Haunting of Hill House was a bit of a sleeper hit last Halloween season, quietly making a name for itself through ten distressingly scary episodes of television. The show received near-universal acclaim, making it a tough act to follow for the recently-announced second season, titled Haunting of Bly Manor.
Instead of following up with the first season's Crain family, the second season will introduce viewers to an entirely new story and cast of characters, based on the 1898 novella, "The Turn of the Screw". Aside from what little we know about the cast and production, the source material alone gives plenty of clues as to what to expect from season 2 of Haunting of Hill House. To that end, here are 8 key details about Haunting of Bly Manor.
8 It's another haunted house story
Everyone loves a good haunted house story, and like season 1 of Haunting of Hill House, season 2 will almost definitely center around a haunted house. It's actually somewhat surprising how similar in setting and tone the two stories are, at least based on their source material.
Both involve a large estate haunted by the spirits of past occupants, and both feature a family at the center of the plot. Contrast that with another popular anthology horror series, American Horror Story, where the seasons bear almost zero resemblance to each other.
7 It's largely made by the same people who made the first season
One clear indicator that Haunting of Bly Manor will tell a well-crafted, nightmare-inducing story is the fact that it's being headed by the same people that brought us Haunting of Hill House. Creator and director Mike Flannagan will once again team up with executive producer Trevor Macy to adapt "The Turn of the Screw" novella into a Netflix television series.
This, combined with what we know from the source material, is a near-guarantee that Haunting of Bly Manor will deliver a chilling, tragic tale of paranormal circumstance to horror-hungry Netflix fans. What we can also deduce from this detail is that Bly Manor will almost definitely be tonally similar to Hill House, striking a balance between family drama and pure horror that leans a little closer to pure horror.
6 It's likely to feature haunted children
There's almost nothing scarier than possessed kids, and we're anxious to speculate that Haunting of Bly Manor will probably feature children being haunted by the paranormal.
The story it's based on, "The Turn of the Screw" is told from the perspective of a governess of a large estate, who feared that the children in her care were communicating with, and being haunted by, the spirits of those who had once occupied the estate. While we were entirely sympathetic to the children of Haunting of Hill House, it's likely we'll be equally terrified by the children of Bly Manor. We can already feel the hairs on the back of our necks standing up.
5 There's a good chance it will borrow some of the cast from Haunting of Hill House
While one might suspect a successful horror anthology show like Haunting of Hill House would bring back its starring cast for the second season, details about the cast of Haunting of Bly Manor have been suspiciously sparse.
Actor Oliver Jackson-Cohen, who played grown-up Luke Crain in Haunting of Hill House, told The Wrap he'd be "shot" if he revealed anything about Haunting of Bly Manor's cast, and Carla Gugino, who played Crain matriarch Olivia Crain, said she had been in talks with creator Matt Flanagan. One can only suspect that they're being so tight-lipped so as to conceal an eventual reveal. Then again, we might just be overthinking things.
4 The source material is a story-within-a-story
Not terribly different from Haunting of Hill House, Haunting of Bly Manor's source material reads like a story-within-a-story. In Hill House, the story is told through two separate timelines, one involving the Crain family as a young family, and another featuring the same family many years down the road.
Bly Manor is based on a story that's told through a narrator, who recounts the story told through a manuscript written by a former governess. Though, it wouldn't be unheard of for the creators to omit the narrator element and tell the story through a first-person perspective. After all, Haunting of Hill House isn't exactly a carbon copy of its source material.
3 It centers around a family
Haunting of Hill House is celebrated mostly for its ability to leave viewers shaking in fear reaching for the nearest night light, but it's also a tragic tale of a family torn apart by its haunted past. If the first season is anything to go by, season 2 will once again tear at its audience's heartstrings.
After all, the story deals with a tormented family struggling to maintain control in a home haunted by its own history. It's this family element at the center of Hill House that adds emotional weight to an otherwise unadulterated horror experience.
2 It will feature plenty of hidden ghosts
Some of the scariest moments of Haunting of Hill House were the ones you didn't catch the first time around. The show very cleverly manages to hide a good number of ghosts in the background and out of focus to reward eagle-eyed viewers with a chilling surprise.
Creator Mike Flanagan responded to a Twitter post hoping for more hidden ghosts in season 2, saying "We are already discussing how to up our hidden ghost game." As if there weren't enough reasons to re-watch Haunting of Hill House, Bly Manor sounds like it'll give us even more.
1 It won't release until next year
Haunting of Hill House was the perfect show to binge during the last Halloween season, but unfortunately, it's been confirmed that Halloween 2019 won't be graced with a new season.
It was revealed in the announcement that Haunting of Bly Manor will release at some point in 2020. Whether it'll drop around Halloween to keep in theme with the spookiest time of year is unknown, but it's likely they'll aim for that timeframe. At least that means we have one more year to find all the hidden ghosts in Haunting of Hill House.