The Haunting of Hill House is back — well, kind of. The Haunting anthology series’ new season, The Haunting of Bly Manor, features a new spooky locale and cast of characters because — spoiler alert — the Crain family’s story ended pretty conclusively in season 1. However, creator Mike Flanagan is offering up some treats (well, more like tricks) for Bly Manor viewers who loved Hill House. Not only will Victoria Pedretti, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, and several other season 1 stars return to play new roles, but the show’s hidden ghosts will make a reappearance, too.
In Hill House, some of the ghosts, like Poppy Hill (Catherine Parker), were characters in and of themselves. However, viewers quickly discovered there were dozens of other subtle, eerie presences lurking about in the background. On Monday, Netflix shared nine never-before-seen Bly Manor stills, and fans immediately noticed similar spooky spirits.
“The hidden ghosts in the first season turned out to be one of my favorite things to play with on set,” Flanagan told Vanity Fair. “The audience seemed to really like them. I loved watching people double back and try to find more of them. It encourages repeat viewing.” See if you can catch some of the hidden ghosts in the photos below, especially in that shot of Dani (Pedretti).
While Hill House was based on a Shirley Jackson novel, Bly Manor reimagines another classic horror story: The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. In James’ novella, two children and Dani, their governess, head to a country house. Soon after, Dani discovers two ghosts in the manor, and as the story unfolds, she discovers that they previously had a relationship with the children under her care.
“The first season is very much entrenched in family dynamics and death and grief and loss and child trauma. We all collectively felt like we’d said everything we wanted to say about that,” Flanagan told Vanity Fair. However, both seasons do share a common theme. “At its foundation, the Haunting series is very much about haunted spaces and haunted people. The way we make those things dance together is really going to be what’s uniform about Hill House and Bly.”
The Haunting of Bly Manor is set to premiere on Netflix this fall — hopefully, well before Halloween.