A film about fictional witches from the Salem Witch Trials has become the center of a crazy controversy claiming that it will indoctrinate kids into witchcraft.

On July 16, 1993, “Hocus Pocus” was released in theaters. 29 years later, on Sept. 30, 2022, “Hocus Pocus 2” was released on Disney Plus. These films focus on three sisters, Winnifred, Sarah, and Mary Sanderson, who are witches from the Salem Witch trials. They are characterized as evil women who devour children in order to be young and beautiful forever. 

I have always been drawn to fantastical stories such as the ones told in both the original “Hocus Pocus” and the sequel, finding myself relating to many of the characters in these films. The main themes and lessons of these films were about the struggles of growing up and wanting to fit in. The main characters of both films are young teens who are in school, and we watch them struggle with family, friends, bullies, and internal conflicts that are largely relatable to young teens in our world today.

One Texas mother has been telling other parents to not let their children watch “Hocus Pocus 2”. Jamie Gooch first went viral after using her social media platforms to warn parents about the dangers of letting their kids watch the new “Hocus Pocus 2” film and went on CBS’s local Texas affiliate, KWTX, for an interview. 

Gooch stated in this interview that the worst-case scenario of letting kids watch this film is that you would be unleashing hell into your home. She was quoted in the interview saying, “Everybody thinks it’s fake and innocent, but they could be casting any type of spell that they want to, anything could be coming through that TV screen into your home.” Gooch goes on in the interview to express her fears about the media that kids these days are consuming and how the things we see through our screens can be manifested in our real lives. She expresses that the thought of exposing her kids to any “darkness” physically pains her and it does not just simply stop at this film. She states that this concern and cautiousness about media consumption should be a year-round thing.

I agree that monitoring the media your children are consuming on a normal basis should be a “year-round” concern of parents. However, I do not agree with her statements about “Hocus Pocus 2” unleashing Hell into the homes of people who watch it. 

As I previously stated, these films are not simply about witchcraft and dark magic nor does it attempt to influence children into practicing witchcraft. They involve themes and messages of the importance of family whether it is blood or found. That is why these movies hold such a special place in the hearts of many people who have watched them.


Adrian Champagne can be contacted 

at adrian.champagne@keene.edu

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