The Surprising 'Haunting of Hill House' Easter Egg Fans Missed

The Haunting of Hill House has presented Netflix viewers with more reasons to go back and re-watch than any other show on the streaming service. Creator Mike Flanagan gave another reason, confirming there is a special guest star playing a ghost in one episode.

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(Photo: Netflix)

In an interview with Variety, Flanagan said actor Bruce Greenwood makes an uncredited appearance in episode five, "The Bent-Neck Lady." Greenwood plays a ghost who appears in Olivia (Carla Gugino) and Hugh Crain's (Henry Thomas) room when young Nell (Violet McGraw) rushes in after seeing the Bent-Neck Lady.

"In Carla's medium closeup, on the left side of the frame, he's sitting there behind her and he's out of focus enough that he looks like he's just part of the wall," Flanagan said.

The moment was an Easter egg for fans of Flanagan's work. Greenwood, Thomas and Gugino starred in the director's adaptation of Stephen King's Gerald's Game, which is also available on Netflix. Flanagan's wife, Kate Siegel, also appeared in Gerald's Game and plays the older Theo in The Haunting of Hill House.

Flanagan hid several ghosts throughout the show. Some play important roles, like the Bent-Neck Lady, while others are on the screen for mere seconds.

"We actually hid dozens of ghosts throughout the series, in plain sight, in the deep background of shots. We don't call any attention to them, but they're there," Flanagan recently told Vulture. "If you look in a door frame, or under the piano, or behind a curtain in a lot of otherwise ordinary scenes, you'll see someone there."

The Haunting of Hill House is loosely based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Shirley Jackson. It centers on the Crain family, who temporarily moved into the Hill House in 1992 to renovate the mansion. Twenty-six years later, the horrific events that went down on their last night in the mansion still have an impact on their lives. The children reunite with their estranged father after a tragedy strikes, and many of the episodes focus on the individual family members.

The rest of the cast includes Michiel Huisman as Steven Crain, Elizabeth Reaser as Shirley Crain Harris, Oliver Jackson-Cohen as Luke Crain and Victoria Pedretti as the older Nell Crain.

Although the series has been met with widespread acclaim from viewer and critics alike, there is no word on a second season. If there is one, it would probably focus on a different family, since Flanagan said the Crain's story is "done" as far as he is concerned.

"As far as I've ever been concerned with this, the story of the Crain family is told. It's done," Flanagan told Entertainment Weekly. "I felt like the Crains have been through enough, and we left them exactly as we all wanted to remember them, those of us who worked on it. We toyed with a cliffhanger ending and we toyed with other ideas, but ultimately, in the writers' room and with the cast and everything else, we really felt like the story demanded a certain kind of closure from us and we were happy to close the book on that family."

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All 10 episodes of The Haunting of Hill House are now available to stream on Netflix.

Photo credit: Netflix