Warning: SPOILERS ahead for The Haunting of Hill House
The first season of The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix may have seemed to end with a satisfying finale, but - not unlike the the titular house's appetite for human souls - there's always room for seconds. And in a surprising twist, season 2 will explore an entirely new ghost-ridden house in The Haunting of Bly Manor.
By the end of season 1 of The Haunting of Hill House, some considerable damage has been done. Characters do heal in their own ways, whether physically (like Luke, played by Oliver Jackson-Cohen) or emotionally (like Theo, played by Kate Siegel), but it all comes at the expense of several tragedies. Olivia, Nell, and Hugh (played by Carla Cugino, Victoria Pedretti, and Timothy Hutton, respectively) are consumed by Hill House, as is Mrs. Dudley (played by Annabeth Gish), though she gives herself to the house willingly.
While many assumed that the second season of The Haunting of Hill House would continue the Crain family's story, the show's renewal announcement came with the news that it's becoming an anthology, rather than a continuation of season 1.
Haunting of Hill House Has Been Renewed For Season 2
Netflix first announced a second season of The Haunting of Hill House with a cryptic teaser featuring voices whispering a passage from Henry James' famous ghost story, The Turn of the Screw. After fans correctly guessed where the passage was from, the title of season 2 was revealed: The Haunting of Bly Manor. The show's creator, writer, and director Mike Flanagan (Gerald's Game, the upcoming adaptation of Doctor Sleep) has said that the first season deliberately sets up season 2 (albeit in subtle ways), so it's possible that we will see some links back to The Haunting of Hill House in Bly Manor. However, based on what we know right now, it seems as though this will be an entirely new story.
When Will The Haunting of Hill House Season 2 (Bly Manor) Release?
The Haunting of Hill House season 2 (a.k.a. The Haunting of Bly Manor) will release in 2020, though we don't have a more specific release date than that just yet. Season 1 was released on October 12, 2018, so Netflix may well shoot for another October release date in order to capitalize on the Halloween season. The streaming service usually announces release dates about a month or two in advance, often accompanied by a teaser or trailer, so we'll likely have to wait until next year for a more specific release date.
What Is The Story of The Haunting Of Bly Manor?
The Haunting of Hill House was based on the book of the same name by Shirley Jackson, but the story itself was drastically different. Though the TV show featured versions of the characters from the book, the idea of them all being siblings and the concept of the story taking place both in the past and the present was wholly original. Therefore it's safe to assume that The Haunting of Bly Manor won't be a straightforward adaptation of The Turn of the Screw, but rather will use it as the inspiration for a more long-form story.
Published in 1898, The Turn of the Screw is about a young woman who is hired to be the governess to two orphaned children who live in a grand house called Bly. Upon arriving at the house and meeting the children, however, she begins to fear that there is some evil influence upon them, threatening to corrupt their innocence. This is compounded when she begins seeing two ghostly figures haunting the grounds, who appear to be fixated on the children. The Turn of the Screw was famously adapted into the 1961 film The Innocents, directed by Jack Clayton, which starred Deborah Kerr in the lead role.
It's possible that, since this is an anthology series, The Haunting of Bly Manor may feature some of the actors from The Haunting of Hill House (similar to how American Horror Story features the same actors in different roles). Hill House had an excellent cast of child actors, so Bly Manor could recast two of them as young Flora and Miles from The Turn of the Screw. Flanagan has previously cast both Carla Gugino (who plays Olivia Crain) and Kate Siegel (who plays Theo Crain) as the leads in his horror movies (Gerald's Game and Hush, respectively), so they're also likely candidates to return.
Oliver Jackson-Cohen, who plays Luke, spoke with Digital Spy about the first season's finale and revealed that some eagle-eyed viewers might be able to discover a handful of easter eggs that steer the way to a second season. That said, he explained that these easter eggs are, "Very, very slight; they're not so obvious. Again, it's [writer] Mike [Flanagan] being a genius. There's something in the background somewhere. It probably feels like it closed a book, but if you look closer it's very much not closed." It will be interesting to find out how these "easter eggs" from Hill House are woven into The Haunting of Bly Manor.
The Haunting of Bly Manor will release on Netflix in 2020.