The Haunting of Hill House Finale Recap: The Red Room Revealed! (2022)

The Haunting of Hill House Finale Recap: The Red Room Revealed! (1)

Warning: This post contains spoilers for the Season 1 finale of Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House.

Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House has been out for more than a week now, so it’s time to talk about one of the series’ biggest mysteries:

What the heck is in the Red Room?

The Haunting of Hill House Finale Recap: The Red Room Revealed! (2)

(Video) The Haunting Of Hill House: Ending Explained: How The House Won, The Red Room, Dudleys + More

If you’ve made it through to the Season 1 finale, you know that the room at the top of the stairs — that one that Shirley and Nell wanted to get into so badly in the premiere — was really a chamber that changed itself for each member of the family.

The treehouse that Steven finds Luke drawing in during the premiere? Actually the Red Room.

Steven’s game room? Olivia’s reading room? Nell’s toy room? Also the Red Room.

Remember when Theo was practicing the “Cold Hearted” routine in what seemed like an abandoned part of the house? Yep, Red Room. In fact, she was responsible for the movement we saw on the other side of the door once Shirley and Nell stepped away after trying the master key in the season premiere. Conversely, Nell and Shirley were the unseen forces knocking on the door and turning the knob when Theo was trying to perfect Paula Abdul’s dance moves.

All of this is revealed by Nell, whose ghostly form saves each of her siblings from death-by-Hill-House. But I’m getting ahead of myself. As the Crain kids (as adults) enter their former home, they have incredibly lifelike and very disturbing dreams. Read on for the highlights of “Silence Lay Steadily.”

IN THE NIGHTMARES. IN THE DARK. | Luke, we see via flashback, is unable to light the place on fire like he intended, and instead winds up thinking that he was back on the street, looking for Joey after she walked out of rehab. He dreams that he finds her, and that she’s rented a hotel room where she can detox. But first, she wants him to shoot up with her one last time. A terrified Luke staunchly refuses — he’s got 90 days of sobriety — but she tells him it’s too late: When he looks down, there’s already a needle in his arm. And when her eyes begin to melt out of her sockets, we realize that he’s really passed out in the Red Room… with a syringe sticking out of his forearm and foam bubbling in his mouth.

(Video) The Haunting of Hill House 1x10 - Red Room Revealed/Sad Scene (1080p)

The Haunting of Hill House Finale Recap: The Red Room Revealed! (3)

Because there’s a lot of time play in this episode, when we catch up with Steven, it seems like he’s reconciled with his wife, who is now pregnant. But as he attempts to write a book about his return to Hill House, he can’t remember how he got back to California, how he and Leigh patched things up, etc. That’s when she begins to mock him, and then she starts to putrefy. Nell shows up just then to touch her brother’s forehead; a moment later, he wakes up in the Red Room and rushes to start CPR on Luke.

Shirley’s dream is more of a memory of a time when she went to a work conference and slept with a married stranger she met there. (So that’s who the guy we’ve seen toasting her is.) She never told Kevin, and her guilt over the affair — as well as her hypocrisy regarding her reaction to finding Theo and Kevin together — eats at her. While Shirley attends her own funeral viewing, and watches her corpse claw its face off, Nell shows up to bloop! her back to reality.

Theo’s dream is that she’s in bed with her girlfriend, then a gajillion arms spring up to hold her down. She also wakes up in the moldy and mysterious chamber, just in time to see Shirley and Steven’s CPR efforts fail: Luke is dead. But that doesn’t stop him from attending a tea party in a massively cleaned-up version of the Red Room, where Olivia and little Nell are waiting. Olivia talks a big, happy game about how now he’s “awake,” but mini-Nell keeps telling him to get out of there. Finally, adult ghost Nell shows up to yank him back into the world of the living; in the as-close-as-you-can-get-to-real world, he abruptly draws breath, shocking his brother and sisters.

