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Olivia Crain is a major character in The Haunting of Hill House. She was an architect, and the matriarch of the Crain family.

Profile[]

Appearance[]

Olivia Crain has long dark brown/black hair that reaches past her shoulders with grey/blue eyes. She mainly wears dark colours of mostly navy blues and greys.

After her death, her spirit primarily wears red to signify the Red Room.

Personality[]

Olivia cares deeply about her children, who she raised with Hugh to be exposed to all kinds of ideas and beliefs to give them a richer understanding of the world and to form their own beliefs instead of raising them under one singular religion, quoting Hamlet: "There are more things in heaven and Earth, Horatio/Than are dreamt of in your philosophy".

From her Grandmother, Olivia has inherited what she refers to as "sensitivity" - a high level of perception which made her sensitive to spirits and other supernatural phenomena[1], which she experiences as similar to deja vu when touching objects, being able to visualize memories of the previous owners of the objects[2] Unfortunately this sensitivity also gave her migraine headaches with auras, which she called "color storms", that give her debilitating headaches but, while living in Hill House, also make her uncharacteristically aggressive, one time smashing a mirror that Stephen painted for her, and shouting at Shirley after she repeatedly asked about one of her kittens. She passed on this sensitivity to her daughters in varying degrees, with Theodora particularly effected, to the point of needing to wear gloves and long sleeved clothing to stop herself feeling overwhelmed.

History[]

Early Life[]

Olivia was born to unnamed parents and has a sister named Janet. When she was 12, her father died in a car accident[3].

As a little girl she began to experience what she refers to as "sensitivity" - a high level of perception which made her sensitive to spirits and other supernatural phenomena - which she inherited from her Grandma Mary. Unfortunately this sensitivity also gave her migraine headaches with auras, which she called "color storms".[4]

As an adult, she became an architect, and married Hugh Crain. The pair flipped houses together as a career. Olivia and Hugh had five children: Steven, Shirley, Theodora, Luke, and Eleanor.

Hill House[]

In the summer of 1992, she and her family moved into the Hill house in an effort to renovate and sell it so they could buy their own home. Olivia and Theodora's sensitivity was deeply effected while living in Hill House, with Olivia experiencing her first migraine in a year after moving in which unlike her previous migraines, manifesting in uncharacteristic aggression and "pitch black, like fireworks" instead of colored auras.

As the children began to experience more and more unexplainable supernatural phenomena, Olivia and Hugh were both sceptical, with Hugh in particular coming up with excuses for the strange sounds and experienced they had, such as imaginary friends, old pipework, or just vivid dreams or imagination. However, as Theodora showed increasingly strong perception, such as finding the hidden wine cellar that wasn't on any of the house blueprints, Olivia realised that she had inherited her sensitivity. Olivia first tested this by having Theo identify cold spots only she could feel around the house, and after the wine cellar incident sat Theo down and told her how similar Theo's experience was to Olivia's memory of her grandmother's sensitivity, giving Theo a pair of her Grandmother's gloves to help her stop feeling overwhelmed.[5]

Olivia and Hugh began clearing items left behind by Hill House's previous owners, and after handling a shawl owned by Poppy Hill, Olivia had an extremely vivid and specific sense memory of how the room once looked. She also identified the hazard of old ropes attached to the spiral staircase, which Hugh promised he would remove.

At the same time, Olivia's own sensitivity began to increase in severity, leading to constant migraines, vivid nightmares, and seeing spirits as her children had. She gets a headache and, when she returns to her red room, she sees a vision of the twins lying in a morgue. She tells her husband about her vision before falling asleep. When she wakes up in the middle of the night, she sees Poppy Hill standing in her doorway.

The night of her death, she serves poisoned tea to Luke, Nell, and Abigail.

Post-Death[]

After her death, Olivia's spirit was tied to Hill House. 26 years after her death, Olivia's daughter Nell returned to Hill House, where Olivia's ghost placed a noose around Nell's neck and pushed her from the top the Library's spiral staircase to her death.

Olivia's ghost then later appeared to Shirley as she cleaned up and painted Nell's body after she died; she first appeared as a normal looking body, but then sat up in an unnatural fashion, revealing her caved in face that occured when she fell. After Shirley turned the light on, Olivia's ghost disappeared, but a model home in Shirley's funeral home flashed the porch light twice on its own, a signal that Olivia used to do at Hill House to encourage her children to come back inside for curfew.

In rehab, Olivia's son Luke spoke at his 90-day sobriety ceremony that after his mother's death, Luke had expected every approaching car headlight to be his late mother coming back to take him home. Luke had been haunted by the spirit of William Hill throughout his life, who manifested as an unnaturally tall man in a bowler hat who floats backwards. The hat was found by Olivia in one of the Hill House upper rooms and was given to Luke by Olivia as a gift when he was a child, which caused his haunting. As an adult, Luke escaped rehab to try and help his love interest Joey, to no avail. While waiting to be picked up by his sobriety councillor Paige, Luke was followed by the floating man with increased intensity, coming to a head moments before he learned of Nell's death. Turning around to face the floating man, the floating man also turned, revealing the face of Olivia, who was wearing the bowler hat and told him to "come home" to Hill House.[6]

When Luke returns, Olivia's spirit welcomed him in a similar manner and attempted to get him to stay with her and Nell. However, Hugh sacrificed himself for his children and chose to stay with Olivia forever in Hill House.

Relationships[]

Hugh Crain[]

Hugh Crain was Olivia's husband. They were shown to be very loving towards one another. After her death, Hugh was shown to fantasize that Olivia is still there, next to him. This fantasized Olivia often gives him advice. One example of this is when she gave him advice on how to deal with Theo.

Gallery[]

*to be added*

Quotes[]

  • "When we die, we turn into stories; and every time someone tells one of those stories, it’s like we’re still here for them. We’re all stories in the end."
  • "When you're little you learn to see things that aren't there. And when you grow up, you learn how to make them real."
  • "I will light a fire in the cool evenings and toast apples in my own hearth … People will come to me to have their fortunes told and I will brew love potions for sad maidens. I will have a robin…"
  • "Journeys don't end. Not if you love someone. They don't end at all."

Trivia[]

References[]

Characters
Crain Family Hugh CrainOlivia CrainSteven CrainShirley CrainTheodora CrainLuke CrainEleanor Crain
Hill Family William HillPoppy HillHazel HillJacqueline Hill
Group 2 Carl WalkerIrene WalkerMaxMr. DudleyClara DudleyLeigh CrainKevin HarrisAllieJaydenArthur VanceKelseyJoeyPaigeJanetAbigailTrish ParkRyan QualeAndiStaceyEileenRickDr. Montague