The Haunting of Hill House season 1 premiere recap: Steven Sees a Ghost


Based on the Shirley Jackson horror novel, The Haunting of Hill House is now a Netflix original horror series.

The Haunting of Hill House opens with a narration that comes directly from Shirley Jackson’s novel.

The season starts off in the past with “Then.” Steven is sleeping and a crying child wakes him up. He heads down the hall and tells his little sister Shirley to go back to bed.

When he opens the door, there are two younger children sitting up in the bed. The little girl Nell is crying and said that she is scared. The little boy Luke said he was awake because his sister was awake.

More from Netflix

Nell said it was a ghost (Bent Neck Lady) but her dad Hugh walks in and said that Steven scared the ghost away and it is safe now.

Hugh said that kid’s dreams can spill like an ocean and big dreams can spill out into the real world sometimes. He said that the Bent Neck Lady is gone.

Nell asks when they can leave and her dad said when they fix the house up and sell it they can go. Hugh leaves the room and walks down the hall and hears something. He opens the door and his daughter Theo is talking in her sleep about pandas.

When he comes back out, the door is open to his younger kids room again and when he looks in, they are both asleep. He closes and tests the door and it stays closed.

He heads back to bed.

Back in the kid’s room, Nell wakes up and the door is open again. She tries to get her brother Luke to wake up and then tries to go back to sleep until we see a face coming up behind her.

Haunting of Hill House Characters

  • Steven Crain (Michiel Huisman) – the older brother who is now a horror author.
  • Shirley Crain (Elizabeth Reaser) – the older sister who now owns a funeral home.
  • Theo Crain (Kate Siegel) – the middle sister who has blocked off all emotions.
  • Nell Craine (Victoria Pedretti) – the youngest sister who suffered the most mentally from the haunting of their childhood home.
  • Luke Crain (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) – the youngest brother who is a recovering addict.
  • Hugh Crain (Timothy Hutton/Henry Thomas) – the father who has sheltered himself from his kids and is haunted.
  • Olivia Crain (Carla Gugino) – the mother.

Haunting of Hill House – Now

Back to the present day and there is a woman telling the story of a loved one who was in a car wreck and died upside down in his car unable to escape and unable to honk the car horn for help.

The night after he was buried, the woman began to hear a car horn and felt water on her cheeks and she opened her eyes and saw him hanging on the ceiling upside down and dying.

She said she couldn’t scream but just stared “like an idiot.” Then he opened his mouth and it wasn’t a scream but a car horn and then she fell out of her bed and screamed.

She never slept in that room again.

The man then said he wanted to set up equipment in her house and sleep in that bedroom. He is writing a book and said he might be able to include her story, but there are no promises.

At the woman’s house, Steven sees his own book on her shelf (The Haunting of Hill House). He said that he never saw a ghost in any of the places that he wrote about and instead he just writes other people’s stories.

He said that all the years he lived in Hill House, that he never got a reason that all those things happened in his house. He then got a call from Neil Crain (Kate Siegel) but refused to answer it.

Back to the past, and Nell (the little girl) wants to only sleep on the couch because she feels safer there in case “she comes back.” Her mother lays on the floor next to her but when her mom goes to bed, Nell opens her eyes and the Bent Neck Lady is floating above her.

Nell tries to call Shirley but she won’t answer either as she is in the middle of a situation from her funeral home. She tries to convince a young boy to see “the body” one last time. The boy said that he sees her every night when he goes to bed, but she doesn’t blink.

Shirley listens to the message from Nell and she is worried about Luke. She calls Nell but gets no answer.

Back to Then, and the entire renovation of the Hill House is underway. One of the workers finds a key and gives it to Shirley. She heads upstairs with the key and it is the master key to open any door in the house and they try it on a red door that has never been opened.

The master key isn’t working. None of the keys they have tried works on that door. When they head back downstairs after giving up, a shadow under the door walks by.

