Netflix's The Haunting of Hill House debuted on the streaming service and, in the week since its release, has become one of the most talked-about series of the year. Not only does the story offer countless obvious scares, director Mike Flanagan alerted viewers that they should watch the series a second time, as he injected dozens of subtle ghosts to make the experience even more frightening.
A modern reimagining of Shirley Jackson‘s iconic novel, The Haunting of Hill House explores a group of siblings who, as children, grew up in what would go on to become the most famous haunted house in the country. Now adults, and forced back together in the face of tragedy, the family must finally confront the ghosts of their past — some of which still lurk in their minds while others may actually be stalking the shadows of Hill House.
Scroll down to see some of the ghosts you may have missed in The Haunting of Hill House, streaming now on Netflix!
WARNING: Spoilers below for The Haunting of Hill House
Episode One - "Steven Sees A Ghost"
Before audiences even have the opportunity to meet the human characters in the series, we see that a ghost is lurking the creepy Hill House, keeping an eye on the Crain family.
It's tough to say that the first appearance of the "Bent-Neck Lady" is at all subtle, but our first look at the entity is certainly unsettling, as she lurks behind the young Nell.
Halfway through the episode, Hugh comes into Steven's room and alerts him to something bizarre taking place in the house. Viewers would ultimately learn that Steven claimed to have never seen a ghost in his room, despite the one looming in the corner.prevnext
Episode One - "Steven Sees A Ghost" Pt. 2
As Hugh and Steven manage to escape the top floor of the haunted building, they are in such a rush that they, and possibly the audience, don't even notice the spirits of young children that appear next to the staircase.
Given that clocks are known for having faces, neither the Crains nor viewers were necessarily expecting to see the ghastly presence lurking behind Olivia while she was speaking with her son, but looking at the sequence again, the pale face can easily be seen.prevnext
Episode Two - "Open Casket"
More than just being in the title of the show, houses and homes are a common theme throughout the entire series, whether it be the Hill House itself or Shirley going on to own a funeral home, which is the setting of multiple tense encounters. When Shirley catches her mom drawing blueprints for something, Olivia admits that she's working on the family's dream home. In the garden behind Shirley, a ghost can be seen in the garden.
Unfortunately for the Crain family, not all of the ghosts are outside, as the reverse shot of this discussion about the dream home shows a figure lurking at the other end of the house.prevnext
Episode Three - "Touch"
One reason the ghosts in the show are so unsettling is that they stalk all the members of the family, while also taking on otherworldly proportions. As Theo joins Luke and Nell after they discover the in-house communication system, she walks by a tall ghost peering in through the glass of the door.
One of the more effective sequences of the series takes place when Theo and Luke play with a dumbwaiter, but before Luke can confront the horrors lurking under their house, a spirit keeps watch from the dining room behind them.
After Luke claims to have seen spirits in the basement, Theo investigates, all while the spirit of a woman keeps an eye on her.prevnext
Episode Three - "Touch" Pt. 2
When Theo discovers the hatch that takes her down to the basement, audiences almost immediately saw the entity that might have been responsible for Luke's attack. Theo, on the other hand, remains oblivious and investigates the basement anyway.
Theo emerged from the basement safely, seemingly corroborating Luke's story. A ghost appears behind Olivia in the same spot where we saw a figure in Episode Two.
Much like the Bent-Neck Lady in the first episode, the appearance of a bald man in the hallway behind Theo is one of the more obvious specters to appear, but is still entirely creepy.prevnext
Episode Three - "Touch" Pt. 3
This episode is solidifying itself as one of the most jam-packed with ghosts, both seen and unseen, with most of the narrative focusing around the young Theo. While she might have escaped a terrifying experience in the basement, it appears as though the spirits were willing to follow her anywhere, as the spirit of a woman appears far in the background of a scene in which Theo chats with her mom.
For most of the series, the subtle ghosts keep their distance from the Crain family, but as Hugh rushes Nell and Luke through a hallway, it looks like they had to brush past the above ghost that was hiding behind a lamp.
