Tourists in Salem, MA, might recognize the massive, white Colonial house with black shutters that sits at 318 Essex Street. It's Allison's house from Hocus Pocus, the 1993 Halloween flick that's now reached icon status and plays more than 20 times each October on ABC's Freeform channel. But while fans of the movie might already know that the house is real and not a Hollywood sound stage, they probably didn't know this: It's a museum, and you can visit it right now.
The Ropes Mansion has tremendous street presence, a fact that no doubt played a part in producers choosing it as the home of Allison and her well-to-do parents. Although no scenes were actually filmed inside the house, that hasn't stopped fans of the film from visiting and taking a tour. According to the , 9,240 people visited the house in 2017―that's more than 2,000 more people than in 2016. As for 2018? The final numbers aren't in yet, but if I had to guess, I'd say this will be the museum's busiest year yet, as Hocus Pocus celebrates its 25th anniversary.
Hocus Pocus Walking Tour
If you're worried that the inside of the house will be a let down because it won't match the interior you saw in the movie, don't be. The Ropes Mansion has an incredible story of its own.
The home, which is estimated to have been built in 1727, was passed down through three generations of the Ropes family (hence the name). Each generation updated the house to reflect current trends at the time, until one major renovation took place in 1894. Later, in 1912, after the last generation of Ropes family members passed away, it was decided that the historic house would be preserved and opened to the public as a museum.
With three floors, two living rooms, two dining rooms, three pantries, two bathrooms, a kitchen, and roughly nine bedrooms, there's a lot of history and architecture to take in. For starters, the family's original China collection is on display in the pantries. Spoiler: It's incredible. And incredibly massive, spanning a collection that lasted 180 years. Speaking of original items, you'll also find more family heirlooms throughout the bedroom displays, including two original beds made around 1817. (No, you can't test the beds out.)
Perhaps the biggest draw to the house, though, is outside. Behind the Ropes Mansion is a colorful garden some might even describe as magical. The garden was designed in 1912 by John Robinson, a neighbor. Some of the flowers, which are in peak bloom in late August and early September, date back to the early 20th century. I could go on about how gorgeous they are, but you should really see them for yourself.
is open between 12 p.m.-4 p.m. on weekends from May through late October. Before you head to Salem, watch the video above for a sneak peek of what you'll see when you visit.
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