One of the great things about Netflix’s The Haunting Of Hill House is that you don’t even need to ask people if they’ve seen it – you can just look in their eyes and if they look right through you, into the middle distance, with a glazed expression that suggests they have ‘seen bad things’, then the chances are that they have. It’s a scary, scary show, a stressful watch littered with creepy background ghosts and an ever-growing sense of unease.
And it turns out the house they filmed it in has actual ghosts in it. Like, it doesn’t, because ghosts aren’t real, but also, it totally does.
The real house, the Tudor-style Bisham Manor in LaGrange, Georgia (birthplace of Bubba Sparxxx, fact fans), was built between 1997 and 2002, so isn’t as old as it looks, but exists on the site of an earlier building dating from the 1920s (remember, it’s America, nothing is old), and is built around one room left over from that structure.
Former owners Neil and Trish Liechty, who lived in the house for four years before selling it before production on the TV show began, told The Blast that the older room is something of an epicentre of supernatural activity, with “four or five” ghosts in it.
Neil says he heard music coming from the basement on multiple occasions despite there being no musical equipment down there. He smelled tobacco throughout the house despite no smokers living there. His phone disappeared for weeks then reappeared in the same spot.
The Liechtys have moved to a winery now, and while you’d think a winery would be no type of place for spirits (HEYO THAT IS A COOL JOKE WELL DONE), supernatural activity seems to be going on there as well, with battery-operated lights apparently switching themselves on despite not containing any batteries, and mysterious figures showing up in photographs taken on the property.
A few lights and some photobombing is a lot more pleasant than the hideousness that the ghosts in the show put Carla Gugino and Michiel Huisman through, though. The Haunting Of Hill House can count among its fans Stephen King, a man who knows a thing or two about horror.
The Haunting Of Hill House has been a huge critical success, and might come back for a second season, but if it does (for obvious reasons) it’ll be pretty different. Creator Mike Flanagan told Entertainment Weekly: “The story of the Crain family is told. It’s done.”
Good. It’s really scary. Don’t make any more, you monster.