Hocus Pocus 2 Ending Explained (In Detail)

WARNING! This post contains SPOILERS for Hocus Pocus 2.The bittersweet ending to Hocus Pocus 2 sees the Sanderson Sisters defeated yet again – but when one coven falls, another rises. Hocus Pocus 2 dives much further into the 300-year-old legacy of the Sanderson Sisters, beginning with a flashback to their exile in Salem and the birth of their powers, while ending with a reunion in the afterlife. Of course, while Becca, Izzy, and Cassie were successful in turning the witches to dust in Hocus Pocus 2’s ending, this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re gone for good.


Hocus Pocus 2 picks up 29 years after the original movie, with the 17th-century Sanderson Sisters being resurrected another time on Halloween night. Salem teenagers Becca and Izzy are given a Black Flame Candle by magic shop owner Gilbert, who tricked the witch-obsessed girls into bringing back Winifred, Mary, and Sarah. After being duped by Max, Allison, and Dani in Hocus Pocus, the witches are now intent on achieving eternal life rather than one night back for their second resurrection. In order to perform the dangerous “Magicae Maxima” spell, which makes one witch all-powerful, the sisters have to gather the blood of their enemy. It just so happens that Becca and Izzy’s former best friend Cassie is the descendant of Reverend Traske, who banished the Sandersons from Salem back in the 1600s. Hocus Pocus 2 sees the teenagers work to turn the witches back to dust, while the Sandersons’ villainy takes an ugly turn.

Related: Hocus Pocus 2: Everything The OTHER Sequel Revealed In 2018

Once again, Salem’s teens are able to beat the Sanderson Sisters, but Hocus Pocus 2’s characters have the advantage of Becca unknowingly being a witch. In Hocus Pocus 2’s ending, Becca shares her powers with Izzy and Cassie and becomes stronger than the sisters, which is due to Winnie’s refusal to divide her magic. Failing to read the warning on the Magicae Maxima spell, Winnie didn’t realize that becoming the most powerful witch would mean losing what she valued most: Her sisters. Once Sarah and Mary vanish, Winnie decides she would rather be reunited with her sisters than be alone and all-powerful, so she gives up her magic (and life) in order to be with them again. Hocus Pocus 2’s ending gives the Sanderson Sisters a heartwarming conclusion after failing to earn eternal life again, but sets up the legacy of a new and even more powerful coven in Salem.

Do Cassie & Izzy Have Powers Now Too?

Hocus Pocus 2 Becca, Izzy, and Cassie use their magic

Becca is revealed to be a witch in Hocus Pocus 2, but her friends didn’t possess these magical capabilities beforehand. When Becca produces a magical shield around her friends, Izzy explains that powers are meant to be shared, with the protection spell becoming even stronger once the girls join hands. At this time, both Cassie and Izzy also have glowing hands, which was how Hocus Pocus 2 originally indicated that Becca was a witch. As such, it seems that Becca was successful in transferring Cassie and Izzy some of her magic and making them witches.

Salem's New Coven In Hocus Pocus 2 Explained

Becca Izzy Cassie Hocus Pocus 2 Ending

The Sanderson Sisters were once the most powerful coven in Salem, but Hocus Pocus 2’s ending sees them replaced with a more unified group of witches. The new coven in the Salem-set Hocus Pocus 2 consists of Becca, Izzy, and Cassie, but they won’t be using their powers to eat children and turn boys into cats like their predecessors. Witches are stronger when they work in a coven, so Becca, Izzy, and Cassie must maintain their close friendship and work in harmony rather than one of the girls having selfish ambitions. Even back in the opening flashback scene of Hocus Pocus 2, the Witch Mother told Winnie that a “witch is nothing without her coven,” emphasizing how much more powerful the teens will be if they stick together.

Why Book Chose Becca Over Winifred Sanderson In Hocus Pocus 2

Hocus Pocus 2 Book Crying

Book was eternally loyal to Winifred Sanderson in Hocus Pocus (1993), but it became disillusioned with the 300-year-old witch in the sequel. This is because Winnie had previously committed atrocious acts, but none as dangerous as the Magicae Maxima spell. Book would have known that doing the spell would mean Mary and Sarah would die, but Winnie’s refusal to read the warning meant her selfish ambitions had gone too far. Realizing that Becca would use Book’s spells for good and perhaps be able to save Mary and Sarah, it chose Hocus Pocus 2’s new witches over Winnie.

Related: Hocus Pocus 2 Is Avoiding The Thing That Doomed The First Movie

Are The Sanderson Sisters Dead For Good Now?

hocus pocus 2 sanderson sisters scene

Considering Max, Dani, and Allison thought the Sanderson Sisters were gone forever after Hocus Pocus (1993), it’s safe to say that turning to dust isn’t enough to officially kill the witches. Becca remarks in Hocus Pocus 2’s ending that she thinks the Sandersons are gone for good, but the end-credits scene teases that this isn’t the case. In Hocus Pocus 2’s after-credits scene, the black cat Cobweb hops up on a shelf in the magic shop and reveals a box labeled “BF Candle #2,” indicating Gilbert had one more Black Flame Candle stored away. Winnie may have given up her powers, but that doesn’t change the effect of the Black Flame Candle used to bring the sisters back to life. As such, if Disney+ announces Hocus Pocus 3, it’s likely an unsuspecting virgin will light the Black Flame Candle and bring the Sanderson Sisters back again.

