A guide to Flora's ghost dolls in The Haunting of Bly Manor
12 October 2020, 21:40
Who are the dolls in Flora's dollhouse? Here's a guide to all the ghosts that appear in Haunting of Bly Manor.
Ghost. Dolls. Children. The three most terrifying things that any horror movie or TV show could have. Unluckily for us, The Haunting of Bly Manor has all three of them – but it manages to merge them in a way that avoids the usual possessed doll horror tropes.
One of the main creepy features in Bly Manor is Flora’s doll house. A gift from her uncle Henry Wingrave, the house is a near perfect replica of Bly Manor. As we soon find out, Flora’s doll house seems to have a life of its own. As much as it is a small scale version of Bly Manor, it also acts as a map. (Kind of like the Marauder’s map in Harry Potter, without the magic.
Inside, Flora keeps a series of little dolls – or talismans, as they’re later described – but as she soon explains to Dani, those dolls aren’t toys. Flora says that they are for protection, but we don’t truly find out what that means until later on in the season.
Here’s an explainer about dollhouse, and who the dolls actually are.
WARNING: Spoilers ahead for The Haunting of Bly Manor!
How does Flora’s dollhouse actually work?
We quickly establish that Flora’s dollhouse is not just a regular dollhouse, it’s a cool dollhouse. As Flora says, "Please don't move things around in my doll house. I have a very particular system."
That very particular system turns out to be a very important system. The dolls are not made up figures, they’re actually small figures of real life people that dwell in Bly Manor – alive and dead.
The dolls don’t move on their own accord, though. In the first episode, we see Flora moving them around the house. In episode 6, we also find out that a faceless child ghost also helps moves the dolls around when Flora is asleep.
Who are the Bly Manor ghosts?
Unlike Hill House, whose ghosts were often random and didn’t have actual names or storylines, the ghosts at Bly Manor are recurring characters, popping up in the same spots or in various rooms around the house. We know some of them by name and we know how they all died.
Flora’s dollhouse introduces us to each of them in the very first episode. Here’s all of the ghosts in Bly Manor, with their corresponding doll in Flora’s dollhouse.
The Bly Manor Household
Flora, Miles, Dani, Owen, Jamie and Hannah all have their own dolls. They can often be spotted in the kitchen, or in their respective bedrooms.
Flora notes that her mother and father’s ghosts aren’t here because they didn’t die here. They died on a trip to India.
Rebecca Jessel - the doll in the black dress
Location in the house: Can usually be seen in Flora’s bedroom. Flora often carries this doll around with her too.
How did she die? After being reluctantly persuaded by Peter Quint to take her life and join him for the rest of eternity as a ghost, Rebecca wanders out to the lake. She’s possessed by Peter, who then leaves her body as soon as her lungs fill with water, leaving her to drown alone.
Peter Quint - the doll in the turtleneck and coat
Location in the house: Can usually be seen in Miles’ bedroom.
How did he die? After leaving Rebecca’s bedroom one night, Peter finds himself in the path of Viola Lloyd (aka the Lady in the Lake). She kills him and drags his body out to the lake with her.
Viola - the doll in the white dress that lives under the dresser
Location in the house: She emerges from the lake at night and makes her way into the house. Her dolls stays firmly in place under Flora’s dresser. When her doll is not under Flora’s dresser, Flora knows that it is not safe to leave the bedroom.
How did she die? Viola’s story is explained in episode 8. She was killed by her sister Perdita after a long illness. Her soul is stuck at Bly Manor.
Perdita - the doll in the red dress
Location in the house: In the attic, near the chest where Flora hides while playing hide and seek.
How did she die? Perdita was strangled by the spirit of Viola when she opened Viola’s chest of belongings without permission. We see her ghost a few times, including once when Flora tells it to shush while she’s playing hide and seek.
The Plague Doctor - the doll in the coat and hat
Location the house: This one tends to wander. He’s been spotted in the kitchen, Miles and Flora’s bedrooms and bathroom, in the hallways and doorways at night.
How did he die? He was killed by Viola during one of her night walks.
The Soldier - the doll that’s…dressed like a solider
Location in the house: Usually can be seen downstairs, in the foyer and in the kitchen.
How did he die? It’s unknown, but we can assume he was another one of Viola’s victims. Henry Wingrave mentions that he had a “friend” when he lived at Bly Manor as a child, who was a soldier.
The Priest - the doll in the black robes with a beard
Location in the house: Can be spotted in random rooms.
How did he die? Killed by Viola. RIP.
The Little Boy - the doll that looks like a creepy baby
Location in the house: Has been spotted in the basement, the kitchen, Flora’s bedroom. Sometimes, he appears with the face of another doll placed over his faced own face.
How did he die? The child was sleeping in Viola’s former bedroom when she walked in one night. With her memories fading, she mistook the child as her own daughter and ended up carrying him back into the lake with her, drowning him.
Hannah Grose - the doll with the pumpkin head and red sweater
Location in the house: Hannah doesn’t accept that she is dead until the final episode. As a result of this, everyone sees her and treats her as someone who is alive. Her dolls moves around the house as usual.
How did she die? While Miles was possessed by Peter Quint, he pushed her down into the well on the grounds of Bly Manor just before Dani arrives. Her body remained there, undiscovered.