The hocus pocus house

Table of Contents

If You’re Visiting Salem You Must Stop By These ‘Hocus Pocus’ Filming Locations

When Hocus Pocus was released in July 1993, no one thought it would become a cult classic. That’s exactly what happened though. Each October kids young and old visit with the Sanderson sisters and the three 20th century kids who attempt to keep them at bay. If you are a massive fan of the film, you are in luck. Much of the movie was filmed on location, and several spots around Salem will transport you right into the film.

The opening scene utilized a living museum right in Salem

The opening scene of Hocus Pocus takes viewers way back in history. To ensure historical accuracy, the production crew filmed the opening scene of the film at Pioneer Village, a living history museum located in Forest River Park. The living museum transports visitors back to the 17 century.

View this post on Instagram

Only 25 days until October! Who’s excited?! #hocuspocus #halloween #spookyseason

A post shared by Hocus Pocus (@hocuspocusmovie) on Sep 6, 2019 at 2:51pm PDT

Fans visiting the location in October, however, will be out of luck. Tours are only offered from June through September, according to Salem’s official website. While Pioneer Village isn’t open for tours in October, you’ll still be able to stake out the area, and Forest River Park, as a whole, is an easily recognizable location.

Ropes Mansion served as Allison’s house

Ropes Mansion and Gardens is a museum that is open to the public, but back in the 1990s, it served as Allison’s house in Hocus Pocus. The exterior of the mansion is easily recognizable in the film when Max shows up to trick or treat with Dani.

Located at 318 Essex Street, the gardens are open to the public year-round, but you might be shocked to find out that nothing spooky is happening on the property. The photo opportunity is worth a visit, though.

Max and Dani’s house is a private residence

Maxi and Dani’s house was a significant location for Hocus Pocus, but fans hoping to check out the place are going to be disappointed. The home, which was built in the 1870s, according to USA Today is owned by private citizens.

Hocus Pocus 25th Anniversary Halloween Bash | Valerie Durant/Freeform via Getty Images

The address is readily available online, and plenty of fans have managed to grab a photo op outside of the house. The exterior of the home is the most recognizable feature from the film, anyway. Because private citizens currently own the home it’s best to be respectful. Take a quick snapshot if you must then move on.

Old Burial Hill was the site of a little bullying

Hocus Pocus is about more than just the supernatural. Max isn’t particularly thrilled to be in his new home, and the kids at school aren’t all that welcoming either. On his way home, Max encounters a couple of bullies. The scene was shot at Old Burial Hill, which is located in Marblehead, Massachusetts.

The cemetery dates back centuries and even includes a memorial for one of the victim’s of the Salem Witch Trials. During a walkthrough, you’ll encounter gravestones from as far back as the 1700s. It’s free to enter the ceremony during the day, but it’s best to steer clear of the area in the evening.

Instagrammer matches pictures of Hocus Pocus filming locations with stills from classic Disney movie

