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.
BuzzFeed picked up this theory from Tumblr user cagedbirdsong, which describes the five Crain children as physical representations of the five stages of grief. To make things even more interesting, the birth order of the children perfectly lines up with their symbolic meaning.
The first stage, denial, is represented by Steven, a skeptic and the firstborn of the family. Second is anger, portrayed by Shirley and her barely repressed frustration toward her family. Next is bargaining, and Theo, as a psychiatrist always looking for an explanation, serves as a perfect symbol for that. Then comes depression, which is perfectly embodied in Luke's addiction issues and alienation from the family. Last is acceptance, represented by Nell and her loving nature.
This theory is so good the creator of the show essentially confirmed it as true.
In the sixth episode of the series, Nell disappears during a powerful storm. Redditor /u/ThatGuy_There believes she vanished as part of a time loop, as it seems her spirit can move through time. When she disappears from the house, she's actually traveling to her own funeral to communicate with her siblings.
Both scenes taking place in the middle of storms is further evidence of this. It's the same storm, but happening at different times, much like how Nell's spirit can exist across time.
The Red Room offers the entire family an escape at times, changing its form to fit their needs perfectly. Hugh is the only family member not allowed in the Red Room, and Redditor /u/ih8az thinks they've figured out why.
Unlike his wife and children, Hugh does not have any latent psychic abilities. That's because it's Olivia who passed down those traits to the Crain kids, not Hugh. They can all access the room because they have supernatural abilities, but Hugh remains locked out of it.
Time serves as a major theme in The Haunting of Hill House, and Redditor /u/thenerdygay points out that each of the three sisters seems to possess a special relationship with either the past, present, or future.
Theo and her powers represent the past, as she's able to see the past just by touching something. Then there's Shirley, who's focused on living in the here and now and perfectly captures the present every time she takes a picture. Finally, Nell spends her entire life haunted by the ghost of her future self.