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Halloween, “It’s just a bunch of hocus pocus!” Unless, of course, you’re in Salem, Massachusetts. Where you can celebrate Halloween year round! The best Halloween movie ever, and cult classic, Hocus Pocus, was filmed right here. And it’s so easy to go to all the filming locations!


You’ll be in for a treat seeing the places up close where the Sanderson Sisters: Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy bewitched the town and sought revenge on a few children and a black cat. 


I visited Salem during the month of October and it was absolutely fabulous. Not only did I explore the Hocus Pocus stops on a walking tour I created, we also learned about the incredible and harrowing history of this town. The Salem witch trials have captured the attention of us all. Now, people flock to Salem, especially around Halloween to experience the magic this city has to offer. 


Salem, Massachusetts continues to be the epicenter of Halloween. And what better way to celebrate than to see where Hocus Pocus filmed some of its most classic scenes. Of course, some of the movie was filmed in studio. But the places that you can visit haven’t changed much since the 1993 film. 


Max and his sister Dani move from Los Angeles, California, to the very different, and Halloween obsessed town of Salem, Massachusetts. He meets a fellow classmate, Allison, who he dismisses as superstitious until he lights a black flame candle, bringing back the three witches, the Sanderson sisters. Along with a talking cat, the three kids are on a mission to steal the witches' spell book and stop them from sucking the lives out of the children of Salem so they rejuvenate themselves. 

I’m going to share the filming locations in and around Salem. Most of them are within walking distance downtown, making it super easy! I’ll share a map that you can use while you’re on the go so you can make a little walking tour of your own and run amok, amok, amok, amok.


Hocus Pocus Filming Locations in Salem


Map with all the Hocus Pocus Filming Locations


Allison’s House – The Ropes Mansion

 

“What do you call 'em Max? Yabos.” This beautiful white house is a must see, even if you aren’t a fan of the movie. It’s where Max and Dani come to trick or treat, then come in to her Halloween party before they decide to check out the Sanderson Sister home. 


Make sure to walk around and get a good look at the grounds there’s a lovely garden. 


The streets around here are absolutely beautiful. You can definitely imagine Dani and Max trick-or-treating around here. Chestnut Street, one street over from Essex Street, is a wide street with some stunning houses. Just a couple houses down from the Ropes Mansion is a house called the “Witch House.” This is a house that would look very similar to a home back in the 1630s during the real witch trials. 

Read more: the best Fall Instagram Captions + Hocus Pocus quotes!


Halloween Party – Old Town Hall

The iconic scene where Bette Midler puts a “Spell on You” was filmed right here, the most famous musical moment of the movie. This spot is located in the heart of downtown Salem which makes it even more special. Just walking around town, you might see people dressed up as witches – no matter the time of year. 


Make sure to go up to the Old Town Hall and you’ll recognize some key scenes that are filmed here. 


The School – South Washington Square 

This is a few scenes in the movie. It’s the kids' school, but it’s also where Max tricks the Sanderson Sisters into thinking they are burning. You’ll also recognize the iconic black iron gate. I was lucky enough to see a cat in the window! This is where Sarah says about the school “tis a prison for children.” 


If you recall, there was a furl of green smoke emanating from the chimney. They filmed both night time and day time scenes here with the kids leaving school during the day. Now, just hop right across the street for our next filming location!


Outdoor Scenes – Salem Common

When Allison turns down Max and hands him back his note after school, you’ll find they were in the Salem Common. There’s also a beautiful  gazebo in the middle of the park. This is a great place to stroll or have a picnic. Or, like Max, you can ride your bike!


Pop a seat on the bench where Allison and Max are talking or just enjoy this lovely park. Very close by the Common, you’ll see the Salem Witch Museum, another great place to learn about the history of Salem. 

 


Binx’s Home – Old Salem Village 

 

Thackery Binx was born in the 1600s and the style of these old wooden structures matches that era. You can just picture a witch being hung or burned at the stake right here. The opening scenes were filmed here. I also think they found inspiration for the Sanderson Sister house. The house of the witches was all filmed in a studio. 


Make sure to check the hours for Old Salem Pioneer Village openings. Even if it's closed , you can still see it from the outside. 


Dani & Max’s House – 4 Ocean Ave

 

Not only is this their house, this is exactly what a typical Massachusetts house looks like. You’ll still be able to see the attic bedroom tower from here where the Sanderson Sisters took Dani on their broomsticks. Remember, this is someone’s private home, so please be respectful!

You will have to drive here from downtown but it’s worth it to see the iconic home. This is also where they filmed the trick-or-treaters being drawn in by the song of Sarah to, “come little children.” 

The Cemetery – Old Burial Hill, Marblehead

As soon as you see the hill you’ll recognize Max getting bullied here and getting his cross-trainers stolen. Technically, this isn’t in Salem. But New England as a whole is so small and this is only 15 or so minutes outside of town. 


This is not only a filming location, it’s one of the oldest graveyards in New England. This hill was established in 1638 as a meeting house where 600 revolutionary heroes and several pastors were buried at the top of the hill. 


BONUS: Not only did they film the cemetery scenes here, Max is also seen riding his bike around here. This area is beautiful with typical New England homes. 

Just walking around Salem makes you feel like you’ll in the movie Hocus Pocus. Take a look at these incredible decorations at a house nearby downtown:


It’s not Halloween without some Hocus Pocus, which is why seeing these filming locations come to life makes it all the more special. So have fun and enjoy! 

 

Other blog posts to read:

 

Harry Potter themed Halloween Decor

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