A mysterious black cat bearing an uncanny resemblance to Thackery Binx from the 1993 Halloween cult classic “Hocus Pocus” has residents telling tales of a possible specter that appears annually each autumn.
The pitch-black cat with yellow eyes was first spotted five years ago by local resident Carole Brindamour, who lives near Old Burial Hill Cemetery where scenes from “Hocus Pocus” were filmed. Binx was a boy turned into an immortal, talking black cat by witches the Sanderson Sisters in the film.
“I saw this black cat wandering around the cemetery on an October night,” said Brindamour. “I just thought ‘Wow, that’s weird.’”
Since then, Brindamour and Pond Street neighbor Judy Gates have reported separate sightings of the black feline roaming the area around the cemetery and their homes during the month of October.
“It comes in October around the cemetery, so it seems a little spooky,” said Brindamour, who captured photos of the cat napping beneath her porch.
For Brindamour, the cat’s persistent attraction to her home may seem odd, but it may be due to the home’s history as the place where the famous psychic Moll Pitcher was born and raised.
Her family, known for producing generations of “wizards,” lived in the Marblehead home where Pitcher spent her early years learning the psychic arts. She would become a renowned clairvoyant and fortune-teller.
Pitcher’s grandfather, Capt. Aholiab Diamond, had long been known as the “Wizard of Marblehead” and used his powers to save sailors from shipwrecks, locate thieves and find lost objects. Later in life, Pitcher lived and worked primarily in Lynn, but the Marblehead home remained linked to her mystical heritage.
Gates told Brindamour she has seen the black cat more frequently over the years, describing it as an independent, feral animal that likely hunts birds and mice on its own.
“It’s a feral cat, and you don’t see any of those anymore,” said Gates, who most recently spotted the feline crossing her back porch steps two days ago. “I happened to glance out the window and there it was, running across my back porch and down my steps.”
Both women said the cat appears healthy and well-fed, with Brindamour noting her own pet cat has interacted with the feline through a sliding-glass door.
“It makes you wonder if there’s some kind of hocus pocus thing going on when this cat shows up each fall,” Brindamour mused.
While the origin and identity of the transient cat remain a mystery, its occasional October visits near Old Burial Hill baffle Brindamour.