Thursday, June 13, 2024

“The Haunting of Bly Manor” brings scares and romance in equal measure


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Photo Courtesy of Gamesradar

Story by Peyton Tranas/Contributing Writer

This past Friday, Netflix released the highly anticipated follow-up to “The Haunting of Hill House,” “The Haunting of Bly Manor.”

Much like “American Horror Story,” this season has a completely new storyline, setting and characters, with no connection to the previous season. Many stars from the first season returned such as Victoria Pedretti, Henry Thomas, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Carla Gugino and Kate Siegel.

The show is primarily set in late-1980s England. The storyline of the show is told by an older woman, played by Gugino, in the present day, when the topic of ghost stories comes up at a wedding’s rehearsal dinner.

However, the story winds up more like a love story than a ghost story. The 1980s storyline begins with Dani Clayton, played by Pedretti, being hired on to become an au pair for two young children in the town of Bly, after the death of the children’s parents.

Very early on in the show you discover that Dani is being haunted by a ghost of her own, resulting in her having to cover every mirror or reflective surface. Before being hired on by Henry Wingrave, played by Thomas, he discloses that the reason the au pair position has not been filled is due to the tragic death of the former au pair, Rebecca Jessel, played by Tahirah Sharif.

Once Dani arrives at the home, she meets the other workers of Bly Manor, such as Hannah Grose, (T’Nia Miller) the housekeeper, Owen (Rahul Kohli) the cook, and Jamie (Amelia Eve) the gardener.

After Dani’s first night at the home, she already is becoming suspicious of other worldly things that may be happening in the house. The children Flora (Amelie Bea Smith) and Miles (Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) come off as intelligent and well-behaved children, but something else is just not right with the children and it is passed off as them having a very traumatic past.

The nine episodes of the season delve into the past to discover why things are the way they are at Bly Manor, in addition to telling the ghostly story of one fateful night at Bly. There are many characters who are presumed alive, but actually ghosts stuck at the manor, so keep a watchful eye to see if you can figure out who those characters may be while they roam the halls.

Every actor in this mini-series does an incredible job of convincing the audience that their characters are not only real people, but relatable. Within the paranormal stories of Bly Manor, there is also a prominent love story between two women on the show. The recognition of their romance being shown as just a regular love story is huge, as many shows like to include LGBTQ+ characters, but have their sexuality be their only prominent personality trait.

While it is a very different story than “Hill House,” creator Mike Flanagan (“The Haunting of Hill House,” “Doctor Sleep”), executes the tale of Bly Manor nearly to perfection. The show is very well written and keeps you on the edge of your seat wanting more. If you are a fan of “Hill House,” paranormal media or even love stories, I highly recommend watching “The Haunting of Bly Manor.”


To contact Lifestyles Editor Brandon Black, email

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