The Sanderson sisters are very different both in appearance and in character. In addition, each of them has unique abilities. While Winifred may have a little more intelligence than her sisters, Mary has the unique ability to smell and track down children. Sarah can seemingly seduce men and put children into a hypnotic trance with her siren-like song. These sisters are actually so different that it’s even surprising that they are siblings.
But you might be surprised to know that they are actually all half-sisters. They each have the same mother but different fathers. In an era when patriarchal societies were at an all-time high, it seems like the Sanderson clan was a black sheep built around matriarchy. This is evidenced by the fact that their mother had several suitors and they must have taken her last name instead of their father’s. Perhaps their mother also had something to do with her daughters getting into the witchcraft business.
In the scene where Binks (Jason Marsden), the cat, is spying on Max (Omri Katz), Allison (Vinessa Shaw), and Dani (Tora Birch) at the Sanderson house, Allison speaks but the audio is unintelligible. This is revealed in behind-the-scenes look that she explains that Winifred’s father was a sorcerer and Mary’s father was a bloodhound, which gave her the ability to follow the child’s scent for miles. That’s right, he was a dog – don’t ask. In addition, Sarah Jessica Parker clarifies later in the documentary that the three witches had different fathers and that Sarah’s father was a “country idiot”. The apple never falls far from the tree.