Shirley calls Steven and tells him about the call from Nell. She mentions that she was worried about Luke but can’t get him to answer. Steven said that he is likely in rehab again. Shirley said that she will handle it since he is too busy.

Steven tells the woman in the house that he does not believe in the supernatural. He believes that there are natural occurrences — those that people understand and those that people don’t understand. Supernatural is natural occurrences that people don’t understand yet.

Steven tries to call Luke but gets no answer. He calls Nell but she gets in too late to get the call. He said that Luke is still at the rehab center and got his 90-day chip (which is a lie).

Theo is at a bar in Boston and is looking around. She sees a guy and looks away and then she sees a girl and seems happy. She then gives a fake name and the two dance. They then head back and have sex.

The girl tries to make conversation after sex and we learn that she lives in a funeral home. Theo puts on a glove and then asks the girl to leave since she has to work early the next day, making this a one-night stand. The girl leaves her number and leaves.

“We just did what we came here to do, yeah?”

As the girl leaves, Shirley is on the porch and says hi. The two then join up on the porch and have some drinks. Shirley said that Nell called. Shirley tells Theo that Nell called that day and that it was about Luke. Theo admits that she hasn’t seen Nell since L.A.

In Florida, Hugh is asleep and someone puts their arm around him and then starts to caress his face. He turns around and sees a face that then screams and he wakes up with his phone ringing.

He sees it is Nell and he answers the phone. Nell asks if he remembers the Bent Neck Lady. Hugh said that he does remember and Nell said that she is back. Hugh believes her and he asks where she is.

She lies and said she is at home in bed, but she is in a car. He tells her to go to Steve’s and he will come there. Hugh said that he will be there the next day. Nell tells him that she loves him and she said that she is fine.

Nell gets out of her car at Hill House and walks up the lawn. Hugh gets up immediately and puts his coat on He is talking to someone who isn’t there and said that he is going.

Watch your favorite shows on fuboTV: Watch over 67 live sports and entertainment channels with a 7-day FREE trial!

Back into the past and Hugh is getting Steve up from his bed in what seems to be a panic. He said they need to get out of there and seems scared at something in the hall. He locks the door and has his hand wrapped up.

Something tries to open the door but can’t. Hugh tells Steve that they are going to run and then he unlocks the door and opens it. Hugh said that he will carry Steve and tells him not to open his eyes no matter what he hears.

He picks him up and tells him to keep his eyes closed and then Hugh makes a run for it. Something is chasing them down the hall and they get to the front door and race outside. The door slams closed behind them and the other kids are in the car.

Luke said that he saw Abigail in the window. They get into the car. The kids ask where mom is and said they saw her upstairs and Hugh said that isn’t mom and drives off. Steve saw someone upstairs and said they can’t just leave mom but they drove off.

Back to the present day and Steve is not happy that his dad called him. Hugh said that he is the closest to his sister and she needs him. Steve hangs up and he isn’t going to leave the woman’s home with his equipment and plan to see if he actually sees a ghost this time.

Steve stares at the ceiling and nothing is there. He closes his eyes.

At Hill House, Nell is dancing through the house by herself.

Back at Theo’s, it is 3 a.m. and she wakes up suddenly, Then Shirley wakes up at the same time in a panic because she knows Nell is in the Red Room. Then Luke wakes up and grasps his throat. The Steve wakes up suddenly as well bu this clock says 12 pm.

Steve then opens his eyes when water drops on him and there is nothing up there but the water is still dropping on him. The pillow is wet so Steve stands on the bed to examine the ceiling and finds a leak.

He is then scared by tires screeching outside and a horn honking. It is raining outside, which explains the leaking ceiling. Steve explains that there is a leak in the ceiling and that she slept better with her husband and then noticed the horns honking from outside.

She feels terrible that it was explained away. She asks about the man she saw on her ceiling and he said the mind is a powerful thing for someone who is grieving. She is mad.

