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Witches Run Amok

The Oral History of Disney's Hocus Pocus

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Hardcover
$26.99 US
6.21"W x 9.28"H x 1.07"D   | 17 oz | 20 per carton
On sale Aug 13, 2024 | 304 Pages | 9781368094665
The oral history of Disney’s Hocus Pocus, one of the most beloved Halloween movies of all time

In July 1993, Disney’s Hocus Pocus, starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy, did not immediately find success, with box office numbers falling far below what was envisioned. Yet somehow the Halloween movie released in the middle of the summer to little fanfare has become an enduring and widely loved classic. Nearly three decades after the film’s initial release, it’s a yearly holiday viewing tradition in households around the world, becoming a not-so-scary rite of passage for kids and their parents, many of whom grew up watching the film about the resurrected witchy trio with their own parents. 

Hocus Pocus is a movie that has few if any equals; it manages to span a generational divide, uniting boomers and zoomers in their nostalgic love for the boundary-pushing supernatural comedy that in some ways seemed a little too risqué for the millennial kids it was originally intended for. So how did a movie that didn’t catch an initial spark end up casting such a spell on mainstream culture? Witches Run Amok answers that question and more, using interviews from the cast and creative team behind the heartwarming Halloween staple. The book is a love letter to Hocus Pocus’s millions of devoted fans and a fascinating read for anyone who wants to understand how the Disney movie became a pop culture phenomenon.
“I learned so much that I frankly never knew. Fans will go crazy (read as: amok, amok, amok) over this charming, informative, breezy, and oh-so-fun book.”
—David Kirschner, creator/writer/producer of Hocus Pocus

“Shannon Carlin’s Witches Run Amok put a spell on me—once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down. A delightful, authoritative, and altogether bewitching behind-the-scenes tour of a Halloween classic.”
—Scott Meslow, author of From Hollywood with Love: The Rise and Fall (and Rise Again) of the Romantic Comedy
 
“This is no mere collection of quotations. Shannon Carlin has woven from the fabric of first-person remembrance a narrative tapestry of movie memories and fan culture. I literally wrote a whole book about Hocus Pocus, and I still learned from Shannon’s exhaustive collection of interviews.” 
—Aaron Wallace, author of Hocus Pocus in Focus: The Thinking Fan’s Guide to Disney’s Halloween Classic

“Author Shannon Carlin has conjured up a bewitching oral history about one of the greatest Halloween movies of all time. It’s a deeply relatable tale, too; who among us didn’t wave our wands at our parents when we were little and yell some version of Harry Potter’s Accio! to make sure they rent a copy of Hocus Pocus before coming home with dinner from Kentucky Fried Chicken? Carlin left me spellbound with lots of delightful tales about the Sanderson sisters. I’d say more about this well-timed confection, but I’ve plum run out of magical puns.”
—Lynette Rice, author of How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey’s Anatomy
Shannon Carlin is a pop culture journalist whose work has appeared in TIME, Vulture, Pitchfork, and Bustle, where she published an oral history of Hocus Pocus’ “I Put a Spell On You” scene in 2018. Born and raised in Ronkonkoma, New York, she now lives in Brooklyn with her husband. She is a graduate of St. Joseph’s University, New York and The Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, and is proud to have been quoted in the trailer for Lifetime’s 2017 Britney Spears biopic. Witches Run Amok: The Oral History of Disney's Hocus Pocus is her first book.

About

The oral history of Disney’s Hocus Pocus, one of the most beloved Halloween movies of all time

In July 1993, Disney’s Hocus Pocus, starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy, did not immediately find success, with box office numbers falling far below what was envisioned. Yet somehow the Halloween movie released in the middle of the summer to little fanfare has become an enduring and widely loved classic. Nearly three decades after the film’s initial release, it’s a yearly holiday viewing tradition in households around the world, becoming a not-so-scary rite of passage for kids and their parents, many of whom grew up watching the film about the resurrected witchy trio with their own parents. 

Hocus Pocus is a movie that has few if any equals; it manages to span a generational divide, uniting boomers and zoomers in their nostalgic love for the boundary-pushing supernatural comedy that in some ways seemed a little too risqué for the millennial kids it was originally intended for. So how did a movie that didn’t catch an initial spark end up casting such a spell on mainstream culture? Witches Run Amok answers that question and more, using interviews from the cast and creative team behind the heartwarming Halloween staple. The book is a love letter to Hocus Pocus’s millions of devoted fans and a fascinating read for anyone who wants to understand how the Disney movie became a pop culture phenomenon.

Praise

“I learned so much that I frankly never knew. Fans will go crazy (read as: amok, amok, amok) over this charming, informative, breezy, and oh-so-fun book.”
—David Kirschner, creator/writer/producer of Hocus Pocus

“Shannon Carlin’s Witches Run Amok put a spell on me—once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down. A delightful, authoritative, and altogether bewitching behind-the-scenes tour of a Halloween classic.”
—Scott Meslow, author of From Hollywood with Love: The Rise and Fall (and Rise Again) of the Romantic Comedy
 
“This is no mere collection of quotations. Shannon Carlin has woven from the fabric of first-person remembrance a narrative tapestry of movie memories and fan culture. I literally wrote a whole book about Hocus Pocus, and I still learned from Shannon’s exhaustive collection of interviews.” 
—Aaron Wallace, author of Hocus Pocus in Focus: The Thinking Fan’s Guide to Disney’s Halloween Classic

“Author Shannon Carlin has conjured up a bewitching oral history about one of the greatest Halloween movies of all time. It’s a deeply relatable tale, too; who among us didn’t wave our wands at our parents when we were little and yell some version of Harry Potter’s Accio! to make sure they rent a copy of Hocus Pocus before coming home with dinner from Kentucky Fried Chicken? Carlin left me spellbound with lots of delightful tales about the Sanderson sisters. I’d say more about this well-timed confection, but I’ve plum run out of magical puns.”
—Lynette Rice, author of How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey’s Anatomy

Author

Shannon Carlin is a pop culture journalist whose work has appeared in TIME, Vulture, Pitchfork, and Bustle, where she published an oral history of Hocus Pocus’ “I Put a Spell On You” scene in 2018. Born and raised in Ronkonkoma, New York, she now lives in Brooklyn with her husband. She is a graduate of St. Joseph’s University, New York and The Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, and is proud to have been quoted in the trailer for Lifetime’s 2017 Britney Spears biopic. Witches Run Amok: The Oral History of Disney's Hocus Pocus is her first book.

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