What is the lung in The Haunting of Bly Manor? Mysterious illness explained

Everything you need to know about the mysterious illness in the Netflix horror series.

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THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR

It’s likely fans will have many questions after watching Mike Flanagan’s latest Netflix‘s horror series The Haunting of Bly Manor.

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And one of the queries that has repeatedly cropped up relates to an incident in episode eight, a flashback explaining the origins of how the eponymous property came to be so terribly haunted.

During the episode the character Viola becomes sick with “the lung” but many fans are unsure what exactly what that means.

Read on for everything you need to know about “the lung”.

What is the lung?

The eighth – and penultimate – episode of the series takes a diversion from the main storyline of Bly Manor and explains why the house became so haunted, telling the story of two sisters who had previously lived there, Viola and Perdita.

In the story, Viola, who would later become the Lady of the Lake, dies of an illness that is simply described as “the lung” before becoming a ghost and killing her sister, who has begun a relationship with her widowed husband.

When Viola falls ill, she originally assumes that she has the plague, but when a doctor comes to check he reveals that she actually has the lung, which he says has a very poor prognosis.

Based on Viola’s symptoms and the description of the disease, the lung most likely refers to Tuberculosis, which was a very common sickness at the time, was not easily treated and was essentially seen as a death sentence.

The disease is also highly contagious, which explains why Viola was not permitted to be in close contact with her husband or daughter in the closing stages of her life.

Interestingly, while the bulk of Bly Manor is based on Henry James’ 1898 novella The Turn of the Screw, this episode is actually based on another of the writer’s works, The Romance of Certain Old Clothes.

In the source material it is Perdita rather than Viola that dies, and the cause is not tuberculosis – rather she passes away due to complications of childbirth.

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For more on the series, check out our guide to The Haunting of Bly Manor hidden ghosts and what happens when you call The Haunting of Bly Manor phone number.

The Haunting of Bly Manor is streaming now on Netflix. You can order 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, visit our TV Guide, or find out about upcoming new TV shows 2020.