THAT TWIN THING | “She saved me,” Luke whispers, pointing to a corner of the room. Everyone turns to see adult Nell, wearing the dress she died in. “I feel like I’ve been here before,” Shirley says dazedly. “”We have, all of us has have. So many times, and we didn’t know it,” Nell answers, explaining that if the house is a body, the Red Room is its stomach. As such, it presented to the various family members as what they wanted to see. “It put on different faces so we’d be still and quiet while it digested,” she says. (Find out which of the series’ cast thought this was one of Hill House‘s most powerful moments.)

(Video) THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE (2018) Ending Explained

One by one, Nell’s siblings apologize for not being there for her when she needed them the most. She forgives each one. Meanwhile, in the hallway outside, Olivia stops Poppy from messing with Hugh, who’s shaky enough to need one of his heart pills. Mrs. Crain is half overjoyed to see the love of her life, half hella pissed that he took the kids away from the house. But he tells her that if she opens the door to the Red Room, “I will make a promise to you that I will keep forever.”

So she does. Hugh helps his children get Luke to the car, then walks back into the house with Steven. That’s where they step into a flashback as it plays out (and answers a few more mysteries). After Hugh dropped the kids at the motel on the night of Olivia’s death, he went back and found her dead in the foyer. He held her to him, crying about being able to “fix this,” and that’s how her blood ended up all over his clothes.

IS IT BAD WE’VE KINDA FORGOTTEN ABOUT THE DEAD GIRL UPSTAIRS? | Then the Dudleys showed up, looking for their little girl (!) who they’d realized wasn’t in her bed. Turns out, Abigail’s last name was Dudley, and the groundskeeper’s wife weeps as she finds her daughter’s corpse in the Red Room. But then ghost Abigail appeared, wondering what’s up, and her parents embraced her. Downstairs, Hugh watched Olivia’s ghost get up from her corpse and begin wandering the house, and he made a decision: He was going to burn the house so it couldn’t hurt anyone else.

But the Dudleys objected, given that their daughter was now a permanent resident. They offered an exchange: Their silence about Abigail’s death for Hugh’s promise that the house stay exactly as it is — though boarded up so no one else can get hurt.

“Let it starve, but leave it here, so I can see her,” Claire Dudley begged Hugh.

So he did. And as the memory winds down, Steven notices that his father looks rather dead himself, lying beside an empty pill bottle: Apparently, he held up his end of his promise to Olivia. “This is all yours now, the home and the promise,” Hugh’s ghost informs his son just before morphing into his younger visage and heading into the Red Room to reunite with Olivia and adult Nell.

OUR HOUSE IS A VERY, VERY, VERY TERRIBLE PLACE AND WE SHOULD NEVER GO NEAR THERE AGAIN | In a montage after, we watch Steven ask Leigh if he can come home and try again. Shirley confesses all to Kevin. Theo tosses the gloves she’s wearing as she and Trish move out of the funeral-home apartment. An aged Mr. Dudley carries a dying Mrs. Dudley through the woods so she can expire inside Hill House; moments later, she appears as a ghost, holding the baby she miscarried and hugging Abigail near.

As Steven reads a passage from Shirley Jackson’s novel, aka the series’ source material, we watch the Crains gather to celebrate Luke’s second year of sobriety. Leigh is there, and she’s pregnant. Kevin is there, having forgiven Shirley. Theo and Trish are there, too. And the final shot of the series is of the house itself, which as Steven notes, “has stood so for 100 years and might stand for 100 more.”

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Grade the finale (and the season) via the polls below, then hit the comments with the rest of your thoughts!

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FAQs

What does the Red room mean in The Haunting of Hill House? ›

It was a toy room for the young and rambunctious Nell. A family room for the lonely Shirley. A treehouse when Luke needed to get away. It also effectively serves as a waystation between the living and the dead; it's where the house converts people into fuel.

What was the Red room for the dad in Hill House? ›

The "one room" Hugh references is the Red Room, which also happens to be covered in mold. For Hugh, the Red Room is not a place. It's a purpose. The Red Room needs to occupy him, and therefore force the Crains to stay in the house for longer than expected.

