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Shows Like The Haunting Of Hill House That Supernatural Drama Fans Need To See

When "The Haunting of Hill House" came to an end, it was clear that it had earned a well-deserved spot in Netflix's canon of amazing originals. The series received praise for its stellar acting, scary visuals, and realistic characters who are placed in unbelievably horrific situations (both in terms of the supernatural and the human experience of trauma). These situations all somehow stem from the titular home that belonged to the characters for only a short time, but still managed to offer them each a lifetime of fear and unanswered questions.

For fans who have already binge-watched the series, it won't be long until they become starved for another supernatural drama to fill the void it left behind. Whether it be similar paranormal elements, relatable characters portrayed impeccably throughout almost too-real dramatic situations, or simply horror that will stay with a viewer even after they turn off the television (and then turn on a light), the following shows may have what fans loved about "The Haunting of Hill House."

The Haunting of Bly Manor

Part of creator Mike Flanagan's "The Haunting" anthology series that kicked off with "The Haunting of Hill House," "The Haunting of Bly Manor" contains some of the same cast members from its predecessor and was inspired by another classic work of horror literature (Henry James' 1898 novella "The Turn of the Screw" in this case, while "The Haunting of Hill House" was loosely based on the 1959 Shirley Jackson novel of the same name). This, however, is where the similarities end: These nine disturbing episodes tell a completely different, nonlinear story. 

"Bly Manor" has more gothic qualities that blend with the drama and horror throughout. The narrative centers around the arrival of a new governess hired to take care of two children who reside in the eponymous manor in the U.K. countryside. In contrast with its predecessor, this series also has more of a love story rather than centering on a dysfunctional family. Despite being more romantically focused, however, the show does include some scary apparitions (making it more akin to gothic romances like Guillermo del Toro's "Crimson Peak"). The horror elements are less conventional and surprisingly more meaningful than those in "The Haunting of Hill House," creating instead lingering dread that is worth more than any jump scare.

All of this, however, makes you better appreciate the scares when they do come.

Midnight Mass

Yet another creation by Mike Flanagan that you can find on Netflix, "Midnight Mass" tells the story of a dying town experiencing horrifying events of the supernatural that, for one reason or another, coincide with the arrival of a charming yet enigmatic priest (played by Hamish Linklater). In lieu of the ghosts and apparitions that constantly appeared in both "The Haunting" series, Flanagan's more vampiric approach in "Midnight Mass" is still just as intense and chilling with its biblical allegory and gore. This tack can be considered new to Flanagan fans since the majority of his work depends more on tone and atmosphere for scares.

What can be considered on par with his past creations, however, is the fact that this seven-episode limited series is a slow-paced work of horror that is wonderfully acted by everyone involved. It uses the emotional investment these performances elicit to reflect on themes of grief, addiction, and religious beliefs. The unsettling moments throughout the show will stick with viewers, especially when those scenes mix with the show's ruminations on what kind of darkness can lurk in the depths of human nature.

Bates Motel

This show falls more under the psychological thriller category than the supernatural, but still has plenty to say about family dysfunction and how it can cause unsettling drama. "Bates Motel" (which ran between 2013 and 2017 for five seasons) is a retelling of the classic Alfred Hitchcock thriller "Psycho" and offers its own spin on the origins of the bizarrely evil Norman Bates (played by Freddie Highmore).

The series functioned as a contemporary prequel-slash-AU that depicted the intense and codependent relationship Bates had with his mother Norma (Vera Farmiga). "Bates Motel" gives viewers a glimpse into what makes this horror icon tick, starting with events leading up to the ones from the 1960 film, but in a different fictional town (White Pine Bay in lieu of Fairvale, California) and in a different time period. The show's present-day setting adds to its puzzling nature as it makes Norman more of a realistic character that a modern viewer could easily run into on the street. 

Similar to how "The Haunting of Hill House" earned some of its scares, "Bates Motel" has a good amount of suspense, as well as the kind of uncomfortable moments that would naturally arise from the dysfunctional family relationships seen on the show. The mental manipulation displayed by multiple characters can border on the supernatural, especially considering how Norman transforms into "Mother." The dissociative identity disorder "transformations" are almost werewolf-like, but instead of a full moon, it's women Norman finds himself attracted to that turn him into the monster he can be.

