The Haunting of Bly Manor creator explains how series builds on and differs from The Haunting of Hill House

Mike Flanagan said that both shows explore "ghosts as an expression of emotional wounds".

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Victoria Pedretti Haunting of Bly Manor

Back in 2018, Mike Flanagan’s Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House terrified millions of viewers and now he’s back with a new series which looks just as frightening.

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The Haunting of Bly Manor reunites several of the previous show’s stars for a new story based on the work of Henry James, and Flanagan has explained some of the similarities and differences between the two series.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Flanagan said that, despite being a standalone story, he approached the two projects in a similar fashion.

“Similar to The Haunting of Hill House, I really wanted to play more with ghosts as an expression of emotional wounds that we do carry around,” he said. “How the past and present can echo each other, that moments don’t fall like dominoes, they fall like confetti.”

He went on to describe what made the new series different, explaining the two programmes focus on two very different forms of family.

“Though Haunting of Hill House is about a very tight family, Bly Manor is about strangers, a family that is created,” he said.

“All of the people that inhabit Bly Manor come from completely different backgrounds, and get to know each other through friendship, tension, conflict, and love. What sets Bly Manor apart is that at its heart, it’s a love story. It’s a gothic romance story.”

The Haunting of Bly Manor cast lead Victoria Pedretti, who played Nell in Hill House and takes on the lead role of Dani Clayton in Bly Manor, echoed Flanagan’s comments.

She said, “I think that it’s different from the first season in that it plays with your heart in different ways. It’s beautiful and tragic.”

And Flanagan added that, while viewers may think of love stories and ghost stories as two very different genres, they are actually similar in a lot of ways.

“The two are really the same thing, how each of us when we fall in love is kind of giving birth to a new ghost, something that is going to follow us for the rest of our lives.

“I hope that that intermingling of a ghost story and a love story is really impactful for people, and I think by the end of the season the line between the two is pretty much obliterated entirely.”

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The Haunting of Bly Manor is released on Netflix on Friday 9th October. You can order Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw on Amazon. Looking for something else to watch? Check out our guide to the best series on Netflix and best movies on Netflix, or visit our TV Guide