  • Inside Russian airline Aeroflot’s pilot training facility where MailOnline is taught how to land a Boeing 737 in a state-of-the-art simulator – with VERY mixed results
  • My family and other animals: The Galapagos Islands are like nowhere else on Earth – so no wonder adventurer BEN FOGLE set sail on an epic cruise with his starry-eyed children
  • Whether it’s sailing around its 1,000 islands, climbing mountains or diving into the blue Adriatic Sea, here are 10 reasons why adventurers will LOVE Croatia
  • Sun-soaked vineyards, world class wineries, and fabulous food: Why South Australia is the ultimate holiday destination, and how YOU can win a trip!
  • An Inspector Calls… Hampton Manor is a Tudor Gothic-style mansion near Birmingham airport with a ‘Swedish feel’ and a Michelin-starred restaurant
  • Milan for under £100 a night! How to visit Italy’s fashion and design capital on the cheap
  • The power and glory of mystical Iceland: Exploring the country’s mesmerising landscape on a driving holiday
  • Olympic gold long jumper Greg Rutherford recalls his travel adventures
  • The beauty steeped in blood: Carcassonne may have a grisly history, but today it’s a ravishing hilltop fortress with treasures ancient and modern
  • This tiny vintage van in the middle of nowhere has been transformed into a hidden (and VERY romantic) hideaway – complete with a sunken outdoor bath, amazing views and a modern kitchen
  • Bag your bargain break from £15pp! Rugged coastlines, adventure parks, historic towns – there’s something for everyone on these UK holidays
  • The best Caribbean isle for walking up the aisle and how to see New York in just two days: The Holiday Guru solves traveller queries
  • Farm for sale but the locals are WILD! Animal park available for £1.5m comes complete with monkeys, porcupines, meerkats, goats, sheep and cattle
  • Pictured: The quirky new Japanese hostel set inside a former school, which features ‘classroom dormitories’ and a dining room in the old library
  • EasyJet partner takes a ‘crucial step’ in electric plane engine development – with the first battery-powered test flights expected in 2023
  • Groundbreaking footage of Antarctica’s ‘doomsday’ Thwaites glacier captured by an underwater robot shows warm water is causing an ‘unstoppable retreat’ that could see global sea levels rise by TWO FEET
  • ‘The secret to success? DON’T aim for perfection,’ says two-Michelin-star ‘super chef’ Sat Bains (and don’t be afraid to give someone a good telling off because it toughens them up)
  • The world’s most luxurious hotel ups the ante: Discovering the new gastronomic experience at Dubai’s ‘seven-star’ Burj Al Arab Jumeirah
  • Un-brie-lievable! Inside the world’s first cheese-themed hotel suite, which features cheese-themed furniture and even cheese-scented soap
  • Hotel chain offers free stays for 18 years to couples who check in on Valentine’s Day and have a baby nine months later (and guests can book for up to four hours)
  • Isle of Man visitors can now opt to ‘lock away’ their smartphones and receive a range of digital detox ‘analogue items’ in return, including postcards, a map and film camera
  • A fish-like museum in Spain, a futuristic Moscow station and London in black and white: The stunning winning images in a prestigious building photography contest
  • America’s most expensive home is ready for sale: Developer prepares to list $500m mansion complete with nightclub, 20 bedroom and hot yoga room (but the jellyfish tank walls have been ditched)
  • Fire of the sea: Mesmerising footage of bioluminescent ALGAE glowing bright blue as photographer runs his hands through water off the coast of Australia

“Hocus Pocus” Filming Locations in Salem, MA

It might be difficult to believe that Hocus Pocus, the famed cult classic starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy debuted 25 years ago, on July 16, 1993. You are probably familiar with the film’s story, which focuses on the Sanderson Sisters, who are executed as witches after casting a spell on young Thackery Binx, dooming him to roam the streets of Salem as an immortal black cat. 300 years later, a teenager named Max finds himself in the home of the Sanderson Sisters, where his lighting of the infamous black flame candle brings the trio back to life on Halloween night. Max, along with his sister Dani, and crush Allison, and Binx the cat, of course, must then work together to put an end to the Sanderson Sisters once and for all. Follow along with this list to visit sites from the film in Salem:

Pioneer Village / Salem Village

310 West Ave | PioneerVillageSalem.org
The opening scenes of the film, featuring Binx as a human prior to his cursing as a cat, were filmed in Pioneer Village, a living history museum located at Salem’s Forest River Park. Pioneer Village was built in 1930, and is America’s first living history museum. Tours of the village are offered seasonally June through September, and today the park is home to different events and festivals throughout the year.

Phillips Elementary School on Salem Common / Max & Allison’s School

The Phillips Elementary School building conveniently ended its run as a functioning school in 1992, making it the perfect location for a movie filming in Salem that required some exterior high school footage. While the building is not open to the public today the exterior can still be viewed from the Common.

The Ropes Mansion / Allison’s House

318 Essex Street | PEM.org
One of the most memorable scenes in the film was when Max attends the Halloween party at Allison’s house, the exterior of which was actually filmed using one of the most prominent 18th-century homes in Salem. The Mansion is owned by the Peabody Essex Museum, and the gardens located in the rear of the property are free to visit and open to the public.

Old Town Hall / Halloween Party

Photo by Teresa Nevic Stavner

161 Essex Street | Salem.com
The other classic party scene in the film was actually filmed just a few blocks away at Old Town Hall in Derby Square. Famous in the film for Bette Midler’s rendition of “Put a Spell on You,” the building today is open to the public, and hosts the Salem Museum and performances of Cry Innocent.

Salem Common

Many of the outdoor scenes in the movie were filmed at Salem Common, where ironically enough the film is shown each year during Haunted Happenings. View the events calendar at HauntedHappenings.org to check dates for this year’s Haunted Movie Series.

Old Burial Hill / Cemetery

Orne Street, Marblehead, MA | OldBurialHill.org
The day-time cemetery scenes showing Max interacting with his new, not-so-welcoming classmates actually were not filmed in Salem at all. This footage was shot in nearby Marblehead at Old Burial Hill, one of the oldest graveyards in New England.

