It’s pretty easy to see why Mike Flanagan’s new Netflix horror series The Midnight Club is being compared to his previous hits The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor. The story of terminally ill teens exploring a ghost-filled hospice definitely feels like another entry in the horror auteur’s Haunting anthology... except it isn’t. So why isn’t The Midnight Club considered Season 3 of the Haunting series? Recently, Flanagan explained the reason he never even thought about turning The Midnight Club into The Haunting of Brightcliffe Hospice, despite the new series seemingly ticking off all of the requirements for a Haunting title.
The Midnight Club definitely has the same blend of unsettling ghost stories and somber reflections on life and the afterlife that were also at the core of 2018’s The Haunting of Hill House and 2020’s The Haunting of Bly Manor, but Flanagan revealed the reason it’s not considered part of the Haunting anthology is because it doesn’t adapt a piece of “classic” horror literature.
“Our thing with The Haunting is that we always wanted it to be primarily based on a piece of classic horror literature, and ideally something that has been adapted before that we can do something different with,” Flanagan said at a press conference for The Midnight Club attended by Elite Daily. The first two iterations of the anthology adapted very famous horror stories: Shirley Jackson’s 1959 novel The Haunting of Hill House and Henry Thomas’ 1898 novella The Turn of the Screw. While The Midnight Club does adapt several influential Christopher Pike novels from the 1980s and 1990s, their relative recency excluded the story from being part of the Haunting family.
“When we think of the Haunting, we think about authors like [Edgar Allan] Poe and [Charles] Dickens, contemporaries that are more in the Henry James, Shirley Jackson world,” Flanagan said. “[The Midnight Club] was always its own thing ... What makes The Haunting The Haunting, and if and how we could re-approach it, is something we talk about pretty frequently because we’ve always left that door open. [But] we don’t want to do it just to do it.”
Since The Haunting of Bly Manor aired at the end of 2020, Flanagan has not given any indication that a third Haunting series will happen. In fact, he even tweeted in 2021 that he has no plans for a third Haunting installment. Instead, the horror hitmaker turned his attention to The Midnight Club, and his upcoming Edgar Allen Poe adaptation The Fall of the House of Usher, which is due out in 2023 and will star several of his favorite Haunting stars, including Rahul Kohli, Carla Gugino, Kate Siegel, T'Nia Miller, Samantha Sloyan, and Henry Thomas.
While the future of the Haunting anthology is still a bit of a mystery, it’s clear Flanagan’s ghost stories aren’t disappearing anytime soon.