Life Imitating Art: The Little Girl from ‘Hocus Pocus’ Is All Grown Up and a Real Life Witch, Kinda

Life Imitating Art: The Little Girl from ‘Hocus Pocus‘ Is All Grown Up and a Real Life Witch, Kinda
By Allanah Faherty â‹… Posted on October 23rd, 2015 at 8:01am


Come little children, I’ll take thee away, into a land of enchantment.
Come little children, the times come to play, here in my garden of magic.

In the days leading to Halloween, there are few things more laden with nostalgia than Sarah Sanderson’s deadly song from witchy classic, Hocus Pocus. The film, which starred Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy and Thora Birch, was released in 1993, but continues to be a Halloween staple today, putting a spell over all who watch it.

Over the years, we’ve heard about what many of the cast involved in the film are up to these days, however for one of the stars, a case of mistaken identity has lead to another actress accidentally being credited for the role for many years!

Amanda Shepherd appeared in Hocus Pocus in the role of Emily Binx, the younger sister of Thackery Binx, who was lured away by Sarah Sanderson and had her youth absorbed. But unfortunately, Shepherd hasn’t always been correctly credited for her role, due to a misunderstanding in a radio interview given by a woman named Jodie-Amy Rivera a few years back.

Rivera is a YouTuber and when she was a child she did in fact appear in Hocus Pocus, though it was as an extra. During a radio interview, Rivera explained that she appeared in the film as a child, but before she had time to explain that her role was a small one, the DJ had changed the topic. That small misunderstanding in the interview lead to IMDB credits being changed, and Rivera being mentioned in articles all over the internet as Emily Binx.

In an attempt to rectify things, Rivera tried to get IMDB to change the credit, but after that failed she managed to get hold of the real Emily Binx, an actress by the name of Amanda Shepherd. Here’s what Amanda looks like today:

These days the real Amanda Shepherd has retired as an actress, and is currently working as a real estate agent in Malibu, California!


Talking to Cosmopolitan, Shepherd revealed that she loved working on the movie, and that Hocus Pocus director Kenny Ortega was “the loveliest man I had ever met.” And while she said she “loved meeting” the three adult stars of the film, Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy, it was obviously her peer, actress Thora Birch who made the biggest impression on the youngster. Shepherd told Cosmopolitan:

Also, I’ll never forget the day I met Thora Birch! I was in the trailer getting my makeup done and Thora storms in, tons of energy. They tell her, “OK, Thora, it’s time to get your makeup done” and she says “Oh! No, thank you, I can do it myself!” And she proceeded to do her makeup herself. I thought, [That’s] a pro over there, and I just remember how mature she was for her age and thinking that I could learn a lot from her. It was all just a wonderful experience. To this day, it’s still wonderful every Halloween.

What an awesome memory!

Shepherd gave up acting for good when she was 23, though she’s still very creative. She currently sings in a band called HeHeHaHa, describing their sounds as “kind of heavy, distorted guitars and bluesy.”

Aside from music, Shepherd also divulged that she has something in common with the witchy Sanderson sisters — she’s currently taking a plants, spirits and herbalism class, how cool is that! Of course, unlike the youth-obsessed Sandersons, Amanda says the women involved in the class are much more like “good green witches.” Aside from her class, Shepherd also practices shamanism, and is taking an apprenticeship learning plant spirit medicine. Wow!

Hopefully with this new revelation it won’t be too long before IMDB corrects the mistake and Amanda Shepherd can finally get full credit for her role in the film, though as Amanda herself says, the mix up “never really bothered” her

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