Bette Midler Reveals We Sung This Classic ‘Hocus Pocus’ Song Wrong

Bette Midler geared up for the release of the sequel to “Hocus Pocus” this week by making a surprising revelation (to some fans, at least) about the original film.

Over the weekend, the stage and screen icon shared a mesmerizing photo of herself as Winifred Sanderson to Instagram, along with a caption that referenced “I Put A Spell On You,” her classic song from the 1993 film.

“Hello, sailors,” she wrote. “My name is Winifred, what’s yours?”

While the lyrics may seem harmless, it surprised many Midler fans, who believed she sang “Salem,” the Massachusetts town where the film is set, rather than “sailors.”

“Wait… they’re sailors, aren’t they Salem??” one person wrote. Another added: “I was years old today when I heard she said ‘Sailors’ instead of ‘Salem.'”

Apparently, the lyrics to “I Put A Spell On You” were even misunderstood by Freeform, as the cable channel’s YouTube video caption also quotes Winifred singing “Hello, Salem.”

The “sailors” versus “Salem” discourse, of course, reflects the excitement surrounding “Hocus Pocus 2,” which hits Disney+ on Friday. The film reunites Midler with actors Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker as the Sanderson sisters, a trio of evil witches who are accidentally resurrected on Halloween night.

The original “Hocus Pocus” was both a critical and commercial disappointment upon its initial release in 1993. Since then, however, the film has gained a devoted following among viewers of all ages and has been embraced as a fall favorite.

For years, Midler has expressed her interest in reprising the role of Winifred in a sequel. In 2016, she dusted off her character’s costume for her annual Hulaween Bash fundraiser.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly earlier this month, the Divine Miss M said she finds the new film “pretty satisfying.”

“We made suggestions about songs, and we went to the barricades on that,” she explained. “It feels very sisterly. It’s much more loving than it used to be. After 30 years in purgatory or in limbo, they are happy to be free.”

"Hocus pocus 2" comes out on September 30.
“Hocus Pocus 2” will be out September 30.

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