‘Hocus Pocus 2’ Ending, Explained: How Do The Sanderson Sisters Come Back to the World of the Living?

Welcome to the Ending Explained for Hocus Pocus 2, the sequel to the Disney classic from 1993. The film is a legacy sequel to the original film, meaning that it brings back the original Sanderson sisters to continue the story and give it an entirely new direction. In the end, unlike some other legacy sequels out there, Hocus Pocus 2 is actually very well-made. It serves as an example of what Disney and other studios should do if they want to continue their IPs in the new age of television.

The film displays some very efficient production values and also tries to replicate the visual effects from 1993 with today’s technology. The replication is almost perfect. You understand that they are being done in higher quality, but still, look somewhat cheap and archaic by today’s standards. The final result is a film that knows what it needs to preserve and what to change, giving us a very fun story with fun characters. It might not be enough to surpass, much less replace, the original film, but Hocus Pocus 2 is a worthy continuation.

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The following paragraphs contain spoilers for Hocus Pocus 2. Read at your own risk.

How Do The Sanderson Sisters Come Back To The World Of The Living?

With the Sanderson sisters being the focus of this new sequel, it isn’t surprising that the film begins by giving us a flashback. The sequence serves not only as an intro, but also as basically an origin story for our favorite witches. You see, when Winnie got to her 16th birthday, and she started developing witch powers, the entire town of Salem turned against her rather quickly. We are told that Winnie and her sisters weren’t evil at first, but mostly just women who were ahead of their time.

Winnie is going to be forced to marry a young man, but she wants to be free with her sisters. She might act as if they are an annoyance to her, but she actually loves them very much. Winnie would only marry Billy Butcherson, but he denies her, so they run into the Forbidden Woods, a place sacred to witches. There, they meet a witch that transforms into a bird. She recognizes the power in Winnie, and she gives her Book, a sentient book with tons of knowledge and spells inside of it. From there, Winnie and her sister became kid-eating witches to stay young until they were hanged in the 1600s.

Back in the present, we are introduced to Becca, Izzy, and Cassie, a trio of friends that have been having problems lately, with Cassie getting a boyfriend and not spending enough time with her friends. Becca and Izzy decide to perform their traditional Halloween ritual without Cassie. They go and get a magic candle from Gilbert, the owner of the local magic shop. They ignite the wick of the candle and perform the ritual, and without knowing it, they bring the Sanderson Sisters back to the world of the living.

The sisters are quite happy that they managed to come back, and now they look for Book. Their objective is to perform a spell that gives them ultimate power, the one spell that the witch who gave them the book in the first place told them to never perform. Becca and Izzy try to distract the witches and look for help. They turned to Gilbert, but it is revealed he gave them a real magic candle on purpose so that they could summon the Sanderson sisters for real. Gilbert gets cursed to help them find the ingredients for the powerful spell. While Becca and Izzy are trapped in a basement.

How Are The Sanderson Sisters Defeated This Time?

While the Sandersons are in town looking for the spell’s ingredients, Becca and Izzy manage to escape the basement using magic. It is clear that Becca might be an actual witch, with powers that are awakening just now on her 16th birthday. After they escape, they try to contact Cassie. One of the ingredients is “the blood of your enemy”, and Cassie is a descendant from the family that exiled the Sandersons from Salem, long ago, the witches are looking to extract the blood from Cassie’s father.

They manage to distract the witches long enough with the town’s Halloween activities, but it is not enough, and they trap them in a circle of salt. However, Mary had changed her broom for Roomba cleaners, and they clean up the salt, letting them go free. The witches captured Cassie and take her to the Forbidden Woods, where the spell should be performed. Becca and Cassie follow now, knowing that Becca has actual powers. The Sandersons are now ready to perform the spell. Book doesn’t want to, but the witches dismiss its warning and his desire not to do so.

Becca interrupts the ritual, and she discovers that Izzy and Cassie are her covenant, just like Mary and Sarah are to Winnie’s. When facing Winnie directly, Becca manages to convince Book to follow her now. However, Winnie doesn’t need the book, she knows the spell from memory, and she performs it, acquiring limitless power. No one can face her now.

However, something Winnie didn’t predict started happening. Mary and Sarah begin to disappear. Becca reveals to Winnie that to acquire ultimate power, she needed to pay a price, which was giving up what she treasured the most. In Winnie’s case, the thing she values the most was her sisters. Winnie has no words and tries to void the spell, but she cannot do it. Becca helps her by using a spell of returning from the Book. They send Winnie back to her sisters, and Sanderson’s menace is no more, once again.

In a post-credit scene, it is revealed that in Gilbert’s shop, there is another magical candle that could mean the return of the Sanderson sisters in the future.

  • Nelson loves all things related to storytelling. He has spent most of his life studying narrative, applied across all mediums; film, TV, books, and video games. Mulholland Drive is his favorite film.