8 Haunting 'Bly Manor' Parallels to 'Hill House' You May Have Missed

Haunting of Hill House Bly Manor
Netflix

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for all of The Haunting of Bly Manor.]

The Haunting of Bly Manor has made quite the departure from its anthological predecessor, The Haunting of Hill HouseThe two, in many ways, could not be more different. Besides their unconnected source material (Bly Manor is inspired by Henry James' novella, The Turn of the Screw), they are set in different houses, countries, and even time periods.

Yet, even as Bly Manor takes us to the English countryside, we still see familiar faces: Victoria Pedretti takes us from Nell to Dani, Oliver Jackson-Cohen from Luke to Peter Quint, and Carla Gugino from Olivia to, well... we won't say. If you know, you know.

Creator Mike Flanagan gave Hill House fans thoughtful parallels in Bly Manor, some less obvious than casting. From iconic shots to lines of dialogue, we found ourselves tethered to Hill House in ways that surprised us — and in true Haunting fashion — had us questioning what we just saw. Step into Bly Manor's glue trap with some of our favorite Hill House parallels below.

The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor, Streaming Now, Netflix

Haunting of Hill House Bly Manor Dialogue
Netflix

The house as a body

In both Hill House and Bly Manor, the haunted houses are brought to life by illustrative dialogue comparing them to human bodies.

In Hill House, Nell tells her siblings that their mother used to say that a house is like a body. The Red Room is the heart — “no, not a heart, a stomach,” she says. “It put on different faces so that we’d be still and quiet while it digested.”

In Bly Manor, the narrator’s voiceover compares Bly to a body several times. When Dani arrives, the narrator says the house “yawned to welcome her”. At night, the rooms felt larger, “as if the house itself had inhaled deeply.”

Haunting of Hill House Bly Manor Come home
Netflix

"Come home"

“Come home” is used as a cryptic message in both Hill House and Bly Manor. 

In Hill House, it is scribbled in crayon on the walls of the house. We later learn that this is a message from Olivia and actually reads “Welcome home, Nell.”

In Bly Manor, Miles (Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) receives a note and drawing from his sister, Flora (Amelie Bea Smith) at boarding school saying “come home.”

Haunting of Hill House Bly Manor Ghosts Nell Henry
Netflix

Ghostly hovering

The same unnerving shot is used in both Bly Manor and its predecessor of a ghost closely and horizontally hovering over a terrified character.

In Hill House, this ghost is the Bent-Neck Lady who often haunted Nell as a child. In Bly Manor, the ghost is Henry’s (Henry Thomas) doppelgänger who lingers with him as a guilty conscience.

What is interesting, besides the replication of the camera shot, is the fact that both ghosts turn out to be the characters themselves. We eventually learn that Nell is the Bent-Neck Lady and has been haunting herself since childhood.

Haunting of Hill House Bly Manor Episode 5 Nell Hannah
Netflix

An Episode 5 twist

In bothEpisode 5 is critical. It is the episode that delves into one of the season’s most captivating characters. In Hill House, it is Nell, and in Bly Manor, Hannah Grose (T’Nia Miller).

Episode 5 is where the series pivots from its exposition to its dense middle. It is where some of our initial questions are answered and a whole new set of questions gets layered on top.

In Hill House, it explores Nell’s childhood and encounters with the Bent-Neck Lady. In Bly Manor, it shows us what was happening all those times Hannah Grose seemed a bit… off.

Haunting of Hill House Bly Manor forever house
Netflix

The "forever house"

In Hill House, the “forever house” is the vision that Olivia Crain devotedly sketches as the place that she and her family will call theirs after fixing and selling Hill House. The “forever house” ends up being Hill House, as Olivia and other Crains become tethered to it.

In Bly Manor, the “forever house” takes on a more sinister meaning as Peter Quint tries to convince Flora and Miles to inhabit their bodies. He says that they will be tucked away in the “forever house” where their dead loved ones and memories reside.

Haunting of Hill House Bly Manor Olivia Dani Possession
Netflix

Possessed to kill the partner

The chilling camera shot in Hill House, where Olivia Crain straddles her husband while sleeping and holds a screwdriver to his throat (at a ghost’s prompting, of course), gets a revival in Bly Manor.

As Dani and Jamie (Amelia Eve) live their lives together, Dani senses the Lady of the Lake encroaching on her psyche. As the visions and encounters with the ghost get more intense, Dani finds herself on top of Jamie at night with her hand to her throat.

Haunting of Hill House Bly Manor Nell Flora
Netflix

People may be dead, but they're not gone

A theme in both Hill House and Bly Manor is not only the terror of uninvited ghosts but also the comfort of familiar ghosts who never really leave us.

In Hill House, Nell speaks to her family, well-acquainted with grief, and tells them that she learned a secret: “There’s no without. I am not gone.”

In Bly Manor, Flora tells a grieving Owen (Rahul Kohli) that when she lost her parents, she felt like she might die, too. “But then I learned a secret,” she says. “Dead doesn’t mean gone.”

Haunting of Hill House Bly Manor Nell Hannah Confetti
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"The rest is confetti"

Perhaps the most poignant of Flanagan’s parallels is the nod to Nell’s “confetti” metaphor in Hill House.

As Nell confronts her siblings in the Red Room, she tells them that she loved them, “that’s all. The rest is confetti,” Nell describes confetti as the way moments “fall” around us, defying time.

In Hannah Grose’s final moments on screen, she tells Henry to tell Owen that she loved him. While she doesn’t finish her sentence, it’s an obvious callback to Nell’s confetti when she says, “And the rest, well, it’s just…”