Why was Theo dancing in the Red room? ›

Steve wanted to just hang out in a game room. Shirley needed a place to take care of her kittens, so a living room appeared. Theo wanted to forget about the world and dance it out in a dance studio.

What happens to Luke at the end of The Haunting of Hill House? ›

Luke isn't dead either - though he sure comes close for a while - yet Nell and Olivia both see him foaming from the mouth as a premonition of his near-death encounter at Hill House.

Did the cranes escape the Red room? ›

It all turns out (mostly) OK in the end. Every Crain except for Olivia, Nellie and Hugh — who sacrifices himself so his children can escape — goes back to his or her life and changes for the better, after that dark night in the Red Room.

Why does Hugh see Olivia? ›

He made a pact with the Dudleys to keep Hill House in the family always. Hugh began seeing Olivia Crain shortly after her death. It is made clear, however, that this was not her ghost — which was trapped at Hill House — but an extension of his imagination.

Who is the ghost that takes Abigail's hand? ›

There was no age distinction made for William, but there was for Hazel, even though there is only one Hazel in the credits. This means that there is an uncredited role for (young) Hazel. With that, I think it's safe to assume that the lady who grabs Abigail's hand is young Hazel Hill.

Was Abigail a ghost in The Haunting of Hill House? ›

The main 'ghost' is a little girl called Abigail (Olive Elise Abercrombie), but it turns out she isn't a ghost, she's the daughter of the house's caretaker. She's home-schooled and forbidden by her parents, Mr and Mrs Dudley, to ever step foot inside the house.

What did Shirley's husband do in The Haunting of Hill House? ›

During his life, William drove himself insane from the guilt of his infidelity and used bricks to close himself into a basement wall, where Crain father, Hugh, finds his body 50 years later. Today, he continues to haunt Luke for stealing his iconic bowler hat when he was a child living in Hill House.

What's behind the red door? ›

Behind the Red Door is an English drama film directed by Matia Karrell and released in 2003. The lead characters in the movie are Kyra Sedgwick, Kiefer Sutherland and Stockard Channing. The film depicts the relationship between a sister and her brother, who is suffering from the fatal disease AIDS.

Why did Leigh and Steve separate? ›

In September of 2018, Steven and Leigh separated when he presumably came clean about his vasectomy, leading to him moving out of the house.

What is the black mold in Haunting of Hill House? ›

The mold of Hill House is an earthly spreading of organic matter, and the materialism that creeps in with the mold is evidenced in one possible reading of Flanagan's Haunting: what happens in Hill House is due to the toxic effects of black mold.

What did Theo see when she touched her mom? ›

In the past, Theo touches her mother, Olivia, and has a premonition of Olivia's death—half of her face bloodied and disfigured, as if she has been shot in the head. Luke, in Hill House's secret basement (a hot spot for bootlegging in days gone by) sees a corpse crawl toward him.

Is Luke still in the red room? ›

Hugh sacrifices himself to save his family from the horrible Red Room, and the show ends with Steve (Michiel Huisman), Shirley (Elizabeth Reaser), Theo (Kate Siegel), and Luke (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) escaping Hill House and going back to their lives.

Who buttons Nells eyes? ›

According to Gugino, Olivia is also places the buttons over Nell's eyes while she's in her casket — an action that infuriates Shirley and the others. “Nell loved her buttons, and it's her way of making sure Nell is at peace,” Gugino added.

Did Hugh have a red room? ›

Luke's Treehouse

Luke's Red Room in Hill House was his backyard treehouse. When the treehouse was first mentioned, it was described as the treehouse that Hugh built for Luke. Luke would sit in his treehouse coloring pictures and hanging them up on the walls.

Why does Luke count to seven? ›

Throughout the series, Nell and Luke were seen counting to seven when they felt scared, referencing the seven members of their family, as well as seven steps to go from Nell's bed to Luke's. The ending finds Luke once again a part of a family of seven.

