It’s safe to say Hocus Pocus is one of my favorite movies of all time, let alone Halloween movies. It’s the perfect mix of silly and spooky, and it will instantly put a spell on you. If you feel the same way, here are five books to keep you going until we, hopefully, get the sequel!
The Gates by John Connolly
While trick-or-treating three days before Halloween, 11-year-old Samuel Johnson and his faithful dachshund Boswell witness the Abernathys summoning a demon at 666 Crowley Road. Instead of simply making their lives more interesting, they call forth Satan himself and create a hole in the universe. A spot in which the gates of Hell are visible and from which terrifying creatures are ready to spring. Can one young boy defeat all of the forces of evil?
With The Gates, John Connolly infuses humor and heart into the end of the world. Hocus Pocus fans will appreciate the quirky villains and loveable young heroes, as well as a fantastic animal sidekick.
The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw
Two hundred years ago, Sparrow, Oregon, sentenced three sisters to death by drowning. Each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of local girls to seek their revenge and killing the boys of Sparrow. Like the rest of the citizens, Penny Talbot has accepted the town’s fate.
A new boy arrives on the eve of the sisters’ return, unaware of the danger that awaits him. The townspeople quickly turn against one another, but Penny can see what they don’t, and only she can save herself and the town.
The Wicked Deep’s strength lies in its atmosphere, and it’s a darkly enchanting tale. Shea Ernshaw has created a story with everything a Hocus Pocus fan could want: a haunted town, a two-hundred-year-old curse and three witches back from the dead.
The Appearance of Annie Van Sinderen by Katherine Howe
Summer in New York City means the start of NYU’s summer workshop for aspiring filmmaker Wes Auckerman. While filming a séance at a psychic’s, Wes meets Annie. She fascinates him but disappears before he can learn more about her. When Wes finds her again, they fall for one another.
He comes to realize; however, there’s something strange about Annie. She begins slipping in and out of time, reliving a specific week in her life only to end up in modern New York City the next. Amid their love story, it’s clear that Annie is running out of time; she and Wes must uncover the city’s secrets to reveal Annie’s past and maybe even stop a curse.
This one is for the Max and Allison fans out there. Young love is everywhere in The Appearance of Annie Van Sinderen, but Katherine Howe doesn’t shy away from the chills and spooky flashbacks.
Spell on Wheels by Kate Leth
Andy, Jolene and Claire are more than meets the eye. They’re witches, housemates and best friends. When someone breaks into their house and steals a spell, the witches swear to find who’s responsible. They set off on a road trip across New England, meeting all kinds of interesting, sometimes dangerous, people and not people and solving their problems with magic and friendship.
Spell on Wheels leans more toward the zany side of Hocus Pocus, and these witches are not as evil as the Sanderson sisters. Still, Kate Leth emphasizes the importance and power of female friendship when it comes to achieving your goals — even if they are revenge-oriented.
When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore
Miel and Sam’s strangeness binds them together. People say Miel spilled out of a water tower when she was five and grows roses from her wrist, and Sam is known for painting moons that hang in the trees. Their neighbors, however, are stranger: the Bonner girls, four sisters, believed to be witches.
They get what they want, no matter the cost. The sisters believe Miel’s roses have the power to earn them the love of any boy, and they’re willing to use every secret Miel and Sam have to take them.
Like all of Anna-Marie McLemore’s work, When the Moon Was Ours is gorgeous, this one is a little bit of a wild card as far as Hocus Pocus comparisons, but it has a sweet young love story and some fabulous witch sisters that you don’t want to cross.
These are just a few of the great books with Hocus Pocus vibes that are out there. While we wait for the upcoming sequel, check out last year’s Sanderson sisters reunion and celebrate their favorite season!