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18 Really Cool "Haunting Of Hill House" Facts About The Filming Of The Show

The behind-the-scenes secrets of Episode 6 are amazing!!!

1. Nell popping out from the backseat of the car was written into the script, but showrunner Mike Flanagan had her scare Theo and Shirley a half page of dialogue before she was supposed to so that they could get a genuine reaction.


"The girls had another half page of dialogue to go through as written, and so Elizabeth [Shirley] and Kate [Theo] were just in the scene and they knew they had another half page of words to get through before Victoria [Nell] would appear, and she just bolted up right in the middle of their lines, and so their reaction is completely genuine," Flanagan told Entertainment Weekly. "It also scared the shit out of all of us at the monitor."

2. For those of you who noticed the statues' heads looking in different directions after a character walks by, there were people on set who would quickly swap out the statues during the filming of a scene.

Netflix / Via

3. The show is inspired by the book of the same name, written by Shirley Jackson. (Yes, Shirley was named after Shirley.)


And there's also a 1963 movie based on the book, called The Haunting.

4. The exterior shots of the house are of a real house in the middle of nowhere in Georgia...

5. ...but the interior of the house — which is a fully functional, two-story set — was built on a soundstage in Atlanta.

Netflix / Via

6. Oh, and they had to build that beautiful staircase!


"There’s no way we were going to make this without having that beautiful spiral staircase; it’s such a striking and iconic image in the book," said Flanagan. "I think it’s three stories tall, and when we would go up the stairs the cast would start to feel a little bit of vertigo. Kind of up by the ceiling of the sound stage, you can see through it and as you look down at your feet you can see the floor through the whole thing. It just seems like this very strange vortex, this spiral that seems endless when you’re at the very top of it."

7. You know those amazing long shots in Episode 6? Well, the entire episode was actually five long shots that were filmed one a day, for five days.

Netflix / Via

"Hill House was on one stage, the funeral home was on another, and we had to build this hallway between the two stages so we could physically walk from one stage to the other and step into Hill House without cutting," said Flanagan. "We rehearsed it with our second team stand-ins, who basically performed the entire episode as actors for about five weeks straight ... After a month of that, we brought the cast in, and we were able to show them the episode."

8. The longest scene was 17 minutes, and, yes, if they messed up, they would have to start all over from the beginning.


9. The steadicam operator for the Episode 6 long-shots had to literally physically train so that he could hold the camera for that long.

Netflix / Via

10. OK, seriously, it's so cool how they filmed that episode. In that scene where older Hugh is looking at his young children and then the camera circles around so that he sees them as adults, the actors literally had to run to swap places!


"The kids were all crouched down and hiding in the intake room right next to them, and they would just sprint into place," said Flanagan. "And while they’re doing that, in the background you’re watching crew frantically pull out this dummy of Victoria Pedretti [adult Nell] from the casket to help little Violet [young Nell] climb in her place."

11. Just in case you haven't realized it yet, the actor who plays young Hugh (Henry Thomas) is the same actor who played Elliott in E.T.

Universal Pictures, Netflix

12. The show's writers' room was filled with whiteboards that looked like a conspiracy theory had thrown-up on them.


"It was just all these lines drawn between story points across episodes, and it kind of looked like those scenes in the movies where someone's tracking a serial killer or a conspiracy theory, and it's all red string and push-pins," Flanagan told Thrillist.

13. You might have noticed all of the Crains waking up at exactly 3:03 a.m. According to Flanagan, that was used because it's known in urban legends as "the witching hour."


14. Flanagan wanted it to feel like the house was always looking at you, so they made sure to fill it with wallpaper that had different facial patterns on it, as well as design the interior so that the placement of windows and a fireplace made it look like a face with two eyes and an open mouth.


"Every inch of that house is staring at you, quite literally," Flanagan told Vulture. "Even the handles on the desk drawers had faces."

15. The ending was originally going to be MUCH darker: You know one of the final scenes where we see all of the adult Crains celebrating Luke's two-year sobriety together? Well, Flanagan toyed with the idea of putting the Red Room's vertical window behind them...


"One thing I can say is that we talked for a very, very long time about putting the Red Room window, that weird vertical window, in the background of this shot," said Flanagan. "And I ultimately decided not to. It was too cruel. But there was a lot of talk that this peace might not be real. In the version we ended up going with, I think it absolutely is real."

16. The set for the Red Room was actually used for all of the other "Red Rooms": the toy room, the reading room, the game room, the family room, and the dance studio. They just repainted and redressed it each time to represent each character.


17. Filming the final episode's Red Room scene was "hell for everyone," so they ended up making T-shirts that say, "We survived the Red Room."

Netflix, Michiel Huisman / Via

18. And finally, if there's a Season 2, it won't be about the Crains.


As Flanagan said on Twitter, "They've been through enough."