He said a ghost is a lot of things, including anger and guilt. She asked why she would want to see him like that and he said it is better than never seeing him again and most of the time a ghost is a wish.

There is now a flashback to when Steve wrote The Haunting of Hill House and his sister Shirley is pissed. Shirley said that he “raped” his family, telling the world what his younger siblings said, making their mom seem crazy, and doing that to the Dudleys and dad.

Steve said that he said it was haunted and that he refuses to tell them anything that really happened. Steve said that their mom was mentally ill and then said the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Shirley said that if he publishes the book, he knows what it will cost.

Back to the present.

Steve said that he will write the story for the woman about her late husband and what she said she saw. He then tells her some stories about the house and said that he would like to tell her story — but he needs to take some liberties but promises to be respectful and he will do it in a way that her late husband would like.

She asks if he saw anything.

Back to the past, and Hugh is talking to an attorney about his kids not taking the stand. The problem is that no one can corroborate his story but the kids. There are tons of tabloids about the suicide of his wife.

Hugh said that he will let them rip him to pieces but no one can bother the kids. Hugh refused to sell the house that his wife died in. Hugh said he is keeping it and wants the house locked up and empty all the time — except for the Dudleys.

He wants the house to sit there and rot.

In the car later, Steve asks if his dad loses the case, do they have to go live with their Aunt Janet?

Back to the present and Steve is driving and tries to call Leigh (his wife). She does not seem happy to hear him. Steve said that there is something wrong with Nell and his sister might show up. He said that his dad told her to and he didn’t have a chance to tell him that they were no longer together.

Back to the past, Ms. Dudley is working and talking to Steve, who is eating. The Hills lived there before them and they were all alone in the house. No one will come near the house, just the Hills, alone at night, in the dark.

Steve said his dad found tarot cards and ouija boards, so he figured they were not too scared of the dark. Ms. Dudley asks what they are for and he said they are parlor games but she claims schools teach kids only secular things.

Ms. Dudley asks if he knows the Gospels and his mom walks in and said that he does. She then said that he knows all the religious readings from different.

She is looking for Luke and Steve mentions she might be in the treehouse. Steve goes to the treehouse and tells Luke their mom is looking for him but he doesn’t want to go in yet because he doesn’t like it inside.

He asks Steve how to spell “no girls allowed.” Theo ripped the other sign. There are drawings in the treehouse. One has the family and the second is a girl Luke said he saw by the woods.

Steve said that he used to have imaginary friends that went away when he got bigger but Luke said that the girl is not imaginary. Luke asked Steve if he would hang out with him and draw together with no girls.

Luke had drawn a screaming woman is on a paper and when Steve asked where he gets these ideas, Luke just shrugged.

Steve gets home to his apartment in Los Angeles with his equipment. He looks upstairs and sees Luke is there waiting for him. Luke has one of Steve’s cameras and iPad and said that it isn’t what it looks like.

Steve offers Luke $200 if he gives him back the iPad and Luke agrees. Luke apologizes and makes the trade. Luke said it really isn’t what Steve thinks and gives back the camera as well.

Steve sees that Luke had broke in by breaking the lock. He turns on the lights and Nell is staring at him. Steve asks if Nell brought Like there and asks her what she wants now that they are all listening.

Hugh then calls and the phone is crackling. Hugh said that Nell is there and Hugh said that Nell was lying and that she was at Hill House and now she is dead.

Steve turns and looks and Nell is staring at him and she starts to turn grey, her eyes whiten and she starts to open her mouth in pain. Steve falls to the ground and she is gone as his dad is trying to get him to answer.

dark. Next. 20 best Hulu original series of all-time, ranked

That is it for the Haunting of Hill House season 1 premiere episode on Netflix. Did you watch it? What were your thoughts? Let us know in the comment section below and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook & Twitter for more on your favorite shows!

Make sure to stream The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix now.