From the Brothers Grimm to classic novels like Dracula or The House with a Clock in Its Walls, people have been fascinated by tales of witches, warlocks, and other supernatural critters for centuries.
Even today, thousands of movies like Hocus Pocus are based on classic spooky stories.
We all love a good spooky story, and every generation seems to have its particular brand of fright.
Below is a list of great movies like Hocus Pocus that will send shivers down your spine.
1. The Babadook (2014)
- Director: Jennifer Kent
- Cast: Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Daniel Henshall, Hayley McElhinney, Barbara West, Ben Winspear, and Chloe Hurn
- IMDb rating: 6.8/10
This chilling and unnerving tale from Australia establishes itself as a modern classic from the first frames.
The Babadook follows a young widow and her son as they struggle to come to terms with the loss of their husband in the face of a mysterious and increasingly malevolent tome.
When the Babadook invades the boy’s psyche, he begins to believe in the book’s supernatural qualities, and the mother is too distracted by her grief to understand.
Her son grows increasingly unstable, and when she finally does see the Babadook for herself, she does the only thing she can think of to protect her child.
Haunting and unsettling, and featuring a truly unforgettable performance by Essie Davis as the mother, The Babadook is one of the amazing movies like Hocus Pocus.
2. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
- Director: Henry Selick
- Cast: Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara, William Hickey, Glenn Shadix, Paul Reubens, and Ken Page
- IMDb rating: 7.9/10
Before The Nightmare Before Christmas even existed, Disney was pressured to live up to the classic Halloween special it was based on.
All around, the public was expecting the studio to deliver, and the inventiveness of director Henry Selick and producer Tim Burton delivered in spades.
Every frame is imaginative and creative, from stylized animation to the unforgettable soundtrack.
The characters are delightfully bizarre. From the Jack Skellington protagonist, who sets out to try and bring Christmas to the underworld, to his lover Sally, the adorable Christmas tree with a mind of her own, and the repulsive Pumpkin King.
Halloween is already a celebrated holiday, so Selick and Burton created a Halloween-inspired Christmas special to help hype the holiday.
This is undoubtedly one of the best movies like Hocus Pocus to watch.
3. The Exorcist (1973)
- Director: William Friedkin
- Cast: Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair, Lee J. Cobb, Kitty Winn, Jack MacGowran, and Jason Miller
- IMDb rating: 8.1/10
The Exorcist is among the amazing movies like Hocus Pocus. It has been a cultural icon for decades, and its influence on modern horror movies is undeniable.
William Friedkin’s adaptation of William Peter Blatty’s novel is a classic creep-out, filled with visceral scenes that are still talked about today.
The movie opens with a mother (Ellen Burstyn) pleading with a priest (Max von Sydow) to help her teenage son (Jason Miller), who is possessed by demons.
With the help of a psychologist and an exorcism, the priest and mother both realize that there’s more to the possession than they thought and that this isn’t the first time it’s happened.
A classic, undeniably scary, and with a message about the power of belief, The Exorcist is a must-watch for any fans of Hocus Pocus.
4. Dark Shadows (2012)
- Director: Tim Burton
- Cast: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green, Helena Bonham Carter, Jackie Earle Haley, Jonny Lee Miller, and Bella Heathcote
- IMDb rating: 6.2/10
Tim Burton’s gothic reimagining of the classic TV shows Dark Shadows is a must-watch for any fans of Hocus Pocus.
The movie centers on the Collinwood family, who are cursed with a demonic presence that haunts the halls of their home.
The family is plagued by tragedy and a supernatural intruder who desires the family’s repressed and twisted history.
Dark Shadows is a delightfully twisted take on the more mainstream versions of these classic stories and features some delightful performances from Johnny Depp and Michelle Pfeiffer.
5. Ghostbusters (2016)
- Director: Paul Feig
- Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Zach Woods, Ed Begley Jr., and Charles Dance
- IMDb rating: 6.8/10
It’s no surprise that you’re bound to get a sequel when you make a movie like Hocus Pocus.
