For true horror fans, Netflix's The Haunting of Hill House is right up their alley. Billed as a "reimagining" of Shirley Jackson's iconic 1953 novel of the same name, the 10-episode series tells the story of the five Crain siblings who grew up in America's most famous haunted house and how the home's deadly secrets still plague them decades later.
Unlike the traditional horror genre, Hill House is a psychological thriller that blends horror and tragedy in a way that creeps under your skin and leaves you emotionally scarred — kind of like the Crain siblings. The show is rich with creepy mysteries, spooky glimpses of ghosts out of the corner of your eye, a large cast of characters, and just the right amount of terrifying scenes that will probably have you losing sleep for days afterward. And according to series creator and director Mike Flanagan, he actually planned to reveal more about the aforementioned spooky ghosts running amok in Hill House, but the scenes didn't make the cut.
"We had actually written and planned to shoot a complete history of Hill House," he revealed in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. "Every other episode would open with about a five-minute history thing narrated by Steven, from his book and we did take from Jackson that the first victim of the house died before anyone had ever really stepped foot in it."
Which means that, yes, all the ghosts playing games of peekaboo are there for a reason! They were former inhabitants of Hill House, and if those scenes hadn't been deleted, we could have actually learned a bit about what happened to them before their demise. In Jackson's novel, the first victim is the wife of the man who built the house — Hugh Crain. In Hill House, Hugh Crain is actually the Crain family patriarch, and the house's first victim is Jacob Hill. Flanagan originally intended on telling the history of the Hill family but ended up having to let it go.
"We had built a really complex history of the Hill family that we ultimately didn't shoot," he explained. "We didn't have the time or the money to shoot it, which really broke my heart at the time, but we figured if we had to focus on anything, we had to focus on the Crain family."
Considering how intense the film is without all the ghost backstories, we can't say he didn't make the right decision. Since Flanagan is adamant that "the story of the Crain family is told" and we won't be seeing them again, a season two of Hill House would be the perfect way to give us those missing ghost stories, right? Just saying!