Featured image by DJQ Media
The Horror Squad Podcast, Creative Collective, and Salem’s Black Hat Society join forces for a nostalgic celebration of the 30-year legacy of Hocus Pocus. It’s Just a Bunch of Halloween was a huge success!
Salem, MA – October 24, 2023 – The enchanting allure of Salem shone brightly as the beloved cast of Hocus Pocus set out on a whimsical journey through the heart of Downtown Salem. A weekend brimming with magical events was orchestrated in collaboration with Creative Collective, The Horror Squad Podcast, Salem’s Black Hat Society, and a devoted assembly of fans. Under the banner “It’s Just A Buncha Halloween,” the 30th anniversary of the cherished film was celebrated, bringing joy to both the cast and fans alike.
The cast, consisting of Vinessa Shaw (Allison), Omri Katz (Max), Thora Birch (Dani), and Jason Marsden (The Voice of Binx the Cat), delighted fans at BitBar on Friday. This event was fan-service at its finest with photo opportunities, a drag and burlesque performance hosted by Miz Diamond Wigfall, and a special raffle featuring a cast-signed Lego set of the Hocus Pocus House designed by Amber Veyt, who was also in attendance all the way from Belgium.
On Saturday, over 500 guests were warmly welcomed by the cast at the historic Salem Common during the Haunted Happenings Marketplace. Despite the adverse weather, fans patiently waited more than four hours to meet the cast. The atmosphere in the signing tent was electric with positive energy. Remy Dee, Marsden’s partner, shared her delight, “Their interactions are a joy to witness. They exude a laid-back and fun vibe. It’s astonishing to think that three decades ago when they were filming this quaint witch-themed movie, they had no inkling it would evolve into the cult classic it is today,” she added.
“Bringing the cast back to Salem after 30 years is a truly surreal experience, and doing it with the help of local Salem businesses and organizations makes it even better.” Proclaimed Joe Manganaro, co-host and founder of the Horror Squad Podcast.
On Sunday, two local tour companies orchestrated a well-curated VIP tour across Salem, creating a private and nostalgic ambiance for the Hocus Pocus cast, while avid fans, unaware of the cast’s presence, explored the iconic filming locations alongside them.
The day started with a touching reunion at the famed “Hocus Pocus house” on Ocean Avenue, owned by the affectionately known “Mr. and Mrs. B,” Dorothy and Jean Beauregard. The visit resonated emotionally, especially for Birch, who shared a tender moment with Jean on their front porch. Read more via Salem News.
Following this, the tour set forth to Pioneer Village, where Jeffrey Lilley and Sarah Black, the Salem tour group proprietors and hosts of “Salem The Podcast,” welcomed the stars. They journeyed through a blast from the past as they revisited the replica of the Governor’s Mansion and Thackery Binx’s home. The tour then unfolded to the Ropes Mansion, recognized as Allison’s house in the movie, where Shaw experienced a surreal moment seeing her movie home for the first time. This unique expedition blended nostalgia with new memories as the cast, fans, and a group dressed as the Sanderson Sisters interacted. The camaraderie between the cast and fans, some reenacting scenes at the very locations they were filmed, highlighted the lasting affection for Hocus Pocus and enriched Salem’s magical aura.
The adventure continued beyond revisiting filming locations. The cast made a surprise visit to the North Shore Alliance for GLBTQ+ Youth (NAGLY) Halloween party at Witch City Mall, where they greeted fans and pledged a joint donation of $3,200 to support the organization.
Following a lively lunch from Dire Wolf Tavern and a heartwarming podcast recording with Lilley and Black at the Creative Collective offices, the stars reflected on the profound impact of Hocus Pocus on Salem and its community. This sentiment was echoed by fans throughout the weekend, who witnessed the unbreakable bond between the cast and the timeless charm of Hocus Pocus. During the cast’s visit, attendees had the fortunate opportunity to meet Amber Veyt, the designer of this year’s Lego Hocus Pocus set. Amber graciously signed a few sets for some of the organizers.
Vinessa Shaw reflected, “I think we wanted to celebrate a movie that everyone loves… a nostalgic, fun, autumnal, family-oriented. We wanted to do it in the mecca of the place where everyone loves. And we couldn’t have done it without people that are the locals here…We wanted to be part of the community. We wanted to enjoy what they enjoy. We wanted to take in what they think is best and, you know, include them in our journey. And we feel like we got, you know, to be local for a weekend”
The weekend left an indelible mark on Salem, showcasing the symbiotic relationship between the magical lore of Hocus Pocus and the enchanting spirit of Salem. It was a full-circle moment, binding the fictional world of Hocus Pocus with the real magic that thrives in Salem.
John from Creative Collective remarked, “The weekend showcased the distinctive atmosphere of Salem, the vibrant small business community and the enduring appeal of Hocus Pocus, and the remarkable community spirit that brought them together. The memories forged over these days will hold a special place for the cast, fans, and the town for years to come.”
This particularly magical weekend celebration took a literal village to produce.
Special thanks to the support from The City of Salem and Mayor Dominick Pangallo
Listen to the Podcast recorded by Salem the Podcast below.