10+ 'Hocus Pocus' Behind-The-Scenes Secrets Fans Didn't Know

It's here — it's finally here! It's October, which means that the Halloween season has officially begun! What better way to celebrate than by cozying up with a spooky cult-classic like Hocus Pocus?

To help add to your enjoyment, I've managed to track down 10+ Hocus Pocus behind-the-scenes secrets that fans didn't know. Mount your brooms, light your black flame candles, and let's fly!

*Hocus Pocus* is everything.

It is now a cult-classic favorite for many, and is the perfect Halloween movie.

There is nothing not to love about it! It's funny, family-friendly, and definitely makes you want to be a witch.

But just because we all love the movie so much, that doesn't mean that we know everything about it!

Luckily, we are here to help with that!

We have a great list of bts secrets about the amazing movie! It is time to expand your knowledge about the film!

1. Bette Midler gets meta.

Remember the scene where Winifred takes the stage and sings "I Put A Spell On You"? She begins the song by saying "Hello, Salem! My name's Winifred, what's yours?"

This is a reference to a line from the 1993 movie, Gypsy. Midler played Mama Rose. and, at one point, says, " Hello, everybody! My name's Rose, what's yours?"

2. Too scary for Disney.

During a cast Q&A for the film's 20th anniversary, makeup designer Tony Gardner recalled how his first crack at the makeup was deemed far too terrifying for the Disney audience.

He was told to start over and tone it down.

3. Bette Midler still loves the movie, even after all this time.

Bette played Winifred Sanderson in the movie. Believe it or not, Bette went 20 years without rewatching the film once!

For the 20th anniversary, she fired up the VHS and had herself a wicked time.

4. Kathy Najimy used to stalk Bette Midler.

Bette was Kathy's "hero." Before the pair worked together on Hocus Pocus, Kathy went to great lengths to meet her icon.

She recalled how she once snuck backstage, dressed as a giant rabbit, and gave Bette a singing telegram. All in the hopes of meeting her face to face.

5. There is a *Home Improvement* connection that will surprise you.

Hocus Pocus and Home Improvement were filming on the same set lots. It wasn't uncommon for the kids to get together to hang out and chat in between scenes and takes.

Maybe Tim Taylor could have helped give the Sanderson Sisters' brooms more power!?

6. Doug Jones was striving for authenticity.

For the scene where Billy Butcherson cuts open his mouth, those were real moths that flew out.

In order to ensure that the insects wouldn't fly down his throat, they had to use a homemade dental dam.

7. The idea for *Hocus Pocus* began as a bedtime story.

In the beginning, writer David Kirschner's only intention was to write a story to help his kids go to sleep.

When he realized he was on to something, he grabbed a pen and a sheet of paper and submitted it to Muppet Magazine.

8. Omri Katz and Vinessa Shaw had worked together previously.

If you haven't seen Eerie Indiana, you absolutely have to add it to your Halloween haunt list this year!

It's where Omri and Vinessa first met and they continue their friendship today.

9. The entire cast took a trip to Salem.

For anyone who may not know, Salem is famous for the witch trials that took place between 1692-1693. More than 200 men and women were accused, 30 were found guilty, and 20 were put to death.

The cast visited on the 300th anniversary.

10. The movie flopped at first.

Not only did Hocus Pocus have an incredibly poor showing at the box office, but the critics also ripped it to shreds! It only gained popularity as a cult classic.

One particularly scathing review from Entertainment Weekly likened it to "corny slapstick trash."

11. Most of the cast reunited for the film's 20th anniversary.

Most noticeably not in attendance were Sarah Jessica Parker and Better Midler.

The rest of the gang (including Kathy Najimy) gathered to share their stories and favorite memories of their days on set.

12. Bette Midler wants a sequel.

From the look of things, her wish may come true! A sequel has been confirmed to be in the works since October of 2019.

As of yet, there is no word as to whether or not the original Sanderson Sisters will be invited back.

13. The Sanderson Sisters are reuniting in October 2020 for charity!

That's right, the original Sanderson Sisters are back to raise money for charity!

Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy will all be taking part in Bette's Hulaween fundraising party, designed to raise funds for the New York Restoration Project.

14. Sarah Jessica Parker is related to a real witch!

Sarah appeared on the NBC series Who Do You Think You Are? and what she learned was startling. Sarah is the descendent of a woman by the name of Esther Dutch Elwell.

She was accused of witchcraft in Salem in the late 1600s.

15. Leonardo DiCaprio auditioned to play Max.

Sadly, it was all in vain from the very beginning. Leo was very upfront about the fact that he was hoping to land two other movie roles, but he auditioned anyway.

In case you were curious, the other two movies Leo was up for were What's Eating Gilbert Grape and This Boy's Life.

16. Rosie O'Donnell almost played Mary Sanderson.

However, she turned it down because she didn't like the fact that her character would be killing children.

I wonder if, looking back now, she regrets it since it's a cult classic.

But apparently, Leo has no regrets passing.

"I don't know where the hell I got the nerve," he said to Variety. "You live in an environment where you're influenced by people telling you to make a lot of money and strike while the iron's hot. But if there's one thing I'm very proud of, it's being a young man who was sticking to my guns."

17. Bette Midler has people following her on set.

And they were doing something very strange, but I suppose that was the vibe of the set.

While they were filming, two people ran around with her holding dictionaries that contained old curse words.

18. Yes, the actresses had to learn how to ride brooms.

The choreographer rode with them in their cars to get an idea of how they drove their cars, and then used that to help train them on how they would ride their brooms.

19. It took nine cats to play the part of Thackery Binx.

Why is that, you might be asking yourself?

Well, each cat was good at something different, so those cats were used for the scenes that they would be best for.

Do you know any more *Hocus Pocus* behind-the-scenes secrets?

Or were you pleasantly surprised by all the facts we presented you with in the article?

Either way, let us know down below in the comments! We would love to hear from you!