The Haunting of Hill House: The Identity of the Show's Scariest Character Is Gut-Wrenching

Warning: big, nightmarish spoilers for The Haunting of Hill House below!

I know I put a spoiler warning right above this, but let me just say, once more, that if you’re about to give up on finding out who the dreaded Bent-Neck Lady is on Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House, don’t. Seriously — don’t. The big reveal of who she is solidifies what’s so exceptional about this series: it seamlessly blends horror and tragedy in a way that few films in the genre have ever managed to previously accomplish. That being said, if you really, truly need to know (or you watched the show and just want to sort through your emotions with me), let’s get to it.

Our first introduction to the Bent-Neck Lady comes in the series’ first few episodes, which waste little time in freaking us out after the Crain family moves into the titular haunted home. Initially, the figure seems to be the figment of young Nell Crain’s (Violet McGraw) overactive imagination, which her parents, Hugh (Henry Thomas) and Olivia (Carla Gugino), chalk up to the new environment. Nell is plagued with nightmares that cause her to scream loud enough that her parents go frantically running for her room, night after night. Each time, she tearfully explains that a dark spirit who she dubs the “Bent-Neck Lady” was hovering over her as she tried to sleep.

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