Count Orlok’s Nightmare Gallery

217 Essex Street | NightmareGallery.com
While this museum was not featured in the filming for Hocus Pocus, it is home to an impressive figure of Winifred Sanderson, portrayed in the film by Bette Midler. Count Orlok’s is located at 217 Essex Street and is open as a museum and haunted house throughout the summer and October.

Do have a good time visiting some of the locations from this classic film, but please don’t “run amok!”

*Links in this article may be affiliate links, from which we may earn commission. See our Privacy Policy for full details.

Click to pin, tweet, or share!

3.3Kshares

Ready to check out all the Hocus Pocus filming locations? In Salem, Massachusetts, you can.

Hello children of the 80s and 90s! If you’re like me, you may have grown up watching the 1993 Halloween classic Hocus Pocus. This hilarious film starring Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker, was a HUGE part of my childhood.

And I still watch it almost every year. It makes me laugh, it’s super fall festive, and it has so many lines I can quote all year long. Here’s one of the very best moments of the film:

As a child, the film made the town of Salem look like the epitome of fall and Halloween.

I had always wondered: where was Hocus Pocus filmed?

As it turns out, a vast majority of the scenes were shot on location right in Salem, Massachusetts, and you can visit several of them today!

While the remainder of the film’s scenes were shot elsewhere or on a studio set, Salem boasts a half dozen or so Hocus Pocus filming locations in and around Salem.

We scoped out the best for you, and let you know where and how to find them. Ready? We fly!

Table of Contents

Dani & Max’s House (with Iconic Tower!) – 4 Ocean Ave.

THE Hocus Pocus house Salem MA

Max & Dani’s home in the film is quintessentially New England. A few scenes take place here, including the witches’ departure with a kidnapped Dani in tow.

Max’s attic bedroom always seemed so cool to me as a kid, complete with his own tower. Why would he want to move back to California?!

The Hocus Pocus house location is very close to the water and can be found at 4 Ocean Avenue. (See map below).

If you’re staying in Salem, this is not a very walkable spot as it’s not located in the downtown, touristy area. Driving to the location is suggested.

As this is private property, please be respectful. We took our photo from across the street, and also parked along the seawall, out of the way of traffic.

The Cemetery – Old Burial Hill, Marblehead

There are a few cemetery scenes in the movie. Early on, we see Max riding his bike through a cemetery filled with crisp, fallen leaves. He is stopped by the local bullies who steal his shoes and give him the nickname “Hollywood.”

This scene was not filmed in Salem, but in nearby Marblehead. This is a good stop after seeing Max & Dani’s house (above) as they are sort of in the same area.

The cemetery in Marblehead is called Old Burial Hill and is one of New England’s oldest cemeteries. It is actually quite an impressive space in a beautiful location surrounded by quaint homes and views of the sea. Many graves here are very old.

There are some spots for street parking along the street below Old Burial Hill.

The Hocus Pocus cemetery – Old Burial Hill, Marblehead

Thackery Binx’s House & Old Salem Village – 98 West Ave.

The opening scenes of the movie take place in the 1600’s and were filmed at your next stop: Salem’s Pioneer Village.

This is a reconstruction of what the village may have originally looked like so many centuries ago.

It’s a unique place to visit, though it has limited hours. In fact, it seems to be only open on weekends in October. We were unable to go inside the village on our recent visit, so check times before you go.

You can find Pioneer Village at 98 West Ave.

Pioneer Village – Thackery Binx House & Salem Village

The Sanderson sisters’ house seems to have been a set met entirely for the film. While you may not be able to visit that mystical cottage, it is easy to imagine it from inside Pioneer Village.

Plenty of other historic sites around town may also remind you of the Hocus Pocus witch house, including the home of witch trials judge Jonathan Corwin, known today as “The Witch House.”

The Halloween Party at Town Hall – Old Town Hall, 93 Washington St.

When the witches come back from the dead, Dani, Max, and Allison rush to Town Hall, where their parents are in the midst of Halloween revelry. The Halloween party they are attending seems absolutely awesome, by the way, even as a kid I wanted to go!

The Hocus Pocus party scene is famous for Bette’s killer performance of “I Put a Spell on You” (see video at top).

It’s super easy to find this Hocus Pocus location when visiting Salem, as it’s right in the heart of town. Just steps away from shops, tours, and the area’s main streets, you’ll find the Old Town Hall at 93 Washington St.

I’m sure you’ll remember the exhausted guests pouring out the doors after midnight—when Winifred’s dancing spell finally breaks.

Where Max Flirts with Allison – Salem Common

Stop by Salem Common during your self-guided Hocus Pocus walking tour. Not only is it a pretty, quiet place to relax for awhile, there are a couple of Hocus Pocus filming locations right here.

