We’ve rounded up Hocus Pocus filming locations like Salem’s Ropes Mansion, Washington Square and Pioneer Village, Marblehead’s Old Burial Hill, The MacArthur in LA, and the WandaVision house. Stay around at the end for Hocus Pocus 2 filming locations so far!
Look out for the inspiration behind the studio sets, including the real Witch House in Salem, Massachusetts. Other Hocus Pocus settings are linked to the likes of WandaVision, Friends, Bewitched and Back to the Future.
While some are private residences, there are lots of Hocus Pocus filming locations you can visit including Thackery Binx’s house and the Halloween party ballroom.
In Hocus Pocus, Winifred (Bette Midler), Mary (Kathy Najimy) and Sarah Sanderson (Sarah Jessica Parker) turn 17th Century teen Thackery Binx (Jason Marsden) into a black cat before their deaths. When Max Dennison (Omri Katz) lights the Black Flame Candle, they’re brought back to life in 1993, and it’s up to Max, his sister Dani (Thora Birch), and their friend Allison (Vinessa Shaw), to stop them.
Mixing Salem’s history with a story co-writer David Kirschner came up with to entertain his daughter, the Disney movie became a cult classic. Many scenes really were filmed around the real Massachusetts town – thought the Hocus Pocus sequel is set to film in Rhode Island instead.
Where Was Hocus Pocus Filmed?
Hocus Pocus was filmed around the real Salem’s Washington Square, Derby Square and Essex Street, living history museums in Salem and Plymouth, Marblehead’s Crocker Park and Old Burial Hill, at the former Park Plaza Hotel and a Californian middle school.
Several iconic Hocus Pocus were filmed near the WandaVision and Bewitched houses, at the former Columbia Ranch. A couple of key sets were custom built on a sound stage at Walt Disney Studios with its own magical movie history.
The original Hocus Pocus Salem scenes were filmed in autumn 1992, setting the scene for a real Massachusetts fall. While the October start date was authentically autumnal, things changed as the shoot ran into December.
In a 2020 interview with E! News, cast members revealed that many of the Salem scenes were filmed late in the year. According to Jay and Ice actors Tobias Jelinek and Larry Bagbie, Christmas decorations were going up around the town as they filmed. Fall foliage had to be added by the set dressers.
1. 1693 Salem
The Old Salem scenes in Hocus Pocus were filmed at the Pioneer Village on West Avenue, Salem, MA. The heritage village is now a piece of history itself. It was built back in 1930 to mark the 300th anniversary of Massachusetts.
It’s one of the main attractions of Salem’s Forest River Park, and also takes the title of America’s first living history museum.
2. Overhead Shots of 1693 Salem
But the opening shot pans over a different living history museum, Plimoth Patuxet’s 17th Century English Village. It’s designed to recreate the original settlement around Plymouth Harbor, shielded from the modern town by leafy woodland. While this open air museum looks like it opens out onto the bay like Salem’s Pioneer Village, it actually sits alongside Eel River.
If you’re wondering, the museum takes its name from Governor William Bradford’s historical spelling. Another village within the museum, Historic Patuxet, represents traditional Wampanoag life.
3. Thackery Binx’s House
Thackery and Emily’s house location is the Governor’s Faire House at the Pioneer Village – look out for it during the opening scene.
This house has been a historical attraction for so long, it’s got its own history. Visitors have been snapping pictures of the Governor’s Faire House for the best part of a century!
We don’t get much of a house tour in the movie – but the real Pioneer Village house is set up in 17th Century style. So you can get right into the historical atmosphere of Thackery and Emily’s era.
Something we do see onscreen, is Thackery Binx calling to Emily outside the house. The area around the Governor’s Faire House is pretty interesting itself, it’s actually designated as a herb garden.
4. Max and Dani’s House
Max Dennison’s house in Hocus Pocus is on Ocean Drive, just a couple of blocks from the Pioneer Village. So Max and Dani could easily walk or cycle from their home to Thackery Binx’s village.
But unlike the Governor’s Faire House, Max and Dani’s house location is a private home, in a residential neighbourhood. It goes without saying that you can’t go inside. Even if you could, interior shots of the Dennisons’ home were filmed on a sound stage.
