'The Haunting of Bly Manor': Is the Netflix Series Based on a True Story?

Netflix is preparing to take subscribers into the halls of a brand new haunt in the next installment of its Haunting horror anthology series, but is The Haunting of Bly Manor based on a true story? While the first season of the anthology series, The Haunting of Hill House, drew inspiration from Shirley Jackson's 1959 novel of the same name, with much of her work inspired by real hauntings, the same cannot be said for Bly Manor.

Based on Henry James' 1898 novella The Turn of the Screw, Bly Manor is based on a fictional ghost story rather than real-life events. First appearing in serial format in Collier's Weekly magazine, James' novella is told from the perspective of an unnamed governess who takes a job caring for two young orphans at a remote country home in England called Bly. Once there, however, the governess begins to suspect something dark lurking in the house.

That governess, in Flannagan's take, is named Dani and portrayed by Hill House standout Victoria Pedretti. The two orphaned children, Flora and Miles, are played by Amelie Bea Smith and Benjamin Evan Ainsworth. The cast is rounded out with Rahul Kohli starring as the manor's on-site chef Owen, Henry Thomas as the Wingrave orphans' emotionally distant uncle Henry Wingrave, and Oliver Jackson-Cohen as Henry's calculating business associate, Peter Quint. Bly Manor also stars T'Nia Miller, Tahirah Sharif, Amelia Eve, Kate Siegel and Katie Parker.

While Hill House was the story of family struggle and trauma, director Mike Flanagan revealed to Vanity Fair that Bly Manor is about broken hearts that never heal and tragic star-crossed romance. The series marks just the latest adaptation of the fictional ghost story. Prior to the Netflix series, Turn of the Screw had been the inspiration for several movies, including The Innocents (1961), The Nightcomers (1971), The Turn of the Screw (1992) and The Turning (2020). Bly Manor will also draw inspiration from some of James' other works, including The Jolly Corner, which is about a menacing doppelgänger, and The Romance of Certain Old Clothes, which is about two sisters and a mysterious chest of beloved dresses. Both stories are also based in fiction rather than true tales.


The first installment of the Haunting anthology, Hill House, is currently available for streaming on Netflix. Bly Manor will debut on the platform on Friday, Oct. 9. Stay tuned to PopCulture.com for the latest information.