Netflix’s semi-franchise The Haunting has spawned two miniseries of elevated horror: 2018’s The Haunting of Hill House and 2020’s The Haunting of Bly Manor. More than just jump scares and gore, The Haunting dives into the truly frightening courtesy of creator Mike Flanagan’s penchant for psychological horror and family drama, while maintaining some continuity between the two unrelated stories by using many of the same actors, including Victoria Pedretti, Henry Thomas, and Oliver Jackson-Cohen.
It’s not clear yet whether Flanagan might eventually make more of The Haunting, but there are plenty of other shows and movies fans of the anthology series will enjoy — including a new show from Flanagan that may be his best. Check out these creepy shows and movies that explore big ideas in smart, sometimes sentimental ways, just like Hill House and Bly Manor did. Here’s what to watch if you liked The Haunting.
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If you’re a fan of The Haunting, Midnight Mass, another Flanagan-created horror series, is the perfect show to check out next. This one is set on a remote fishing island in New England that is shaken up by the arrival of a new Catholic priest (Hamish Linklater), who quickly gains a horde of devoted followers in the community as he seemingly begins to perform miracles. But nothing is ever what it seems on a Flanagan show, and it quickly becomes clear that there’s a sinister threat looming over the island, each episode unfolding with a certain amount of gripping eeriness. Midnight Mass is less concerned with things that go bump in the night than Hill House and Bly Manor — there are no hidden ghosts to look out for in the background of scenes — as this series is more interested in examining religion and faith. It’s all very Stephen King, despite King not being involved in any way. –Allison Picurro
A refugee couple from South Sudan find their new housing in England is not what it seems in this chilling horror movie from writer-director Remi Weekes. If you love The Haunting‘s blend of ghosts and grief but are ready for a little more intensity, His House is a must-watch; it’s a haunted house story that blends serious scares with thoughtful commentary on immigration and trauma. Plus, it’s anchored by unmissable performances from stars Wunmi Mosaku and Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù. –Kelly Connolly
Netflix’s time- and space-bending series is not built for audiences who like to phone-scroll while watching TV. The twisting timelines and family histories are increasingly complicated, and even the most dedicated viewer might be left scratching their head when it’s all said and done. Even so, the show’s dreary atmospheres, creepy scenery, and complicated character connections will ring very familiar for fans of The Haunting.
There is no shortage of Stephen King stories to adapt for the small screen, but this drama from J.J. Abrams blends together several elements and characters from King’s literary universe to create all-new storylines set in the cursed title town. The Haunting fans will especially enjoy the splashes of supernatural and fantasy that haunt the entire town, and, like Flanagan’s Haunting series, the show successfully juxtaposes even its most surreal moments with questions about the human condition. It ran for two seasons on Hulu.
American Horror Story
Not every season of FX’s horror-drama involves a haunted house, but a lot of them do, and just like The Haunting, anyone who perishes on the premises of the locations in question tends to stick around in some form or another. Of course, AHS is built with a very mature audience in mind, and the characters tend to be a bit, uhhh, wilder than those we meet in The Haunting, so go in with the expectation of seeing a lot more violence and bloodshed in this series, and you’ll be just fine.
The Haunting of Hill House told gripping stories about a dysfunctional family, but let’s be real: You watched it to scare the pants off your butt. The show’s mood always flowed with an undercurrent of dread, and the French Netflix series Marianne does the same, but more so. The short eight-episode season follows horror novelist Emma (an excellent Victoire Du Bois) who decides to end her popular book series, only to realize that the characters she’s written come to life in the real world. But once the first episode is done with backstory, it’s the constant horror movie atmosphere that makes Marianne a surprisingly scary watch. The show has a solid soul, too, as it transforms into a story about Emma and her relationships with her friends, who all get tormented by their pasts. If you wanted Hill House to be more viscerally terrifying, Marianne throws every horror device at you, so buckle up. –Tim Surette
If you like your horror to be well read, check out Penny Dreadful. Showtime’s dearly departed gothic drama, which aired from 2014-2016, stars Eva Green as Vanessa Ives, a powerful, spiritually tormented woman who keeps company with characters like Victor Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway), Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney), and Dracula (Christian Camargo). The artfully gory series is bloodier, sexier, and more mature than The Haunting, but the two shows have plenty in common beyond their literary roots. Like Hill House, Penny Dreadful is a sentimental show about deep trauma; where the Netflix series uses ghosts to explore its characters’ emotional wounds, Dreadful uses monsters. Creator John Logan’s scripts are lyrical and haunting, and the cast (which also includes Josh Hartnett, Billie Piper, Timothy Dalton, and Rory Kinnear) is first rate. But above all else Penny Dreadful hinges on Green’s ferocious performance, one of the best and most underappreciated of the Peak TV era. -Kelly Connolly
The Kirlian Frequency
You can watch this Argentinian animated web series in its entirety in the span of a lunch break because it consists of just a handful of 10-minutes-or-less episodes. As brief as it is, though, the eeriness is lasting, and, like The Haunting, you get piece-by-piece reveals of what’s actually going down thanks to one curious radio show host who has a deeper insight into the supernatural mania afoot in the title town. Plus, that image of the bright glasses on a dark figure will be familiar to fans of Bly Manor.
This celebrated (but not celebrated enough) HBO drama about a mysterious event that wipes out two percent of the world’s population won’t give you a case of the heebie jeebies — OK, it actually will on occasion, but for different reasons — but it will still resonate for fans of The Haunting. Like Flanagan’s series, its mythology is purposefully mysterious, and it relies on the audience to accept the unknown — and often to question whether what’s happening is a construct of the characters’ imaginations or some very weird scientific abnormalities, or whether there really is something supernatural or even religious afoot. Also, it is a very creative and thoughtful statement on the experiences of grief, trauma, mental illness, and challenging family relationships. The show gets better as it goes along, too.