Inspiration behind new Netflix horror The Haunting of Bly Manor

Thankfully for everyone involved, scary Netflix series the Haunting of Bly Manor isn't based on a true story.

The series is instead an adaptation of the classic 1898 novel The Turn of the Screw, by Henry James.

Even now, over a century after it was published, The Turn of the Screw still confuses and sparks debate among its readers.

Author Henry James never wanted to write a traditional ghost story, instead focusing on "the strange and sinister embroidered on the very type of the normal and easy".

The story follows a governess who goes to work with two children on a remote country estate in Essex. After a series of strange events, she begins to believe the grounds are haunted.

If you've read the book, don't worry the series is different enough to still be enjoyable – and deliver plenty of scares.

There are nine episodes, so the originally very short story is spread out, allowing the characters plenty of time and space to develop their backstory… and up the ante on the tension front.

Netflix's synopsis reads: "The story tells of a young governess hired by a man to look after his niece and nephew at the family country house after they fall into his care. Arriving at the Bly estate, she begins to see apparitions that proceed to haunt the premises."

Technically, The Haunting of Bly Manor is the sequel to equally terrifying series The Haunting of Hill House.

That was also based on a piece of classic horror literature, a book by the same name by Shirley Jackson.

Both shows were made by Mike Flanagan, who is a well-respected horror director, who also made creepy Stephen King adaption Gerald's Game.

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Although there will be no mention of the characters or the story from that show, some key members of the cast will return in new guises.

Victoria Pedretti appears as Dani, "a governess who takes care of two very unusual children", and Oliver Jackson-Cohen stars as Peter, "a charming fellow".

The Haunting of Hill House actors Henry Thomas and Kate Siegel also return for the second season.

  • Netflix
  • Ghosts

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