The Haunting of Bly Manor is a 2020Netflix horror series created by Mike Flanigan and loosely based on the Henry James work, "The Turning of the Screw". The series follows the success of The Haunting of Hill House which was a Netflix adaptation of Shirley Jacksons' work and stars several of the same actors.
As a paranormal author, I take my horror very seriously. I am rarely scared, so it's no surprise that nothing in the series disturbed my senses but that doesn't mean that it didn't chill me a bit.
At the end of the series, one character remarks to the narrator that the story isn't really a ghost story. She tells her that it was a love story. The narrator replies, "Same thing, really." and that's the true hook of it. The look, the feel, and the storyline are very much in tune with a gothic romance.
I chuckle a bit when I see headlines stating that "viewers are having trouble sleeping after watching the series" or that the show rates high on the Scare Meter but speaking with one of my less horror desensitized friends, I was told that she didn't want to watch the show alone.
For my part, I thoroughly enjoyed the series. It was well written with poetic narration and camera work that didn't miss a beat. The cast was exceptional and the story sucked me in until the end.
Like Hill House, there are hidden ghosts interjected in to scenes of otherwise typical human interaction. This adds another level to the viewing experience but can serve to distract the viewer. After the third episode I conditioned myself to not look for the ghosts and focused on the story realizing that I could always plan a ghost hunt on a re-watch.
If you haven't checked it out, it's definitely worth a watch.
Bonnie J Taylor
Author of The Haunted paranormal series of short fiction