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The 13 Most Compelling 'Haunting Of Hill House' Fan Theories

Updated May 7, 2020 6.4k votes 1.2k voters 29.9k views13 items

List RulesVote up the most convincing 'Hill House' fan theories.

Warning: this list contains spoilers for The Haunting of Hill House.

Netflix keeps adding more and more original content to their streaming service, and October 2018 saw the premiere of a new show which redefines the horror genre. The Haunting of Hill House is equal parts terrifying and heart-wrenching, and the members of the Crain family are some of the more interesting characters in modern horror history. It's no wonder fans immediately began analyzing the series to find hidden meaning and messages within the story. A dozen fan theories already exist seeking to explain everything from the house and its hidden ghosts to the more subtle, metaphorical aspects of the plot. 

A second season hasn't been announced yet, but that won't stop fans from speculating. You've got plenty of time to rewatch the series and put some of the internet's best fan theories to the test. Not all of these theories will end up being true, but only you can decide which ones are worth believing and which are just figments of overactive imaginations. Once you've voted, make sure to check out these other shows like The Haunting of Hill House!

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  • 5

    The Color Blue Represents Psychic Sensitivity

    Photo: Jackson Lee Davis/Netflix

    The color blue seems to pop up in a lot of significant places, and Redditor /u/teddyburges believes it's symbolic of the Crain family, freedom, and their supernatural sensitivity. The family is often seen wearing blue, and Hugh has blue eyes. Many of their belongings are also blue, and this stands in contrast to the Red Room. The Red Room is harsh, manipulative, and confined.

    Red in this series often represents death and violence, and it's closely associated with Hill House. 

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  • 6

    The Bent Neck Lady Is An Exaggeration Of Nell's Fatal Injury

    Photo: Tina Rowden/Netflix

    Partway through the season, we learn that Nell has been the Bent Neck Lady all along. While Nell's body is being prepared for the funeral, however, she doesn't have the same extreme neck injury that she does as a ghost.

    Redditor /u/stephwinchester posits that the Bent Neck Lady is more a representation of Nell's death than an accurate portrayal of her body, which is why the neck is so greatly exaggerated. 

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  • 7

    The Bowler Hat Man Is A Manifestation Of Luke's Addiction

    Photo: Steve Dietl/Netflix

    The Bowler Hat Man (AKA the Tall Man) is a ghost that haunts Luke throughout the series. Luke first sees it as a little kid in the house, but the Bowler Hat Man follows him well into his adulthood, as well.

    Redditor /u/Astazha suggests the real Bowler Hat Man is confined to the house, and the one Luke sees later is a figment of his imagination. The childhood trauma caused by that spirit manifests as the Bowler Hat Man, which is why he appears at some of Luke's lowest moments. The Redditor also mentions Luke's close relationship to death, and the Bowler Hat Man could be symbolic of that. 

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  • 8

    The Basement Was Actually Hugh's Red Room

    Photo: Steve Dietl/Netflix

    Redditor /u/notangelica believes Hugh does enter the Red Room several times; it's just not revealed to us. Hugh is continually going down to the basement to deal with the house's mold problem, which prevents him from selling the home. What if that's his version of the Red Room?

    It gives him a reason to stay and be invested in the house, occupies long periods of his time, and it's a problem that seems perfectly tailored to him. 

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