Let the stars of the Hocus Pocus reunion special bewitch you.
On Friday, Oct. 30, Bette Midler—who portrayed head witch in charge Winifred Sanderson in the 1993 film—hosted the Halloween special In Search of the Sanderson Sisters: A Hocus Pocus Hulaween Takeover. The virtual ticket sales benefitted Bette's New York Restoration Project, which helps New York grow and maintain green space.
Told in a documentary-style format, the special united Bette with Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy. The stars played Winifred's spooky sisters in the film about witches who attempt to steal the life force of Salem's children one wild Halloween night.
The special didn't just feature Sarah and Kathy, however. Hocus Pocus alums Thora Birch, Omri Katz and Doug Jones also appeared, as did stars from outside the Hocus Pocus universe. Omri, who played virgin Max in the film, once again lit the Black Flame Candle to conjure up the Sanderson sisters.
Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, the character played by Cassandra Peterson, was the night's emcee. Stars like Mariah Carey, Meryl Streep, Tiffany Haddish, Jamie Lee Curtis, Samantha Diaz, Todrick Hall, Jennifer Hudson also joined the party, with many rocking Halloween costumes for the event. Glenn Close appeared as her 101 Dalmatians character Cruella De Vil, while John Stamos appeared wearing devil horns.
In character, Glenn explained Cruella's special connection to the sisters.
"On the De Vil family tree, you'll find that Millicent De Vil, my great, great, great, great, great grandmother lived in Salem, MA, from 1643 to 1692…Millicent was known to be very musical. She taught harpsichord to the Salem youth, 3 of whom were the Sanderson Sisters," the Damages star explained. "It was said they put a curse on her after she told them they were ‘pitchy.' I've heard rumors about people who want to conjure them up again but I warn you, bringing them back would be a disaster. And I don't mean the good kind where people send canned goods and old coats!"
The special virtual reunion replaced Bette's annual Hulaween fundraiser, and was filmed under coronavirus protocols from 70 locations around the world.
Meryl appeared as herself in special, and spoke of a "paranormal encounter" she had with the Sanderson sisters while filming her 2014 musical Into the Woods.
As Meryl recalled in the special, "I was at the studio, waiting for a fitting for Into The Woods. It was a night time test, I remember because there was a full moon. I was exhausted, dozing off while waiting for the costume designer and suddenly there was a woman standing there. I assumed she was an actress, she had a script in her hand. Bright red hair, at least I think it was hair. She leaned over to me, got into my face, and told me to go home, that I wasn't going to get the part. I said, I already have the part. I'm here doing costume tests. And then she just lost it, screaming about putting a spell on me. The security guards showed up and grabbed her and then—I swear—they all disappeared. Just like that."
However, the one person who may be able to beat the Sanderson sisters at their own witchy game was none other than Mariah. If Winifred is the Queen of Halloween, well, Mimi is the reigning ruler of Christmas! In the special, Winifred appeared at Mariah's door. The "All I Want For Christmas" singer—who revealed a house already decorated for the December holiday—wasn't thrilled to see a symbol of Halloween coming to trick-or-treat.
"Well if it isn't Winnie Sanderson looking for a candy bar," the Grammy winner said. "I've got news for you, girl. Halloween's nearly over, so scat! It's my turn now."
For fans who were unable to watch the special, don't fret: There's still more Hocus Pocus to come. A sequel to the iconic Halloween flick is heading our way!