From the Walt Disney World News and written by: Michele
Tis the season to watch the fan favorite movie, Hocus Pocus! Freeform recently put out their program schedule for 31 Nights of Halloween, and Hocus Pocus is on their list multiple times as usual. One of my bucket list trips that I want to take, is to visit Salem Massachusetts to tour the various Hocus Pocus filming locations. Recently, Good Housekeeping broke down the famous buildings that we see in Hocus Pocus and gave a bit of info and backstory. Let’s hop on our brooms and take a tour together!
Disney’s Halloween classic Hocus Pocus centers around the Sanderson Sisters resurrecting on Halloween night 300 years after their deaths in Salem, Massachusetts. So, it makes perfect sense that director Kenny Ortega would chose to shoot parts of the Disney Halloween movie in the historic New England town.
While you won’t find all of the Hocus Pocus spots in Salem (the actors shot in Los Angeles and in other parts of Massachusetts, as well), there are still plenty of locations from the film you can visit. In case you’re ever in the area and are up for some sight-seeing, here are the key spots for Hocus Pocus fans to check out in Salem:
Salem in the 1600s
Real location: Pioneer Village, 310 West Avenue in Salem, MA
At the very beginning of Hocus Pocus, viewers are transported back in time to the era of the Salem witch trials. To portray life in the 17th century, filmmakers chose to shoot in Salem’s Pioneer Village. The museum was built in 1930 and is meant to mimic the colonial architecture — thatched roof cottages, wigwams, and more – of the 1600s.
Max and Dani Dennison’s house
Real location: 4 Ocean Avenue in Salem, MA
The famous house where Allison and Max foolishly opened the Sanderson Sisters’ spell book is an actual private residence. According to Zillow, the home was built in 1870 and is estimated to be worth over $520,000 today. While the home remains closed to the public, Boston.com reports that the current owners are actually very nice about tourists stopping to take photos.
Max and Allison’s school
Real location: Phillips Elementary School, 56. South Washington Square in Salem, MA
One year before Max, Dani, and Binx captured the Sanderson Sisters inside the red-brick building, Phillips Elementary stopped functioning as a school. The vacancy made it especially convenient for Hocus Pocus filmmakers to dress up the building as a high school for a few shots.
Now, the building is an apartment complex. Even though it’s not currently open to the public, you can definitely snap a selfie with it while walking down South Washington Square.
Real location: Ropes Mansion, 318 Essex Street in Salem, MA
Located in the heart of the McIntyre Historic District, the Ropes Mansion, which is featured as Allison’s house, is one of Salem’s most iconic buildings. The home is listed in the National Register of Historic Places for housing Nathaniel Ropes, a famous merchant and attorney in the 1700s. Out back, the mansion boasts a gorgeous garden and greenhouse that is also welcome to visitors.
The town Halloween party
Real location: Old Town Hall, 32 Derby Square in Salem, MA
The place where Winifred belted out the iconic tune “I Put a Spell on You” is called Old Town Hall. In real life, it’s home to the Salem Museum. While the museum is open every day from 12 to 5 p.m. ET, the space will occasionally be used for performances of the interactive play Cry Innocent, which is based on the Salem witch trials.
Stay tuned for more Halloween fun as the spooky season presses on!