Warning: SPOILERS ahead for The Haunting of Hill House
The first season of The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix may have seemed to end with a satisfying finale, but - not unlike the the titular house's appetite for human souls - there's always room for seconds.
By the end of season 1 of The Haunting of Hill House, some considerable damage has been done. Characters do heal in their own ways, whether physically (like Luke, played by Oliver Jackson-Cohen) or emotionally (like Theo, played by Kate Siegel), but it all comes at the expense of several tragedies. Olivia, Nell, and Hugh (played by Carla Cugino, Victoria Pedretti, and Timothy Hutton, respectively) are consumed by Hill House, as is Mrs. Dudley (played by Annabeth Gish), though she gives herself to the house willingly.
By season 2, the remaining members of the Crain family will no doubt be closer, having rebuilt some burned bridges between the four of them, but there is still plenty of heavy lifting that can carry over to another season - as well as other horrors courtesy of the titular haunted house. And after all, the remaining Crain siblings aren't survivors after escaping Hill House at the end of season 1, but leftovers.
Haunting of Hill House Hasn't Been Renewed For Season 2... Yet
Season 2 of The Haunting of Hill House hasn't been officially greenlit yet, but with an 87 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a perfectly timed release just two weeks prior to Halloween to appease the appetites of horror fans, a second season seems pretty likely. Moreover, the show's creator, writer, and director Mike Flanagan (Gerald's Game, the upcoming adaptation of Doctor Sleep) has said that the first season deliberately sets up season 2 (albeit in subtle ways), so he clearly does have some more story in mind.
When Will The Haunting of Hill House Season 2 Release?
The Haunting of Hill House season 2 has no set release date, since the show hasn't yet officially been renewed. Assuming that it does get renewed, however, Netflix will likely aim for some time in or around October 2019 in order to capitalize on the Halloween season. It's possible that it could even release in October 2020 instead, to give Flanagan more room to work on a worthy second season (and also work around his other commitments).
What Is The Story of The Haunting Of Hill House Season 2?
The exact direction The Haunting of Hill House season 2 might take comes down to pure speculation, but Flanagan sprinkled in some subtle clues in the first season's finale to help segue into a much larger story. Oliver Jackson-Cohen, who plays Luke, spoke with Digital Spy about the first season's finale and revealed that some eagle-eyed viewers might be able to discover a handful of easter eggs that steer the way to a second season. That said, he explained that these easter eggs are, "Very, very slight; they're not so obvious. Again, it's [writer] Mike [Flanagan] being a genius. There's something in the background somewhere. It probably feels like it closed a book, but if you look closer it's very much not closed."
So, yes, the easter eggs in the finale are the key to unlocking season 2's secrets. The only problem is... they could be anything. Trish (played by Levy Tran) brings up a metaphor about how "fear and guilt are sisters," so we'll no doubt see that taking on a literal interpretation with Shirley (played by Elizabeth Reaser) and Theo as they come to terms with guilt over cheating and fear of feeling nothing, respectively. It could have something to do with Poppy Hill's nursery rhyme, "The Grottan Murders," that she sings to Hugh. It refers to the grisly deaths of three generations of a single family, which could imply that season 2 could potentially pick up years after season 1 and focus on older versions of Shirley's children (which is fitting, considering The Haunting of Hill House author Shirley Jackson used to sing it to her own children), as well as the remaining Crain siblings. The easter egg might even have something to do with one of the many ghosts who show up in Hill House just as Steven (played by Michiel Huisman) is closing the doors behind him, which might even hint at an anthology-esque spinoff.
Season 2 will also no doubt explore Hill House's new additions, like Hugh and Mrs. Dudley, which will add some interesting emotional depth to the narrative. Also, Steven's brush with actual ghosts might play a role in the future of his writing career, Shirley's role as the matriarch has taken some emotional blows, Luke may or may not see his sobriety through, and with Theo, the gloves are literally off. Then again, season 2 could pull a full 180 and jump through time even more than season 1, highlighting the backstory of Poppy and William Hill and exploring Hill House by way of a prequel. But, given the unrestrained reality that exists within Hill House, it's nearly impossible to predict its next move, let alone the direction of its next season.
Season 1 of The Haunting of Hill House is currently streaming on Netflix.