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Freeform Celebrates 25 Years of Hocus Pocus and Its Gay Legacy

Hocus Pocus

A crowd of '90s kids recently gathered in Hollywood Forever Cemetery to celebrate one of the most beloved movies of the bewitching season. This year marks the 25th anniversary of Hocus Pocus, and the cast and crew reunited to give the film's devoted fans a big gay TV special.

Related | Freeform Will Air Hocus Pocus Special for 25th Anniversary

At the taping for the Freeform special, Vanessa Hudgens and Jordan Fisher hosted a spooky spectacular that saw the return of the iconic film's cast. Director Kenny Ortega was joined by Kathy Najimy, Thora Birch, and other members of the cast in reminiscing about their time on set and the film's undying legacy. Najimy also gave a special shoutout to all the drag queens who've immortalized the Sanderson sisters over the years.

In addition to the reunion, fans were treated to a big gay Halloween bash. Comedian and RuPaul's Drag Race judge, Ross Mathews MCed a costume contest with judges, Sharon Osbourne, Kelly Osbourne, and Margaret Cho. The lineup saw a few drag tributes to the film. And the evening was DJed by drag icon, Lady Bunny.

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We spoke to Mathews backstage. Although the movie has earned a huge cult following among gay fans, he admits he didn't discover it until recently.

"I didn't watch it in childhood," he said. "It's one of those things that I watched later in life. My assistant a few years ago was like, 'You've never seen this movie!?' So, I was like ok, I gotta see it. I don't know why, maybe in Mount Vernon, Washington, they weren't into Bette Midler and Kathy Najimy. I mean, I was the only gay person in about a 4,000 mile radius, it felt like, growing up. So, just no one ever told me."

We also caught up with Thora Birch. Only 11 when she played the classic film's young protagonist, Dani Dennison, she's not oblivious to its massive gay following. When asked why she thought the film had such a gay following, she responded:

"Why not, sweetheart? I definitely get it. Bette (Midler) for one thing, and I think we all just like to play dress-up once in a while."

In addition to Thora and Kathy, fans can expect a special visit from Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker when the Hocus Pocus 25th Anniversary Halloween Bash, October 20 at 8:15pm on Freeform's 31 Nights of Halloween. Watch the promo below:

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