Mike Flanagan is leaving his “Haunting” fans hanging. Netflix’s favorite genre director/grief counselor took the horror community by storm with “The Haunting of Hill House” and “The Haunting of Bly Manor,” which explored grief and trauma through the lens of classic ghost stories. Unlike some other popular horror anthology creators (*cough* Ryan Murphy *cough*), Flanagan isn’t making any promises or plans when it comes to breaking ground on a new season.
In an interview with EW, Flanagan explained, “If the stars align in such a way that we decide to go back into the ‘Haunting’ world, it would have to be so much on that track that we’ve set up … It would have to be with the right piece of IP, it would have to be with the right ghost-centric story, and it would have to really fit with ‘Bly’ and ‘Hill House.'”
While Flanagan is currently busy building up hype for his new Netflix horror miniseries, “Midnight Mass,” which hits the streaming service on September 24, 2021, it sounds like he’s not actively opposed to a third season of “Haunting.” He’s just looking for the right ghost story.
Holding Out For A Haunt
Luckily for Flanagan, there are enough Victorian ghost stories to riff off of, he could probably catch up to “American Horror Story” if he put his mind to it.
Maybe he’d be interested in writing about a sweet orphan who lives in a blustery mansion haunted by ghost children? There’s a story about that. Or if he wanted to focus on the plight of a mean bachelor who is haunted by the ghostly rickshaw of a dead lover? There’s a story about that, too. And if he was in the mood for something involving a group of friends who decide to host a sleepover in a deeply haunted mansion just for kicks? You guessed it — there’s a creepy Victorian story about that, too.
Of course, none of those stories are as famous as Shirley Jackson’s “The Haunting of Hill House” or Henry James’ “Turn of the Screw,” which influenced the first and second “Haunting” seasons respectively. If Flanagan was willing to move outside of strictly ghost stories, it would be incredible to see what he could do with a full horror version of Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre,” (The Haunting of Thornfield Hall, anyone?) which is filled with strange visions and women hidden away in attics. Or even something a little more surreal like Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” which is a terrifying exploration of trauma and women’s roles in Victorian society.
Until inspiration hits, we’ll just have to settle for what Flanagan has given us: A new Netflix miniseries, a bevy of streaming movies, and two beautifully moody “Haunting” seasons. What more can a ghost ask for?
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Author: Kaylee Dugan
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September 15, 2021