5. Max’s Room
Even if you could, interior shots of Max’s bedroom in the lookout tower were filmed on a sound stage. If you think back to the last half hour of the movie, it makes sense.
Reverse shots from the window do align with the view from Hocus Pocus house location in Salem though! The kids following Sarah Sanderson’s song are walking around the corner of Shore Avenue onto Ocean Drive.
And one of the deleted scenes would have taken place in the same area.
6. The Shore (Deleted Scene)
In a deleted scene released on the 25th Anniversary Blu-Ray, Max and his dad argue about the family’s move. They also argue about the trick-or-treating plan.
This Hocus Pocus deleted scene was filmed by Shore Avenue, at the water’s edge below the street. Behind the pair, you can see the Dennisons’ house in the background with the street rising uphill behind it, and the bay behind the pair in reverse shots.
It looks like Max and Mr Dennison’s argument was filmed at low tide, since quite a bit of the shingle is visible.
7. The Porch (Deleted Scene)
Another deleted scene shows Max and Dani’s parents talking on the porch. It looks like this was also filmed at the house in Salem, MA.
In the scene, Dave and Jenny Dennison talk after Max and Dani have left to go trick or treating, before leaving for the Halloween ball.
8. Jacob Bailey High School Exteriors
The real Jacob Bailey High School in Hocus Pocus is Philips Elementary School on Washington Square in Salem, MA. The school closed its doors to pupils in 1992, making it an ideal filming location for the Disney movie.
Allison and Max’s school is just a short distance from their house locations.
Wondering who Jacob Bailey is? The school in Hocus Pocus is likely named after the Massachusetts-born clergyman and author Jacob Bailey. He graduated from Harvard alongside 2nd President John Adams, but Bailey found himself on the wrong side of the Revolution. After Loyalist tendencies made him unpopular, he relocated to Nova Scotia.
9. Jacob Bailey High School Interiors
Interior shots of the Hocus Pocus high school were filmed at East Whittier Middle School, including Allison and Max’s classroom scene. We think the Sanderson Sisters’ locker room sequence (deleted scene) was also filmed here.
There’s another movie connection in this school district. Back to the Future’s Hill Valley High School scenes were filmed a few blocks away, at Whittier High School.
One thing that’s missing from the Jacob Bailey High School scene is the swimming pool scene, which appeared in the trailer but not the final cut. It was referenced in the 25th Anniversary Blu-Ray. With little to go on, we haven’t been able to track down the location. If you know better, get in touch!
10. School Swimming Pool (Deleted Scene)
One thing that’s missing from the Jacob Bailey High School sequence is the swimming pool scene, which appeared in the trailer but not the final cut. It was referenced in the 25th Anniversary Blu-Ray and featured Winifred falling into the water (she wasn’t thrilled about it).
All of Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker’s Sanderson Sisters scenes were filmed in California. If you watch carefully, you’ll notice we only see them from the back as they approach the school gates.
So we’re fairly sure this scene was also filmed around LA but with little to go on, we haven’t been able to pinpoint it. If you know better, get in touch!
11. The Town Park
The park outside Max’s high school where Allison passes Max his own note, is Washington Square. Also known as Salem Common, the Hocus Pocus high school location really does open out onto this town park.
12. Max’s Neighbourhood
After talking to Allison, Max cycles along Washington Street in Marblehead, near the junction with State Street. He passes a shop called Bus Stop, which is still in the same location. It’s a women’s clothes shop with ever-changing seasonal window displays.
He carries on down Washington Street, where Disney’s Godmothered was filmed 25 years later. And this isn’t the only Hocus Pocus scene filmed in Marblehead - the following scene was also filmed in the area.
13. The Cemetery
The daytime cemetery location in Hocus Pocus is Old Burial Hill in Marblehead, MA. Look out for it in the scene where the bullies stop Max, steal his trainers and decide to call him Hollywood.
Situated on a peninsula that reaches out from the Salem area, Marblehead is another former fishing town that dates back to colonial times. And at a glance, this could easily be the same part of town. Is it cycling distance from the house on Ocean Avenue? Not really.
But it does have a lot of shared heritage, and shared landscapes that blend right in with the Hocus Pocus house location.