In another example of ghosts brazenly appearing in front of the Crain family, Theo brushes right past a woman hiding behind an open door.prevnext
Episode Four - "The Twin Thing"
The fourth episode of the series focused mainly on Luke, as both he and Nell attempted to tell their parents that something weird was happening in their home. As the two kids are running and playing, they don't seem to notice the ghoul behind a chair in the hallway.
Moments after trying to tell their kids that there's nothing creepy going on in their house, a spirit emerges behind the Crain parents to prove them otherwise.
One of the more subtle, and easily more creepy, ghosts appears in the kitchen behind a glass cabinet when Luke and Nell are playing with the in-house communication system. Making it all the more unsettling is what looks like the ghost's hand reaching towards the kids, which could also be a reflection of something in the kitchen. The more you look at it and try to figure out what you're seeing, the more you'll wish you hadn't seen it in the first place.prevnext
Episode Five - "The Bent-Neck Lady"
The massive Hill House can confuse the viewer, making us unaware of whether or not we've seen various locations before, though it comes as no surprise that, when Luke descends the staircase in the fifth episode, we can see two figures beside the stairs in the same place we saw them in the first episode.
Making matters more complicated in the series when it comes to ghost hunting is that Hill House is adorned with peculiar decorations, making it difficult to tell what's a ghost or what's a creepy painting. While Olivia is attempting to comfort Nell about the Bent-Neck Lady, a figure behind her appears, reportedly played by Carla Gugino's Gerald's Game co-star Bruce Greenwood, which was directed by Flanagan and debuted on Netflix.prevnext
Episode Five - "The Bent-Neck Lady" Pt. 2
As the Crain children struggle to cope with their new home and the apparitions they claim to be seeing, strange writing appears on the wall underneath the wallpaper which reads "Nell." Most of the apparitions in the series looked human and didn't necessarily convey menace, though the figure cowering under the piano is one of the more sinister looking specters we've seen in the series at this point.
Later in their conversation, Nell and Theo realize that "Nell" isn't the only thing written under the wallpaper, as the message actually reads "Welcome Home Nell," hinting at the young girl's destiny. The ghoul under the piano seemingly had company in this scene, with another apparition appearing behind Nell's shoulder.prevnext
Episode Seven - "Eulogy"
The first five episodes of the series focused on each of the Crain children, as the sixth episode brought them together, allowing the seventh episode to shed insight on Hugh. In a scene where the father attempted to uncover what was hiding in the Red Room, a ghost keeps a watchful eye from behind a door.
The Crain family moved into Hill House in order to renovate, though when Hugh discovered human remains in the basement, the local authorities had to investigate. As evidenced by the ghost in the background, the police weren't the only ones intrigued by the situation.
In addition to discovering human remains, Hugh also uncovered a mold problem, which might have intrigued another ghost who potentially had an interest in spores.prevnext
Episode Nine - "Screaming Meemies"
Much like Hugh was given his own episode, Olivia also earned her time in the spotlight in the season's penultimate episode. After Nell and Luke fall asleep on their mother, Hugh takes them upstairs, only to reveal a ghost looming in the passageway behind him.
This episode finally shed insight into what Olivia was experiencing before her death, resulting in some of the season's biggest scares. The above ghost might have also been one of the most obvious of the series, tipping off some viewers that it would be worth checking out earlier episodes to see what they missed.
In hopes of clearing her head from the stressful and bizarre events, Olivia plans to take a vacation, saying goodbye to her family and one lonely ghoul, apparently.prevnext
Episode 10 - "Silence Lay Steady"
The season finale paid off a number of elements that the show had been building, both in its supernatural occurrences and in its dramatic revelations. As the madness of the season reaches a crescendo, the Crain children all return to the Hill House to confront their pasts. The ghosts of the house clearly aren't done with them, as one appears from behind a curtain to see what Steven and his siblings are up to.2comments
Fans of the show are likely to revisit the narrative to enjoy the shocking and complex storyline, yet, with the amount of layers Flanagan utilized to create a sense of unease, we won't be surprised to discover dozens more hidden haunters in the Hill House.
Did we miss any hidden ghosts? Let us know in the comments below!prev