The X-Files

Here we have an oldie but a goodie! "The X-Files" is a classic of the horror, science fiction, and crime television genres, and is fondly remembered for mixing all of these elements with the traditional crime drama audiences were accustomed to. The show specialized in the interpretation of alien mythology in particular, and it never shied away from showcasing its fair share of nightmare fuel in each episode. Every creature that was investigated by special agents Mulder and Scully (played by David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson) was unique and came with its own storyline. From classic monsters to beasts specifically created for the show, "The X-Files" managed to make just about anything scary

The ability of "The X-Files" to create supernatural fear in the thick of human existence can be compared to the way "The Haunting of Hill House" managed to insert terrifying elements into everyday scenarios, like moving into a new home and renovating it. Each of the horrors the Crain family experienced led to personal investigations of their own that definitely could've used Mulder and Scully's assistance!

Stranger Things

With "Stranger Things," we move from the morbid to something a little more lighthearted and fun that can be enjoyed by horror fans of all ages. Another Netflix original, this series starts with the mysterious disappearance of a young boy (played by Noah Schnapp), which somehow relates to an equally mysterious government lab and the sudden appearance of a young girl with strange powers (Millie Bobby Brown). As the series goes on, the viewers are eventually met with surprising answers to these mysteries — as well as portals to other worlds and terrifying monsters.

"Stranger Things" has become beloved by many since premiering in 2016. The popularity of this show can be credited to its endearing cast (which includes acting veteran Winona Ryder as well as young actors that have been able to create good names for themselves in Hollywood) and its ability to transport viewers to the '80s — where classic sci-fi horror can be better experienced. It's the '80s throwback vibe that accentuates the show's influences, like Stephen King, John Carpenter, and Steven Spielberg. These renowned influences mean that there are good scares and creepy entities aplenty for anyone who's missing the monsters and ghouls from "The Haunting of Hill House."

All of this, along with the way the different genres (horror, science fiction, and coming-of-age) mix without overpowering one another, has helped to make "Stranger Things" the cultural icon it is today.


Another classic (though some say it overstayed its welcome after 15 seasons), "Supernatural," like many of the other shows mentioned here, offers its own take on what viewers thought they knew about the horror genre. For those who still have yet to see this popular CW series, it tells the story of two brothers named Sam and Dean Winchester (played by Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles) who are influenced by their father to hunt for supernatural creatures after the unexplainable death of their mother. The majority of the episodes consist of the brothers driving cross country to accomplish this and, like Mulder and Scully, tracking down every strange creature they come into contact with and putting a stop to their actions. The show is also known for its humor and the way that many of the inhuman antagonists were inspired by popular urban legends

These elements add up to quite the entertaining watch — and possibly a welcome respite from the dread of "The Haunting of Hill House." Because right from the get-go, "Supernatural" shows what it can do with characters that are placed in high-stake situations in well-paced episodes (good for those who were not the most patient with "The Haunting of Hill House" and its slowly-delivered story). It is certainly worth a look, even if only to say you finally watched the popular show.

American Horror Story

Similar to Mike Flanagan's "The Haunting" series, Ryan Murphy's "American Horror Story" is another anthology program that presents its standout characters (who, also like in "The Haunting" series, are played by a largely consistent cast) with both unique and familiar fears across an almost incomprehensible variety of scary scenarios. Each season tells an independent story that one can almost view as its own limited series.

Throughout each of these installments, "American Horror Story" explores many of the settings that can be found in a standard horror movie. These settings range from places like a haunted mansion, an insane asylum, a haunted hotel, a coven of witches, a financially (and morally) ailing freak show, and even a nuclear apocalypse. Regardless of where a viewer is taken next, they can always count on "American Horror Story" to push the limits of the horrifying as it wows them with striking visuals and shocking twists. 

The Twilight Zone

As we continue on the subject of anthology horror, here we have the series that started it all (or, at least, arguably popularized the subgenre). "The Twilight Zone" certainly left a legacy by reshaping the TV storytelling landscape in the '60s, and it continues to influence more horror and thriller works to this day (Jordan Peele's 2019 horror film "Us" is a great example of this; a big inspiration for the film was the "Twilight Zone" episode "Mirror Image," which tells the story of a woman being stalked by an evil doppelganger).

