Watching Disney’s unexpected Halloween darling “Hocus Pocus” has become a spooky-season tradition for many. Most people like to tune in, relax, and soak in some good, old ’90s nostalgia, but others celebrate their fandom by knowing the ins and outs of the film, including its mistakes.
The list below isn’t intended as blasphemy; we love the movie and will most definitely enjoy a “Hocus Pocus” and “Hocus Pocus 2” double feature on Disney Plus. So let’s spill some Sanderson Sisters secrets! Here are 31 mistakes in “Hocus Pocus” that most fans probably overlooked.
Historical and Geographical Accuracy
- The movie takes place on Halloween 1993. That was a Sunday, so the kids wouldn’t have had school.
- There’s a full moon in the movie, but prior to 1993, there hadn’t been a full moon on Halloween since 1974.
- The real Salem witch trials started at the beginning of 1692 and ended in October of the same year. According to the movie, the Sanderson sisters were hanged on Halloween of 1693.
- The sisters mention cooking with margarine, but margarine wasn’t invented until 1869. Some fans insist the sisters say “marjoram,” but official subtitles say “margarine.” Even if it was marjoram, there would still be an inconsistency since the herb wasn’t used in the U.S. until the 20th century.
- The automobile wasn’t invented until 1886 — long after the sisters first expired — but Winifred seems to know what a driver’s permit is.
- The executioner responsible for hanging the Sanderson sisters dons a leather costume with metal spikes. It’s definitely dramatic, but witch trial executioners probably wore regular clothes for that time period along with a cloth hood to cover their faces.
- While Sarah sings her iconic song, she’s presumably flying over Salem. She’s actually flying over the coast of Marblehead, however, which is one town over.
- The sisters hop on a bus and interact with a bus driver, but Massachusetts doesn’t have its own bus line. They would have been on the T, aka the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.
Script and Story
- The sisters kidnap Emily at the beginning of the movie, and Winifred says her iconic line: “Oh, look, another glorious morning. Makes me sick.” Moments later, the townsfolk arrive and Mary says they’re “spending a quiet evening at home.” The sisters are then hanged soon after — at night.
- Before lighting the black flame candle, Max says, “It's all just a bunch of hocus pocus.” Then, when the cast is in the cemetery for the first time, Winifred mocks Max with, “It’s only hocus pocus.” Max originally said the line before the sisters return, though, so she shouldn’t have known about it.
- When the sisters arrive at the school, the clock in front of the building reads 3:05. Later, when the kids are in front of the building, the clock reads midnight. Then right before the sisters run into Ice and Jay, Ice says it’s 3 a.m.
- After the sisters die the second time, all their spells are instantly lifted except for Billy’s reanimation.
- Thackeray Binx switches between dialects. He speaks with a modern dialect as a cat in the 1990s, but returns to his 17th-century style of speaking when the curse is lifted and we see him as a spirit.
Cast and Crew
- Keep an eye out during the scene in the Dennisons’ kitchen. You can spot the camera crew’s reflection!
- Emily’s legs move after the Sanderson sisters kill her. Muscles can twitch or move post-mortem, but the sisters are draining all her energy, leading us to believe that Emily’s body would be too drained to move — even involuntarily.
Set and Props
- The note Max gives Allison at the beginning of the movie is switched out for a different piece of paper when she gives it back to him.
- At Allison’s house, Dani is given a large witch-shaped lollipop that changes size and shape a few lines later.
- Zippo lighters are sold empty, so Max wouldn’t have been able to use them right away.
- When Winifred is looking through her spell book, we can see that some of the pages have the same text.
- When exiting “Masters” house, Winifred grabs a kid’s mask. As he runs away, we can see that he’s holding it, even though Winifred still has it. (She tries to conceal the mask in her robes.) In the next shot, Winifred’s hands are empty.
- When the sisters take Dani and the book from the Dennisons’ house, the home’s cupola explodes as they make their leave. We later see the undamaged cupola.
- The ropes the sisters use to tie up Dani jump about between shots.
- On their way to save Dani, Max and Allison jump into the SUV and we see the hypnotized children walking the opposite way. If they’re all heading to the sisters’ home, they should be heading in the same direction.
Hair and Makeup
- After a gust of wind knocks off her hat, Dani’s hair gets disheveled but returns to normal a few moments later.
- Sarah’s hair switches from wavy to curly throughout the film.
- After “killing” the sisters in the kiln, the kids return to the Dennisons’ house. Allison’s face is clean at first, but a smudge of dirt suddenly appears on her forehead in another shot.
- In some shots, Sarah’s tooth fillings are visible. Who knows? Maybe hell has a great dental plan.
- After Max sets off the sprinklers, we see that his jacket is soaked. A few moments later, however, it’s dry.
- Ernie — we mean Ice — has a black hat with a tendency to disappear and reappear throughout the movie.
- Mrs. Dennison’s wedding ring disappears and reappears during the Halloween party scenes.
- When speaking with Emily, Winifred’s hood jumps up and down between shots.