Somewhere within the park, the initial “flirting” scene between Allison and Max was filmed. In this scene, Max gives Allison his phone number, which she returns to him (Trick-or-treat!), since she’s not interested in his lack of belief in the Sanderson Sisters.

In his words: “It’s just a bunch of Hocus Pocus!”

If you time your trip just right, you can catch Salem bursting with bright foliage. This photo SHOULD have crunchy golden leaves scattered across it! Unfortunately we were a bit early, and the trees were still pretty green.

The School – South Washington Square

Just off of the Common you will spot the high school used in the film. (‘Tis a prison for children!)

This is a spot where the children lure the witches in their hopes of getting rid of them once and for all. The exterior of the school is immediately recognizable, as is the tall tower or “chimney” which figures heavily into the scene.

The School – Hocus Pocus Salem MA Locations

Allison’s House – The Ropes Mansion, 318 Essex Street

Finally, the last stop on your tour of Hocus Pocus filming locations is The Ropes Mansion.

This gorgeous historic home served as Allison’s mansion in the movie. Max & Dani arrive here when trick-or-treating and expect that they’ll bob for apples. Instead, they find Max’s crush Allison inside giving out the candy.

The Ropes Mansion is gorgeous in and of itself and has a lovely garden outside as well. The building is part of the Peabody Essex Museum.

After you stop by the mansion at 318 Essex Street, you can head a few doors down to the Witch House museum. The spooky explorations can continue, as Salem is filled with history and mystery.

Have fun!

Use the map below to help you find the Hocus Pocus spots in Salem!

Pin this post to save for later!

Amy Hartle is the co-founder and owner of Two Drifters, where she blogs about romantic and couples travel, relationships, honeymoons, and more. With a Master’s in English and a BA in Musical Theatre, Amy loves to write quality content as well as to entertain, and she hopes to do a bit of both here on the blog! Amy is happily married to her husband Nathan, and when not working on their sites, Amy & Nathan can be found cuddling, reading, and enjoying delicious lattes.

Click to pin, tweet, or share!

3.3Kshares

The Sanderson Sisters’ Cottage is a huge old house-like cottage that is the home of the witchy trio known as the Sanderson Sisters and it is located within the forests of Salem, Massachusetts.

Role

It was here that the sisters themselves lived, schemed, and plotted their evil acts against the people of Salem, such as when Sarah Sanderson led the innocent Emily Binx to her death in this wicked place when the sisters sucked her dry of her life-force to replenish their youth. When Thackery Binx followed them in a failed attempt to save his sister, the sisters placed upon him a curse of immortality and turned him into a black cat so he could live with the guilt of failing his sister forever.

However, Thackery’s father and the people of Salem came and arrested the Witches, demanding what they’d done to his children. They played dumb when Winifred’s spellbook opened to reveal the Witches would return on Halloween when the moon was full if a virgin were to light the Black Flame Candle, and they were hanged.

The cottage remained empty for many years while Thackery, cursed as an imortal black cat, guarded it on Halloween to prevent an “airhead virgin” from lighting the candle. Eventually, in modern times, it was renovated into a museum but soon shut down due to a lot of spooky things happening there.

Unfortunately, Winifred’s curse at last was invoked on Halloween 1993 when Max Dennison, a skeptic who made fun of the legends, foolishly lit the Black Flame Candle, bringing the sisters back to life. In the skirmish that followed, Max stole Winifred’s spellbook afer he fooled the sisters and with his sister, Dani, his love interest, Allison, and the still-living Thackery fled this cottage.

Jay and Ernie “Ice” end up getting locked up in cages from the ceiling at this cottage by the Witches while stealing candy from trick-or-treaters.

As the candle had brought the sisters back for just one night, they desperately sought to get the book back so as to brew the evil potion that would allow them to suck the life out of children and so live forever, and almost succeeded.

However, the Sanderson Sisters were delayed too long because once the sun rose, these three witches turned to dust ending Max, Dani, and Allison’s nightmare once and for all.

Unfortunately, Jay and Ernie “Ice” are in still in the cages at this cottage waiting for any citizen of Salem to release them from their imprisonment by singing songs including “Row, Row, Your Boat”.

The spellbook remained in this cottage. The book opens its eye, perhaps hinting the audiences about the Witches eventually returning for revenge.