Why Billy Was Finally Able To Die In Hocus Pocus 2

Doug Jones as Billy Butcherson and Sam Richardson as Gilbert in Hocus Pocus 2

One of the more confusing aspects of Hocus Pocus 2’s ending was the death of Billy Butcherson. The zombie was originally brought back to life by Winifred’s magic in 1993, but Hocus Pocus 2 reveals that he had been awake underground for the past 29 years. Considering the witches’ deaths in Hocus Pocus meant their curses and the effects of their magic were lifted, thus finally laying the boy-turned-cat Thackery Binx’s soul to rest, it’s unclear why Billy Butcherson wasn’t also killed the first time around. However, Billy Butcherson’s soul is finally freed when he turns to dust in Hocus Pocus 2’s ending, which is seemingly due to the Sanderson Sisters’ powers being gone again.

The reason why Billy didn’t die in Hocus Pocus is likely because his soul wouldn’t be at peace until he cleared up the lie about being Winifred Sanderson’s lover. Winnie had told all of Salem that Billy was her lover before she killed him, but Hocus Pocus 2’s flashback reveals that he only shared one kiss with her as a teenager. The moth-filled Billy Butcherson wanted to clear his name in this legend, so once Gilbert assured him that he would tell Salem the truth, the “good zombie” was able to pass on to the afterlife. This is also likely why Thackery Binx was able to die in the original Hocus Pocus movie, as his soul was finally able to rest once he saved Dani, thus making up for his failure to rescue his sister Emily.

Was That The Witch Mother Flying Over Salem? What It Means For Hocus Pocus 3

Hocus Pocus 2 Ending Witch Mother Bird Becca Izzy Cassie

As Becca, Izzy, and Cassie walk back home after defeating the Sanderson Sisters, a familiar bird flies close behind them. This bird was the same as the Witch Mother when she flew over Salem in Hocus Pocus 2’s flashback scene, suggesting she’s been alive since well before the 17th century. Since the fate of the Witch Mother is unknown in Hocus Pocus 2, it’s possible that she could return as a villain in Hocus Pocus 3. Hannah Waddingham’s new Hocus Pocus character was the one who first told the Sandersons about the youthful effects of eating children, suggesting she could be the one to terrorize Salem and restore her own youth in another sequel. This could also be why Hocus Pocus 2’s after-credits scene teased that there was another Black Flame Candle, as Becca, Izzy, and Cassie could resurrect the resilient Sanderson Sisters to help them take down the Witch Mother.

Related: Why Hocus Pocus Is Now So Popular

The Real Meaning Of Hocus Pocus 2's Ending

Bette Midler as Winifred Sanderson in Hocus Pocus 2

Hocus Pocus 2’s ending has several key takeaways, primarily in regard to the importance of prioritizing friendships, sisterhood, and the power of forgiveness. Winifred Sanderson frequently verbally abused her sisters, but they were always the most important people in the world to her, and the only ones who truly loved her. Winnie took them for granted throughout their lives, and didn’t realize that they were the ones who made her strong until it was too late. Winifred has always been a strong witch because of her sisters, not in spite of them. By making Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker's Hocus Pocus characters the cost of Winnie’s ambition, Hocus Pocus 2’s ending is preaching how important it is to value your loved ones over selfish pursuits.

The conflicts between Winifred, Mary, and Sarah also applied to the renewed friendships between Becca, Izzy, and Cassie. The latter character had been on the outs before Hocus Pocus 2, as Becca and Izzy felt she didn’t want to hang out with them anymore once she got a boyfriend. It wasn’t until they worked to forgive one another and unite as one that they were able to defeat the Sanderson Sisters and save Salem, with this bond becoming even stronger once Becca shared her magical powers with Izzy and Cassie. The tragedy of the powerful Sanderson Sisters in Hocus Pocus 2’s ending taught the new witches that they must value each other as one powerful entity, making sure not to take one another for granted in pursuit of maximum power. Instead of miscommunications and petty arguments, the new coven can’t let anything tear them apart again.

Valuing these strong bonds was emphasized further in Hocus Pocus 2 through the notion that – like the Sanderson Sisters – Cassie, Izzy, and Becca were outcasts in Salem. The Sandersons were kept strong by sticking together, which is exactly how the new witches will prevail against others who call them “weird.” The nearly 30-year delayed Hocus Pocus sequel also preached the lesson of inclusion, as Cassie’s boyfriend Mike realized how many people he hurt by calling them names and judging their interests. By forgiving Mike and Gilbert for their misdeeds in Hocus Pocus 2’s ending, Becca, Izzy, and Cassie are already stronger than the Sanderson Sisters ever were, as the original witches’ failure was their darkened search for vengeance.