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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCD chapter.

Let’s get one thing clear; this isn’t a ghost story, it’s a love story. 

A successor to The Haunting of Hill House, The Haunting of Bly Manor involves a young woman named Dani (Victoria Pedretti) who accepts a job as au pair to two young children who lost both of their parents the year prior. She moves into Bly Manor and begins experiencing strange occurrences within the iron gates of the property. However, this isn’t Dani’s first brush with abnormal events, for she is also being haunted by a ghost from her past.  

Steel Gate of Brown Brick Building
Bly Manor features a wide range of characters, some of which are recognizable from Hill House, including the children’s uncle, a chef, a gardener, and a manor manager. Each character has their own backstory and motivations that drive them to remain within the manor’s gates. The relationships within the manor are one of the best aspects of the show. The chemistry and love between the characters are what really draws you in and connects you to the story. The central love story in this show is one of the most supportive, beautiful relationships that has ever been on the small screen.      

One of the most integral parts of the show is how love is presented through each character. Throughout the show, the audience witnesses the consequences of both selfish and selfless love. We see how love can blind people into committing terrible actions and harming others. We see how the pain of losing a loved one can mentally tear apart a person. And we see the ways in which people we have lost stay with us for the rest of our lives. 

As the show progresses, we learn about the tragic history of the manor and the characters involved. This show rewards you for paying attention to the small, nuanced details in each episode. Much like with Hill House, there is a poignant episode midway through the show that drops a huge revelation on the audience. There are also hidden surprises in the backgrounds of each scene; be sure to keep an eye out for any objects or shadows that look misplaced. 

laptop playing "Hocus Pocus" in a room with candles and popcorn
Photo by lucas mendes from Unsplash
The Haunting of Bly Manor is a treat for horror and non-horror fans alike. Mike Flanagan’s newest project shows us that what truly scares us isn’t ghost and demon stories. True horror lies in our emotions. From grief to anger to acceptance, the way that people deal with their emotions determines how we interact with the world around them. We either can learn to accept what happens to us, or we may end up becoming a shell of our former selves.  Either way, The Haunting of Bly Manor is a show that teaches us small lessons in love and what it means to love someone even if they are not with us anymore. 


Victoria is a mechanical engineering and communication double major at the University of California, Davis. She loves writing, playing video games, and painting in her free time. Her main goal is to live a creative and fulfilling life.
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