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hocus pocus

The list of Halloween movies we adore gets longer and longer every year. We just can’t get enough of the frightening films and neither can Ireland.

A new study by Halloween FM has revealed the nation’s favourite Halloween movie and it is a classic.

26 years after it was first released, Hocus Pocus is still Ireland’s favourite Halloween movie – that’s according to a new survey carried out by Halloween FM.

Nearly two-thirds (62 percent) say that Hocus Pocus is their favourite movie, followed by Halloween (21 percent) and Nightmare on Elm Street (13 percent). Thriller by Michael Jackson takes first place (30 percent) as the favourite Halloween song with just under with 1962 classic The Monster Mash taking second place at 17 percent.

Decorations for Halloween are growing in popularity year-on-year, and this year is no exception, with a whopping 65 percent of people saying they will decorate their houses “from top to bottom” for Halloween, but full-on American-inspired ghouls and spiderweb adorning the front of the house doesn’t appeal to everyone, with 29 percent of people say that something small to decorate the house or porch will suffice, such as a carved pumpkin. Just 6 percent said they won’t bother with any decorations at all.

U.S President Donald Trump emerges as the figure of many nightmares, with 41 percent saying that he is the worst celebrity they would want to be stuck in a haunted house with. Katie Hopkins comes second, with 29 percent running for cover from the out-spoken English media personality. Hilariously, just 7 percent of respondents object to Freddy Krueger.

HalloweenFM.ie, Ireland’s first ever Halloween radio station, is on air now playing wickedly good music and providing the perfect soundtrack to all your Halloween celebrations.

Listeners are enjoying a wide range of music from a mix of upbeat Halloween-inspired hits to a collection of spooky songs and classics. There are a host of familiar voices presenting on the station, ensuring you get in the mood for Halloween 2019.


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HalloweenFM.ie also boasts a range of extra content that will help you make this Halloween the most memorable yet. They include the ‘Sixty Second Scare’ and the ‘Monster Movie Minute’! You can also find out about all the best terrifying Halloween events that are happening around Ireland to make sure you don’t miss out on making the most of the adrenaline driven holiday.

The station is broadcasting from the Ballsbridge Hotel, Dublin.

HalloweenFM.ie is available online, on your mobile, on your smart speaker and at www.halloweenfm.ie.


For many of us, the re-watching of Hocus Pocus has become an annual tradition at this time of year, and suffice to say many of us believe we know the 1993 movie inside out.

But do you know its origins? OrigInal name? Intended storyline? Nah, we didn't think so.

Well, come little children because you're about to find out.

While discussing the movie with EW recently, writer Mick Garris explained that his original screenplay was a much darker movie – one which ultimately never made it to the silver screen.

"What I had written originally was about 12-year-olds. The kids being younger and in more jeopardy was certainly something more explicitly frightening," he explained.

Revealing that the movie's original title was, in fact, Halloween House, Mick went on to explain that the film initially piqued the interest of director, Stephen Spielberg, until industry rivalry forced him to pass on it.

"He loved it until he found out that Disney was already involved, Mick said. "At that time, Disney and Amblin were very competitive in the family-film market, so neither of them wanted to be in business with the other."

Mick explained that, under the scrutiny of a team of writers, the first draft became 'broadly comedic', and soon evolved from a dark story to the family favourite we know today.



Hocus Pocus is one of our absolute favourite Halloween movies – it's been around as long as we have and it's chock-a-block with references for both kids and adults. 

But, have you ever wondered what the infamous Sanderson Sisters would say if they lived in Santry rather than Salem?

Luckily, we don't have to imagine anymore, as comedian and general gas b*tch Enya Martin of Giz a Laugh fame has teamed up with NOW TV to give Hocus Pocus a Dublin twist. 


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Enya gave some authentic Dublin life to the film, making the sisters hide naggins, cook up coddle and crash a house party.

If, after watching the parody, you're craving the real deal, you can catch it now on NOW TV. 

NOW TV is the only online streaming service that lets you watch live pay TV and on-demand shows, box sets, latest movies and exclusive live sports without a contract – so it's  perfect fro a Halloween night in. 




Hocus Pocus is the Holy Grail of Halloween movies.

I'd watch it all year round because it's a f*cking great movie but come October 1st, it's practically on a daily loop in my house. 

Released in 1993, the story is now 25 years old (how mental is that?) and most of us know it OBH.

LA teen Max Dennison is the new guy at his Salem school, it's Halloween, and three sister witches come back from the dead after 300 years to suck the life out of all of the kids in the town blah blah blah.

Loving it as we do, the cast fits seamlessly into the plot – Thora Birch as fiery kid Dani deffo steals all the scenes she's in. 

But wait, guess who was all lined up to be the lead character, Max?

None other than Hollywood heavyweight Leo DiCaprio and our mind is blown. 

We can't imagine 90's cutsey Leo as the grumpy but likeable teen played by Omri Katz. 

Hocus Pocus director Kenny Ortega has said that Leo was the original inspo for the character.  

He said, ''the [casting] ladies called me up and they said, ‘We’re sending you an actor today but he’s not available but you're going to fall in love with him but you can’t have him. You need to see this guy because he’ll inspire you and if nothing else, he’ll help you find the right guy to play Max.''

He continued, "and they send me in a young Leonardo DiCaprio, who I completely and absolutely fall in love with.'' 

However young Leo chose to star in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape instead of the Halloween classic. 

And Kenny was happy with who they got to play Max instead. 