Gallery

Hocus Pocus • Disney Emoji Blitz • Hocus Pocus & the All-New Sequel

Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular

Winifred Sanderson • Mary Sanderson • Sarah Sanderson • Max Dennison • Dani Dennison • Allison • Thackery Binx • Billy Butcherson • Dave Dennison • Jenny Dennison • Emily Binx • Ernie • Jay Miss Olin

Come Little Children • I Put a Spell on You

Massachusetts • Sanderson Sisters’ Cottage • Old Burial Hill

Black Flame Candle • Manual of Witchcraft and Alchemy • Life Potion

v – e – d
Media Disney Parks Characters Songs Locations Objects

It’s almost Halloween, and you know what that means: Time to carve pumpkins, host Halloween parties, bake all our favorite autumn-inspired treats, and—perhaps most thrilling of all—watch our very favorite Halloween movies! And when it comes to binge-watching films, Hocus Pocus just so happens to be our title of choice. Even though it was released 26 years ago, we never tire of seeing the Sanderson Sisters run amok (amok!), display their wicked banter, and show off their spellbinding powers. But where was Hocus Pocus filmed, anyway?

No matter how many times you’ve seen it, odds are, you’re still curious about the Disney film’s backstory. In fact, the more you love the film, the more curious you’re bound to be! You’re probably well aware that the witch-inspired flick naturally takes place in Salem, Massachusetts—the home of the famous Salem Witch Trials, which inspired the execution of Bette Midler’s, Sarah Jessica Parker’s, and Kathy Najimy’s characters many full moons ago. But while the movie’s said to be set in the historical locale, does that mean filming actually occurred there?

Here, we’re answering that question in great detail, going so far as to share with you each and every location in which the now-legendary film was shot. It’s not so simple as you might think, after all; yes, the cast shot some scenes in California and elsewhere in Massachusetts, but director Kenny Ortega also chose to capture spots from the New England town on camera. Remember the Halloween party at Allison’s pristine mansion? It’s actually a home owned by a local museum, where you can in fact pay a visit.

There’s so much more to learn, see, and discover in our Hocus Pocus filming locations guide.

Today, we have a very special guest post brought to you by my good friend/Hocus Pocus aficionado Katie, who recently took a trip to Salem, Massachusetts to stalk the locations featured in the bewitching (pun intended!) 1993 film. When she kindly proposed writing a column about her adventure during my Haunted Hollywood postings, I immediately took her up on the offer and I could not be more excited about the result! So take it away, Katie!

Growing up, Hocus Pocus was one of my absolute favorite Halloween movies, and definitely still is! I had always wanted to visit Salem, Massachusetts after watching the beloved Disney film, and as I grew up and heard more and more of the history and legends of the little town, my interest in it only grew. While planning a trip to New England this summer, I was completely shocked when I discovered that some of the production had actually been filmed in Salem, and I knew I had to check it out. So, after packing my witchiest outfit, I dragged my parents along for a quick detour to Salem, Massachusetts, and put all of the stalking skills I learned from Lindsay Blake to work!

1. Ropes Mansion (318 Essex Street)- The beginning of our Hocus Pocus filming location journey began with Ropes Mansion, located a few doors down from the famous Witch House of Judge Jonathan Corwin. The Ropes Mansion is used in the film as the obnoxiously beautiful home of Max’s love interest, Allison, and where the legendary famous words from Dani, “Max likes your yabbos”, were first muttered. The mansion was recently refurbished and reopened to the public, along with the well-loved gardens frequently visited by Salem residents which are located behind the house. Unfortunately, there were no Rococo-inspired Halloween costume balls or candy filled cauldrons inside of the mansion, but if you’d like to step in and see for yourself, the mansion is open to the public for self-guided tours and a glimpse into Salem history.

Built in 1727, the Ropes Mansion housed four generations of the Ropes family before becoming a part of the Peabody Essex museum. One of the original owners of the house, Nathaniel Ropes, died as a patriot mob attacked the mansion in 1774, and Abigail Ropes died in 1839 due to her dress catching on fire. Both are said to haunt the property.

2. Old Town Hall (32 Derby Square)- The Halloween party where the Sanderson Sisters sang the iconic musical number, “I Put a Spell on You”, took place in the Old Town Hall in downtown Salem. Though the interior shots of the party were filmed elsewhere, the exterior of the building is extremely recognizable from the film. Located in the historical district in Salem, the building is now home to the Salem Museum, where tourists are able to learn about the town’s extensive past. The interactive play, Cry Innocent, is also housed by the historical hall, where the story of Bridget Bishop’s trial is depicted and the audience acts as the Puritan jury, deciding whether she is guilty or innocent.

The doors of the backside of the town hall can briefly be seen as Max and Dani’s parents leave the party after dancing the night away under the Sanderson sisters’ spell.

