It came out on July 16, 1993, but I only remember it as ever-existing, always on some channel or other during this time of year in nonstop syndication. Each season, I ended up seeing the entire movie three times, just all out of order and in 20-minute sections and usually while I was doing something else...carving pumpkins, decorating, cutting the eyeballs from the faces of models in fashion catalogs.
In fact, I watched it straight through this year for the first time since I-have-no-idea-when just for the sake of this post. Apparently, it’s about three witch sisters hanged in Salem for their Satanic shenanigans who are then resurrected in modern times but must steal the essences of children to survive.
|Yup, we watched it here.|
I obviously have a problem with mouths, so it might just be me.
|It's not just me, right?|
|Also, let's not forget that the movie is a time-capsule reminder that in the 1990s,|
if you wanted to come off as bad-ass, you had to nickname yourself some variation of "Ice."
The movie starts out in Ye Olde Salem during the Witch Trials. You’ve gotta kill the witches to get cursed by them, after all. To recreate a 1600s-era Salem, they used, well, a recreated 1600s-era Salem. Salem Pioneer Village 1630 is what it’s called, and it’s a reenactment village located in Salem’s Forest River Park, about a mile and a half from Essex Street.
The place was built in in 1930, but in recent years hasn’t really been used very much as an attraction. Seems like it would’ve been a big draw for a place like Salem, but what do I know about running a reenactment village. Still, even though it’s usually closed, you can see the old cabins through the fence well enough, especially on the side of the attraction that faces the harbor.
The main filming location in the movie was probably Max and Dani’s house, which is just a block or so away from Forest River Park and also right on the harbor. It’s at the end of Ocean Avenue and is really easy to find since it has that unique cupola on its roof and neighbors only on one side.
Still, it really needs a historical placard labeling it the “Hocus Pocus House.”
This building is right on the south side of Salem Common. They also filmed the scene where Max tries to get Allison's phone number right in that part of the Common, as well.
Speaking of Allison, her house is a pretty prominent Salem site. It’s the Ropes Mansion, at 318 Essex Street. It was built in the early 18th century and is currently operated by the Peabody Essex Museum.
The last Hocus Pocus site that I’ve got here isn’t actually in Salem, but in neighboring Marblehead. It was here, at Old Burial Hill, that the daytime cemetery scenes were shot. The night shots were all filmed on a set.
If you have to battle a trio of witches, definitely do it in a cemetery like this.
And if you have to make a film about witches, do it in Salem.
|Old Burial Hill is also the site|
of the amazing Susanna Jayne headstone.
|A gravestone prop from the nighttime cemetery set, now at the|
Haunted Barn Movie Museum.
|And while you're in Salem, you can see a life-sized Winifred Sanderson |
(Bette Midler) on display at Count Orlok's Nightmare Gallery.