For intrepid fans, Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House was like a horror-fuelled Highlights Magazine. Dozens of hidden ghosts lurked in the background without a purpose, other than contributing to the terrifying mise en scène. Sophomore season The Haunting of Bly Manor will also include hidden ghosts — and they’ll be part of the plot this time.
Vanity Fair shared a first look at The Haunting of Bly Manor, the second instalment of the horror anthology series from showrunner Mike Flanagan. This season takes inspiration from Henry James’ 1898 novella The Turn of the Screw, telling the story of a woman who moves to the English countryside to look after two orphaned children. She’s played by Victoria Pedretti, who played Nell on the first season of the show, and she’s not the only familiar face; much like fellow horror anthology series American Horror Story, this season sees several The Haunting of Hill House stars returning to portray different characters.
Flanagan revealed a few tidbits for what fans can expect from the latest venture into the horrifying haunts of his imagination. The Haunting of Bly Manor takes place in 1987, it’s about toxic love and relationships instead of family trauma, creepy dolls play a key role, and it integrates plots from other James works like The Jolly Corner and The Romance of Certain Old Clothes.
Netflix also shared a few pictures of the cast on Twitter, so here’s a sneak peek at what to expect.
A new story. pic.twitter.com/ldT26Sdm9E
— The Haunting of Bly Manor (@haunting) August 24, 2020
But one of the most exciting teases for season two has to be the hidden ghosts. Flanagan shared how the ghosts were “one of my favourite things to play with on set,” and that the team wanted to reward that fan dedication by taking things a step further. Now, instead of the ghosts simply being interesting and creepy decorations, they’re a full-blown mystery to solve.
“This season we wanted our hidden elements to tell their own story,” he said. “Unlike the first season, they’re actually going to be explained. By the end of the season, you’re going to know who they are and why they’re there.”
The Haunting of Bly Manor also stars T’Nia Miller, Benjamin Evan Ainsworth, Amelie Bea Smith, Henry Thomas, Kate Siegel, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Amelia Eve, and Rahul Kohli. It arrives on Netflix this spring.