The Haunting Of Hill House Creator Shoots Down Fan Theories About Ending

The Haunting of Hill House Michiel Huisman Steve Crain Timothy Hutton Hugh Crain
(Image credit: Steve Dietl/Netflix)

The creator behind Netflix's runaway horror hit The Haunting of Hill House has something to say about all the fan theories surrounding the show's ending. It turns out they were wrong. Mike Flanagan revealed:

I've said a lot about the ending, and I'm reluctant to say more. I like that people are able to put their own spin on things, so I'm not eager to take that away from them. In this case, though, the ending can be read at face value. . . . If they're still in the Red Room, it robs Hugh's sacrifice (and the show itself) of any meaning. For me, it ends exactly as it appears to.

In an age where the internet has given way to fan theories galore, there tends to be one solution to learning if they are true. You have to watch, wait, and continue to speculate. So, Mike Flanagan clarifying things to TVLine is huge. Whether the Crain family really got their bittersweet ending in The Haunting of Hill House has been a question haunting fans of the Netflix series.

Speculation recently went into overdrive when star Oliver Jackson-Cohen shared a telling detail about the finale. That being the color of Luke's sobriety anniversary cake. It was red, a clue that seemed to potentially indicate that he and his siblings never escaped the Red Room. Whenever there was a fantasy, something in it was always red.

While it made for an excellent fan theory, Mike Flanagan seems to be shutting it down completely. As he points out, the emotional stakes and the ultimate outcome would have been undermined had that been the case. So, the good news is that while the fan theories were wrong, the Crains did escape, after all.

If ever there was a time to want a fan theory to be false, this may be the one. Mike Flanagan also weighed in on fans who have referred to The Haunting of Hill House's ending as "uplifting." Flanagan said:

I always looked at it as just having a hint of peace, just a glimpse into the fact that life goes on, and there's some acceptance for the surviving characters. Acceptance, peace and a little forgiveness doesn't lessen the loss they experience in that episode; it only shows that life has a way of going on, and that these characters are finally accepting of that.

Based on what Mike Flanagan is saying, you can have peace about the Crain siblings' journey going forward. It is pretty safe to say that journey fully concludes with Season 1. Flanagan has previously revealed that if the show were to return, it would do so without the Crains. Hello, anthology!

There is one lingering question that Mike Flanagan did not answer in his interview. That is why there was red frosting on the cake to begin with. If the show wanted to avoid any confusion or speculation, they could have made the icing any other color. Why red, a color that is so heavily associated with the Red Room and what it insinuates?

The comments should come as a relief to fans hoping the Crain siblings finally got away. For those concerned that the fan theories obliterated the hopeful ending, they can take heart. It is cool that Mike Flanagan clarified things. While The Haunting of Hill House has taken on a life of its own, fans now know the ending as Flanagan intended it.

The first season of The Haunting of Hill House is currently available to stream on Netflix. As fans await word on a second season, a plethora of new shows are making their debut this fall and through the midseason on Netflix.

Britt Lawrence

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.