Created by Rod Serling, who also introduces and closes each tale, the show explores numerous surreal encounters with unexpected and unwelcome beings, innocent characters that are placed in life-altering nightmares, and enough twists and turns to keep a viewer hanging on the edge of their seat. The end result from simply watching a handful of episodes? How about being scared straight by the multiple moral messages that are just as terrifying as they are compelling and thought-provoking?

Channel Zero

Okay, one more anthology series! This show is definitely worth a mention due to how dreadfully underrated it is.

"Channel Zero" was a short-lived horror series on Syfy whose premise involved urban legends coming to life. These urban legends aren't your standard ones, however, but fall more under the category of creepypasta (offbeat, scary tales that are widely circulated online). Creepypastas are known for their scary imagery and bizarre horror, which is why so much of the horror in "Channel Zero" can come off as rather strange: It took different forms each season when it came time to embody a new Internet urban legend. The supernatural elements might not be for the faint of heart, either, what with the unsettling depictions of bloody images, suicide, and murder.

Like with "The Haunting of Hill House," "Channel Zero" is able to use its grim storytelling to explore heavy themes such as mental illness arising from traumatic experiences. And all of these experiences are undergone by well-fleshed-out characters, which gives the horror more depth. This is yet another show that has plenty to say — but effectively freaks out viewers at the same time.

Sharp Objects

Psychological thriller-dramas can be excellent vehicles for discussing familial dysfunction and how it can tie in to disturbing mysteries. "Sharp Objects" has no qualms about going in-depth on childhood trauma in a setting that is somehow both realistic and fantastical. The limited series was based on the debut novel of the same name by "Gone Girl" writer Gillian Flynn and depended heavily on atmosphere and tone to tell its story: A reporter (played by Amy Adams) returns to the small town she grew up in to investigate the mysterious unsolved crimes that plague it. Along the way, there is a chance that she'll be reuniting with the ghosts of her past as well.

"Sharp Objects" and "The Haunting of Hill House" may differ in terms of subgenre, but both still possess similar themes such as uncommon family dynamics and deteriorating mental health states that can result from a troubled past. Another thing they have in common is their reliance on an eerie tone and slow-burn pacing to chill the viewer, eventually building up to a jaw-dropping twist no one expected. In "Sharp Objects," the "demons" are more personal than supernatural — but they are no less real, and the grim psychological themes blur the line between real and unreal in a way that supernatural drama fans will appreciate.


Another series that leans more on the comedic side, "Lucifer" — based on the Vertigo comics character – is a lot of fun. It details the story of the Devil himself (played by Tom Ellis) relocating to Los Angeles after getting tired of ruling Hell and deciding to run a nightclub instead. It is there that he meets LAPD detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German), which eventually results in his becoming a consultant for the police. The series goes on to follow the pair for six seasons as they solve crimes while also coming to terms with the relationship they've built outside the workplace (and of course, with the place the former ruler of Hell has in the world).

Like "Supernatural" and "Stranger Things," "Lucifer" is more lighthearted compared to the bleakness of "The Haunting of Hill House," but it also has plenty of supernatural drama that prompts viewers to reflect on what may be waiting for them beyond this life. The show is an emotional rollercoaster that makes us wonder, philosophically, if someone can truly be good after a lifetime (or infinite lifetimes) of evil, and whether everyone should be given a chance to redeem themselves. It is an experience that will make viewers laugh, cry, possibly get a few classic songs stuck in their heads, and think about their own morals.

The Outsider

Another crime drama-slash-horror series, "The Outsider" is definitely worth a mention based on the source material alone; it was inspired by the 2018 novel of the same name by one of the godfathers of horror fiction, Stephen King. King's wild imagination is put to good use on the small screen once again as "The Outsider" follows the investigation into the grisly death of a young boy. At first glance, the show may appear to be your garden-variety crime mystery. It is so much more, however, as audiences are instead taken for a ride while they — along with the characters — try to fit the strangely-shaped puzzle pieces of the story together as supernatural elements begin to emerge. 

Simply from watching the first couple of episodes, a viewer will know this series is King-inspired based on the slow-burning horror that arrives in subtle doses to keep them begging for more. "The Outsider" is a grim story with unimaginable crime at its center, and you will have no choice but to search each new episode for answers the way fans devoured "The Haunting of Hill House" to see what horrors came next.