- The Cold Open is utter Nightmare Fuel. Emily, a little girl from Salem, is hypnotized and forced to drink a potion that allows the witches to suck out her life, and she's killed within seconds. It's unclear if she's even aware of what happens. Then her father off-screen found her body and had to bury her.
- Heck, even how the first few minutes play out. Sarah flies by Thackery's window, waking him up. He's about to go to bed, when he notices Emily's missing from the room. He goes outside, just putting on pants and no shoes, asking his friend Elijah if he's seen Emily. Elijah says no but points out colorful smoke in the distance, "conjuring". They run into the field to see Emily happily running after Sarah in the distance. Thackery calls after her in alarm while Elijah whispers, "She's done for." Believing it's not too late, Thackery tells Elijah to get his father and call for help while he goes to rescue his sister. It's utterly creepy how Emily cheerfully skips into the witch's cottage, unable to stop and listen to her brother.
- Forget Sarah being a Cloud Cuckoolander. She proudly claims to Winifred that she lured a child from Salem, while a hypnotized Emily sits placidly in a chair, smiling blankly. These women are not harmless.
- Thackery fails to save Emily from the life potion. She's slumped over in death with grey hair. As the witches prepare to force-feed it to him as well, he stands up in pain and angrily calls Winifred a hag. Sarah suggests "Hang him on a hook and let me play with him?" implying that she'd assault him despite him being a child. Winifred has a different idea; she and the sisters curse Thackery, changing him into an immortal cat who will always be trapped by his guilt. The only reason he can talk to the kids in the present is because Max lit the candle, something Binx didn't want happening.
- Mr. Binx demanding to know where his son is, which doubles as Tear Jerker. What makes it terrifying is that the witches, tied up and strung on the gallows, laugh and refuse to answer. Even when facing death, they remain utterly petty.
- In the graveyard, Binx warns Allison to not open up the witch's book because it's pure evil. Note that it's made of human flesh and his sapient, with a human eye opening and looking around. Max tries to torch it, but a mere cigarette lighter flame won't do the job. Much later, when Binx is sleeping, Allison thinks to look in the book to turn Binx human again; this is a bad idea despite her good intentions because, while she learns that salt repels witches, the book signals to the sisters where it and Dani is.
- The witches summoning Billy from his grave, terrifying the kids to run into the mausoleum for hiding. Doubles as Nightmare Fuel for Billy as well, who was brutally murdered for cavorting with Sarah while he was dating Winifred and then painfully resurrected to do their bidding. As he puts it, he considers the witches evil and condemns them to hell. Winifred shrugs off the insult because, "I've already been there, thank you. Had a lovely time."
- The bit where Binx gets flattened by a bus then re-inflates is hard to watch (especially for cat owners), even if he shakes it off instantly. "I hate it when that happens."
- Sarah's song luring the children to them to suck out their souls, towards the end of the movie. Make no mistake: the Sanderson sisters suck out THE SOULS OF CHILDREN. No matter how enjoyably hammy their performances are, they are evil to the core.
- The witches locking up Max's bullies in too-tight cages for calling them "ugly chicks". They plan to suck out the boys' souls to become immortal. Despite their nastiness, that is pretty horrific.
- And at the end, they're still in those cages! We never find out if anyone ever saved them or if they died in that museum.
- A sequel book released in 2018 revealed their fates: they were eventually rescued and one boy went on to became the principle of the local high school. The other became a park ranger so he could join search and recue ops with the goal of helping lost and trapped people (since he knew first hand how it felt to be in such a situation).
- Also Binx is forced to relive his sister's death: the witches put him in a sack over their fire, while Dani is tied to a chair, and Max's bullies are locked in cages so as to have their souls sucked out. Binx shouts at Dani to not drink the potion when the witches successfully prepare it. Fortunately Sarah's song doesn't affect Dani for some reason, and she manages to keep her mouth shut when the witches attempt to feed it to her.
- Dani goes through a Trauma Conga Line, as Freeform commented: her brother summons witches to prove himself, witches that would murder them, a zombie chases them for half the night, they have to walk through an underground mausoleum with rats and spiders, said witches kidnap her and her immortal cat friend to prepare to suck out her soul, and then her brother drinks a potion that would kill him to save Dani's life, with Dani unable to do anything but stop Mary from assisting Winifred. Oh, and then Binx dies on Emily's grave, even though he kept stating that he was immortal and that he couldn't die. "This is a pretty traumatic night for an eight-year old" indeed.
- The origin of the book's eye is revealed in the sequel's last chapter: Billy's brother, seemingly a warlock, donated one of his own eyes to help make the book. Ewww.
Nightmare Fuel / Hocus Pocus