’s children.


Many of the most iconic locations in Hocus Pocus – including the Sanderson House and Billy Butcherson’s grave – were filmed at Stage 2 at Walt Disney Studios, and no longer exist.


However, you can still visit a couple of the props used in the movie in Florida and California.


One of the petrified Winifred statues made for the movie can be seen at Planet Hollywood in Walt Disney World Resort.


You can also visit the fountain where Max and Allison celebrate their first defeat of the witches on the Warner Bros Studio Tour. It’s actually the same one used in the Friends opening credits!

hocus pocus, salem

To Conclude 

Although Hocus Pocus 2 is also set in Salem, the Disney+ movie was largely filmed in Providence, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. The original Hocus Pocus still has a lot of its filming locations in Salem. 


However, if the sequel is a hit, you can bet the shooting locations will become must-visit destinations for Hocus Pocus fans as well! 


Did you know that Sabrina The Teenage Witch was also filmed partially in Salem? If you’re looking for witchy inspiration, consider Salem, Massachusetts to be your next stop! 


Definitely check out these locations if you’re interested in Hocus Pocus film locations. Most of these locations are open to the public and visitors are encouraged to stop by and take a look!


However, you must always keep in mind that you should be respectful. Stop by, take some pictures, but don’t overstep boundaries. While Max and Dani’s house isn’t accessible, there are plenty of other places to visit.


Always check business hours before stopping by, and perhaps the most important thing is to have fun! Whether you’re visiting Pioneer Village, Salem Commons, or Old Burial Hill, you’re guaraunteed to have a spook-tacular time! 


Looking for more witch-themed articles? We’ve also written an article on some crazy witch trials abroad in the UK! 


Satyne Julianna Doner

Satyne Julianna Doner is currently a sophomore studying business management in sunny Tampa, Florida. A born bibliophile, she spends most of her free time curled up in a fantasy book or writing her own. When she isn't studying, reading, or writing, she is an avid equestrian and staunch supporter of rehabilitating retired racehorses. She owns one horse, named Hurricane, who keeps her grounded in all her endeavors.

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