Mike Flanagan, creator of hit Netflix series The Haunting of Bly Manor and The Haunting of Hill House, has recently revealed his plans for a scrapped third season. Flanagan had wanted to base it on the 1971 novel, Hell House, by Richard Matheson, but it never transpired.
While fans had been pressing for a third instalment of the anthology horror, Flanagan dashed hopes for it back in 2021. Since then, he has opened up about his vision for what would have been the Haunting of Hell House.
“It was actually the first title we explored when Hill House was over,” he explained in a foreword to a limited edition of the novel. “But the rights were spoken for and there did not seem to be a path forward.”
Flanagan touched on the novel’s promise, having been previously adapted in a 1973 film. “I don’t know that there has ever been a haunted house story as downright cinematic as Hell House,” he said. “It’s written by a man who thought visually, who had a flair for cinematic set pieces, audience expectations, and visceral thrills that eluded many of his literary predecessors.”
Flanagan mentioned that it was one of the reasons 2007’s I Am Legend resonated so well with audiences, with it also being based on a Matheson book. “Stephen King is correct when he says: ‘Without his I Am Legend, there would have been no Night of the Living Dead,'” he continued.
“Without Hell House, I’d argue that there would be no Poltergeist, no The Conjuring, no Insidious.”