For starters, Old Burial Hill Cemetery lives up to its name, as one of the oldest graveyards in New England. It dates back to the era the Pioneer Village sets out to recreate.
Marblehead was briefly part of Salem, until the village was granted independence in the 1640s. And in fact, you can see evidence of the connection between Salem and Marblehead at Old Burial Hill. This is where you’ll find the memorial to one of Marblehead’s residents, Wilmot Redd, who was killed in the Salem witch trials.
14. The Cemetery View
There’s a brief location switch in this scene. When Max looks out across Salem, he’s actually standing in Crocker Park, also in Marblehead.
This park is really close to Washington Street, on Max’s route to the cemetery, and he’s overlooking the same part of town.
15. Old Burial Hill Cemetery Gates
We think the cemetery gates are located on the Warner Bros Ranch at Park Boulevard.
The buildings behind the witches resemble the row behind the Friends fountain, behind the trees. You can see the Boston-style buildings when Winifred talks about hallowed ground. In the showdown sequence, this would put Max and Billy Butcherson just metres away from the fountain.
16. Billy Butcherson's Grave
The night-time cemetery scenes around Billy Butcherson's grave were filmed at the studios. The more special effects-laden scenes were filmed on Stage 2 at Walt Disney Studios, the largest sound stage on the lot. It was previously used for Mary Poppins – and would later host the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
One of the Winifred statues made for the movie was put on display at Planet Hollywood Disney Springs. The same Florida Planet Hollywood restaurant often showcases
17. Allison’s House
Another Salem Hocus Pocus location is Allison’s house, which is really the Ropes Mansion. This impressive Colonial Revival mansion appears in exterior shots during the trick or treating scene, after Dani and Max’s argument.
It sits on Essex Street, in the McIntire Historic District. Named after the architect Samuel McIntire who influenced the in the town’s Georgian and Federal era houses, it’s home to Salem’s notable mansions. The Ropes Mansion is one of them, earning a place on the National Register of Historic Places, and it’s looked after by the Peabody Essex Museum.
Yes, Allison’s house is really a museum, so this is one Hocus Pocus house you can visit. House tours run on set dates, but the gardens are open year-round free of charge.
While exterior shots were filmed in Salem, interiors were filmed elsewhere – more on that in a minute. Because the interiors of the Ropes Mansion are worth seeing. Fortunately, House Beautiful have put together a virtual tour to tide us over until an in-person visit.
18. Allison’s House Interiors
Interior shots of Allison’s house were filmed at Fair Oaks Ranch’s Crank House in Altadena. It’s also appeared in other movies from the decade, including Catch Me If You Can where Allison’s hallway is seen in the engagement party scene.
This private residence dates back in the late 19th Century, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places four years after Hocus Pocus was released.
19. The Bus Scene
The Hocus Pocus bus scene was filmed in front of the WandaVision house on Blondie Street, on the Warner Bros Ranch. In the scene, Sarah Sanderson drives along a suburban neighbourhood and unknowingly crosses paths with Thackery Binx and the kids.
One of the houses Sarah drives past is the Griswold house from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. The same house would later become Wanda and Vision’s house in WandaVision, with a little help from set dressing and CGI.
Magical sitcoms I Dream of Jeannie and Bewitched were also filmed on Blondie Street, adding to the backlot’s witchy past.
20. The Devil’s House
The trick-or-treating scenes were filmed on Friends Avenue, Whittier, including the Devil’s House. In the scene, the Sanderson Sisters mistake a homeowner dressed as Satan (Garry Marshall) for the real thing. Much to the horror of his wife (Penny Marshall), who can’t do enough to get rid of them.
Friends Avenue runs along one side of the town’s Central Park. You can see a little more of the street after the witches are shown the door. It’s a regular residential area, though the buildings are historical features of the town.
21. The Fountain
After the school scene where the witches are lured to the pottery department, Allison and Dani skip around a fountain in a park. The Hocus Pocus fountain is the same fountain from the Friends opening credits! If you look closely, you can see the similarities behind the New England stylings.
This unlikely connection was uncovered around the time of the Hocus Pocus 25th anniversary. It’s been officially confirmed, with House Beautiful securing verification from Paul McGuire, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Corporate Communications at Warner Bros.
