- This article is for the building in the 1959 film. For other uses, see House on Haunted Hill.
The House on Haunted Hill was built in the mid-19th century. Over the years, seven people died in the house. These included a little girl, Watson Pritchard's brother and stepsister, and Mrs. and Mr. Norton. Since these deaths, Watson Pritchard has owned the house, and Jonas and Mrs. Slydes have been the caretakers. Pritchard spent one night in the house and when he was found in the morning, he was nearly dead.
In 1959, millionaire Frederick Loren rented the House on Haunted Hill for his wife Annabelle's haunted house party. Frederick invited Lance Schroeder, Nora Manning, David Trent, Ruth Bridgers and Watson Pritchard himself to the party, and the five guests arrived at the house. Mr. Loren explained to the guests that at midnight, the Slydes would leave and lock all of the house's possible exits until 8AM, trapping the guests inside for the night. Meanwhile, Annabelle conspired with Dr. Trent (with whom she was having an affair) to help her trick one of the guests into killing her husband so they could have all of his money.
When Loren forced Annabelle to attend the party, she and Trent faked her death by hanging, but not before Annabelle convinced Lance and Nora that Frederick was insane. Loren gave each of the guests a gun for protection (with Nora's being secretly loaded with blanks), and Trent and Annabelle were eventually able to use illusions of ghosts to scare Nora into shooting Loren. However, as Nora's gun was loaded with blanks, Frederick survived and killed Trent and Annabelle using the vat of acid in the cellar (the same vat that Mr. Norton used to kill his wife).