Strolling through the witchy shops of Salem might be enough to satisfy your Halloween craving, no matter what season. Whether you’ve come just for Halloween (as many do!) or are visiting in the spring, no trip to Salem would be complete without a tour of the film locations for Disney’s cult classic movie: Hocus Pocus.
Hocus Pocus stars Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy as the Sanderson sisters, three witches who are accidentally resurrected to present day Salem (1993), three hundred years after being hanged for witchcraft. Max, Dani, Allison, and a magical cat must steal back their spell book to stop the witches from becoming immortal and wreaking havoc on the world.
As one of my FAVORITE Halloween films, I had to visit the most iconic Hocus Pocus film locations in Salem, Massachusetts. With rumors of a sequel in the works, there’s no better time to go than right now.
Salem Old Town Hall
32 Derby Square, Salem, MA 01970
First on the list is Town Hall, simply because it’s nearly impossible to miss as you walk around downtown Salem. Take a picture and channel your inner Mrs. Dennison (Madonna costume not required) or bust out in true Sanderson sister form with your own rendition of “I Put A Spell On You”. Video below, for nostalgia’s sake.
Max & Dani’s House
8 Ocean Ave, Salem, MA 01970
Resting on a quiet street overlooking the bay, I can see how producers chose this house as the home of their main characters. The characteristic lookout made Max’s room the envy of any kid (or adult). People do live here — shout out to these homeowners, I’m jealous — so don’t go knocking on their door. As far as taking pictures of their house: I imagine they get it a lot!
The Graveyard (daytime scenes)
Old Burial Hill Cemetery, Marblehead, MA 01945
In typical Laura fashion, I was just so enthusiastic to get to this graveyard that I didn’t even really do my research until I got there and decided to give it a google. This cemetery, besides being ridiculously picturesque, is one of the oldest in America and has some fascinating headstones. Don’t miss the one belonging to Susanna Jayne, decorated with bizarre skeletal imagery, or the one belonging to Rebekah Bonfild, who died all the way back in 1687! Allow yourself extra time getting to and from this Hocus Pocus locale, as it’s not even in Salem, but in the next town over: Marblehead. If you’re really in to old cemeteries, you’ll want some time to wander around and try to imagine what life was like when everyone died at 35.
Ropes Mansion, 318 Essex Street, Salem, MA
While taking Dani trick-or-treating, Max accidentally stumbles upon the fancy mansion of his newest crush. Hold on Disney…you’re telling us this girl is beautiful, smart, witty, AND RICH? All jealous feelings aside, Allison’s mansion isn’t out of the way, so stop by and pretend that one day you’ll live in a mansion, too.
Want a Hocus Pocus Bonus?
Salem Pioneer Village, Forest River Park, Salem, MA 01970
The Salem Pioneer village is open from mid-April to September 30th. For $6/person you can take a tour of this “1630 Pioneer Village”. You might spy the Sanderson Sisters’ cottage and Thackery Binx’s village. You know, pre-cat. If you’re visiting Salem on a Friday or Saturday in October, they tell ghost stories by candlelight in their cottages. Ten dollars. Fun!
Whether you hit every stop on the Hocus Pocus tour or just visit a few, I’m sure you’ll find your journey positively enchanting.