3. Max and Dani’s House (4 Ocean Drive)- A bit of a hike from the central locations of Hocus Pocus is the house used as the home of the Dennisons, which looks almost exact to the film. This home is so distinct that it has practically become a tourist attraction of its own! Built in the 1870s, this charming little house sits on the oceanfront in a residential area of Salem, and has a stunning view of the sea, which you don’t see in the film.

Trick-or-treaters are shown many times lingering in front of the house before Max and Dani leave to begin a Halloween adventure of their own.

I’m pretty sure every kid who grew up watching this movie was immediately jealous of the crow’s nest in Max’s bedroom, which can clearly be seen from outside the house, and definitely made this place the house goals of the 90s youth. It was the perfect place to sulk in teen angst, which Max took advantage of after a rough day of his Jimi Hendrix pickup line being rejected and having his shoes stolen.

4. Phillips Elementary School (86 Essex Street)- “Tis a prison, for children!” Winifred Sanderson says, as she stands in front of Phillips Elementary School, which depicted Jacob Bailey High School in the film. During the sisters’ hunt for children, they are lured to the school by Max, Dani, and Allison, only to be trapped in the school’s ceramics kiln where they meet their presumed demise. The school also appears at the beginning of the film, where the story of the Sanderson Sisters was told in Allison and Max’s classroom. Apparently, the school shut down a year before Hocus Pocus was filmed, making it the perfect place for a Salem high school. The building now serves as a condominium complex overlooking the Salem Common.

“This place reeks of children!”

Smoke from the aftermath of the Sanderson Sisters’ fate of being locked in the school’s kiln can be seen billowing out of the chimney at the front of the school.

6. Salem Common (Washington Square)- Located just across from Phillips Elementary, which was used as the high school of Max and Allison, and the Salem Witch Museum, the Salem Common is a prominent area in the town. The Common was initiated in 1667, and was a partial swamp where livestock roamed freely among the 8-acre park. From around 1685, the Common was used as an area for the residents of Salem to practice shooting and training for military purposes. In 1714, the town decided that the Salem Common would be “forever kept as a training field for the use of Salem.” The Common now acts as an attractive park, and the spot in the movie where Allison hands Max a note, which he believes to be her phone number, but soon realizes after she’s left that it’s actually his own number handed back to him. Ouch.

7. Pioneer Village (98 West Avenue)- The very first location we see at the beginning of the film takes place in Salem’s Pioneer Village, which was used as the home of Thackery Binx (before his cat days). This location is shown for a brief period of time before Thackery heads to the Sanderson Sisters’ cottage, which unfortunately was filmed on a sound stage. The mock village of life in 1630 was built in 1930, and was the first ‘living’ history museum in America. The village has very strange hours and tours, so be sure to check out the website before you plan your visit. Unfortunately, we didn’t plan ahead and the museum was closed, but thanks to some wandering around the perimeter and making use of our investigative skills, we were able to sneak a peek in and could clearly see Thackery Binx’s home!

Well, that’s that, all of the Hocus Pocus filming locations in Salem! I want to give a huge thank you to Lindsay for giving me the opportunity to write a guest post, I had so much fun doing this and I hope you had fun following along with me! Happy Halloween stalking, everyone!

Halloween in Salem: Exploring Real Life Hocus Pocus Filming Locations

It’s hard to believe that the now beloved Halloween classic Hocus Pocus hit theaters 21 years ago (boy do I feel old!). Hocus Pocus is one of those rare movies that grows on you more with each viewing. The gorgeous setting in Salem, the crisp fall colors, trick or treating, all the Halloween magic…it brings up so many good memories of Halloweens past, and hence, why it is so popular with so many people today (especially us 90’s kids who grew up with the film).

Hocus Pocus

Fans of the 1993 Halloween classic Hocus Pocus will at some point want to make a trip over to Salem, Massachusetts to explore several of the filming locations used throughout the movie. Many of the most notable locations in the cult classic including Max and Dani’s house, Allison’s mansion, the high school, and the Sanderson Sisters Cottage are real sites within Salem. An incredible feeling of nostalgia sweeps will hit you as soon as you see the actual filming sites (which look completely the same today).

The Halloween season just isn’t complete without a viewing (or several!) of this 90’s favorite. It’s crazy to think that this movie was once shunned by critics, not to mention a complete flop at the box office. It is now becoming more and more of a holiday favorite, thanks in part to social media and repeated airings on the Disney Channel throughout the month of October. I find myself watching it at least 3 times each Halloween season!

