The Haunting of Hill House, a chilling family drama and horror series based on the novel of the same name by Shirley Jackson, has now arrived on Netflix. There are plenty of ghosts ready to jump out and scream and spook the audience, but perhaps the most frightening element of the series is the collection of ghosts that you don't see - because they're cleverly hidden.
With a powerful ensemble cast that includes Henry Thomas, Michiel Huisman, Carla Gugino, Elizabeth Reaser, Kate Siegel, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, and Victoria Pedretti, the series jumps between past and present as the Crain family recalls one terrible summer that they spent in the virulently haunted Hill House.
All 10 episodes of The Haunting of Hill House were directed by Mike Flanagan, who is also attached to direct upcoming Stephen King adaptation Doctor Sleep (a sequel to The Shining). Flanagan's previous horror movies include home invasion thriller Hush, Gerald's Game (another King adaptation), and haunted mirror movie Oculus. In The Haunting of Hill House, Flanagan shows off his talent for subtle chills by hiding literally dozens of ghosts in plain sight - but in the background or out of focus. You can watch the entire series and only spot a few of these ghosts, or none at all, so for the curious we've gathered together all of the hidden ghosts we could find. Check them out below... if you dare.
- This Page: Hidden Ghosts in Episodes 1-3
- Page 2: Hidden Ghosts in Episodes 4-7
- Page 3: Hidden Ghosts in Episodes 8-10
The Ghost Through The Railing
You don't have to wait long to catch sight of your first hidden ghost in The Haunting of Hill House. During the opening monologue of Episode 1, "Steven Sees a Ghost," we're taken on a tour of Hill House that includes this particular shot overlooking the stairs. You may not see it at first, but look between the railings and you'll see a white ghost face peering through them. Very creepy.
Nellie's Night-Time Visitor
The Bent-Neck Lady isn't the only ghost who pays Nellie a night-time visit in Episode 1. This one is very hard to spot - so much so that it could almost just be the leaves on the tree outside - but look on the far-right window pane and you'll see a pale face peering in at the children.
The Ghost In Steven's Room
This ghost is so hidden in the dark and out of focus that he's also very difficult to spot, but a little brightening of the image makes his outline clear. This ghost is also from Episode 1 of the series, in the scene where Hugh runs to fetch Steven from his room so they can flee the house. Look out for the ghost on the right hand side of the screen when Hugh is listening at the door, and someone outside is turning the knob.
A Ghostly Trio By The Stairs
Yes, Episode 1 is packed with hidden ghosts, and here are two more - though these are much easier to spot. When Hugh flees down the stairs with Steven in tow, you can see a man and a woman on the right hand side of the stairs, and you can also very briefly see another woman on the left hand side. The man appears to be the same ghost that was seen peering through the railings earlier in the episode. As with all of the other hidden ghosts in the series, these three are standing stock still and wearing black clothes.
A Face In The Shadows
Still In Episode 1, Mrs. Dudley is giving Steven a lecture on religion when the two of them are interrupted by Liv, who arrives to offer a counterpoint and quote some Shakespeare. Look over Liv's shoulder as the enters the kitchen, however, and you'll see something extremely unsettling: a pale face peering out of the darkness. It's definitely enough to put you off your breakfast, but when Liv moves to leave the kitchen, the face is gone.
Watched From Both Sides
How about two ghosts for the price of one? In Episode 2, "Open Casket," we flash back to Shirley and Liv looking over plans for their "Forever Home." It's a touching scene between mother and daughter - so touching, in fact that you might miss the blonde-haired girl standing in the garden behind Shirley. As if that wasn't bad enough, they're being watched from inside the house as well; when the scene cuts to a profile view of Liv, you can see someone dressed in dark clothing in the room behind her. Spookier still, when the camera cuts away and back again, this second ghost has moved, and is sitting at the table instead. In the next cut to Liv, the ghost is standing on the other side of the table.
Peering Through The Glass
In Episode 3, "Touch," there's a cut from the adult Theo picking up an apple to young Theo walking down a hallway eating an apple. She enters the kitchen, where she finds Nellie and Luke playing with an old speaking tube. Look on the right hand side as Theo enters the kitchen and you'll see a ghostly face peering through a glass pane in the door.
Continuing Episode 3, you can spot another ghost after Mrs. Dudley scolds Luke for playing with the dumb waiter, and Theo stands up for him. After Mrs. Dudley touches Theo's arm, and Theo senses that she's afraid, Theo and Luke leave the kitchen. Look behind them as they're leaving and you can see the ghost of a tall woman who is half-hidden behind a wall.
Luke's Dumb Waiter Ride
After being dragged away from the dumb waiter by Mrs. Dudley during the day, Luke returns to it at night. When Theo decides to help him by sending him up in the elevator (which actually ends up sending him down), the scene cuts to a wide shot where you can just about see the ghost with long pale hair in the dining room.
The Corner of the Kitchen
Young Theo's search for a hidden basement in "Touch" is pretty engrossing - so engrossing, in fact, that you may well have missed another person in the kitchen when she's searching for the trap door. This ghost appears to be a very tall woman, and you can only see her black clothing and her hand, on the left hand side of the screen as Theo is moving the washing machine. Once you spot her, though, you're sure to get some chills.
Down In The Dark
Going down into spooky basements in haunted houses is generally a bad idea - but it's an especially bad idea when there's a ghost peering up at you from the spooky basement! Theo doesn't see the ghost hidden behind the ladder that leads down into the bootlegger basement, but look closely and you will.
Theo Gets A Fright
The ghost who appeared in the dining room behind Liv makes a comeback in "Touch," when Theo goes to talk to her mother and has a terrifying vision of her future death. It's easy to be distracted by the sight of Liv with her face split open, but look in the background after Theo backs away and Liv stands up, and you'll get a slightly clearer look at the dining room ghost - a woman with long, pale hair.
The Bald Man
Poor Theo is positively plagued by ghosts in "Touch" - and most of the time she doesn't even know it. While her father and Mr. Dudley are investigating the trap door in the kitchen, Theo wanders off. As she passes by an open door the kitchen, you can see a bald man staring in. Uncle Fester, is that you?
In The Distance
No sooner has the bald man disappeared from the screen than another ghost makes an appearance - this time the ghost with the long dark hair again, who was also spotted in Episode 1 when Hugh and Steven were fleeing the house. This ghost appears in the distance, behind Liv as she beckons Theo into the dining room. Can you spot her, skulking by the door frame?
Don't Look Back
The final ghost of "Touch" appears at the very end of the episode, when a flashback revisits the Crains' final night in Hill House. Theo comes running down the stairs and looks over to see Hugh leading the twins along. Look behind the three of them, and you'll spot the same ghost that is so fond of lurking by the stairs. A moment later, though, he is gone.