The Haunting of Hill House is a modern take on the horror classic, reimagined as a 10 episode Netflix series. While you’re binge watching the show, director Mike Flanagan encourages viewers to look for the hidden ghosts he took the time to hide in the shadows of the set.
“The interior was designed so that it could hide ghosts,” Flanagan told Bloody-Disgusting. “That was one of the big things. If you go back and watch the series again, in every episode there’s probably somewhere between eight and 10 ghosts that are just hidden in plain sight that we called no attention to but they’re there. I’m giddy about when the show launches and people start to spot them. I think that’s going to be really fun. We had a blast just hiding them all over the set whenever we were shooting. It’s pretty cool.”
Supervising producer and frequent Flanagan screenwriter Jeff Howard added that some of the ghosts come from past Hill House adaptations, and even Flanagan’s own movies.
“Some of them are old friends too from past projects,” Howard said. “There’s a couple of fun little cameos with people from the movies. If you’re a fan of the movies, you’ll get a good little laugh from seeing them show up. I’m sure you saw a cameo from the original Hill House movie. There’s also a bunch from the Flanagan Cinematic Universe.”
These are not just one off sight gags either. Flanagan took each ghost seriously and gave each one a reason for being there.
“The history of the house is something that we could control entirely, reveal or not reveal it at our discretion,” Flanagan said. “So I got to create whatever ghosts I wanted to and we would use them often based on the fears of people in the writer’s room. My co-showrunner Meredith Averill is phobic of very tall people. People on stilts freak her out. It’s one of the most specific and weird phobias I’ve heard. We all thought it was so funny that we decided to make the tall man really just to mess with Meredith.”
Even if they aren’t explained on the show, Howard and co. know why each ghost is there.
“We broke down a lot of Hill House ghosts,” Howard said. “We also broke down who they all are, where they came from, what their origin story was and what their agenda is now. As you see them pop up throughout, they’re definitely not random. They are the denizens of Hill House from years past that the house decided to keep for itself.”
The Haunting of Hill House drops Friday, October 12 on Netflix.