4:15 pm EST, November 5, 2018

Appreciating ‘The Haunting of Hill House’s’ feel-good, ghost-free moments

Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House is a terrifying ride through trauma and grief, but we can’t forget the moments that made us go “Ha!” instead of “Ahhh!”

The Haunting of Hill House has been lauded as one of Netflix’s most powerful dramas of the year. Loosely based on the novel of the same name by Shirley Jackson, the new series follows the psychically and psychologically tormented Crain family as they confront their youthful experiences in Hill House.

Which is haunted AF, in case you couldn’t tell.

A careful study of grief, legacy, and family, The Haunting of Hill House puts viewers through an emotional wringer. The show covers ghosts and sentient houses with the same emotional attention as it considers suicide, substance abuse, mental illness, and even dead kittens. (Yeah, that part was super fun.)

But between all the crying and screaming (and those occasions when both of those things happen at once) there are some genuinely sweet and funny moments in The Haunting of Hill House. Here’s a list of those warm highlights, with no Bent-Neck Ladies around to ruin the fun.

The consequences of swearing

The Crain family is never exactly normal, so it’s particularly fun to see them deal with that harmless bugaboo of growing up: Kids never forget swear words. Ever.


Staying awake

It’s a slightly slippery slope to talk about the youngest Crains’ empathetic connection. But it’s sweet moments like this — little Luke’s unconditional understanding of his sister’s experience — that keep humanity pulsing through The Haunting of Hill House.


Aunt Theo is super cool

Theo Crain grows up with a massive barrier around her emotional life, but she isn’t completely closed off. Theo is an awesome aunt to Shirley’s daughter Allie, coming to the rescue just when Allie needs to avoid the horror of Brussels sprouts.


Steven can be a great brother

Steven Crain has a lot on his mind and his conscience throughout The Haunting of Hill House, but he definitely comes through once or twice. This adorable conversation with Luke is a highlight of Steven’s good intentions as a big brother.


Theo comes out…

Nellie’s wedding is one of the happiest moments in The Haunting of Hill House (give or take a twin brother or two.) But nothing quite shows the familial love like Theo accidentally coming out to Steven and Nell, and their unconditional love for their sister.


…and Shirley catches on

Honestly, this is just funny.


Kevin is a good dude

Shirley’s husband Kevin is one of the few unambiguous bright spots of The Haunting of Hill House. Let’s hear it for Kevin and his Mother Hen tendencies, guys!


Things get meta at Shirley’s

With Halloween just around the corner, Shirley’s oldest Jayden wants to dress up as a very particular Netflix character. Much to Jayden’s frustration, Shirley seems almost determined not to get it. But hey, there’s a happy ending!


Little Luke is SO CUTE in that damn hat

Look, we know the hat is haunted and we know the creepy tall man who owned it winds up embodying Luke’s demons for the rest of the series. But. Look. How. Cute. He. Is.


The Haunting of Hill House is now screaming — sorry, streaming — on Netflix.

Do you have any nice memories from ‘The Haunting of Hill House’?

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