The Haunting of Bly Manor Is Even Scarier Once You Notice These Ghosts Hiding in the Background
If you’re a little bit wary of jump scares, but still can’t go through Halloween season without subjecting yourself to, you know, spooky vibes, good news: The Haunting of Bly Manor might just be your show. Mike Flanagan’s follow-up to The Haunting of Hill House—featuring much of the same cast—debuted on Netflix last Friday, telling the story of an American woman who takes up a job as a caretaker for two kids at a mansion in the English countryside.
Wouldn’t you know it! Things don’t end up being that simple. Turns out there’s more than some spooky children at Bly Manor. Ghosts haunt these grounds. Some are easy to spot, like the woman in the lake who kills and drags the bodies down to the depths. But, what you might’ve missed was a whole party of hidden figures, creepy faces, and ghosts scattered throughout the show. (This is a trick Flanagan admitted to pulling in The Haunting of Hill House.)
So, if you’ve already finished the show, but still need a couple extra thrills, we’ve got you. Here’s a smattering of the photobombing ghosts from The Haunting of Bly Manor.
The Plague Doctor
Wouldn’t you know it, one of the scariest figures lurking around Bly Manor wears an old time-y medical mask. In The Haunting of Bly Manor’s finale, we learn the Lady in the Lake’s identity. It’s Viola Lloyd, who, when she was sick, was taken care of by a doctor with a creepier-than-hell, bird-like mask. (This was the 17th Century, mind you.) The plague doctor shows up way before Episode Eight, though. The most memorable appearances are him creeping behind Miles at dinner in Episode One, in Flora's room again in Episode One, lurking in the background during the cop scene in Episode Four, in the off-limits room near the end of Episode Four, and hiding in the main area about 12 minutes into the finale.
(Sad) Demon Child
Remember the cute lil’ guy hiding in the basement doll pile in Episode Two? The one who turns his head as Dani hustles back up the stairs? Well, it’s the same kid the Lady of the Lake killed. Turns out, he popped his head all over the place throughout the show. Our buddy makes his presence best known next to Jamie in Episode Four and next to the kitchen radio in Episode Five.
We've talked a little bit about Lloyd, the child-searching Lady of the Lake. But, before we even learn her identity in Episode Eight, we see her remains briefly at the bottom of the lake alongside Peter's, when Rebecca is being drowned while possessed.
Then, after the big reveal, she turns up throughout the finale in Dani's reflection.
Bly Manor’s Doomed Friends: Attic Ghost, Soldier, Priest
Of course, there's a whole, merry band of ghosts haunting this particular haunted manor. These ones are only really alluded to throughout the show, so jury's out on whether or not these are actually cameos or really, really dark shadows. First up, we have the solider, whom Flora dreams about in Episode Six, but we might see in Episode Three. (Spot him in the right-most doorway; look harder and you might just spot our old friend the Plague Doctor.) He appears pretty clearly during a flash of lightning during a conversation between Rebecca and Peter in Episode Three. Peek the hands under the dinner table in Episode Two, which might belong to the singing ghost woman? And... why not throw a priest in there! Near the beginning of Episode Six, peek the doorway on the left, and tell us that's not a priest's white collar.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.