Is Haunting of Bly Manor connected to Hill House? Here's the link

9 October 2020, 09:46 | Updated: 13 October 2020, 22:36

The official Haunting of Bly Manor trailer on Netflix

By Katie Louise Smith

Are The Haunting of Bly Manor and The Haunting of Hill House connected? Here's what you need to know about how they're linked.

The long-awaited follow up to The Haunting of Hill House is finally here. The Haunting of Bly Manor has officially dropped on Netflix, bringing a brand new chilling ghost story to our screens.

The new season of The Haunting anthology series sees some familiar Hill House actors return. Victoria Pedretti, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Henry Thomas, Kate Siegel and even Carla Gugino are all back – but as completely new characters. (Yep, the Crain family story is done. It's over. They won't be returning in Bly Manor.)

The big question that everyone will no doubt be wondering is if Bly Manor is a sequel to Hill House, and whether or not they're connected.

While there are some themes and references between the two seasons that link them within The Haunting series, there are no explicit narrative or character connections. Here's everything you need to know about The Haunting of Bly Manor and The Haunting of Hill House's connections.

Are The Haunting of Bly Manor and The Haunting of Hill House connected?

Is Bly Manor connected to Hill House? Here's how they are linked
Is Bly Manor connected to Hill House? Here's how they are linked. Picture: Netflix

The Haunting is an anthology series, which means every season will be its own self-contained story.

Unlike American Horror Story, which features references and character crossovers between the seasons, each season of The Haunting will remain completely separate from the other. This is partly due to each season being based on actual horror novels that already exist.

The Haunting of Hill House was loosely based on Shirley Jackson's 1959 novel of the same name. The Haunting of Bly Manor is loosely based on Henry James' 1898 classic The Turn of the Screw. The stories are not connected, and neither are the Netflix shows.

It's unclear if future seasons will end up being connected. If the show continues to use existing stories as inspiration, it's probably unlikely.

Watch the spooky trailer for Netflix's The Haunting of Hill House

Are there any Hill House references in The Haunting of Bly Manor?

While Bly Manor sees the return of some of the Hill House cast members, there are no major narrative connections between the two. They are both self-contained stories that exist in different worlds.

Bly Manor contains no explicit references to the story of Hill House throughout its 9 episodes.

Bly Manor does borrow some familiar aspects from the Hill House season, however. Fans will recognise some of the camera shots, as well as the continued theme of the hidden ghosts lurking in the background throughout the episodes. There's also callbacks to certain lines of dialogue previously spoken by Olivia and Nell Crain.

READ MORE: All the Hill House references in Haunting of Bly Manor you missed

Mike Flanagan also explained to Vanity Fair how the themes of Bly Manor and Hill House co-exist in a wider Haunting universe: "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."

In a behind the scenes video, Flanagan also said: "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 – how the past and present can echo each other, that moments don't fall like dominoes, they fall like confetti."

Do I need to watch Haunting of Hill House before watching Haunting of Bly Manor?

Seeing as the two seasons aren't connected, it's not absolutely essential that you watch Hill House before diving into Bly Manor. The two stories aren't linked so you won't be missing anything storyline wise. While Hill House sets an exceptional tone for the anthology series, you can always watch Hill House after Bly Manor, if you want.

If you're a lover of thrillers and horrors, the absolutely terrifying Haunting of Hill House sounds like it might be the perfect show for you.