I’m almost ashamed to tell you this, but until last night I had never seen Hocus Pocus.
What?! you’re probably saying. It’s one of the classics of our generation! I watch it six times every Halloween and constantly post .gifs from the movie on social media!
I know. It’s a thing. A thing I missed out on–until last night, that is.
You see, growing up, I wasn’t allowed to watch anything involving witchcraft or magic in general. My parents went through an extremely religious phase of life and so whenever my peers talk about Hocus Pocus or The Craft or even The Smurfs (apparently Papa Smurf cast spells? I don’t know, I’ve never seen it), I kind of smile and nod along and wait for the subject to change. I only got into Harry Potter around the release of the third movie as sort of an act of rebellion, though the rules had softened by then. Of course, nowadays, my mom is a big fan of the Harry Potter movies and keeps borrowing my copies of the books, so, you know. Things change.
Of course you did! you’re probably saying. It’s one of the classics of our generation! I–
Let me cut you off right there.
Obviously, it’s got that classic nineties movie feel and I love Bette Midler and Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker and Thora Birch. (Oh, Thora. Even at eight years old, you were the greatest.) I loved the campy acting and the old-school animation on Binx’s face and it’s always fun to see someone like Doug Jones in one of his older roles (look it up), and the makeup! and the costumes! and I finally get all the memes and .gifs and costume tutorials floating around my Facebook page.
But do you know what I loved the most?
It wasn’t scary.
Because, no, I was not allowed to watch movies like that, but I was not a defiant kid who became obsessed with the macabre and rolled her eyes at her parents. No; that kind of thing freaked me out. Especially the book made of human skin. Isn’t that a terrible prospect? And when I was a kid, I took EVERYTHING seriously and I believed a lot of things I don’t necessarily believe now and I once called a friend to beg her not to play with the Ouija board she received as a gift because I feared she would unleash evil spirits.
Now, I’m not saying I have the universe figured out (one of my major beliefs is that nobody does), but I will say this: it’s an amazing feeling when you realize how much you’ve grown up, or just grown in general. To get past the fears of your youth–it’s pretty amazing.