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Reflective Essay on The Haunting of Hill House

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I have never been the type to willingly watch a scary movie; I absolutely detest being scared on purpose. This being said, something about the new Netflix show “The Haunting of Hill House” is completely engrossing to me, to the point that I think about it constantly. Now you may ask yourself, “why would someone who despises horror movies be enthralled with a horror series?” Here’s why.

Modern society has short attention spans and craves instant gratification; modern tv shows have adapted to comply with this ever growing want to not think while watching television. I find this entirely too easy. I enjoy the thought that goes into figuring out why the director did what he or she did. “The Haunting of Hill House” has so many minute details and twists that require your constant attention and thought, which is why I cannot stop thinking about it. I watch one episode and for the next week the only thing I can think about are the puzzling details that lead to a larger meaning that are hidden in said episode. For example, the director sets up in the very first episode that Thoe, the middle daughter, wears gloves but never fully explains her motives until three episodes later. In between watching the first and the fourth episode I kept looking for moments when Theo was and was not wearing her gloves to try and understand the significance of the gloves. Even once the show explained why she wears the gloves her reasoning was never clearly stated. I loved this because I had to use methods of deduction to try and figure out the actual reason for myself; this contemplation made the reveal, when everything fell into place, so much more satisfying because I could see where I went wrong and what I got right. I was not just handed the answers, I had to actually think for myself .

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Another detail from “The Haunting of Hill House” that forces you to think is the fact that the Crooked-Neck Lady, who petrifies Nell throughout her childhood, is grown-up Nell as she hangs herself. From the very first episode I wondered “who was the Crooked-Neck Lady and why did she only haunt Nell.” The groundskeepers did not know of her so she was not a member of the deceased Hill family, as is the man in the bowler hat and the sick old lady. Small details such as photos or short scenes explain most of the hill family ghosts but the Crooked-Neck Lady remained elusive; that is until in episode five we find out that she is in fact Nell as she kills herself. For days I pondered her as I was petrified by her. It felt so satisfying, after days of trying to figure it out, to finally understand who the Crooked-Neck Lady really is. The only problem is now I am dying to know why she haunts her younger self; I guess I’ll have to wait and see.

Rather than complacently watch a show that gives me all of the answers, I prefer solving the puzzles that shows like “The Haunting of Hill House” present. I do not want instant gratification; I want to look at the minute details, over analyze their significance, deduce as many possible solutions as I can, and agonize about it untilall of the pieces fall into place. “The Haunting of Hill House” allows me to do all of those things; it allows me to use my brain while indulging in tv rather than just being complacent. I cannot stop thinking about “The Haunting of Hill House” because , I finally found a modern show that forces me to use my brain.

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Reflective Essay on The Haunting of Hill House. (2022, September 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved January 30, 2023, from
“Reflective Essay on The Haunting of Hill House.” Edubirdie, 27 Sept. 2022,
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