Viewers were not the only ones cowering beneath the covers while watching Netflix’s new horror series The Haunting of Hill House.
Speaking with Metro following the debut of the Mike Flanagan-directed horror series, which has instantly become a major hit, the cast revealed that filming took a major toll on them, with some claiming that the nature of the series left them unable to sleep and seeing things that weren’t there.
“In prep I started to think that someone sat at the end of my bed in the night and stupid s– like that," Luke Crain actor Oliver Jackson-Cohen told the outlet. “I remember calling [Elizabeth Reaser] one day and [she] just hadn’t slept.”
Elizabeth Reaser, who plays Shirley Crain, the eldest of the Crain daughters, also admitted that Hill House’s paranormal events had a real-life effect on her.
“I had no ghostly interactions but I feel like there's something that happens to your subconscious when you're pretending like this for nine months," she said. “It's more not being able to sleep, feeling crazed...when you're drumming that stuff up for so long, you kind of get a hang-up on it. It's like your body doesn't know you're pretending."
Jackson-Cohen and Reaser are not the only ones being left terrified following the release of the series. After The Haunting of Hill House’s Netflix debut on Oct. 12, viewers bingeing the show reported a number of scary side effects, including sleep loss, sleep anxiety, vomiting, and in some cases, even fainting.
The 10-episode series, drawing inspiration from Shirley Jackson’s 1959 novel of the same name, has been praised for reinvigorating the horror genre with a fresh take on scares, being praised by both critics and fans alike as being the best series to come from the genre in years thanks in part to the underlying family drama that intermingles with it. Stephen King, said by some to the be King of Horror due to his many horror contributions — including It, The Shining, and Pet Sematary — even claimed that the Netflix series was “close to a work of genius.”
The Haunting of Hill House, as of now just a single season, tells the story of the Crain family. Over the course of the 10-episode season, viewers are introduced to both the present and the past versions of the characters, unfolding the story of Hill House, the home where they spent a single summer that still haunts their current lives.