Filming Location Is Salem Museum – DIRT

Disney+ answered the dreams of countless millennials last month with the release of “Hocus Pocus 2,” the long-awaited sequel to the beloved 1993 Halloween-themed cult classic “Hocus Pocus.” Boasting countless nods to the original, part two sees Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker stepping back into the pointy-toed shoes of witches Winifred, Mary and Sarah, aka the Sanderson Sisters, who are conjured anew to modern-day Salem, where they run amok (Amok! Amok, amok, amok, amok, amok!) once again on a hilariously tumultuous Halloween night.

Directed by Anne Fletcher, of “27 Dresses,” “The Proposal” and “Dumplin’” fame, the flick hit Disney+ on September 30, promptly breaking records as the streamer’s “strongest domestic debut to date,” according to MovieWeb. Though social media response has been hugely positive, with images of viewing parties popping up all over Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and Twitter (at least across my feeds), not everyone is singing its accolades. Still, the movie is quickly shaping up to become a Halloween classic and its locations virtually guaranteed must-see sites for fans, much like those of the original.

While the OG film was primarily captured in the Salem area (with some scenes lensed in Los Angeles), for the sequel, cast and crew headed south to Rhode Island, where the towns of Newport, Providence and Lincoln stood in for Witch City. Sadly, many of the spots featured were sets crafted by production designer Nelson Coates solely for the shoot and dismantled once filming wrapped. The 1650s-era Salem village, for example, where the Sanderson Sisters are shown in their childhood years, was an elaborate streetscape constructed at Chase Farm in Lincoln. The Salem Magic Shoppe run by Gilbert the Great (Sam Richardson) was also just a façade created in the Newport Restoration Foundation parking lot at 51 Touro St. 

The Walgreens where the Sanderson Sisters are introduced to fluorescent lighting, youth-preserving facial elixirs and modern cleaning supplies is a real place that can be found at 333 Atwells Ave. in Providence. However, quite a bit of witchcraft (aka CGI) was employed to alter its exterior for the scene, while the inside of a different Walgreens outpost located a good two and a half miles away at 135 Pitman St. was used for interiors.

Fans hoping for a more authentic and immersive “Hocus Pocus” experience should instead head to Salem, where many of the locales from the first film still stand and remain fully accessible to the public almost three decades later, including Pioneer Village, Salem Common, Old Town Hall and Ropes Mansion.