Netflix Haunting Of Bly Manor: Every Easter Egg And Clue You Missed
From classic literature to '80s nods, Bly Manor is packed with details you may have missed.
The Haunting of Bly Manor has finally arrived on Netflix and is ready to be binged in all its terrifying glory. We've already provided a guide for spotting some of the show's trickiest hidden ghosts, and made a breakdown of the scariest moments across all 9 episodes, but now it's time to take a look behind the curtain and break down all the other--hopefully less terrifying--things you may have missed.
Like The Haunting Of Hill House, Bly Manor is an adaptation of some classic literary works. This season is defined by the short stories and novellas of Henry James, as well as some of their many live-action adaptations over the years. Also, Bly just happens to be a period piece. It's set in the 1980s, which means that not only can you expect to find some fun horror Easter Eggs, there are also plenty of nods to the era.
But there's more than winks and nods to classic novels or things from the '80s. Bly is packed with tiny bits of easy-to-miss foreshadowing that inform each character's story. So, we went through the show frame by frame to find 25 things you may not have noticed as you binged the season.
Check out our other Bly Manor coverage:
1.) The Great Good Place
Every episode of Bly shares its title with a story written by Henry James. First up is The Great Good Place, a short story published in 1900 about a man who is able to access a dream-like retreat that could either be a supernatural or time-bending experience or simply a figment of his imagination.
2.) Dani Clayton
Dani's last name is a reference to director Jack Clayton, whose 1961 psychological horror movie The Innocents famously adapted James' Turn Of The Screw, which Bly is directly inspired by.
3.) "A Governess"
In the original Turn Of The Screw, the main character is referred to as a "governess" rather than a nanny or an au pair, which is what Dani's job title is in this version of the story
4.) Room 217
Dani's room at her hostel is 217, is the infamous room in Stephen King's The Shining where some of the most gruesome hauntings took place. In Kubrick's movie version, the number was changed to 237. Creator Mike Flanagan recently wrote and directed Doctor Sleep, the movie adaptation of King's Shining sequel by the same name.
5.) She'll walk the rest of the way
Dani asks Owen to let her get out of the car and walk the rest of the way to the manor, a scene directly quoted from Clayton's The Innocents where the Governess does the same.
6.) O Willow Waly
The folk song O Willow Waly is used again and again throughout the show, and is another element referencing The Innocents, which used the song to similar haunting effect.
7.) Hannah's candles
Hannah lights four candles in the chapel, one for each of the deceased Wingraves, one for Rebecca Jessel, and a mysterious fourth--we don't learn until much later that Hannah herself is a ghost, which makes her extra candle some very subtle foreshadowing.
8.) Monster Squad
Miles has a poster for the 1987 horror comedy movie Monster Squad on his wall.
9.) Star Trek: The Motion Picture
Miles' other movie poster is for Star Trek: The Motion Picture, which came out in 1979.
10.) The Pupil
Episode 2's title comes from James' 1891 short story The Pupil, which tells the story of an 11-year-old boy who is taken in by a tutor who has the opportunity to raise him as his own. However, the tutor hesitates, which makes the boy panic, have a heart attack, and die.
11.) Peter Quint in the window
Peter Quint's introductory shot, where Miles sees his reflection in the window, is another direct quote from Peter's introduction in The Innocents.
12.) Tainted Love
One of Bly Manor's few musical moments is Soft Cell's 1981 smash hit, Tainted Love.
13.) The Two Faces
Episodes 3 and 7 share their title with Henry James' The Two Faces, a story that explores social anxieties in Victorian culture.
14.) Mary Poppins
Not only does Dani get called "Poppins" by Jamie, Ms. Jessel gets a reference to the fictional super-nanny from Flora. Ms. Jessel uses a quote from the character, that she's not "practically perfect" but "perfectly splendid," which gives Flora her catchphrase.
15.) Peter's bouquet
Peter presents Flora (but really Rebecca) with a bouquet of flowers--it is intentionally the exact same arrangement that Miles (possessed by Peter) presents Dani in the present.
16.) The Way It Came
Episode 4's title borrows from the James story about a creeping jealousy between a narrator, her fiance, and a friend that seemingly persists after death.
17.) The Altar of the Dead
Episode 5's title comes from the short story about a man who lights candles for his dead loved ones--you know, exactly like Hannah does throughout the show.
18.) A ghost for one
Ironically, Henry is haunted by Bly Manor's own personalized "ghost"--in this case, a hallucinatory doppelganger of himself. In Hill House, Hugh Crain experienced a similar phenomenon where he was haunted by the ghost of his dead wife, who was really just a part of his own subconscious. In Hill House, Young Hugh was played by Henry Thomas, who plays Henry Wingrave here.
19.) The Jolly Corner
Episode 6's title comes from the short story about a man who is haunted by the "ghost" of his own alter ego, the man he could have become.
20.) "He was a soldier"
Uncle Henry tells Flora in a flashback that he had an imaginary friend here at Bly once, too, a soldier that he was very afraid of. If you've paid close enough attention to the various hidden ghosts in the show, you'll know that one of them is indeed a soldier. Henry's imaginary friend wasn't imaginary after all.
21.) Jamie's monologue
Interestingly, Jamie is the only character in the show who doesn't get her own flashback episode--because, it's eventually revealed, the entire show is her own sort of flashback. She's the narrator providing the framework for the story, adding comments where she can. Fittingly, she delivers her own story to Dani as a monologue in her garden.
22.) The polaroid
Rebecca's memory version of her night with Peter and his polaroid camera features a more horrific photo than the real thing. Both she and Peter are rotting corpses in this version of events.
23.) Our cast of hidden ghosts
Episode 8 reveals the origin of every hidden ghost that stalks the grounds of Bly Manor, from the easy-to-spot Plague Doctor to the often very stealthy soldier.
24.) The Romance of Certain Old Clothes
Bly's history, and the title of Episode 8, comes from the short story of the same name about two sisters who meet a tragic fate after succumbing to jealousy and greed. The climactic moment of the story and the episode are the same, with ghostly arms reaching out from an empty dress to murder the surviving sister.
25.) A Batter Place
The name of Owen's restaurant is a groan-worthy pun: A Batter Place, in keeping with both his lost love Hannah, and his affinity for making her roll her eyes at his terrible jokes.
26.) The Beast in the Jungle
The finale episode's title comes from a short story about a man whose life is defined by his belief that a catastrophic event is waiting for him somewhere just out of sight, a "beast in the jungle" ready to pounce. Thankfully, Dani is able to achieve a different ending than the protagonist of the original story, when she accepts Jamie's love and makes a life with her until she ultimately has to confront her 'beast." The protagonist of the original spent his life alone, unable to let anyone close to him for fear of the doom always lurking around the corner.
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