The Haunting of Hill House has at least one nod to Doctor Who which is so clear that one of its showrunners even responded to it. The Crain family matriarch, Olivia (Carla Gugino) explains death to one of her children by saying “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.”
On the Doctor Who episode “The Big Bang,” The Doctor (Matt Smith) whispers to a sleeping Amy Pond (Karen Gillan), that “I’ll be a story in your head, but that’s okay. We’re all stories in the end. Just make it a good one, eh?”
Digital Spy reached out to the writer of “The Big Bang,” Steven Moffat, over the similarity and he responded, “If that line is a deliberate tribute, I am extremely touched.”
In The Haunting of Bly Manor there is another fun (and confirmed) homage to the Eleventh Doctor era of Doctor Who. Matt Smith’s incarnation of the Doctor is known for a great many things, but his costume is especially noteworthy. One part of the Doctor’s wardrobe is so noteworthy, in fact, that the Doctor talks about it nearly every episode. “Bowties are cool,” says Matt Smith’s Doctor, and so they are.
Rahul Kohli who plays Owen on The Haunting of By Manor confirmed that the costume Owen wears to his mother’s funeral is a reference to Matt Smith’s Doctor. “True story, @flanaganfilm is a HUGE Whovian,” . “When deciding on the costume for this scene, I asked for a bow tie and tweed jacket as an homage to The Doctor for Mike.”