Be on the Lookout For More Hidden Ghosts in ‘The Haunting of Bly Manor’
Double-check the locks — the next installment of the Haunting anthology lurks around the corner!
The follow-up to 2018’s popular The Haunting of Hill House debuts a new story and new characters, and just like its predecessor, The Haunting of Bly Manor is also literature-based, featuring a mashup of The Turn of the Screw and other stories by 19th- and 20th-century writer Henry James.
“It all starts with the characters more or less as Henry James conceived them,” executive producer Trevor Macy says. “As the season progresses, you’ll see that we did take the same approach to modernizing and incorporating elements of The Turn of the Screw, as well as James’ lesser-known stories that we think audiences are going to be very excited about. Henry James was very much ahead of his time. Shirley Jackson [who wrote The Haunting of Hill House, the basis for Season 1’s storyline] and Stephen King were or are both fond of saying Henry James is a big inspiration, and that’s true for us too.”
Taking place in 1980s England, viewers will meet frustrated American teacher Dani Clayton (Victoria Pedretti), who lands a job as an au pair at Bly Manor, a remote country estate. She’ll fill a position that was left vacant due to the unsettling death of the previous caretaker. But, the location suits Dani, who “is running away from something,” Macy confirms. “Whether she’ll find it at Bly or not is kind of an open question. She certainly has some needs that she thinks are unfulfilled when she starts, and she’s very much hoping that taking care of those kids will fill it.”
At Bly, Dani meets an eclectic group: widowed housekeeper Mrs. Grose (T’Nia Miller), amiable chef Owen (iZombie vet Rahul Kohli), quirky gardener Jamie (Amelia Eve) and the mysterious Peter (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), who Macy says is a “notorious character in the original The Turn of the Screw,” adding that, “[Peter’s] a force to be reckoned with.”
But it’s Dani’s orphaned charges, siblings Flora and Miles (Amelie Bea Smith and Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) who “are the focal point of the story,” reveals Macy. That makes the action even spookier. He adds: “When scary forces act upon children, we as adults feel it more palpably … which is a good thing for those of us who like to make things that are scary.”
And just like Hill House, which memorably featured ghosts hidden in scenes, Bly Manor will definitely get into the spirit of things. “There are a lot of ghosts for people to find,” Macy says. “But they have meaning, which becomes apparent by the end.” If your face isn’t buried behind your hands, that is.
The Haunting of Bly Manor, Premiere, Friday, October 9, Netflix