Netflix has absolutely triumphed with The Haunting of Hill House. The series, based on the 1959 novel by Shirley Jackson, has been so effective at freaking out audiences, some reports claim viewers were passing out and throwing up.
Maybe that’s hyperbole, but anyone who’s seen the show will know that The Haunting of Hill House is a bone-chilling watch. Perhaps one of the most intriguing aspects is the collection of hidden ghosts that director Mike Flanagan and his production team peppered about the place. Describing how they “had a blast” hiding them all over the set, some of the eerie Easter eggs are so well buried, they were practically impossible to find.
Maybe we didn’t catch ’em all, but here are 15 of the most secretive spooks in The Haunting of Hill House. How many did you find?
Flanagan and friends didn’t muck about. Just seconds into the first episode, ‘Steven Sees a Ghost’, viewers were hit with a pale-faced ghoul peeking through the staircase railings.
2. Look carefully
Episode one also features one of the most well-covered apparitions in the whole series – pat on the back to anyone who spotted it. For those who didn’t, turn your attention to the moment Hugh goes to get Steven from his room.
While Hugh was quick to shut the door in a bid to protect them both from the monster outside, he was unaware of the one on the inside too. Right behind Steven!
The nightmares for Hugh and Steven didn’t end there. As they fled the house, a pair of ghoulies were seen loitering at the right of the staircase. Or as we’re now calling it, the scarecase.
4. Two for the price of one
At the start of episode two, “Open Casket”, viewers were given two ghosts for the price of one. While Shirley had a blonde girl’s eyes set on her, Liv was being watched by a separate spook from inside the house. Twice as unnerving, twice as fun.
5. What lies beneath
The third episode featured more hidden ghosts than any other in the series – a grand total of nine. One of the freakiest had to be the dude lurking in the cellar as a young Theo opened the latch to peek down below. Some of you may have spotted his ghoulish face looking up between one of the ladder rungs. Luckily for Theo, she was none the wiser.
6. Apple of my eye
Another from the third episode made an appearance when Theo walked into the kitchen eating an apple, unaware of the ghost peering at her through the door.
7. Don’t look behind you
Again, this spook was super hard to spot, so another pat on the back if you got there on your own. Later on in episode three, as the cops were investigating the house, Liv beckoned young Theo into the dining room. It’s at this point you can just about make out a long-haired ghost lurking in the background.
Theo just can’t seem to escape the watchers in “Touch”. Just before her mum called her over, she was seen passing an open door in the kitchen. Obviously Flanagan thought it the perfect opportunity to fill the gap with a bald-headed creep who we’re almost certain is not the cops’ assistant.
9. Big boy hat
Episode four started out with a rather touching sentiment… or so we’re led to believe. While it might have made you feel all warm and fuzzy when Liv and Hugh gave Luke the big-boy hat to ease his fears, turns out he was right to be scared. There was a goddamn ghost stood right behind him.
10. Speak up
Like us, you were probably so engrossed by the creepy speaker system in episode four that you didn’t notice the sneaky dude hanging about in the glass reflection behind Luke and Nell. That and the fact that he’s practically impossible to spot. Do you see now? Yep? Good. Sleep well.
11. Gerald’s Game
With a title like ‘The Bent-Neck Lady’, we were all fully prepared for episode five to be a screamer, and straight in we were shown young Nell being haunted by the titular ghost. But even when she was in her parents’ room, the horror was far from over – as Liv comforted her daughter, a mysterious, blurry figure could just about be made out in the background.
Flanagan later revealed this ghost was in fact played by Bruce Greenwood, the dude who starred in his adaptation of Stephen King’s Gerald’s Game. This one’s got so many layers it’s practically an Easter onion.
12. Grey fingers
That moment when your mum’s giving you a bollocking for graffiti-ing the wall, when actually it was the terrifying ghost lurking under the piano…
Yeah, it’s never happened to us either. But it certainly did to Nell in episode five. That ghost has been caught grey-handed.
13. Body in the basement
You may or may not be aware that Flanagan and co didn’t leave any undead Easter eggs in episode six, so we’re skipping ahead to episode seven where Hugh discovered the decomposing body in the basement. After jumping back, he peered in for a closer look, unaware of the long-haired phantom who was doing the exact same thing to him.
14. She’s back
As was the case with episode six, there were no hidden ghoulies in episode eight. However, they sure made up for it in episode nine, ‘Screaming Meemies’. Right at the start, as Hugh was carrying Luke to bed, the dining room lady decided to make another appearance.
15. See ya
In the same episode, you might just have noticed that Liv’s family weren’t the only ones waving goodbye. Yep, turns out there was another inhabitant who wanted to bid farewell before she fled the damn place… We don’t blame her. Not one bit.
The Haunting of Hill House is available on Netflix.
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