At the time of filming, the Hocus Pocus fountain was located on the Warner Bros Ranch. It stayed there throughout the 90s, with the famous Friends shoot taking place here too. But recently, it was moved to the Warner Bros Studio Tour circuit.
So even though the scene was filmed at the California-based studios, you can visit the Hocus Pocus fountain! Though of course, being in a real movie-making environment there’s not guarantee it won’t be off limits for filming when you’re there – so be prepared for anything.
22. The Suburban Park
The neighbourhood park where Max and Thackery Binx talk after the kiln scene opens onto Blondie Street on the Warner Bros Ranch. In fact, the fountain is in the same park – no camera trickery here.
But look behind the tree branch and railings and you’ll get a clear view of the Christmas Vacation and WandaVision house.
Wondering how Binx holds such complex conversations in cat form? He was actually the first CGI character to appear onscreen! The iconic Hocus Pocus cat was created by filming six real animals, plus an animatronic version. Rhythm and Hues FX team then added pioneering computer generated expressions.
23. The Sanderson Sisters’ House
The Sanderson Witch Museum scenes were filmed on Stage 2 at Walt Disney Studios, for interior and exterior shots. While you can’t find the Sanderson Sisters’ house in Salem, the story behind this set is worth knowing. And it does have some real Massachusetts connections!
Winifred, Mary and Sarah’s house in Hocus Pocus was constructed as a complete cottage. ET Canada caught behind the scenes footage back in the 1990s, revealing the set with flying harnesses and green screens.
Every time we see the characters step inside, they really are walking into the witches’ house complete with the book and cauldron. Plus dusty souvenirs and postcard displays, once it becomes the Sanderson Witch Museum.
This is obviously long gone. But even though you can’t visit the Sanderson Sisters’ house in Salem, you can visit the houses that inspired it!
One of those is the famous House of the Seven Gables, which stands Salem Harbor. Built in 1668, it proved to be a perfect source for the Sanderson Witch Museum building.
“We built the interior and exterior of the gabled house, based on an amalgam of 17th Century New England domestic architecture such as the House of Seven Gables, onstage at Disney Studios.”
Rosemary Brandenburg, Set Decorator
The House of the Seven Gables is now open as a museum, so you can visit the house and garden. And there is even a real witch house you can tour in Salem. The Witch House was the home of Judge Jonathan Corwin at the time of his involvement in the Salem Witch Hunt. It’s located on Essex Street, just a couple of doors away from Allison’s house in Hocus Pocus, the Ropes Mansion.
24. Old Town Hall
The Hocus Pocus Halloween party location is really the Old Town Hall in Salem and the MacArthur in Los Angeles. Salem Old Town Hall appears when Max, Allison and Dani look for their patents at the party, and at the very end of the movie.
It’s actually the oldest surviving municipal building in Salem and a National Historic Site. But these days it’s used as a community event space that holds regular re-enactments of the witch trials. You can take a virtual tour of the Old Town Hall on the Salem town website.
25. The Halloween Party
But the Hocus Pocus party scene was also filmed in California - the famous I Put a Spell on You scene took place in the MacArthur in LA (Park Plaza Hotel at the time of filming). You can find it near Wilshire Boulevard, overlooking MacArthur Park.
We don’t see much of the architecture in the movie, but this is one fascinating location. The eleven-storey building was constructed for the Order of Elks, and as a result it’s full of unexpected features.
Inside the popular Los Angeles filming location you’ll find a chandelier detailed with the zodiac signs, while the Plaza Ballroom ceiling is supported by hand-stencilled beams. Outside, the venue is guarded by three-storey tall stone angels and military figures.
26. The Lighthouse
Sarah Sanderson flies over Lighthouse Point in Chandler Hovey Park, Marblehead during her song. It's situated a little further from Salem than the rest of Marblehead.
The lighthouse was built in 1835, with Lighthouse Point covering Marblehead Harbor on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. The narrow connecting road you can see in Sarah's musical sequence is Ocean Drive. It links the area with the rest of the peninsula, which in turn connects to Salem.
27. Grocery Store (Deleted Scene)
Like the Haunted Mansion’s infamous Hat Box Ghost, Hocus Pocus deleted scenes have mystified fans for decades.