What happened to Poppy Hills children? ›

If we take those stories as canon, then we now know that Hazel Hill was the bootlegger who operated out of the basement; the burned ghost in the basement was Hazel's son Edward; Hazel killed Poppy's daughter Jacqueline by drowning her in the cement of the house's foundation; Poppy's son in the wheelchair is named ...

Who did Nell see on the ceiling? ›

She counts them out loud, touching each one, just as Luke instructed her to do as a child. Later, Nell wakes up in sleep paralysis, and sees Luke sprawled out on the ceiling.

Who is the villain in Haunting of Hill House? ›

Hugh Crain is the main antagonist of the The Haunting of Hill House novel, its film adaptation, and the subsequent remake.

What happened to the mom Hill House? ›

She is an architect and dies very early on in the series. However, she appears throughout the season in flashback moments.

What did Luke see in the dumbwaiter? ›

Dumbwaiter Chronicles

And when Luke takes an unforgettable ride down to an unknown cellar area, he encounters an angry ghost who rips up his perfectly good pajamas and leaves us covering our eyes in horror!

What did Luke see in the basement? ›

Luke sees a ghost in the basement.

Who is the tall ghost in Haunting of Hill House? ›

One of the most unnerving spirits haunting Hill House is the Tall Man, who is an incredibly lanky spirit who torments poor Luke Crain (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) throughout most of his life. This is because Luke stole the ghost's trademark bowler hat, and the spirit is later revealed to be William Hill.

What do the Dudleys know about Hill House? ›

When the Dudleys arrive at the home to find their daughter's dead body, she reappears as a ghost along with Olivia, who also dies in the house that night. This leads Hugh and the Dudleys to realize that anyone who dies in Hill House stays there as a ghost forever, so they make a pact to never destroy the house.

Is Abigail the Dudley's daughter? ›

Abigail is revealed to be the daughter of Horace and Clara Dudley. Throughout the entirety of her short life, Abigail's parents seldom allowed her to leave home, fearing the outside world could take her away from them.

Who is the little girl in Haunting of Hill House? ›

Olive Elise Abercrombie played young Luke's not-so-imaginary friend Abigail, and her storyline was positively tragic. Like Violet, Olive was only seven years old when she was cast in The Haunting of Hill House, and had few screen credits (although she appeared in her first short film as an infant).

Why did Kevin Kiss Theo? ›

Theo does, at one point, try to kiss a man: Kevin (Anthony Ruivivar), her sister's husband. However, it's not out of any sexual or romantic desire, but rather her attempting to feel something after touching her sister Nell's body and only feeling nothing.

Why did Nell go back to the house? ›

She confesses her problems to her therapist, who tells her she needs to confront her past. He suggests that she returns to Hill House as a means of remedying her unresolved childhood trauma, proposing that once she sees how harmless the house is she'll be able to let go of her issues.

What is the message of Haunting of Hill House? ›

The overriding theme of The Haunting of Hill House is grief and its accompanying sense of fear—fear of losing the people you love the most, and fear of not being able to protect them. That kind of fear, the show suggests, can turn people into monsters.

What does a GREY door mean? ›

Grey: A grey front door is often associated with intelligence and being dignified, but can come across as stand-offish, depending on the shade you choose.

Does a red front door mean the house is paid off? ›

A friend recently told us that when a house has a red door, it means that the owner has paid off their mortgage. It's an old timey tradition: You finish paying off the mortgage, get out the red paint and slap it on your door.

What does a red cross on a door mean? ›

At times of plague, it was common to mark the doors of victims of the disease with a large painted cross, either in red or black paint. In later times, large printed crosses were often affixed to doors.

Who is the oldest child in Haunting of Hill House? ›

Elizabeth Reaser and Lulu Wilson as Shirley Crain Harris, the eldest daughter of the family. She owns a mortuary with her husband Kevin. They have a son and a daughter. Oliver Jackson-Cohen and Julian Hilliard as Luke Crain, older twin of Nell and one of the two youngest members of the family.

Who is the oldest Crain sibling? ›

The first stage of grief is denial, which is depicted through the eldest Crain sibling, Steven. His siblings fully believe in the supernatural events they experienced as children, but he does not.

