Halloween favorite Hocus Pocus actually hit theaters in the middle of the summer, on July 16, 1993.
And while the Kenny Ortega-directed film — starring Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker as three sister witches from the 17th century brought back to life — wasn’t critically acclaimed or a box-office blockbuster, annual Halloween airings on cable TV have made the movie beloved by young viewers.
The film begins with the Sanderson sisters being hung by the townspeople of Salem, Massachusetts in 1693. But Winifred’s (Midler) spell book casts a curse that will resurrect the sisters on the condition that a virgin light the black flame candle during a full moon on All Hallows Eve. Over the 300 years since the Sanderson sisters’ death, a young boy who’s been turned into a cat, Thackery Binx, guards the candle to prevent it from being lit.
In 1993, though, Los Angeles transplant Max Dennison (Omri Katz) lights the candle in an attempt to impress his crush Allison (Vinessa Shaw). The Sanderson sisters return to Salem, and Max, Allison, Thackery and Dani (Thora Birch) make it their mission to stop the witches from sucking the lives out of innocent children.
Nearly three decades after Hocus Pocus was released, the Sanderson sisters have been brought back to life in the 2022 Disney+ sequel Hocus Pocus 2. Midler, Najimy and Parker all reprise their roles as three young women — played by Whitney Peak, Belissa Escobedo and Lilia Buckingham — must figure out how to stop the child-hungry witches from wreaking havoc once more.
In honor of the sequel, The Hollywood Reporter takes a look back what spooky activities the cast members have been up to since the first film hit theaters