Here’s a little friendly advice for you. If you’re a scaredy cat like I am, then don’t watch The Haunting of Hill House at night before bed. Ask me how I know this is a bad idea.
I wouldn’t have watched it at all if so many of you hadn’t written me about this new show on Netflix and asked about the English Tudor-style mansion in it. Even though I usually try to avoid anything too scary, curiosity got the best of me. I thought I’d just watch one episode…but it sucked me in and I couldn’t stop.
The exterior scenes were shot at Bisham Manor in LaGrange, Georgia. First we’ll take a look at the way the house appeared onscreen, and then you can compare it to the real thing!
The Hill House on Netflix
The Haunting of Hill House is about a young family that moves into a grand English Tudor-style mansion, only to realize they may not be alone in it.
The series jumps back and forth in time, from the ’90s when they were living in the house, to today, when the five children are now grown and trying to deal with the trauma of growing up in it.
It’s not a happy story, but it is an intriguing family drama. I’ve heard it described as This Is Us with ghosts.
The series is loosely based on the 1959 gothic horror novel by Shirley Jackson.
I wonder if my Fitbit would give me extra points for going up a staircase this big? It should count for more than the normal-sized one in my house, right?
The staircase reminds me of Scarlett’s in Gone With the Wind:
They’re both dramatic and wide with a red runner and stained-glass windows on the landing. Here’s the GWTW version:
As many times as the characters ran down the stairs in Hill House, it’s a wonder none of them ever took a tumble like Scarlett did.
As if the place weren’t creepy enough, there are statues like this throughout the house:
When I was taking screenshots, I noticed things I hadn’t before, like the hands under the piano:
Yikes. And in the next photo, you can see a Lurch-like ghost creeping on them:
Vulture has an article about all the ghosts they found in the background. Did you catch any of them?
The upstairs hallway with the bedrooms is someplace I wouldn’t want to be at night:
The children in this show are amazing in their roles. TV Line named them the Performers of the Week, saying: “We care so much about the Crain children as adults because the actors playing their younger counterparts did their job — and were scary-good at it.”
Henry Thomas (who was a child actor himself) plays the dad who is trying to figure out what’s going on and protect his family.
The three-story library is a pretty cool set with a spiral staircase in the center:
At first the Crain children are excited to run around and explore the house.
Even after some pretty bizarre things start happening, the kids are braver than I would be. When little Theo boldly goes down into the basement by herself, I had to watch through my fingers.
There’s a room with a red door at the top of the spiral staircase they can’t find the key for (but maybe it’s just as well):
The playroom looks pretty sweet and innocent, doesn’t it? Appearances can be deceiving.
Carla Gugino plays the mother. She can often be found designing their “forever home” at her drafting table. They’re planning to build it after they’re finished fixing up this mansion and selling it at a profit.
In this scene, Luke has (unwisely) talked his sister into letting him take a ride in the dumbwaiter:
There’s a mix of appliances from different eras in the kitchen.
Annabeth Gish plays Mrs. Dudley, who “comes with the house.”
We get a look at the back of the mansion when Theo takes a Polaroid of her dad and Mr. Dudley:
The Real Hill House: Bisham Manor
Producers chose the grand Bisham Manor in LaGrange, Georgia, to play the role of Hill House.
It was on the market in 2014. The listing said:
1920s English Tudor-Style Home compares to an English castle with a medieval flavor & Tudor influences. Re-constructed from 1997-2002 by Ben Parham, master-builder. Occupied by owner/family, it is an “event center” for corporate meetings, dinners, weddings, etc.
This magnificent estate has 4 full floors surrounded by multiple gardens and borders West Point Lake. Interior complete with oaken floors, walls, ceilings and doors in the grand main level and hall.”
The Bisham Manor website says the property dates to the early 1800s and had a grist mill on it until the 1950s.
In the late 1920s, two houses were built on the property, including a log home called Pineland.
An English Tudor-style home was built where Bisham Manor stands now.
In 2002, then owner Peck Brumby supervised the construction of the current house on the site. “He paid attention to the original floor plan and salvaged some of the materials from that house. Master builder Ben Parham oversaw the project, which almost doubled the size of the original 6,000 square foot home.”
You can rent the house for events, and it’s a popular wedding venue.
After its starring role in The Haunting of Hill House, it would be fun to throw a Halloween party here, too. Although it doesn’t look nearly as spooky in real life. Maybe if they added a few statues here and there?
For the series, they gave the house a “digital makeover” to make it look like this at the end:
I’ve gotta thank all of you who wrote me about “The Haunting of Hill House,” because I never would’ve been brave enough to watch it otherwise! Have you been watching the show? Join the conversation on Facebook!
To learn more about the house, visit the Bisham Manor website,
take a video tour, and check out the listing from 2014.
(Photos: Trish Liechty, BishamManor.com, The Southern Thing.)