Visiting these Hocus Pocus filming locations is a must for any fan—plus it’s easy and free to do. After all this time (Hocus Pocus did come out way back in the 1900s after all), this movie remains one of the most popular Halloween movies, especially for those of us who can’t stomach Halloween movies.
Call me a Hallo-weenie, but I need my zombies adorkable and my black cats chatty. These Hocus Pocus movie locations are about as creepy as I can handle.
Hocus Pocus in Salem, Massachusetts
Hocus Pocus, set in Salem, Massachusetts, was also largely filmed here. At least, most of the outdoor scenes were. Plus, they have remained virtually unchanged since the movie’s debut in 1993.
If you’re a fan and are anywhere in the New England area, you must stop by Salem to check out these spots. Salem, MA is a haven for all things witchcraft and wizardry and these seven locations are not the only creepy things this town has to offer.
You can visit all 7 of the Hocus Pocus filming locations in Salem in a single day and all are free to see.
Visiting the Hocus Pocus filming locations in 2020
Salem, Massachusetts is Halloween central and typically welcomes half a million people during the month of October, officially dubbed Haunted Happenings.
The mayor of Salem has officially announced that 2020 Halloween festivities in Salem will continue as usual, though some events may be canceled or scaled back.
They are taking strict measures to ensure compliance with health and safety standards—with all events subject to Massachusetts reopening guidelines.
- Social distancing will be enforced
- Masks are mandated and they’ve employed mask enforcement officers prepared to issue $300 fines for not complying
- Hand sanitization stations will be set up throughout the city
- Out-of-state visitors must also comply with the Massachusetts travel order
Looks like we’ve found something too scary even for Salem.
Regardless, the best part about visiting these Hocus Pocus filming locations is that they’re all outdoors, making for the safest way to visit possible. Click here for more on traveling during the pandemic.
Hocus Pocus filming locations
These 7 Hocus Pocus filming locations can be visited all year long. I’ve visited them in October, February, and August (hence the drastic change in foliage in my photos).
But my pro-est tip of all: visit them during the month of October when Salem is absolutely decked out in witchery. The entire city goes witch-nuts and the party lasts all month long.
1. Thackery Binx’s House
Ye olde Salem Village of yore where young Thackery Binx lived is actually Pioneer Village – America’s first living history museum (opened in 1930).
Much like Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, MA, Pioneer Village is a recreation of a 17th-century New England coastal village. This one: Salem in the year 1630. And it is cuh-reepy!
During the month of October Pioneer Village is open 7 days a week for self-guided tours of the colonial cottages (and more). From June through September you can only tour it on Saturdays and Sundays. Wear a bonnet for optimal effect. Maybe bring your cat.
Pioneer Village: 98 West Avenue, Salem
2. Parents’ Halloween Party
When Max and Dani’s parents headed out to that bitchin’ Halloween party, ’twas here at the Salem Old Town Hall where they got their boogies on.
The place where Winifred Sanderson put a spell on just about everyone in town is no longer the town hall. Instead, it’s an event space for rent for weddings and other catered events, non-profit fundraisers, and, say, bitchin’ Halloween parties! (And for a super reasonable price I might add.)
Salem’s Old Town Hall is right in the center of town, along the main road with all the magic parlors, alchemists, wand shops, coven cottages, candle makers, psychics, and the tribute statue of Elizabeth Montgomery, original hipster witch.
During the month of October, the Old Town Hall houses the Salem Museum, a small museum dedicated to the history of Salem and just what the hell witches have to do with it all. It’s a worthwhile stop and great introduction to the city at just $3 admission.
Salem Old Town Hall: 32 Derby Square, Salem
3. Max & Allison’s school
Though one of the opening scenes takes place inside Max and Allison’s classroom, we don’t actually see the outside of Jacob Bailey High School until later. (Except the few seconds it takes Max to unchain his bike from the rack out front.)
It’s at this school (a “prison for children”) that Max, Dani, and Allison attempt to cook the witches after luring them into the art department kiln with some sweet French lessons.
This building actually was a school until 1992, just before it was abandoned and became a Hocus Pocus filming location. Once known as the Phillips Elementary School, today it’s an apartment building. A very creepy apartment building where a witch may or may not have been baked. Still not a chance I wanna take.
Former Phillips Elementary School: 56 S. Washington Square, Salem
4. Where Max flirts with Allison
…and gets denied.
Salem Common, in the city’s center, is a large park with a small gazebo. During the month of October it’s full of food trucks, kiddie rides, games, vendors, and a movie screen where they show the kind of not-so-scary movies I’m okay with. I watched The Goonies last time I went but you should definitely go on Hocus Pocus night.
The rest of the year it’s just full of grass and people throwing tennis balls for their dogs. It’s a good spot to chill and maybe get rejected by a hot girl because you don’t share her belief in the supernatural. Whatevs.
Despite the fact that the above photo was taken in October, the leaves are still very green. To catch Salem Common is all the bright orange glory as seen in Hocus Pocus, keep an eye on the New England Fall Foliage map to time your visit with Peak Week.
Salem Common: N Washington Square, Salem
5. Allison’s house
While trick-or-treating with Dani, Max enters Allison’s mansion simply in search of rich people’s candy. Instead, he walks in on a mansion-appropriate and over-the-top fancy ball, if you will, complete with powdered wigs and yabos in corsets.
This house, known as Ropes Mansion, looks exactly the way it does in the movie. It looks exactly the way it has since 1727 actually.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Ropes Mansion was named for the three generations of the Ropes family who inhabited it, not the tool with which they used to hang witches. (Just to be clear. Still creepy though.)
Here in the 21st century, historic Ropes Mansion is open for guided tours. But if you don’t have time for that, be sure to go around back and check out The Ropes Garden, a huge, beautiful botanical garden and greenhouse open to the public, free of charge, 365 days a year. Neoclassical ball gown not required.
Ropes Mansion: 318 Essex Street, Salem
6. Max & Dani’s house
Seen many times during the movie and one of the most recognizable of the Hocus Pocus filming locations is Max and Dani’s house. Just like in the early 1990s, this house is just a regular ol’ house. Owned by people who drive a Jeep Wrangler and a small sedan (and apparently never move their cars).
This house at 4 Ocean Avenue is a regular (but creepy and awesome) house on a regular street next to the ocean. You can pull up, park, and take some photos. But remember that this is someone’s house and people live there. Stay at least across the street and be as respectful and unobtrusive as you can be while taking selfies in front of a stranger’s home.
Just someone’s house: 4 Ocean Avenue, Salem
7. The cemetery
After getting rejected by Allison in Salem Common, Max takes off on his bike where he’s eventually stopped by a couple of bullies in a cemetery. That cemetery–Old Burial Hill–is actually in a nearby town called Marblehead, a 28-minute bike ride from Salem Common, for what it’s worth. I took a car.
It’s in this cemetery that a couple of dense bullies deep in 90’s grunge try to scam cash and cigs from Max but end up ripping off his new cross trainers instead.
Besides being one of the Hocus Pocus filming locations, it’s also an interesting place to walk around and check out in and of itself. But, you should know, checking out super old cemeteries is something we do here a lot in the original colonies.
Parking at Old Burial Hill can be tricky as the cemetery is literally in peoples’ backyards. What an interesting and super creepy way to live! Also par for the New England course.
The part of the cemetery where Billy Butcherson lives (lives? hangs out as a corpse?), though designated as Old Burial Hill, is a movie set, not a filming location in Salem.
Old Burial Hill: Marblehead, MA
More info for your day visiting the Hocus Pocus filming locations
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