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Sunday Scaries: The Haunting of Hill House and Its Most Frightening Ghost

Lets talk about one of the most emotional horror stories of the last decade…

The Haunting of Hill House was a horror television series created by Mike Flanagan for Netflix. All of its ten episodes released on October 12th, 2018 to stellar reviews. The miniseries told the story of the Crain family and the terrible experiences that fell upon them during their time living at the titular Hill House. There are two timelines depicted in the series: When the Crains were children, living with their parents at the terrifying location in 1992, and their adult lives in present day.

While living in the big house, the Crains began to witness supernatural events that haunted their dreams and messed with their mental health. Olivia Crane (Carla Gugino) is the mother of the family, and she is portrayed as being extremely sensitive to the influence of the house. As if the house were an actual living creature, draining the life out of this woman and, by consequence, out of everyone around her.

In a pivotal moment of the story, Olivia succumbs to the influence of the ghosts that inhabited the wretched structure, and commits suicide by jumping off the top of the main stairs. The manner in which she took her own life would begin to unfold a trauma that would remain in the heart of her family for decades to come. A truly heartbreaking story given the fact that she wasn’t a bad mother, or a bad person in any way. The house took her soul and left an empty shell walking around its hallways.

Olivia’s death is a story that the series tells across all of its episodes, bit by bit, until the full picture is revealed in the series finale. Her children grew up to be haunted people, struggling with insecurities, drug addiction, loneliness and a strained relationship with their father. And that is where Hill House struck the hardest when it came to its very own soul.

Beyond the creaking doors, lightning storms, and ghosts and ghouls living in the walls, the most frightening monster in The Haunting of Hill House was Olivia’s mental illness, her suicide, and the catastrophic effect it had on their family’s lives. This is a gut-wrenching story about loss, unprocessed grief, generational trauma and forgiveness. The fact that is dressed up in a haunted mansion with century-old ghosts roaming in the bedrooms is just the icing on this very scary cake.

Beautifully executed with a soundtrack that floods your memory, sequences during the night that will keep you awake, and award-worthy performances from a stellar cast, this adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s 1959 novel of the same name will earn its place in your heart. Exactly how the characters, either literally or emotionally speaking, are never able to leave the hallways which tormented their nightmares during a lifetime.

The Haunting of Hill House is available to steam on Netflix!

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Written by Diego Peralta

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