Hocus Pocus 2 Ending, Explained: Do the Sanderson Sisters Die?

Image Credit: Matt Kennedy / Disney

Disney+’s ‘Hocus Pocus 2’ picks up the story twenty-nine years after the events of ‘Hocus Pocus’. The terrifying Sanderson sisters had died in 1993, following their failure to secure a child’s soul. Now, they are brought back by two young girls who had no idea what they were doing. With the witches back in Salem, they decide to finish what they started all those years ago. But eating children’s souls is not enough this time. They have to go through with the spell which will make them the most powerful witches of all time. In the end, however, things take a darker turn for them. Here’s what that ending means. SPOILERS AHEAD

Hocus Pocus Plot Synopsis

Image Credit: Matt Kennedy/ Disney

Becca, Izzy, and Cassie have been friends since they were children. When they were five, they came up with a ritual. Every year, on Halloween night, which coincides with Becca’s birthday, they go to a specific spot in the forest and light a candle, making wishes for their future. They’d also been interested in witchcraft, which is why they were treated as weirdos by their classmates. When Cassie started dating a jock, their group fell apart. This year, only Becca and Izzy honor the ritual, but what happens next is not what they’d imagined in their wildest dreams.

The original Black Flame Candle that brought back the Sanderson sisters was spent in 1993. In 2022, a man named Gilbert has created a museum in the Sanderson witches’ house and cashes on their name to sell his merchandise. Becca, Izzy, and Cassie have bought all sorts of things from him over the years, which is why they don’t suspect anything when Gilbert gives them a weird candle for free. When Becca and Izzy light that candle and chant their regular incantation, it falls in line with the curse that Winifred had cast more than three hundred years ago. Turns out that the candle that they lit was a Black Flame Candle and because Becca, a virgin, lit it, it fulfilled the requirements for the Sanderson sisters’ revival.

Once back in the new world, the sisters realize that they need more power if they are to ensure their survival. Their first thought is to eat as many children’s souls as they can, but Winifred deduces that they need to get rid of their crutches. They need to find a permanent solution so that they don’t have to rely on a candle or fear the next sunrise. Despite the warnings in the spell book, she decides to cast the Power spell. But everything comes at a price, and Winifred discovers the cost of having absolute power too late.

Hocus Pocus Ending: Do the Sanderson Sisters Die?

Image Credit: Matt Kennedy/ Disney

‘Hocus Pocus 2’ begins in the 1600s when the Sanderson sisters were still young girls. Living in Salem, they were treated as outcasts. When the villagers tried to banish them, punishing them for not falling in line with the village priest’s orders, the girls ran away, into a forest. There they found a powerful witch who gave them all the tools they needed to become witches. She instructed them to use any spell they wished, but to stay away from the Power spell. Winifred and her sisters promised never to use that particular spell, but that promise hits its expiry date three hundred years later.

In the haste to finish the spell before the next sunrise, Winifred ignores the warning mentioned in the book. The book itself tries to stop the witches from going through with it, but eventually, it gives in to their desire. Winifred is pushed by her eagerness to secure her and her sisters’ safety once and for all. Her anxiety about their well-being is triggered when she sees the Reverend’s descendant who looks exactly like him. Also, she doesn’t want to spend another Halloween chasing after children, only to be defeated by teenagers. So, she gets all the ingredients she needs and finishes the spell.

The spell makes her all-powerful, as was promised, but it also claims the things she loves the most. The book reveals to Becca and her friends that whoever casts the Power spell will have to give up the thing that they hold closest to their hearts. But before she can tell Winifred, the spell has already been cast. Winifred becomes the most powerful witch there ever was, but her sisters are taken away from her. They don’t exactly die, but they are removed from the mortal world by the power that is responsible for their magic.

They probably exist somewhere between the land of the living and the world of the dead. When Winifred realizes what her lust for power has done, she begs the book to remedy her situation. She is ready to give up her power if it means that she can reunite with her sisters. Just when it looks like she is done for and will never see her sisters again, the book comes up with another solution. While it can’t bring Sarah and Mary back to this world, it can send Winifred to the one where they are now. Winifred departs gladly. She is not dead, but she won’t be coming back to haunt Salem anytime soon.

What Happens to Billy Butcherson?

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Billy Butcherson had kissed Winifred once, back in the 1600s and that had been his undoing. The kiss didn’t mean anything to him but for Winifred, it was supposed to be the declaration of his undying love. So, when he fell in love with Sarah, Winifred took it as a sign of his infidelity. To punish him, she not only poisoned him but also sew his mouth shut. In 1993, she resurrected him as a zombie to chase after the Dennison kids. But it turned out that Billy hated her with all his heart, and instead of doing her bidding, he helped the kids get rid of her.

Back then, Winifred had died before she could undo the spell on Billy. Since then, he has been lying in his grave, awake. He was also cursed to walk the world of the living because of Winifred, which is why he enthusiastically helps Gilbert when the latter tells him that he has found a way to kill Winifred once and for all. While Billy is disappointed on that front, when he discovers that Gilbert was simply doing the witch’s bidding, things take a turn for the better when Winifred and his sisters disappear from the mortal world after they perform the Power spell.

With Winifred gone, all of her curses are lifted. This means that Billy is free of his centuries-long curse now. He had been unable to move on from this world because of the spell. But now that the spell caster is gone, he has nothing tying him to the mortal world and his spirit is able to move on. This is much like what happened to Binx, the cat, in the first ‘Hocus Pocus’.  His curse of immortality was lifted when the witches died. With them gone, the cat finally died too and the boy’s spirit was reunited with his sister who had been waiting for him for three hundred years. Now, Billy’s spirit is redeemed too, and he is finally at peace.

Read More: What Happened to Binx the Cat in Hocus Pocus?