If you’re looking to add a little extra toil and trouble to your Halloween experience, try taking a trip to Salem Massachusetts! Yes, we have a pretty grim history, but honestly it’s fascinating. And thanks to our rather dismal background, we got one heck of a Disney Halloween Classic out of it: Hocus Pocus. But what many don’t know is that most of Hocus Pocus was actually filmed right in Salem MA as well as the surrounding towns! Yes, some scenes were created in a soundstage to enhance the spook factor a tad or filmed back in California, but many don’t realize there are so many scenes you can actually step right into for yourself! So have a quick calming circle, grab your broom (for vacuum) and lets look at some locations that will allow you to fully immerse yourself in an amucking good time!
Pioneer Village, Forest River Park – 98 West Avenue, Salem, Massachusetts
Recognize this place? I decided to try and put the locations in chronological order by how they appear in the film. So lets start with Thackery Binx’s village! Pioneer Village is the oldest ‘living history’ museum in the country. Recreated to look like the original pioneering village of Salem in 1630, the museum allows you to fully immerse yourself in what life was like back then. So what better place to film the opening scene of Hocus Pocus right? They also utilized Plymouth MA for some of the older scenes as well, but this area may be slightly more iconic!
Phillips Elementary School – 86 Essex Street, Salem, Massachusetts
Flash to the future and we’re in Max’s classroom when he decides that Halloween lore is nothing more than a hoax created by candy companies. The actual interior of the building was filmed in California, but the exterior can be found right in downtown Salem! This is also the same exterior building used when the Sanderson Sisters are supposedly burned alive.
Salem Common – N Washington Square, Salem, Massachusetts
Another classic and iconic scene from the film takes place in Salem Commons (which is actually directly across the street from Phillips Elementary School!) when Max first attempts to flirt with Alison. While riding his bike home, Max believes he magically got her number from his ‘smooth moves’. Instead, when he opens the piece of paper, he discovers it’s in fact the note he gave her with his own number written down on it. Fun fact, when the movie is played on TV today, the end of the number is either blurred out or removed entirely. Guess someone didn’t like getting all the phone calls.
4 Ocean Avenue, Salem, Massachusetts
Max’s house! Another iconic location from the film, that honestly, unless you know where it is, it can be pretty hidden compared to the other filming locations. Many people don’t realize it’s right on the water, but I can assure you if you drive by, you will most certainly see some dedicated fans taking pictures out front!
318 Essex Street, Salem, Massachusetts
And we can’t forget that glorious New England Estate that was used as Alison’s house! This Estate is actually known as The Ropes Mansion and it is actually part of Salem’s Peabody Essex Museum. What many don’t know is that the Mansion is home to a gorgeous garden in the back, that allows its guests to walk through. It is definitely a gorgeous sight to check out when visiting!
Old Town Hall – 32 Derby Square, Salem, Massachusetts
And last, but certainly not least, we have one of the most iconic sights in Salem MA (in my person opinion that is): Old Town Hall. This is where Max and Dani run to to try and find their parents who are attending a Halloween Party. Now let it be known this town hall is definitely too small inside to host a party of that size like the movie portrays. The interior was yet again shot in California. In fact, the upstairs of the old town hall is actually used for Witch Trial Reenactments! The lower half is mainly utilized as a mini museum except fun fact, it’s currently a COVID testing sight.