The Haunting of Hill House is a terrifying Netflix original series released in 2018 and created by the famous Mike Flanagan. Though “The bent-neck lady” may be one of the creepiest ghosts in the show, several ghouls are lurking in the background throughout the season. While you patiently wait for Flanagan’s next masterpiece, The Haunting of Hill House may be worth a second watch to see if you catch the ghastly extras, eerie symbolism, and other creepy hidden details. This article contains some spoilers, so only continue reading if you have already watched it.
The Red Room Foreshadowing
Believe it or not, the writers foreshadowed the elusive red room throughout the series. There are several moments where one of the characters doesn’t know where a toy or other item came from or where different characters are. Combining these details hints there’s an unknown room in the house.
For example, In the first episode, Steve told Olivia that Luke was probably playing in his tree house, and she thought he was joking. In episode three, Theo was in the dance studio and heard the doorknob jiggle, causing her to notice someone was attempting to get in the room. They then reveal it was Shirley and Nell in episode one trying to open the door.
Ghost By The Stairs
You don’t have to wait long to see creepy specters in this show. Within the first minute of episode one, Steven Sees a Ghost; the camera pans across the house over the stairwell. If you pay close attention, you’ll notice a face peering through the rails.
The Same Window
Throughout the series, there are non-existent rooms like the treehouse, dance studio, and playroom where the characters recall spending time, while others don’t remember it ever existing. Although each “imaginary” room differs from the next, they all share something in common: the windows. Not only is it the same window in each room, but they’re also in the same spot.
Man Hiding Behind Steven
Some ghosts are apparent, and others, not so much. Somehow, this figure falls in both of these categories. Although he’s easy to miss, once you see him, you’ll be shocked you didn’t notice him before. In the scene where Steven and his dad are panicking about someone or something trying to get into the house, there’s an apparition standing off to the right behind little Steven.
Recurring Groups of Seven
As children, Luke would tell Nell to count to seven when she was scared, stating, “It has to be seven; that keeps you safe.” Nell takes this advice and applies it several times throughout her life. Additionally, the Crain family consists of seven members. It took Nell seven steps to reach Luke’s bed, and by the end of the season, Luke is once again in a group of seven.
A Face Hiding Behind the Clock
In the first episode, there’s a scene where Mrs. Dudley preaches the Gospel to Luke and asks him if he’s read the bible. Before he can answer, Olivia walks in to tell Mrs. Dudley how educated her children are on several religions and belief systems. However, Olivia may not have been the only one to interrupt the two. Looking to her left, you’ll see a face hiding behind the clock. Despite this extra guest, it doesn’t appear that anyone notices anything off.
If you’ve ever spent time with twins, then you know they have a strong connection, with some claiming they have somewhat of a sixth sense when it comes to their sibling. This bond runs strong with the Crain twins, with the two frequently feeling what each is experiencing in real-time. For example, Nell feels Luke’s fear when playing with the speakers in episode four.
This connection is more challenging as they grow and go through life, each faced with personal conflicts. As Luke went through rehab, he experienced withdrawal symptoms. Nell told her therapist she knew he was improving as her flu-like symptoms subsided.
Similarly, Luke wakes up in a sweat and clutches his neck at 12:03 on the day Nell dies. While it’s possible his withdrawal symptoms were the culprit, it seems it is twin telepathy at play. Nell dies in a different time zone at 3:03 AM, so the timing indicates he physically felt her passing.
Dining Room Ghost
In episode nine, Liv is shocked when she notices Luke suddenly goes missing from her arms. It’s then revealed that Hugh was holding him to bring him to his bedroom. If you look past the father and son, there’s a ghost watching the family from the dining room.
Lukes Disturbing Drawing
In episode one, Steve finds a drawing of Luke’s when he enters the treehouse. He seems taken aback when he sees the drawing, and for good reason. The picture depicts a woman with large, white eyes, screaming with a wide-open black mouth, and wearing a pink dress.
While this may seem like a random way to make viewers feel even more disturbed during the show, Mike Flanagan doesn’t do anything by accident. This drawing foreshadows Nell’s post-death appearance in Steve’s apartment. Before the news of her death, Steve arrives home to Nell, quietly staring at him. He turns away from her, and when he looks again, she’s screaming, giving the same dead-eyed stare. And, you guessed it, she’s wearing a pink dress.
This isn’t the only Easter egg in this scene, though. If you look beside Luke, you’ll notice an ET lunchbox. This is an ode to Henry Thomas, the younger version of Hugh, who also portrayed Elliott in the famous extraterrestrial film.
Lady in the Kitchen
The children are fascinated by the dumb waiter, prompting Luke to beg his sister to help him take a ride on it. Once he does, he — and the audience — are thoroughly terrified by what he finds in the basement. Theo sets out to prove Luke witnessed “the monster” and begins looking for the ladder he mentioned while down there.
If you look at the left of the screen while she hunts for the hidden ladder, you’ll see something else hiding in plain sight: a woman watching her from the corner of the kitchen. Then, when she opens the hatch to climb down, a ghost peers up from behind the ladder.
Child Hidden in the Garden
It’s no secret there’s a mysterious child running around the garden. Luke talked about a kid playing outside several times throughout the show. However, you may notice an extra otherworldly child before Luke ever brings it up. When Olivia is telling Shirley about the “forever home,” there appears to be someone watching their conversation. Look to the right of the statue behind Shirley.
As if a ghost lurking outside isn’t creepy enough, there’s another one watching from inside the house. When the camera cuts to a profile shot of Liv, we get the first look at a darkly dressed figure standing in the room behind her. When the scene cuts back again, the apparition reappears at the table. You’ll see the ghost one final time when it cuts back to Liv, and the figure is by the other end of the table.
Come Home When the Porch Light Flashes Twice
When the Crain children are younger, Olivia tells them to come home once they see the porch light flash twice. Fast-forward to when Nell travels back to the house as an adult and sees her version of the house. Every light is on, including the porch light. If you look closely, it flashes twice as if Nell’s mother is telling her it’s time to come back home.
Gerald’s Game Cameo
Flanagan often recasts members from previous shows and movies into new roles. Though you may have noticed prominent actors, like Carla Gugino or his wife, Kate Siegel, there may be one ghastly figure you missed.
The first ghost seen in episode five appears after young Nellie rushes to her parents’ room after seeing the bent-neck lady. As Liv comforts her, there’s a face peeking behind her on the left-hand side of the screen. The ghost in this scene is played by Bruce Greenwood, who starred in Mike Flanagan’s 2017 horror flick, Gerald’s Game.