It was here that the sisters themselves lived, schemed, and plotted their evil acts against the people of Salem, such as when Sarah Sanderson led the innocent Emily Binx to her death in this wicked place when the sisters sucked her dry of her life-force to replenish their youth. When Thackery Binx followed them in a failed attempt to save his sister, the sisters placed upon him a curse of immortality and turned him into a black cat so he could live with the guilt of failing his sister forever.
However, Thackery's father and the people of Salem came and arrested the sisters, demanding what they'd done to his children. They played dumb when Winifred's spellbook opened to reveal the sisters would return on Hallow's Eve when the moon was full if a virgin were to light the Black Flame Candle, and they were hanged.
The cottage remained empty for many years while Binx, cursed as an immortal black cat, guarded it on Hallow's Eve to prevent an "airhead virgin" from lighting the candle. Eventually, it, in modern times, was renovated into a museum but soon shut down.
Unfortunately, Winifred's curse at last was invoked on Halloween 1993 when Max Dennison, a skeptic who made fun of the legends, foolishly lit the candle, bringing the sister back to life. In the skirmish that followed, he stole the spellbook after he fooled them and with his sister, Dani, his girlfriend, Allison, and the still-living Thackery Binx fled the cottage.
As the candle had brought the sisters back for just one night, they desperately sought to get the book back so as to brew the evil potion that would allow them to suck the life out of children and so live forever, and almost succeeded.
However, the sisters had been delayed too long and when the sun rose, they turned to dust, ending their nightmarish return from beyond the grave and their wicked plans once and for all.
The spellbook remained in the cottage, opening its eye, perhaps hinting that the sisters might return someday for revenge.