Does The Haunting of Hill House go back and forth in time? ›

How does time work in The Haunting of Hill House? Seemingly, the show pivots back and forth between two distinct timelines. In the past, the Crains live in Hill House for the course of one summer.

Who is the man Shirley keeps seeing? ›

Ryan Quale is a character in The Haunting of Hill House. He is shown throughout the series as a vision that Shirley has of a man raising his glass at her. It is explained in the last episode that Shirley had an affair with him years before while away on a business trip.

What happened to the kittens in The Haunting of Hill House? ›

Shirley wakes up to find that one of the kittens has died. With her father and mother beside her, Shirley prepares to bury the kitten. As she is saying a eulogy for the kitten, whom she had named Jasper, she notices its throat and mouth are moving.

What did Hugh see on the blueprints? ›

Hugh shows Olivia the blueprints she made and she is shocked by them because they don't make sense.

How did Theo know who Mr Smiley was? ›

Later in the episode, Theo pays a surprise visit to the foster parents' home. When she lies down on basement couch, Theo is struck by a vision that reveals the secret of 'Mr. Smiley. ' It turns out that the foster dad is in fact 'Mr Smiley' and he is molesting the girl.

How did Nell become the bent neck lady? ›

Nell is then guided up the staircase where Olivia places her own necklace around Nell. The necklace turns out to be another fabrication of Hill House and the necklace's true form is a noose. Nell is then nudged off the staircase by her mother which snaps her neck, killing her.

What is Theo's gift in Haunting of Hill House? ›

Olivia tells Theo that she and her grandmother were also “a little sensitive,” hinting that supernatural powers may run in the family. She gifts Theo a pair of gloves so that she can keep her developing psychic powers at bay.

Who was the baby at the end of Haunting of Hill House? ›

Abigail and The Dudleys

Olivia did manage to poison one child on her way out the (red) door, Abigail, who it turns out by season's end is very real. The show paints the mysterious Abigail as Luke's imaginary friend (or ghost), just another delusion conjured up by Hill House.

Did Luke survive in Haunting of Hill House? ›

He actually did die (after seemingly injecting himself with rat poison) but, depending on how you look at it, Luke was either: a) resuscitated by Steve, Shirley and Theo. b) in his dead state, was told to leave the Red Room by his twin (there with his mother and Abigail), and willed himself back to life.

Does The Haunting of Hill House have a happy ending? ›

When The Haunting of Hill House comes to an end, everyone—living and dead—is happy. The Crain family is able to cast off their worries and go about their lives. Steven and Shirley's marriages are back on track, Theo is finally able to open up to someone, and Luke is sober.

Who is the other body in The Haunting of Hill House? ›

Dudley. It's not clear who she actually is, but it's possible that she's Mr. Dudley's mother/Abigail's grandmother, who worked and died at the house.

Why were there dogs barking in Hill House? ›

The dogs heard barking in episodes 2 through 4 are a reference to Shirley Jackson's book, which features a phantom dog that the characters aren't able to track down. In episode 6, the kids claim to see a dog with red eyes run through the house, although all the audience gets is the sound of intense baying.

What caused the mold in Hill House? ›

While some have suggested that the mold was created by the evil spirits present in the house to prevent the family from being able to sell the house and move away, others have argued that the mold in the house actually could have been responsible for all the events that occurred in the story.

How did the Red room Work Hill House? ›

We chose that distinct vertical window. We also made sure to shoot the room from the same angle in all of the episodes leading up to it, so that even the camera framing was familiar. We really just hoped that Hill House was so sprawling, people would assume there were just a lot of rooms they hadn't seen.

What's behind the red door? ›

Behind the Red Door is an English drama film directed by Matia Karrell and released in 2003. The lead characters in the movie are Kyra Sedgwick, Kiefer Sutherland and Stockard Channing. The film depicts the relationship between a sister and her brother, who is suffering from the fatal disease AIDS.

