The Haunting Of Hill House: 7 Most Chilling Fan Theories

Are you brave enough to revisit Hill House?


The Haunting of Hill House, adapted from Shirley Jackson’s novel of the same name, follows the Crain family and the supernatural experiences they had at Hill House. The limited series only ran for 10 episodes but created an enigma of a tale which leaves some things open to interpretation.

With all kinds of ghostly goings-on, it's no surprise that a number of dark and twisted fan theories have been devised to explain some of its more out-there elements.

Whilst the Red Room Theory may have been shot down, there are many more put forward about the Crain family and House itself by fans who are excited for further stories. Season two, as an anthology series, could definitely explore or answer some of these chilling fan theories.

Which ones do you believe?

7. The Ghosts Are A Metaphor For Hugh Being Abusive


In a particularly horrid fan theory, it’s believed that Hugh could have been abusing Olivia and their children, which caused them to experience psychological distress in the form of ghosts. As adults, they all wrongly remember what happened as they blocked out the trauma they experienced as children.

When Hugh was younger, he had a stiff demeanour and gave off a really odd vibe, as though he was overcompensating for something. He was always the first to show up when the children started screaming, as if he was the one causing it, and told them nothing is going on so maybe they’re imagining it.

The latter of which could’ve have contributed to their mixed up version of events as adults. Shirley and Theo hearing all the banging on the walls could’ve been Hugh getting tough with Olivia, and Olivia's rapid mental decay could have been caused by this too.

Whilst there might be other things that don’t quite fit with this theory, it definitely seems possible. This is seen in Theo’s work as a child psychiatrist as she visits the house of a girl who claims she’s seeing a ghost. Theo eventually realises that her father is abusing her and she made up the ghost in order to compartmentalise and process her own trauma.

With this in mind, if Hugh really was abusive, it’s possible that Theo would remember due to her being “sensitive”, as Olivia put it.


A small, cold adult with a passion for cats, middle-aged actresses and horror films.