Bette Midler Sets the Record Straight on That Hocus Pocus Quote

Bubble, bubble, we’re in trouble—because it turns out we haven’t been incorrectly quoting Hocus Pocus this entire time. 

At Sept. 27’s Hocus Pocus 2 premiere, Bette Midler, who plays Winifred Sanderson in the beloved classic, put rumors of a misquote to rest. 

“Salem, not sailors!” she clarified exclusively to E! News, referencing her greeting that prefaced the film’s iconic “I Put A Spell On You” performance. “Why would I say ‘Hello, sailors’? No, no, it’s Salem—’Hello, Salem.'”

Midler went on to quip that “sailors” wouldn’t make any sense because “there’s no water there.” Well, that’s one mystery solved. 

All this hocus pocus first began running amok on Sept. 23 when Midler herself incorrectly quoted the film on Instagram, writing, “Hello sailors. My name’s Winifred, what’s yours?” But fans of the film couldn’t help but notice the supernatural slip-up. “Wait… it’s sailors not Salem??” one viewer wrote, while another quipped that they were “today years old when I learned she says ‘Sailors’ instead of ‘Salem.'”

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