Mike Flanagan’s latest horror series The Haunting of Bly Manor landed on Netflix this weekend, just in time for fans to get into the Halloween spirit.
Based on Henry James’ classic novella The Turn of the Screw, the Haunting of Hill House spin-off follows au pair Dani, who is hired to look after the Wingrave children of a haunted country estate, with The Haunting of Bly Manor cast being made up of various cast members from the first series such as Victoria Pedretti, Oliver Jackson-Cohen and Henry Thomas.
However, franchise newcomer T’Nia Miller also appears in the series as estate housekeeper Hannah Grose, who – **spoiler alert** – is pushed into a well by an vengeful ghost in the show’s fifth episode.
While this revelation proved to be a shocking one, some fans were confused by Hannah’s presence throughout the series and in scenes which took place after her apparent death – is the housekeeper really dead? And how is she able to talk to her living colleagues?
Here’s everything you need to know about whether Hannah is actually dead in The Haunting of Bly Manor.
Is Hannah dead in Bly Manor?
In episode five of the series, housekeeper Hannah (T’Nia Miller) seemingly meets her untimely death after being shoved down a well by young Miles Wingrave (Benjamin Evan Ainsworth), who’s been possessed by the ghost of Peter Quint (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), the estate’s former employee and victim of the Lady in the Lake (Kate Siegel).
It is then revealed that Hannah was killed shortly before Dani arrived at the manor and has therefore unknowingly been a ghost from that point onwards.
The shocking revelation explains Hannah’s strange behaviour throughout the series, her memory lapses and frequent flashbacks to memorable moments of hers at the estate.
Speaking to The Wrap about her character’s demise, Miller said: “With Hannah, she’s so rooted in this denial of what’s actually going on in her life, she’s able to kind of sustain this existence in the here and now in a way the other characters can’t.”
She added that when Hannah floats off to various memories as a means of comfort – especially those involving the Bly Manor chef Owen (Rahul Kohli), who she falls in love with.
“I think because Owen, for Hannah, is her rock, it’s her happy place, it’s her place of comfort,” she said. “It’s the moment after all the years of being barren and not having a man to lie down with because her husband has gone off with another woman, it’s the moment where she falls in love quite unexpectedly. And it really is love at first sight. Here’s this beautiful young man who had this opportunity in Paris and has come back to look after his mama, and damn, the man can cook! He’s a catch, what’s not to like?
She continued: “At that point where she finally says, ‘Sod, it. I’m going to do this. Damn, I love you. You know what, yes’… But by the time she says that, the memories, the dream-hopping, she’s less and less able to deny that she’s not there. That moment just literally happens before the episode where she’s gone off. And it’s just heartbreaking — it’s months too late, but for her, it’s moments too late. And they will never get to share that life.”
Hannah finally breaks the loop of memories she’s stuck in when she decides in a later episode to save Owen, Dani (Victoria Pedretti), Jamie (Amelia Eve) and the children from Peter and the Lady of the Lake.
“When Owen says by the fire, ‘You know what I’ve noticed about you, you look out for everybody else.’ And she says, ‘Well that’s my job,’ because that’s just her innate self,” Miller explained.
“So she’s unable to stay in that memory any longer, knowing what’s really looming outside. Knowing what’s happening and the danger that’s happening to these children, she can’t possibly stay in this place because her babies and all of her family are at risk. And that’s what forces her out.”
To have more of the show’s mysteries unravelled, you can read our explainer on The Haunting of Bly Manor ending.