And, if you haven’t seen this fun & festive story about a trio of 17th century witches who are brought back into the 20th century yet, you truly are missing out! So do yourself a favor and check it out this October! It is destined to become your new Halloween favorite, which can absolutely be watched over and over again with each passing year!

Listed below are a few of the Hocus Pocus filming sites and where to find them!

Max & Dani’s House

One of the most recognizable locations from the film is that of the Dennison’s house (which still looks exactly the same today as it did in the early 90’s!). This beautiful little coastal house, built back in the 1870’s, is located right on the water (although you would never know this by simply watching the movie as the filming angle makes it look like it is in the middle of a neighborhood). Whomever owns this house is pretty lucky with those fantastic views of the coast from the lookout tower (didn’t everyone want Max’s cool room with the private staircase to the tower?).

Location: 8 Ocean Avenue Salem, MA

Note: This is a private residence. Please view and take photos from your car. Do not bother residents!

Allison’s house

Another one of the most familiar scenes from Hocus Pocus is when Max and Dani accidentally run into Allison’s house on Halloween night while Trick or Treating, and thus, embark on the grand Halloween night adventure of accidentally setting the witches free. The beautiful Essex Street mansion, known as the Ropes Mansion, is a beautiful piece of colonial architecture. The home was originally built in the 1700’s and is now operated by the Peabody Essex Museum and is open for public tours.

Location: 161 Essex St, Salem, MA 01970

A shot of Old Town Hall can be seen when the parents are arriving at the Halloween party. Built back in 1816, it still stands strong as the oldest municipal building in town. Today you can explore the Salem Museum. Additionally, during the Halloween season, you can enjoy live productions of “Cry Innocent” and “History Alive.”

Locaton: 32 Derby Square, Salem, MA 01970

The Sanderson Sisters Cottage/Opening scenes

Pioneer Village was used for scenes involving the The Sanderson Sisters Cottage. This picturesque village, which was created in 1930 in Forest River Park, was the perfect choice for the film as the real life village was constructed to resemble what Salem looked like in 1630. Weekend tours are available from June-September for just $6. Pioneer Village is known as the first living history museum in the US. Throughout the village, you will find many gorgeous examples of colonial architecture.

Location: 310 West Avenue, Salem, MA

Jacob Bailey High School

The old Phillips Elementary School where the high school scenes were shot has been closed for many years (it shut down a year before Hocus Pocus filming began). You will quickly notice the scenes from the movie where the exterior shot of the school was shown. In addition, the scene where Allison returns Max’s phone number was shot in Salem Common, which is a beautiful area just adjacent to the school.

Location: 283 Derby Street, Salem, MA 01970

Old Burial Hill, located in Marblehead just 1o min from Salem, was used for filming the afternoon cemetery scenes. Built in 1638, it stands as one of the oldest graveyards in the US. Here you will find many old Puritan gravestones as well as beautiful views of the coast due to its’ prime location upon a hill. Like many New England graveyards it is very interesting, strange (and quite spooky) to browse around the old weathered graves. There are more than 600 Revolutionary soldiers buried at Old Burial Hill, although most of the gravestones are no longer legible.

Location: Orne Street Marblehead, MA

More Hocus Pocus fun

Asides from visiting the film sites, you can also check out the free Hocus Pocus movie screening, shown each year at Salem Common. Dress warm, bring a chair or blanket, grab a hot mug of coffee or hot chocolate, and watch your favorite Halloween classic outside in festive Salem: the cold weather, fall foliage, and old architecture create the perfect atmosphere for viewing this classic. Although this year’s screening has already passed, you can still start planning your trip next year by checking the Salem website for 2016’s lineup of haunted movie screenings throughout the month of October.

Other fun Halloween related events in Salem

In addition to exploring Hocus Pocus filming locations, horror fans (and anyone who just loves Halloween) will also want to stop by Count Orlok’s Nightmare Gallery, which features wax figurines of all your favorite Halloween/horror movie characters including Winifred Sanderson from “Hocus Pocus”! The month of October is the best time to visit the museum as it turns into a terrifying haunted house experience by night. Imagine how creepy it would be to walk through a dark wax museum with realistic wax statues of Freddy Krueger, Pennywise, Jason, Michael Myers and more!

More Halloween fun in Salem

And while you are in Salem, why not explore a bit more? There is lots more to do, especially during the Halloween season where you will find a whole lineup of festive activities all month long! Be sure to check out Old Burying Point Cemetery, the Witch memorials, the 3D haunted house, the Mahi Mahi Haunted Boat Cruise, The House of Seven Gables, and shopping and dining on Essex Street. The Haunted Magic Show, ghost tours, special Halloween parties and dances, and entertaining shows will keep you more than busy all season long. Check out my Halloween in Salem article for additional details. Also be sure to check Groupon for special discounts off local cruises, restaurants, and attractions.