What's a red room in a house? ›

Noun. Red Room (plural Red Rooms) (Internet) According to an urban legend, a room where people are tortured and murdered for an audience of viewers via the Deep Web, the viewers sometimes voting or bidding on the form of torture to be performed.

Was Abigail a ghost in The Haunting of Hill House? ›

The main 'ghost' is a little girl called Abigail (Olive Elise Abercrombie), but it turns out she isn't a ghost, she's the daughter of the house's caretaker. She's home-schooled and forbidden by her parents, Mr and Mrs Dudley, to ever step foot inside the house.

How did Nell become the bent neck lady? ›

Nell is then guided up the staircase where Olivia places her own necklace around Nell. The necklace turns out to be another fabrication of Hill House and the necklace's true form is a noose. Nell is then nudged off the staircase by her mother which snaps her neck, killing her.

What does the mold mean in Hill House? ›

The mold of Hill House is an earthly spreading of organic matter, and the materialism that creeps in with the mold is evidenced in one possible reading of Flanagan's Haunting: what happens in Hill House is due to the toxic effects of black mold.

Who was the tall man in Hill House? ›

William Hill is the husband of Poppy and he tends to torment the youngest Crain, Luke. When we first catch a glimpse of William Hill, he is an unusually tall man creepily floating just inches away from the ground.

What does a GREY door mean? ›

Grey: A grey front door is often associated with intelligence and being dignified, but can come across as stand-offish, depending on the shade you choose.

Does a red front door mean the house is paid off? ›

A friend recently told us that when a house has a red door, it means that the owner has paid off their mortgage. It's an old timey tradition: You finish paying off the mortgage, get out the red paint and slap it on your door.

What does a red cross on a door mean? ›

At times of plague, it was common to mark the doors of victims of the disease with a large painted cross, either in red or black paint. In later times, large printed crosses were often affixed to doors.

Who created the dark web? ›

The dark web is known to have begun in 2000 with the release of Freenet, the thesis project of University of Edinburgh student Ian Clarke, who set out to create a "Distributed Decentralised Information Storage and Retrieval System." Clarke aimed to create a new way to anonymously communicate and share files online.

Who invented the red room? ›

Red Room (White House)
Red Room
A stereograph view of the Red Room looking northwest, during the administration of Ulysses S. Grant. The center table, and "ladies' chairs" (one near the north door) were built by the Herter Brothers.
Location1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20500
Builtcirca 1800
6 more rows

What is the difference between the Deep Web and the dark web? ›

On the internet, the deep web is not indexed by web crawlers, while the dark web is intentionally kept hidden. The deep web is defined as the internet section that is not indexed by web crawlers. The dark web, on the other hand, is defined as a subsegment of the deep web that can be accessed only with special tools.

Who grabbed Abigail's hand? ›

The woman who took Abigail's hand after she died was actually young Hazel Hill. The actress who played her commented on a post on Instagram, confirming that the woman was Hazel.

Who is the man Shirley keeps seeing in Hill House? ›

Ryan Quale is a character in The Haunting of Hill House. He is shown throughout the series as a vision that Shirley has of a man raising his glass at her. It is explained in the last episode that Shirley had an affair with him years before while away on a business trip.

What do the Dudleys know about Hill House? ›

When the Dudleys arrive at the home to find their daughter's dead body, she reappears as a ghost along with Olivia, who also dies in the house that night. This leads Hugh and the Dudleys to realize that anyone who dies in Hill House stays there as a ghost forever, so they make a pact to never destroy the house.

Videos

1. The Haunting of Hill House Explained in 17 Minutes
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2. How Netflix’s ‘Haunting Of Hill House’ Filmed A 17-Minute Scene In One Take | Movies Insider
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3. The Haunting of Hill House Episode 10 ‘Silence Lay Steadily’ Part 1 REACTION!!
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4. Netflix's The Haunting of Hill House Explained
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5. The Haunting of Hill House Background Ghosts
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6. The Haunting Of Hill House: The True Meaning Of The Black Mold
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