->''"Whose hand was I holding?"''

Directed by Creator/RobertWise and adapted from Creator/ShirleyJackson's classic novel ''Literature/TheHauntingOfHillHouse'', the 1963 film ''The Haunting'' is the ultimate example of less-is-more in horror cinema.

Eleanor "Nell" Vance (Julie Harris) has volunteered for a study on paranormal activity conducted by Dr. John Markway (Richard Johnson), with two other participants: Luke Sanderson (Russ Tamblyn), who stands to inherit Hill House, where the study's being held, and Theodora (Claire Bloom) a supposed psychic. Turns out the doctor's suspicions about the existence of ghosts are correct. There's something in the house with them. But what?

[[Film/TheHaunting1999 Remade]] in 1999 with Creator/LiamNeeson, Creator/LiliTaylor, Owen Wilson, and Creator/CatherineZetaJones. There has also been a stage adaptation.

!!This film provides examples of:

* AbusiveParents:
** After his wife died, Crain was incredibly harsh with Abigail. He made her stand and look at her mother's fresh corpse as he read scripture over it, and his idea of bedtime stories was a book detailing how she'd be tortured in hell for her sins.
** Nell's mother. Every time she recounts her care of her, she speaks as if it was a horrible experience. Her brother-in-law even refers to her as a horrible old woman. Her sister doesn't contradict him, she simply reminds him not to speak ill of the dead.
* AmbiguouslyGay: Theo, who Eleanor rather pointedly calls one of "nature's mistakes" at one point.
-->'''Eleanor:''' What scares you, Theodora? \\
'''Theo:''' Knowing what I really want.
* AmbiguousEnding: [[spoiler: Was everything Nell went through really just her being crazy with no true supernatural elements involved, or is the house truly haunted?]]
* AttentionWhore: Theo suggests more than once that Nell is one.
* BigFancyHouse: Hill House is certainly big. And it's certainly fancy. Also creepy as hell.
* BookEnds: "Hill House had stood for ninety years and might stand for ninety more. Silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there... walked alone."
* BrickJoke: Two jokes for the price of one punchline: Markway is warned not to play Gin with Luke as he's a card shark. Theo's psychic powers were tested by having her identify playing cards she couldn't see (scoring 19 out of 20). On their first evening in the house, Luke loses spectacularly to Theo and angrily insists that she was cheating as she gloats and tells him to pay up.
* ClosedCircle: The gates are locked every night when the Dudleys leave and, as in the book, they stay in town since "no one will come any closer than that" and "they couldn't even hear" if they needed help.
* CreepyHousekeeper: Mrs. Dudley, who makes sure to remind the guests that she and her husband live miles away from the house, that there won't be anyone around if they need help, no one to hear them if they scream...and then [[TheUnsmile unsmiles]].
* CrustyCaretaker: Mr. Dudley.
--> "You'll be sorry I ever opened the gate."
* DiedHappilyEverAfter: [[spoiler:Nell willingly dies because all she wants is to stay in Hill House, because she's finally wanted somewhere.]]
* DrivenToSuicide: One of the past owners of the house hanged herself. [[spoiler: Nell]] may qualify too.
* EvilIsDeathlyCold: The air around the nursery is terribly cold, Dr. Markway says it's the heart of the house.
* ExtremeDoormat: Nell's place in her family. She took care of her invalid mother for eleven years while her sister was off having a life and started a family. Now that her mother is gone, her sister treats her as a burden. Even though she pays half of the family's expenses, she has no privacy, sleeps on a sofa in the living room, isn't allowed to use the car without permission, and her niece openly mocks her.
* TheFilmOfTheBook: [[AdaptationDisplacement Which not many have heard of since]]. (In the niche circles of horror literature fandom, the book still has a reputation as something of a classic, though many are still introduced to it via the works inspired by it.)
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Nell asks to borrow her sister's car, to which her sister replies: [[spoiler: "How do I know you'll bring back my car in good condition?" Nell is killed when she crashes the car into a tree]].
* GeniusLoci: If you take into consideration what Eleanor says about the house, it certainly is one.
* GhostlyChill: One of the most common phenomena in Hill House. It usually denotes that the activity is going to start.
* HauntedHeroine: Nell. Most of the haunting centers around her.
* HauntedHouse: Hill House, which is specifically why Dr. Markway chose it.
%%* HauntedHouseHistorian
* IJustWantToHaveFriends: Nell is overjoyed to be part of the study because it simply means she's ''wanted'' somewhere. [[spoiler:When the house wants to keep her permanently, she gladly dies just so she can belong somewhere]].
* JumpScare: ''Especially'' in the last few minutes.
* LovecraftCountry: The film takes place in an unspecified, isolated part of New England, and has the requisite spooky woods, creepy Puritan background, and unfriendly country folk. Shirley Jackson, the author of the original book, lived in Vermont.
* MaybeMagicMaybeMundane: By playing up the psychological element - specifically, Nell's dubious sanity - the film leaves open the possibility that nothing supernatural was happening. We never saw anything, after all. Which makes it much scarier.
* MeaningfulEcho: Nell reveals that she ignored her mother's tapping on the wall on the night she died, exactly as the Companion did the night Abigail died.
* MirrorScare: The house is filled with mirrors hung at creepy and disorienting angles. Nell and the others frighten themselves with them multiple times.
* MyBelovedSmother: Eleanor's late mother.
* NothingIsScarier: Part of the movie's reputation as a horror classic is because it doesn't show you anything.
* OnlyOneName: Theo
--> I'm Theodora, just Theodora.
* TheOphelia: [[spoiler: Nell as the house slowly drives her insane. She even starts twirling and humming to herself.]]
%%* OurGhostsAreDifferent
* {{Poltergeist}}: Nell is recruited because Markway believes she'd been the focal point of poltergeist activity as a child. Nell remembers the incident as vandals throwing rocks at her home, but her mother may have given her that idea.
* PsychicPowers: Theo is supposedly psychic.
* SkepticNoLonger: Luke, just before the final credits.
* ScreamingWoman: Played with. Nell certainly spends most of the film in various states of mental distress, but she does fairly little actual screaming.
* SupernaturalProofFather: Luke. He is not a father (not even fatherly), but he certainly is very skeptic about all the hauntings. Mrs. Markway is even more skeptical, and dangerously so. [[spoiler: Both are quite convinced by the end.]]
%%* TitleDrop
* TheTitling
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: Theo and Nell.
* TooDumbToLive: Mrs. Markway bribes her way into the house and refuses to leave, and purposefully demands to sleep alone in the most haunted room. Unsurprisingly, she disappears in the night. [[spoiler: She comes out of it all right, but the house confuses her into wandering around covered in dirt, eventually frightening Nell to her death.]]
* WhamShot: The open nursery door, which Markway had specifically suggested should be left closed earlier.
%%* [[{{Manchild}} Womanchild]]: Eleanor, somewhat.
%%* YouLookLikeYouveSeenAGhost