Ghostbusters receives credit for bringing the classic supernatural comedy franchise back to the big screen, and it’s a worthy follow-up.
This reboot stars Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones as a new team of Ghostbusters tasked with keeping New York City safe from ghosts.
It might not be as whimsical and playful as the first movie, but it’s still a fun and funny watch that harkens back to classic comedy movies like Hocus Pocus.
Ghostbusters is a great alternative for those who want to watch one of the best classic movies like Hocus Pocus.
6. The Craft (1996)
- Director: Andrew Fleming
- Cast: Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell, Rachel True, Skeet Ulrich, Christine Taylor, and Breckin Meyer
- IMDb rating: 6.4/10
The Craft is a modern-day update on the classic story of three young women sacrificed and chosen for witchcraft.
This modern update features stars like Neve Campbell, Rose Mcgowan, and Mia Farrow.
It explores themes such as feminism, coming-of-age, and female empowerment.
The Craft follows a group of girls who discover a book that details the history of witchcraft and set out to use their newfound powers for good.
7. Labyrinth (1986)
- Director: Jim Henson
- Cast: David Bowie, Jennifer Connelly, Toby Froud, Shelley Thompson, Christopher Malcolm, Natalie Finland, and Shari Weiser
- IMDb rating: 7.3/10
If you love classic movies like Hocus Pocus, there’s no better way to keep the magic going than with a revisit of the classic Jim Henson movie Labyrinth.
Following a young girl named Sarah as she tries to rescue her brother from the clutches of the Goblin King, this is a must-watch for classic fans of classic horror movies like Hocus Pocus.
This is one of the best movies like Hocus Pocus on this list.
8. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
- Director: Wes Craven
- Cast: Heather Langenkamp, Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, John Saxon, Ronee Blakley, Amanda Wyss, and Jsu Garcia
- IMDb rating: 7.4/10
The original Hocus Pocus, A Nightmare on Elm Street, follows a group of teenagers terrorized by a child murderer named Freddy Krueger.
Freddy’s victims are trapped in their nightmares and forced to relive their deepest fears through the eyes of their sleep-deprived bodies.
If you’ve got kids in the house, this is a good choice to make them watch.
Freddy Krueger is one of the most iconic horror villains of all time, and the mere sound of his name will send anyone afraid of the dark running for the nearest pillow.
9. The Crucible (1996)
- Director: Nicholas Hytner
- Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Winona Ryder, Paul Scofield, Joan Allen, Bruce Davison, Rob Campbell, and Jeffrey Jones
- IMDb rating: 6.8/10
The Crucible is one of the best movies like Hocus Pocus. In the late 17th century, Salem, Massachusetts, was a hotbed of witchcraft. Now, that’s not something that happens to be true today.
However, a small town called Salem has a long history of good and bad things happening there, which is why many people have fallen for the idea that witches haunt the place.
These days, the town is best known as the setting for the 1998 TV miniseries The Crucible, and it’s also where director Arthur Miller’s classic play The Crucible is set.
The Crucible follows a group of people accused of practicing witchcraft and other dark arts and forced to defend themselves in court.
The fact that it takes place in a small New England town during the Salem Witch Trials of the late 17th century certainly adds extra spice to the proceedings.
Also, if you like torture scenes, you’ll love this movie’s depiction of how they tried to get the truth out of their prisoners.
10. Coraline (2009)
- Director: Henry Selick
- Cast: Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, John Hodgman, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, Keith David, and Robert Bailey Jr.
- IMDb rating: 7.7/10
In Gaiman’s world, Coraline is a girl who can walk through walls and has been sent to an alternate universe where she’s only a little girl and a monster.
Her family is being kept prisoner by the same creep who brought her to this strange world.
She must also figure out a way to escape before her powers fade altogether. Gaiman’s book is a quick read, but it’s not a young kid’s.
It’s a really good, creepy horror story for any age, and it’s got a fun twist at the end that will leave you wondering just how much of a dream it was.
This is great if you like scary movies like Hocus Pocus based on literary classics.