We're young!
~ Mary Sanderson while celebrating with her sisters in their rejuvenated youth.
Uh-oh! Ew... Bye-bye.
~ Mary Sanderson, as the sunrise turns her to red dust.

Mary Sanderson is one of the two secondary antagonists of the 1993 Disney live action dark fantasy horror comedy film Hocus Pocus, the other being her sister Sarah.

She is the middle child of the Sanderson Sisters, and along with them is an evil witch who seems to have a "sister complex", constantly trying (and failing) to please her older sister Winifred. As such, she has a slight rivalry Jay and Ernie, but sweet and loyal towards the youngest sister Sarah. She is often the mediator of the trio, and often tries to calm her sisters down. She is also fascinated by television. she hates it when Winnie messes with Sarah.

She was portrayed by Kathy Najimy, who is best known for her role as Peggy Hill on King of the Hill.


In the 17th century, Mary is seen assisting Winifred in the creation of a potion that will allow them to steal the youth from children. Meanwhile, Mary's sister Sarah lures young Emily Binx from Salem to be the victim, unaware that Emily's brother named Thackery Binx is following them to their house. Mary, Winifred, and Sarah are able to successfully steal Emily's youth, effectively killing her and causing them to become younger. After discovering Thackery, Mary assists in turning him into an immortal black cat so that he may live with the guilt of being unable to save his sister. Just then, Salem's villagers arrive and become aware of the witches' actions after an outburst from Sarah. Mary is hung alongside her sisters, though Winifred casts a curse that will one day allow them to return via a virgin lighting the Black Flame Candle.

300 years later, on Halloween night, Mary and her sisters are brought back to life by Max Dennison, a teenage boy who did not believe in the curse. After Max, his sister Dani Dennison, and a girl named Allison steal Winifred's spellbook, the three witches are forced to follow them; the three must suck the lives of children in order to live past dawn.

Mary and the others track the kids to a cemetery, where they are forced to remain on their broomsticks. Thus, Winifred raises Billy Butcherson from the dead and commands him to capture them, though he is unsuccessful. Later, Mary and the others get a bus driver to take them to find children to be victims. Mary initially believes that she has lost her powers when she smells children though doesn't see any. At this point, they meet a man dressed as the devil, and believe him to be their master. However, after being run out by the man's wife, they realize that Halloween is a time where people wear costumes. During this time, their broomsticks are stolen, forcing the witches to continue on foot.

The witches then follow the children to the party where Max's parents are and after being exposed to the room by Max Winifred takes charge and ridicules him before singing I Put A Spell On You, therefore, enchanting all the adults causing them to dance forever. After this the children lead the witches to the school after Allison gets an idea from a restaurant and after unwittingly walking into the furnace they are locked in and the children burn them alive.

However, they did not die due to the curse protecting them from death until sunrise and they end up capturing and locking up two bullies that had made fun of Max after they call them ugly. Winifred, desperate for her eternal youth decides to try and make the potion from memory. Sarah, surprisingly, shouts out the correct ingredient but is hushed by Mary who thinks Winifred has all the right answers. At Max's house though Max and Allison open the book, therefore, allowing it to send out a signal to the witches who fly to the house, with Mary using a vacuum cleaner to replace her stolen broomstick. They take the book and kidnap Dani and Thackery. Mary accompanies Winifred to the house and assists in making the potion.

After brewing the potion again they try to get Dani to drink it but are stopped by Max who tricks them into thinking the sun has risen by using the headlights of a car. However, they realize they have been tricked and follow the children back to the cemetery and attempt to get Dani to drink the potion again though Winifred drops the potion whilst Sarah tries to help Mary escape the children. Max catches the potion and threatens to smash it though instead drinks it after Winifred says she'll kill Dani if he smashes it. After a struggle with Max, Winifred and the boy both fall to the ground and Winifred starts to take his life force but the sun comes up. Winifred turns to stone and explodes in green light whilst Sarah and Mary implode in purple and red light.

At the end of the movie, however, the book is seen and it blinks, therefore hinting the witches may return once again.


Mary has dark curly hair piled on her head in the shape of a typical witch's hat. She is a full figured woman with a crooked mouth, dark eyes, and a beauty mark on the right side of her nose. She wears a long maroon plaid skirt featuring a belt of metal rings and a red, long-sleeved shirt with a darker red bodice. When she goes outside she dons a long red cloak.


Mary is known for trying to get Winifred's attention, and tends to be the calming influence to Winifred. She is not as ditzy as Sarah, and she actually tends to be the most observant of the three. She is sometimes seen barking like a dog.

The movie's original script describes Mary as "obese and gluttonous. Obsessed with food, she possesses the outward manner of a sweet as sugar kindly aunt. Mary loves little children. She loves them because she loves to eat them."

Powers and Abilities

Mary has a highly specialized sense of smell, allowing her to smell children over great distances, and can even determine their gender. Because of this, she often compares people to food. Strangely, she seems to know what shish kebab is, even though Middle Eastern food was almost completely unknown in the West during the late 17th century. Then again, this could be an in-joke, since Mary's portrayer, actress Kathy Najimy, is of Maronite Lebanese descent. She is a competent flyer and can use a vacuum cleaner as a broomstick. She was also adept at casting spells and brewing potions, which she often did the help of her sisters. 


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Mary Sanderson
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