Three wacky witches, two magic spells, one hilarious comedy — it’s all part of everyone’s favorite spooktacular cult classic: Hocus Pocus, part of ABC Family’s 13 Nights of Halloween.
It’s been 21 years (!) since the world first met the Sanderson sisters, and we’ll never forget how awesome it was to watch them run amok through Salem while trying to steal the souls of children so they could live forever.
I watch their hijinks in what is quite possibly the best Halloween movie EVER every single year, and now that my kids are old enough to watch it too, I can happily geek out when they ask if we have enough salt in the house, ignore them when they want to know what “yabos” are, and pull out old Madonna albums when they point out Mrs. Dennison is wearing a really pointy cone bustier. (I’ll always love you, Vogue.)
Every time we watch, I notice something I hadn’t before — glaring goofs, historical inconsistencies, and “facts” that may or may not be true. But hey, no one said it was a documentary. Besides, it gives me a good reason to nerd out about all kinds of random trivia I’ve picked up over the years..
You love a movie like Hocus Pocus because all its lumps and bumps make you want to grab the nearest vacuum and shout about its kitschy awesomeness to the world while soaring underneath a full moon.
Dost thou comprehend?
To that end, here are 20 things you didn’t know you wanted to know about this mainstay of camp Disney culture:
20 Frighteningly Fun "Hocus Pocus" Facts
One Good Turn Deserves Another
was reportedly offered the part of Max Dennison, but turned it down to star in What's Eating Gilbert Grape. I think we're all okay with how things turned out.
Get Well Swoon
Omri Katz was sick
during his first audition and was initially rejected for the role of Max Dennison. Apparently he made a better impression at callbacks. Good thing, too, or who knows who we would have crushed on back in the day?
A League Of Her Own
was originally offered the role of Mary Sanderson, but turned it down because she didn't want to play a "scary witch."
A Musical Fable
During the musical number "I Put A Spell On You," Bette Midler makes a reference to the movie Gypsy
In the original trailer, two scenes were shown that didn't end up in the final movie. YouTube
has grainy, VHS-ey proof.
What A Character!
During a 2008 BBC interview
, Bette Midler said that out of all her movie characters, Winifred Sanderson was her favorite. Because of course it was.
Strangely, the movie was released in the summer of 1993
instead of in the fall, which obviously would have made more sense.
Max gives Alison his number in class, but when she returns it in the next scene outside the school, it's a different note
. The number isn't even written on the same side of the paper.
Speaking of class, the movie takes place on Halloween 1993
, which fell on a Sunday. School would not have been in session.
The Sanderson sisters were hanged on October 31, 1693. However, the Salem Witch Trials
ended in May 1693.
Cat Got Your Tongue?
Sean Murray, the actor who played Thackery Binx, did not provide the voice for Binx the cat.
Binx was voiced by another actor named Jason Marsden (no relation to James Marsden). Anyone else insanely distracted by the drop of sweat hanging precariously from the end of his flared nostril in this scene?
During one of Max's many failed attempts to thwart the Sanderson sisters early in the movie, he claims it's Daylight Savings Time, which is actually true. October 31 was the first day of Daylight Savings Time in 1993. However, in Hocus Pocus, the sun rises at 5:00 a.m., despite the fact that it wouldn't have been up for another hour.
Filling In The Gaps
Witches from 1693 would not have had fillings
. Sorry, SJP.
A Grave Situation
At the end of the movie, when Dani is crying over Binx's weirdly deflated cat body, you can see that he's lying on his sister Emily's grave
. Sob! So poetic! And so depressing.
The executioner who hanged the Sanderson sisters is wearing a leather ensemble with metal spikes, which would have been way too modern for late 17th century Salem.
Yes, I watch a lot of Game of Thrones
and The White Queen
Come Fly With Me
When the Sanderson sisters are dropped off in front of "Satan's" house, their brooms are taken by three little girls dressed up just like them for Halloween. They fly away on the brooms by accident, and we don't see them again. This obviously leaves room for sequel potential, amirite? Giddyup, Hollywood.
Photo credits: Walt Disney Pictures, Paramount Pictures (still from What’s Eating Gilbert Grape)
Travelhound Pilar wouldn’t mind being at Walt Disney World eating the ears off a Mickey ice cream bar right about now. But, since she can’t be at her “second home” year round, she curates happy thoughts on Disney Social Media Magic, a virtual springboard where breaking news and other Disneyfied thingamabobs are shared.
For more mouse-minded geekery, join Pilar on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and personal site, One Mom Media.