Hocus Pocus fans always need more Hocus Pocus in our lives, especially today! In case you didn’t know, January 31, 2018 marks the appearance of a super blue blood moon in the night sky. With this in mind, we couldn’t be more excited that we have Hocus Pocus news to share: There is a new book coming out just in time for the 25th anniversary of the iconic film, and we’ve got the exclusive cover art and an excerpt. The book is a two-parter: Part one is a fresh retelling of the original film, and part two is a sequel that continues the story of our favorite characters and the next generation of Salem teens. That’s right, in part two we’ll get to hear the story of a grown-up Max Dennison, who ended up marrying Allison, of course! We’ll also get to catch up with Dani Dennison, and meet Max and Allison’s seventeen-year-old daughter, Poppy. The story takes place on a blood moon (like today!) and the group will face a challenge when they accidentally release a coven of witches from the afterlife and have to save Salem and everyone in it. We are officially intrigued! Take a look at this gorgeous cover art for Hocus Pocus and the All-New Sequel:
And without further ado, check out this excerpt from the book:
I look back at my parents, searching for the right words. I really don’t know how to explain what happened, but I’m sure there must be some non-supernatural explanation. I’m not about to go down the same paranoid rabbit hole as my family. “There was a windstorm,” I say. “But you’re here now, and everything seems . . . fine?” Even I hear my voice go up an octave at the end.
“A windstorm? In the Sanderson house?” asks Mom. “On the night of the blood moon?”
Travis stands up then, quickly surveying the debris strewn around the room. “Mrs. Dennison,” he says, “Mr. Dennison. I am so sorry—there was a cat and . . . we were afraid it was lost, and we chased it through the gate without even realizing where we were, and . . .”
It’s super obvious he’s cobbling his lie together one piece at a time.
“Do you know how surprised we were to end up in here?” he continues. “I’ve never personally been so surprised.”
Mom looks shaken by the talk of a cat, and she takes Dad’s hand. “Poppy, what exactly did you do?” she asks me, studying the wreckage.
I almost wish the green glow beneath the floorboards will return to swallow me whole. “We may have found the spell book and tried to summon the dead, but it didn’t work,” I say. “I’m sure it’s just . . . drafty in here. Or something.”
“The spell book!” Mom gasps. “Where is it?”
Isabella pulls it out from behind her back. “Trick or treat?”
“Where did you find it?” Mom whispers, shocked.
Isabella carefully stoops and places it on the floor, then slowly backs away from it, but doesn’t offer an answer.
Dad puts his hands on his head. “What were you thinking?” he asks me. His voice has that shaky, frustrated tone that tells me Aunt Dani is right: he really is angrier than he looks.
“I guess we weren’t?” says Isabella, looking to me for backup.
What do I say? That we came here on Halloween night to prove that their story about the Sanderson sisters and a talking cat isn’t remotely true. Which, by the way, jury’s still out?
“Poppy, haven’t we taught you anything?” Mom says. “This is the only thing we’ve ever asked you not to do—and you go behind our backs?” She’s angry, but there’s also an edge of hurt to her voice. “You put your friends in danger, too. Do you realize that?” She eyes the book and turns to Dad. “Oh, Max, I have a very bad feeling about all of this.”
To my right, Isabella shifts uncomfortably, and hot blood rushes to my face.
“Okay, okay,” Aunt Dani says, hands on hips. “Max. We didn’t exactly heed the warnings about coming up here to flip through books and let virgins light candles. I seem to remember that I was the one overruled twenty-five years ago about coming to this creeper house.” She glances at me and says out of the corner of her mouth, “You didn’t let anyone light a candle, did you?”
I shake my head ever so slightly, and Aunt Dani lets out a small sigh of relief.
“That’s not the point,” says Dad.
“That’s exactly the point, Max,” says Aunt Dani, rounding on him. “Tell him, Allison.”
Mom cups my cheek in one of her hands, searching my face, and I feel a horrible sinking feeling settle in my stomach.
“I’m sorry,” I tell her. “I know we shouldn’t have come.”
“Oh, Poppy,” she says gently. “We’re just glad you’re all okay. We love you so much and couldn’t bear—”
And then Mom’s expression turns to one of shock, and she’s gone.
And then Aunt Dani is gone.
And Dad, striding across the room, disappears mid-step.
“What—” I start, reaching into the empty air, but my voice catches in my throat.
A pair of disembodied hands with freakishly long nails appears in front of us, gnarled fingers clawing at the air like they’re prying open elevator doors. The hands struggle to widen the fissure in the invisible veil, and the air seems to part further, a green glow flickering around its edges.
I see an emerald dress with white laces crisscrossing up the front, revealing a narrow length of royal blue silk. I hear an indignant huff, and then the tear opens wider still and a woman squeezes her way through, nearly tripping as she extracts one leg and then the other, her long green skirts getting caught in the narrow opening between worlds. When the woman turns to us, I see that her face is flushed and her mouth is smudged scarlet across her bottom lip and Cupid’s bow. Her eyes are crazed and triumphant, and her red hair is a violent cloud above her scalp.
Behind her, the manicured hands of a second woman grab on to the edges of the air before the tear can seal itself shut. A tall black boot emerges, followed by flowing red-and-purple skirts. Their wearer—a beautiful woman with loose blond curls—steps out and claps with excitement, jumping from one foot to another.
A third, plumper woman forces her torso through the opening next. She grins at us with a crooked mouth, then waves at the blond woman to help drag her fully into our world. Her dark hair is sculpted like a witch’s hat over her head, and she’s dressed in a rust-colored bodice with heavy plaid skirts. The brunette clutches at the blonde as she slides through the parted air, and then the space behind her seals with a pop, until there isn’t a hint that it ever existed.
The women look around, grinning. They are wildly impossible and yet somehow perfectly placed, as if they never left this ramshackle house.
My heart stops beating for a moment, and a lump rises in my throat.
This can’t be happening. But a larger, more terrified part of me can’t quiet the chorus running through my head. They’re real. They’re real, they’re real, they’re real.
“What the hell?” I breathe.
But neither Travis nor Isabella has an answer for me. Travis quickly grabs the spell book and hides it behind his back. Luckily, only I seem to have noticed him do so.
My family’s story was true. And now Mom and Dad and Aunt Dani are gone.
The redhead takes in Isabella, then me, then Travis, and she moves down the line, her grin growing wider and wider and pushing against the edges of her face.
“We’re ba-aaack,” Winifred Sanderson sings.
With a swell of sinister delight, the house fills with the sound of the Sanderson sisters’ cackling.
The witch is back.
We’re going to need a copy of this book because we’re ready to find out what happens next! Hocus Pocus and the All-New Sequel will be on sale on July 10, 2018 and you can pre-order the book here. Until then, we’ll all be running amok, amok, amok with anticipation!