Old Burying Point Cemetery The Salem Witch Trials Memorial A fun & festive haunted Halloween cruise by Mahi Mahi. Hocus Pocus tours offers year-round 90 minute tours of hotspots throughout town including Hocus Pocus filming locations, the Witch Trials memorial, and more! Count Orlok’s Nightmare Gallery features amazing realistic horror movie wax figurines! The Witch house, the former home of Judge John Corwin, is the only building still standing with ties to the Witch Trials. Weekends in October you can tour the house and listen to ghost stories.

Have you seen Hocus Pocus? What is your favorite Halloween movie? Have you ever visited Salem, Massachusetts during the Halloween season? Share your comments below!

Have you seen Hocus Pocus? What is your favorite Halloween movie? Have you ever visited Salem, Massachusetts during the Halloween season? Share your comments below!

The spellbinding houses of ‘Hocus Pocus’

Ah, Hocus Pocus. Whether it’s the wandering eye of Winifred Sanderson’s spellbook or when the Sanderson sisters break out into improbable song, it’s safe to say that everybody has a favorite bit of the 1993 cult-hit film.

For a historic-home lover, the film’s at its most enchanting when the camera lingers in an old house—and many of the ones used for filming are real and actually on location in Salem, Massachusetts. They’re also all within 2 miles of each other. In fact, Google says you can walk to all of them in less than 30 minutes.

Thackery Binx’s House

A post shared by Louisa Hennessy (@louisahennessy) on Oct 29, 2017 at 5:50am PDT

The movie starts off in the year 1693, with Thackery Binx waking up to discover that his sister, Emily, has been lured out of bed by Sarah Sanderson.

We briefly get a glimpse of his simple wooden cottage before we tumble with him through the forest (really, if Emily and Sarah can make their way to the Sanderson household without falling down a steep hill, there must be a cleared path).

The cottage is a typical example of early English Colonial architecture, common in the northeast U.S. in the 17th century. The houses are framed in timber and have steep roofs and diamond-pane casement windows that swing open. The cottages featured in the movie are quite small—one or two rooms at most—and they would have also had large walk-in fireplaces for heat.

Thackery’s cottage is located in Pioneer Village, a living museum dedicated to Salem life in 1630. It’s tucked away in an oceanfront park, just outside the town’s center.

Max Dennison’s House

Max’s house at 8 Ocean Avenue in Salem. Photo by Bob Linsdell.

Just down the street from Thackery’s homestead is Max’s waterfront home, which made for a dramatic airborne getaway by the Sanderson Sisters as dawn approached and Allison had an epiphany about the magic of the Black Flame Candle.

The house is a Second Empire Victorian, and features exterior Italianate woodwork, a steep mansard roof, and a cupola topped with a weathervane. It clashes a bit with the largely colonial and Federal architecture we see throughout the movie, but perhaps its outsider status is a clever architectural nod to Max feeling like a misfit in his new Massachusetts home. We’re probably reading too much into this.

We also can’t help but notice the disparity in size between the exterior of the house (it looks like it can’t be over 2,000 square feet) and its interiors.

While Max’s room is the ideal ’90s-kid retreat (he gets the cupola in his room!), we’re pretty sure his room would have taken up the vast majority of the second floor of that house, which we know had to have at least two more bedroom: one for his parents and one for Dani, his younger sister.

Allison’s House

A post shared by JoeRibsNYC (@joeribsnyc) on Oct 29, 2017 at 3:44pm PDT

Allison’s house is a classic clapboard Federal home. The exterior shots were filmed at the Ropes Mansion, which was built around 1724. The interior is a set.

While the only interior shot we see is the two-story foyer—and hints of the living and dining rooms radiating off the center hall—we’ve gotta say that we have a 24-year-old bone to pick with the set designers of Allison’s house.

The woodwork inside is quite heavy and more indicative of 19th-century Queen Anne architecture than the lighter, delicate Federal woodwork that probably would have been in Allison’s house.

The Ropes Mansion was significantly altered over the course of the 19th century, though, so maybe that explains why the designers took some creative license with the sets for the interior? Or perhaps the designers didn’t think that somebody would be picking apart the architectural qualities of Allison’s foyer nearly a quarter century after the fact.

As for the Sanderson sisters’ house? That, unfortunately, was a set. Because rest assured: If that house were real, we’d be visiting it every Halloween.