This Haunting of Hill House clue may mean the Crains never made it out


This Easter egg from Haunting of Hill House could mean that the Crain children don’t get as happy of an ending as we all had hoped.

The Haunting of Hill House is a show abundant with metaphors and images that reflect on grief and trauma and how these things shape families. The Netflix series has been held up by critics and fans alike as a stellar piece of horror on television.

One poignant image used throughout the series was The Red Room. This mysterious, creepy room was a haunting memory in the back of every Crain family member’s mind. This location in the house was the site of the most horrific night of that family’s lives.

Even before what happened in that room is revealed at the end of the season, we learn that the room is a metaphor for the house’s stomach. Over the years, the house, and specifically the red room, have been eating the family and preying on their traumas and guilt.

In the last moments of the season finale, the Crain siblings who are still living — Steve, Shirley, Theo, and Luke — are trapped inside The Red Room as it messes with their heads and fears. In the end, it seems as if things turn out pretty well for the Crain family. Or, at least as well as can be expected.

Their father, Hugh, sacrifices himself so that his children can live. This leaves the remaining four Crain children to return to their lives and have somewhat happy endings. The children are able to process their grief and move forward in healthier ways. For example, we see Luke celebrate being sober for two years. But, this ending might not be quite as simple as it seems.

While talking to The Wrap about playing Luke, Oliver Jackson-Cohen said there is an Easter egg in that scene that he’s surprised fans haven’t realized yet. It could mean that the ending wasn’t quite so healing…

"There’s this thing that happens when we’re all in the Red Room. Every, uh — again, I feel like I have to be careful if I’m saying this right. (laughs) But whenever each child, each sibling, is in the Red Room, something in the fantasy is red. And it’ll be a very, very small thing. For Luke, when Luke gets taken to the hotel room, he’s worn Converse throughout the show, and all of a sudden his Converse are red. And it’s so slight you can barely even see it. And I think Steven is wearing a red jumper [in his fantasy.]"

He goes on to explain that this trail of eggs could mean that the very ending scene, showing Luke with his sobriety cake, might not be real at all.

"And so there’s something at the end — it was Kate [Siegel], who plays Theo, who kind of pointed it out to me — with Luke’s sobriety cake. Um, she went, ‘The cake is red.’ And on set I went, ‘Oh, my God!’ And she went, ‘I don’t know!’ And I asked Mike [Flanagan], and he went ‘I don’t know.’"

So, it doesn’t sound like even Jackson-Cohen knows for sure, or if those who made the series are saying one way or another. Maybe the ending is supposed to be left open for interpretation depending on the viewer’s own relationship with trauma and healing.

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What do you think of this Easter egg? Do you think the Crains made it out alive? Or do you like the more sinister ending? Share with us in the comments!