He said, ''obviously, he left and incredible things happened for that young man, but meeting him awakened me to the kind of spirit and fun and sincerity that I was looking for in an actor and when Omri Katz came around, I fell in love again and he was our Max."

Fans of the movie were quick to add their views on what they thought about this casting. 

Some thought Leo was all wrong for the flick, saying that Omri Katz was perfect in the role 

One wrote, ''Idk something about Omri Katz's quirkiness is almost perfect for the role.''

While others were showing their die-hard dedication to Leo.

One tweeted, ''Leo would never get his sneakers stolen like that chump'' and another said, ''Leo DiCaprio was the original choice for Max in Hocus Pocus, which would have made him my bae-ist bae.''

What do you think – Omri or Leo? Think we gotta stick with the original, you just can't beat it. 


So, Bette Midler isn't a fan of the rumoured Hocus Pocus remake and our inner 90's kids are crying uncontrollably.

Last month, we reported that everyone's favourite Halloween movie was getting a reboot – and while we can hardly contain our excitement, it looks like not everyone is too thrilled about the upcoming project.

Speaking to People at the Restoration Project's annual Hulaween party, the actress said:

“I know it’s cheap. It’s going to be cheap!”

Adding: “I’m not sure what they’re going to do with my character. My character is very, very broad and I don’t know who they’re going to find to play that.”

Bette played the role of Winifred Sanderson in the 1993 original, alongside co-stars Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy.

Mick Garris, a writer who worked on the original Disney Channel film previously said that re-casting the story's main characters would be a “big mistake” – but we're not holding our breath.

When asked by reporters have big the pay check would need to be before she would consider reprising the role, Better simply replied, “no!”

Brb – just mourning the loss of our treasured childhood memories. 


Break out the broomsticks – there's a Hocus Pocus sequel reportedly in the works!

24 years after its original release, Forbes have reported that a follow up film is finally on its way.

Speaking to the magazine, the film's writer, Mick Garris, revealed that while he is not involved in the upcoming production, he believes a second script is in the early stages of development.

“I have heard they are developing the script, I haven't been involved in it but I think there will be a sequel it might be for Disney Channel or Freeform or ABC. I think it will be for television but I hear that it is moving ahead.”

It's not clear yet whether the original trio (Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker) will be reprise their roles, though Mick did say re-casting the film would be a “big mistake.”

"I think they are, yeah, I think they are. If they don't do that I think it would be a big mistake because all three of them are still so incredibly potent and powerful and great performers and who else can recreate those characters?"

According to Deadline, David Kirschner, producer on the original movie, is on board to executive produce, while Kenny Ortega (High School Musical) will direct.

We can not wait for this!



Bette Midler just won Halloween.

The actress gave us the ultimate throwback last night when she dressed up as her Hocus Pocus character, Winifred.

Bette Midler as Winnie

The 70-year-old was out to attend the Hulaween Party last night at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.

Bette recently opened up about the 1993 flick, saying she's baffled as to why it didn't get a spin-off.

“For the life of me, I can’t understand why there’s not a sequel.

Bette Midler as Winnie Sanderson

“You don’t get to see women doing slapstick too much, and in the movie you can see that we’re having a blast…All the shackles were off…and we were allowed to be as wild as we wanted to be. It was a perfect storm of fun.”

We don't understand either! A sequel NEEDS to be made.


Hocus Pocus celebrated a big birthday yesterday. The Halloween classic is now 22 years old and naturally fans were very excited.

Countless ‘Where are they now’ type posts began popping up on social media and we loved every single one of them. However, it seems like many of them might have made an interesting mistake. 


People are always fascinated by tiny children in scary films, and Emily Binx was not exception. So, going on IMDB in order to discover what happened to real-life Emily is a natural thing. 

Except, you are going to end up finding out about the wrong actress.

Jody-Amy Rivera is listed as the actress who played Emily. She didn’t, and Cosmopolitan caught up with her to find out what happened. 

Doing a radio interview she was asked if she did any films: “When I was a kid, my mom had me doing commercials and extra work, so I said I was in Hocus Pocus and [the DJ] then went on to something else.”

Jody wasn’t lying however, she was in Hocus Pocus. She just had a very small part. When she realised that she was popping up in so many articles related to the film, she tried to contact IMDB to fix the mistake.

“I was on Facebook and I'd see these articles from like BuzzFeed and I'd see my face and it says, 'Where are they now?' but they'd got it all wrong." 

She even went and tracked down the real Emily-Binx, who is a real estate agent in Malibu and also plays in a rock band, to let her know.

Jody-Amy did use the stage name Amanda Shepherd, which was the real name of the actress who did play Emily. 

Amanda was never that bothered by the mix-up, and when Jody contacted her that had a good laugh about the whole thing.

Amanda still has fond memories of her experience on set with the cast, calling Bette Midler “very busy” while SJP was “soft-spoken.” Also, they allowed her to keep Binx the cat, amazing.


Pic ’n’ Mix is here with your box office bucket list! We round up what’s hot, and what’s most certainly not in the box office this week from newcomers like Fury and The Book of Life to how well films like Gone Girl and The Judge are doing. In a nod to Halloween we’ve picked a spooktacular movie that’s more fun than scare the bejaysus out of you! (We cater for all here…not that our host is a big scaredy cat). We’ve also chosen a thrilling movie to be released this Friday to bookmark in your diaries.

Join us back here tomorrow for Spotlight where we chat to rising stars Hudson Taylor.

Niamh Geaney reports.