The Haunting of Bly Manor

Sophia Dewael, MVCurrent Writer

“The Haunting of Bly Manor” is a Netflix Original horror series that was released on October 9, 2020. It is developed from “The Turn of the Screw” by Henry James that is based off of a ghost story that revolved around a house in England. It was transformed into a television series that consists of nine episodes each ranging from 50-70 minutes. 


“The Haunting of Bly Manor” was made by the same program creator as “The Haunting of Hill House.” “Hill House” was the first season of “The Haunting” series on Netflix, and it is also inspired by real-world paranormal events. It came out in October of 2018 and has two seasons. “Hill House” is seen as the precursor to “Bly Manor” even though the storylines are not related, but they are tied together in one anthology universe and with some of the same actors.


The show starts at the scene of a the night before a wedding and the group gathers around to hear one of the guests tell a ghost story. The first five minutes of the show builds this story and then the rest of the series is the story that the guest is telling. Occasionally it flickers back to the gathered wedding guests, but for the most part the plot is the ghost story, which takes place in London starting in 1987.


In the past, I have veered away from the horror genre because being scared is something that I do not enjoy, but after hearing so many good reviews for this show I gave it a shot. I decided that I would at least watch one episode, but after that one episode I was hooked. I finished it within a matter of days even though I was quite busy at the time.


“I really liked it,” said Megan Ashley, 11, “I thought that the storyline was unique especially from stereotypical horror shows and movies. It was also more psychological and suspenseful.”


This is one of the reasons why I also loved the show. As I watched it I found that it is not filled with those stereotypical nonsensical frights, but rather it has cliffhangers and actual plot that seem to lack from many clique horror cinemas. Sure, it has some moments that make the audience jump, but the difference is that by the end of the show those things were no longer scary because they had become part of the plot. Normal horror has its shocking moments, but then when it is out of the picture, it is no longer important. That is the difference with “Bly Manor,” everything has a reason even if it took several episodes for that to become clear.


Another reason why I enjoy it so much is that the foundation of the show is plot instead of horror. The horror is an aspect, but the majority of the show’s sole purpose is to tell the story of an American that is hired to take care of children in a London house. It is simple on the surface, but becomes complicated with unpredictable depth. 


I recommend it for both horror and non-horror fans as I do not consider myself someone who likes horror. Additionally, it is still appealing for those who like horror too. I think that this is a horror show for everyone, no matter their tastes.