One that made it to the trailer before being chopped was set in a grocery store, with the witches running riot as they sought out sweets to enchant. The original script has been circulating for a few years, and Kathy Najimy has talked about Mary’s starring role in the missing sequence.
It would have given the middle Sanderson sister more screen time, as she ran around the store looking for treats while the others found Halloween candy to enchant.
We think the Hocus Pocus grocery store scene was probably filmed in California, but with little footage to go on we can’t narrow it down. If you have any info on the shoot, let us know!
Hocus Pocus 2 Filming Locations
Hocus Pocus 2 will be filmed in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, and is due to be released in autumn 2022. Filming is scheduled to place between October and December 2021, with a script by Jen d’Angelo and Anne Fletcher directing.
The sequel will star Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker as the Sanderson Sisters once again. But this time we’re following a modern day witch who accidentally summons the trio after finding the Black Flame Candle in a magic shop.
Where Is Hocus Pocus 2 Filmed?
Most of the filming will take place in Providence and Lincoln, Rhode Island. There are rumours of filming in Connecticut and potentially a brief appearance from Salem, but details are yet to be confirmed.
A casting call went out in the Providence area, looking for locals to appear in the Hocus Pocus sequel location shoot. And work on the set began in Rhode Island in September 2021, so this seems to be a sure thing.
The move away from Salem, MA, might prove a disappointment for fans hoping to catch sight of their favourite Hocus Pocus locations. But there is one hidden connection between the movies. The voice actor behind Thackery Binx, Jason Marsden, is originally from Providence.
And the new Hocus Pocus 2 sets in Rhode Island will be dressed in Massachusetts furnishings! New Bedford Antiques supplied around 200 items for the production. The purchases also seem to confirm that the Bette Midler movie will be set at Halloween.
“They purchased a lot of dark color items, things that were very prominent to the New England area, especially a haunted style that you’d be looking for... Bookcases, lamps, some Halloween decorations, but more just house decor – chairs, lamps, pictures, mirrors, things like that.”
Donna Gagne, Employee, New Bedford Antiques
We’ll be updating this section with new Hocus Pocus 2 filming locations as they’re released!
CAUTION – some of the Hocus Pocus sequel filming location details might give a hint of what’s to come. So there may be spoilers as we take a closer look at the upcoming locations, though we’ll avoid posting plot points.
Custom built 17th Century style houses, matching the look of Salem’s Pioneer Village, started going up in September 2021. It looks like this Hocus Pocus 2 filming location will replicate Thackery Binx’s village.
The new Hocus Pocus sequel village location is being constructed within Chase Farm Park in Lincoln, RI. The movie’s location manager, Alex Berard of Disney’s Pixie Dust Productions, presented details to the Town Council to gain permission. And the details were reported via local newspaper, The Valley Breeze.
“We just like the backdrop of Chase Farm… It has that old New England farm look.”
Alex Berard, Location Manager
Chase Farm Park is a city park with open green space surrounded by leafy woodland. So the area’s backdrop could easily fit in alongside the original Massachusetts locations. It sounds like we’re seeing more action around the historic village this time, so the move to a custom set build makes sense.
If you want to get a closer look at the Hocus Pocus 2 set in progress, you’re in luck. Warning - some potential spoilers in this coverage of the set build from Sky 10.
And in early October 2021, locals caught the Hocus Pocus 2 set in Rhode Island on video.
Unknown Historic Building
Filming is also taking place at the Cranston Street Armory in Providence, RI. Built in the 1900s with castle-like fortifications, the military building was used for drills and city events until the early 21st Century.
“The Cranston Street Armory is very spacious, it's got very high ceilings, it's open space...because of its height ability, it gives an opportunity for a few of those witches to fly around… Disney has paid for intensive cleanup of the facility. They've added carpets, some mold removal. They're also paying for all the utilities, so the state doesn't have to pay the utilities. It's a very net gain for the state of Rhode Island.”
Steven Feinberg, Executive Director, Rhode Island Film & Television Office
With an emphasis on space, it’s possible this Hocus Pocus 2 location will be used as a studio space. It’s been used for green screen work in the past, so this is a distinct possibility – let’s wait and see!