[Warning: The following contains spoilers for The Haunting of Bly Manor. Read at your own risk!]
The Haunting of Hill House fans were ready and eager for the next installment in Mike Flanagan‘s Netflix horror series, and The Haunting of Bly Manor did not disappoint! In addition to weaving a chilling new tale, The Haunting of Bly Manor also managed to pay tribute to the first season of the anthology series with a few expertly dropped Easter eggs!
Bly Manor housed a whole host of new ghosts (some even more terrifying than those who walked the halls of Hill House), but this new installment surprised us with how often it referenced The Haunting Season 1 through dialogue, decor, and even a few perfectly timed plot twists. While some were overt and obvious, many of The Haunting of Hill House Easter eggs were hidden so well you may have missed them, which is why TV Guide meticulously scanned Bly Manor for you and rounded up the key references. Check out the list below to see how many of the nods to Hill House you managed to catch!
You’re expected: When Dani (Victoria Pedretti) first arrives at Bly and meets Flora (Amelie Smith), the girl tells her new au pair, “you’re expected.” Not only is this phrase one of the taglines for the show’s first season, but in Hill House, “you’re expected” is also the last thing Olivia (Carla Gugino) says to Nell before luring her downstairs and ultimately to her death. So if you didn’t already know that Flora was possessed by a ghost at that point, that line was the first red flag.
Come home: In Episode 2, we see flashbacks to Miles’ (Benjamin Ainsworth) time at boarding school which explain why he was sent home. It turns out he receives a letter from Flora, which has a single message written in crayon: “Come home.” Fans of Haunting of Hill House will remember a very similar crayon message, which is written under the wallpaper on the walls of Hill House for Nell.
The Haunting of Hill House, The Haunting of Bly Manor
The lion door knockers: Yes, a lion head is a popular design for door knockers, but Bly’s extravagant door decor is likely a subtle nod to our other favorite haunted house. All the doorknobs at Hill House are decorated with lion faces, including the Red Room, whose shining gold doorknob is also highlighted in the show’s opening credits. After watching Hill House, it’s hard to look at the two gold lion knockers on Bly’s front door and not see them as a bad omen of terrors within.
The Haunting of Bly Manor
I’m untethered now: While sitting by the bonfire after his mother’s funeral, Owen (Rahul Kohli) tells Hannah (T’Nia Miller), “I’m untethered now, whether I like it or not,” before asking her to come with him to Paris. Though Owen and Hannah’s romance never gets fully off the ground in Bly Manor, Owen’s reference to being “untethered” recalls how Hugh and Olivia’s romance is described in Hill House. Hugh tells Steve that Oliva was the kite and he was the line, and without him she’d become untethered and float away. And if Peter (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) hadn’t stolen the chance from them, we think Owen would have made a great kite to Hannah’s line.
Our moments are supposed to be like…: When Hannah returns to the memory of the bonfire later, she and Owen struggle to complete the thought of what “our moments are supposed to be like” — but Hill House fans know. As the ghost of Nell tells her siblings, our moments aren’t “laid out like dominoes” but instead, “fall around us like rain. Or snow. Or confetti.” The reference to this moving sentiment not only strikes a tender note in Owen and Hannah’s exchange but helps contextualize the episode, which tells a non-linear story as Hannah travels through different memories throughout her time at Bly.
I’m having the strangest dream: During Hannah’s trippy memory episode, both she and Miles liken their experiences to having a strange dream. While in Hannah’s case, this refers to her growing realization that she’s dead and thus slipping in and out of her own memories and current events, while Miles uses it to refer to being “tucked away” while being possessed by Peter Quint. But this is also obviously a callback to Olivia’s similarly tragic episode of The Haunting of Hill House, where, like Hannah, she finds herself slipping away more and more.
T’Nia Miller, The Haunting of Bly Manor
I can fix it: Before leaving to go to India with Dominic, Charlotte (Alex Essoe) stops by Henry’s (Henry Thomas) office to say goodbye and officially end their affair. Charlotte apologizes for not telling Henry that he’s Flora’s father before making clear that she is determined to make her marriage and family work. She tells him, “I can fix it,” calling back to Hugh’s common refrain in Hill House, where he tells himself he can fix anything — the decrepit walls, the model house, and even Olivia’s death. And much like Hugh, it turns out that Charlotte isn’t able to fix the things she wanted to, since she and Dominic are killed in an accident abroad.
Forever house: In order to convince Miles to invite Peter to possess him, Peter promises that Miles will be tucked away in “the forever house” with his deceased mother and father. The Haunting of Hill House viewers will remember Olivia’s plans for a forever house that she would build for her family when she and Hugh were done flipping homes. In the end, Hill House becomes her forever house when she is trapped there as a ghost, but Miles is, fortunately, able to escape the one Peter had hoped to trap him in thanks to Dani’s sacrifice.
Nothing sad will ever touch you, ever again: Right before Miles agrees to allow Peter to possess him, Peter promises Miles that “nothing sad will ever touch you, ever again.” This mirrors how Olivia justifies her attempt to murder her children, Nell and Luke, telling Hugh that once they join her in death, “nothing bad will ever touch them, ever again.” Of course, as Hugh points out, nothing good will touch them either, a sentiment which also is true of what Peter intends for Miles.
Getting well: When Peter is stuck in his recurring memory of his mother showing up to blackmail him, she alludes to being “well” after leaving what we assume is a rehab center. While this Easter egg may be a bit of a stretch for some, seeing an addict manipulate a loved one while referencing getting well feels far too similar to what Luke did in Hill House to just be coincidence. Only Luke’s idea of “getting well” is to manipulate his sister into buying him heroin before going to rehab.
Oliver Jackson-Cohen, The Haunting of Bly Manor
The rest is confetti: After Dani invites Viola to possess her, freeing all the ghosts that have been trapped at Bly, Hannah asks Henry to pass on a goodbye to Owen. She ends the message by saying “the rest is just-” before getting cut off. We didn’t need Hannah to finish the sentence to know she is calling back to Nell’s final message to her family, saying “the rest is confetti.”
A nearly murderous dream: Many years after Dani invites Viola (Kate Siegel) in, the Lady in the Lake begins to slowly take her over. Dani resists as long as she can until one night she dreams of reaching up through the water and choking Jamie (Amelia Eve) to death, only to wake up straddling her wife with her hand around her throat. This is an echo of a moment in Hill House, when Olivia begins losing herself to the house and wakes up straddling her husband with a screwdriver to his throat. While both Olivia and Dani are able to resist killing their spouse, neither one of them live much longer than that, eventually succumbing to the calls to join Hill House and the Lady in the Lake.
The Haunting of Bly Manor and The Haunting of Hill House are available to stream on Netflix.
T’Nia Miller, Benjamin Ainsworth, Rahul Kohli, Amelie Smith, and Victoria Pedretti; The Haunting of Bly Manor Source