The Haunting (1963) - Plot Summary Poster


Plot Summary

  • Dr. Markway, doing research to prove the existence of ghosts, investigates Hill House, a large, eerie mansion with a lurid history of violent death and insanity. With him are the skeptical young Luke, who stands to inherit the house, the mysterious and clairvoyant Theodora and the insecure Eleanor, whose psychic abilities make her feel somehow attuned to whatever spirits inhabit the old mansion. As time goes by it becomes obvious that they have gotten more than they bargained for as the ghostly presence in the house manifests itself in horrific and deadly ways.

    - Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>
  • Located in a remote part of New England and isolated from any nearby community, Hill House is a 90-year-old, 19th century mansion with a long history of death and murder. When Dr. John Markway gets a chance to stay there for a few weeks, he sees an opportunity to study what is reportedly a genuine haunted house. With several others including Luke Sanderson, Eleanor 'Nell' Lance and a one-named woman named Theodora, they prepare to launch their experiments. Theo is there because of her ESP skills while Nell had a previous experience with a poltergeist and Luke represents the family that still owns Hill House. Soon after their arrival, the temporary occupants begin to face terrifying ordeals. Nell, who has lived a sheltered and repressed life having spent all of her time caring for her recently deceased mother, is clearly the focus of the emanations and the haunting. She is both terrified and comforted in Hill House and part of her wants to stay. The spirits seem to want to keep her as well.

    - Written by garykmcd
  • Ninety years ago, Hugh Crain builds the mansion Hill House in a remote area of New England. When his wife is moving to the mansion, she has an accident and dies, leaving the bitter Hugh Crain and his daughter Abigail alone in Hill House. Hugh Crain marries again and his wife also dies in Hill House. He moves to England and dies, living Abigail alone. When she is an old and invalid woman, she hires a paid companion from the village, but the woman neglects her and she dies. The companion inherits Hill House but the mansion drives her crazy and she commits suicide. In the present days (1963), Dr. John Markway rents the mansion from the inheritor Mrs. Sanderson to study the supernatural and prove the existence of ghosts. He invites the clairvoyant Theodora 'Theo' and the unbalanced and needy psychic Eleanor 'Nell' Lance to spend vacation in Hill House, and he goes with the skeptical future inheritor Luke Sanderson to the mansion. During the nights, the quartet witness supernatural manifestation in the house and the sanity of Nell is affected by her ghosts.

    - Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Anthropologist Dr. John Markway is interested in the study of the supernatural, much to the chagrin of his wife, Grace Markway. He is able to convince Mrs. Sanderson, the current owner of isolated Hill House, to let him bring a research team into the house to search for supernatural phenomena. In its ninety year history, Hill House, located in remote New England, has been the location of many a violent and mysterious death of its inhabitants, Mrs. Sanderson being a distant relative of the original family owners, the Crains. Mrs. Sanderson, who doesn't live at the house believing it to be haunted, has one stipulation: that her Midwestern nephew Luke Sanderson, the spoiled and immature supposed heir of the house, be part of that research team. The other two members of the team, who Dr. Markway has not yet met but hired solely based one issue he knows about each, are surname-less Theodora - "Theo" - and Eleanor Lance - "Nell" - the former a somewhat glib psychic, the latter who grew up with some supernatural phenomena which she would rather forget. Eleanor is a meek and nervous woman who has felt trapped in most of her adult life, having to take care of her invalid mother until her passing two months ago about which she feels some guilt in its occurrence. Currently living with her married sister, Eleanor sees this research as a vacation, realistically an escape from her current sad life. As the research progresses, the four members truly begin to believe that there is something supernatural about their environment. But Eleanor begins to feel connected to the house, and what is happening in it... or is she just justifying it as a better replacement for her current life?

    - Written by Huggo
  • Professor of psychic phenomenon, Dr. John Markway, upon doing research to prove the existence of ghosts secures a short-term rental agreement for the vast estate of the infamous, Hill House. Tucked far away in a remote region of New England, Hill House includes a disturbing, lurid history of violent death and tragic insanity. Investigating with him, the confident, skeptical, twenty-something Luke, who stands to inherit the house, in addition to the beautiful, guarded clairvoyant, Theodora and the nervous, insecure, spinster Eleanor. Simultaneously terrified & intoxicated by Hill House, timid Eleanor, whose long-ago, mysterious psychic incident, might somehow be linking her as an spirit-world divining rod, attuned to whatever might be inhabiting this, seeming endless, laberyth mansion. As time goes by and situations begin to stack up, it becomes obvious that these four individuals have gotten themselves into something far more than they bargained for. Tensions mount, so then the ghostly presence of the house, which the ways horrific and the deadly manifest into The Haunting.

    - Written by grantrgoulet
  • A scientist doing research on the paranormal invites two women to a haunted mansion. One of the participants soon starts losing her mind.

    - Written by Samovarkov


The film opens with narration over a silhouette of Hill House at night. The narrator, Dr. John Markway (Richard Johnson) tells us...

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