11 Spellbinding ‘Hocus Pocus‘ Facts You Might Not Have Known!
by Kristin Lai â‹… Posted on October 28th, 2014 at 3:23am
Let’s talk Hocus Pocus! Yes, everyone’s favorite Halloween movie. Okay, it might not be everyone’s favorite, but it’s definitely earned its place as a Halloween classic. I’ve almost never lived a year without the Sanderson sisters around for All Hallows’ Eve. What would the holiday be without them? Largely the same, but perhaps a lot less fun.
Even though this movie has been out for nearly as long as I’ve been alive, but I was still shocked at how many cool facts I didn’t know about Hocus Pocus! In case you’ve missed them like me, here are some of the highlights.
1. The man who played Billy Butcherson, Doug Jones, later went on to play Fauno and Pale Man in Pan’s Labyrinth.
This guy really has a thing for playing tall, creepy characters!
2. Jones also revealed during a 20th anniversary screening of Hocus Pocus, that the moths that come out of his mouth at the end of the movie are real and not CGI.
Leonardo DiCarprio turned down the role to be in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.
4. During the 2004 show Who Do You Think You Are, Sarah Jessica Parker, who played Sarah Sanderson, found out that her 10th great-grandmother was arrested in Salem in the late 1600s and accused of committing “acts of witchcraft” and choking a neighbor to death.
Luckily, the Salem Witch Trials ended before her case made it to court. Could you imagine? We could have lost SJP because of alleged witchcraft!
5. Even though this is a Halloween movie, it was actually released in July of 1993.
Makes sense since the first thing kids want to think about during Summer vacation is having to go back to school in the Fall!
6. I couldn’t imagine anyone other than Kathy Najimy playing Mary Sanderson now. Back during casting, the role was almost given to Rosie O’Donnell!
Rosie ultimately turned it down because she didn’t want to be seen as a “scary witch.”
7. Out of all of her movies, Hocus Pocus is Bette Midler’s favorite.
At least it was back in 2008 during an interview on the BBC show “Breakfast.”
8. When Winifred appears on stage at the adult’s Halloween party, she says the line “Hello Salem, my name is Winifred. What’s yours?” If you’re a real theater fan you know that this is a spin on Mama Rose’s line “Hello world, my name is Rose, what’s yours?” from the musical Gypsy.
Bette Midler played Mama Rose on the TV version of the musical in 1993. The same year that Hocus Pocus was released!
Just imagine if “Come Little Children” was replaced with “We’re All in this Together.” Now that’s a scary thought.
10. According to the writer and co-executive producer Mick Garris, Hocus Pocus was almost called Disney’s Halloween House.
I only wish I knew what that storyline would have looked like. Did it only take place in a house? Were the classic Disney characters present?
11. Had his plans worked out, the film rights to Hocus Pocus would have been owned by Steven Spielberg.
But as we know, the rights went to Disney, and the rest was history!