Thursday, October 31, 2013

It's Just A Bunch of Hocus Pocus

Happy Halloween!! I really wanted to get a trip to Salem in before Halloween, and was able to last Wednesday. Mostly, I wanted to go to see some of the film locations used for Hocus Pocus since it's one of my favorite movies ever and definitely my favorite Halloween movie. I've probably watched it about 3 or 4 times now this month, and I've just been putting it on to listen to as a fall asleep every night this week. I've loved this movie since I was a child, so it holds a very special place in my heart. It also felt appropriate to visit the locations this year because it is the 20th anniversary of the movie! That's right. This movie came out when I was about 4, which means I've been watching it every year for the majority of my life. Pretty cool!







In addition my love for Hocus Pocus, I also just love Salem in general and the best time to go is October, of course. Chris had never been before, so he was down to take the trip with me. Salem is so colonial and old and New England-y and perfect in my eyes. I've only ever been in autumn, but that's always the best time to visit places like this, despite the Halloween-theme they have. Salem has wide cobblestone walkways with little shops to visit, old cemeteries, old colonial houses, and so much history. It's so interesting and amazing. It's one of those places where you visit and you can almost imagine what it was like in the 1600's. It makes you think about how many people stood or walked in the same place you are and how many generations were there before you. It can be very pensive in a pleasant way.






Top: Iz Byer//Skirt: Forever 21//Tights: Gypsy via ASOS//Boots: BC Footwear//Sweater: Take Out//Jacket: H&M//Necklace: VonTrashJewellery//Belt: Forever 21
The first thing on the agenda for the day was to see the house that they used for the exterior shots of Max and Dani's house. You know, the cool-looking house with the little lighthouse-esque room at the top. It's not very hard to find or get to, especially considering there are places online that tell you exactly where it is. It's by the water, and it's very exciting to see in person if you are a Hocus Pocus fan.







After finding Max and Dani's house, we ventured downtown to the heart of Salem. We started off at this shop that was pretty much a Harry Potter shop. It's called Remember Salem and they have all kinds of Harry Potter trinkets and memorabilia. They even sell bottles of butterbeer! They call it butterscotch beer, but it's the same thing pretty much. I feel like it's a little different than what they have at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida, but it's still pretty tasty. There's just something about it though that made me unable to finish it. Maybe it's just too much butterscotch for me.







We wandered around a bit until we came to Old Burying Point Cemetery, which is the oldest cemetery in Salem. There were a lot of old graves there, some where the gravestones were just little slabs. There are also a couple of tombs. One of the judges from the witch trials is even buried here. It's so old and full of history! And right next to it is the little Salem Witch Trials Memorial where the names of those who were killed are engraved in stone benches. The Witch Trials were always interesting to me, and it's crazy how these things can happen in societies.







The next Hocus Pocus stop was Old Town Hall, which was used as the exterior for the party that the parents of Salem attend in the movie. You know, where Max and the gang rush in and then the witches come and sing I Put A Spell On You and it's awesome. Seeing this was not as exciting as the house, but it's still cool to know that it's one of the places that was used to make this awesome movie.







We ended up right near Salem Common, which is a very popular and pretty central location in Salem. It's basically their green where they host all kinds of different events and festivities. They had painted pumpkins on display and food vendors. They also have a really pretty gazebo and tons of colorful leaves along the walkways. It's a nice place to just be when the weather is good. It's also another location that was used for Hocus Pocus. It's sort of two locations in one. Salem Common is where they shot the scene where Allison gives Max his phone number back. They also used an old school building that is right across from the Common as the exterior for the high school in the film. I couldn't help but wonder if Bette Midler may have stood in the same spot that I was. There is a scene where the Sanderson Sisters approach the school from Salem Common, and this is right where we were!






"Thackery?! Thackery Binx?!"
I need to take a moment and talk about this necklace. The moment I saw it, I knew I had to have it. I saw it sometime in the spring or summer and decided that I'd wait until it was closer to October to order it because I couldn't justify wearing it any other time of the year. I got it from VonTrashJewellery, which is a store on Etsy run by a girl in the UK. Her necklaces are all handmade and she makes a lot of awesome nostalgic pop culture-inspired stuff. I was so pumped when I received my necklace in the mail. I couldn't wait to wear it, and I knew this trip would be the perfect time to wear it!



After the Common, we did a little more walking and eventually found another location from the movie - Allison's house. Once again, this was just another exterior location. The house used for the exterior of her house in the film is really the Ropes Mansion on Essex Street and is operated by a local museum. There is a garden behind it that is free to the public, so we also checked that out while we were there. They had some pretty flowers still in bloom, which I didn't expect since it's the end of October.






In between hunting down Hocus Pocus locations, we just did some general exploring. We went to a psychic fair, which was pretty much like a flea market. We went in a few of the shops and boutiques, such as a navy surplus store, a consignment shop, and one of my favorite vintage stores that I've ever been to - Modern Millie. We also went into a used book store where the books were literally just stacked all willy-nilly. It was a little overwhelming. I decided I'd try to find some Stephen King books that I want to read (such as Carrie), but I didn't find any of the ones I wanted. I realize I've missed the boat on all the spooky books I wanted to read this Halloween season. We also got yelled at that we weren't allowed to take pictures, so we only got one inside the store.




The last stop of the day was the house that they used as the Sanderson Sisters' cottage after they come back to life in the 90's. It's when it's been turned into a museum. I got this confused with the cottage that was used for the Sanderson Sisters' cottage at the beginning of the movie when it's still supposed to be the 1600's. Both are in Salem, but the older one is a little ways away from the downtown area. This house is actually the John Ward House. I peeked inside and it was kinda creepy. It was all dark and there's furniture in there. I think it was just spooky to me because it was dark and the furniture looked really old.






It was getting chillier and starting to get darker by the time we were done exploring places, so we decided that since we found all of the Hocus Pocus spots and were satisfied, that we'd call it a day and head back home. We ended up stopping at Red Robin for dinner, only it took us about a half hour to figure out how to get to it since Siri can be a bit of a hassle sometimes. We could see the restaurant from the highway and it was on top of this hill, but when we'd get off the exit, the GPS kept making us turn somewhere where we couldn't get to the restaurant. It was insane. But we finally got there and I got to use my free birthday burger coupon to treat myself to a very tasty bacon cheeseburger with all the unlimited fries I wanted. A great day, indeed :)




Happy Halloween, everyone! Have a spooktacular day!