The Haunting of Hill House was so much more than your typical ghost story. The horror series, based on Shirley Jackson's 1959 novel of the same name, delivered memorably creepy scenes, to be sure, but the really chilling thing about the Netflix show was its ability to seamlessly blend supernatural thrills with a thoughtful exploration of childhood trauma, grief, and strained family relationships.
After the success of Hill House, creator Mike Flanagan decided to renovate his haunted house show and turn it into an anthology series, The Haunting. The second season, called The Haunting of Bly Manor, will draw from Henry James' classic 1898 horror novella The Turn of the Screw.
Based on that source material alone, we can infer that The Haunting Season 2 will be every bit as frightening and smart as Hill House was. Let's take a look at everything we know so far about The Haunting of Bly Manor.
It will arrive in 2020. Though an exact release date has yet to be announced, The Haunting of Bly Manor is set to premiere on Netflix sometime next year.
You guessed it. The HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR, a new chapter in the Haunting series based on the works of Henry James, is coming in 2020. pic.twitter.com/nvhRBEfH2E— The Haunting of Hill House (@haunting) February 21, 2019
A number of Hill House stars will return for Season 2. Bly Manor is shaping up to be a reunion for Hill House's Crain family. Victoria Pedretti and Oliver Jackson-Cohen, who played the troubled twins Nell and Luke Crain in Hill House, have both boarded Bly Manor. They'll be joined by Kate Siegel, who played middle sibling Theo Crain, and Henry Thomas, who played the Crain family's patriarch, Hugh.
Catherine Parker, who played Poppy Hill, has also joined the cast.
In the new season, Pedretti will play the governess, Dani, who is charged with caring for two "very unusual children." Jackson-Cohen will portray Peter, "a charming fellow" who lives in the eponymous estate and makes "life very difficult" for everyone else.
Siegel, Thomas, and Parker's roles in Bly Manor are still being kept under wraps.
Nellie Crain may be gone, but Victoria Pedretti is returning to the Haunting universe in The Haunting of Bly Manor coming 2020! pic.twitter.com/uWoB5zdxKx— The Haunting of Hill House (@haunting) June 28, 2019
New faces are joining the cast. iZombie favorite Rahul Kohli has joined Bly Manor as a series regular. According to Deadline, Kohli's character is described as "a small town guy with a worldly mindset, who has returned to the country to take care of his ailing mother."
T'Nia Miller (Years and Years), Amelia Eve, and young actors Amelie Smith and Benjamin Ainsworth have also been added to the cast. Smith and Ainsworth, respectively, play Flora and Miles, the children under the care of Pedretti's governess. Miller and Eve's roles have not been announced.
Even more Hill House stars could appear. Carla Gugino, who starred as Olivia Crain in Hill House, has also hinted that she would be interested in returning for Bly Manor.
It'll be "scarier" than Hill House. While Hill House mostly kept the boo factor to a minimum, it sounds like Bly Manor will ramp up the spookiness quite a bit. Flanagan told Birth.Movies.Death, "We're looking at all the ghost stories of Henry James as the jumping-off point for the season, so it very much is a whole new deal. It's a cool way to expand on some of the things I loved about Season 1, but within the framework of a new story, without having to be restrained by the decisions we made last time. For Henry James fans, it's going to be pretty wild, and for people who aren't familiar with his work, it's going to be unbelievably scary. I already think it's much scarier than Season 1, so I'm very excited about it."
Prepare for another specter scavenger hunt in Season 2. One of the most interactive aspects of The Haunting of Hill House was the fact that fans could watch and re-watch scene after scene to spot all the ghosts hidden throughout the house, and Flanagan said a similar ghostly game will be afoot in Bly Manor.
We are already discussing how to up our hidden ghost game. https://t.co/rW4AW0LpF2— Mike Flanagan (@flanaganfilm) February 22, 2019
"That's part of the DNA of The Haunting for me — that old-school approach to the ghosts," he told Birth.Movies.Death. "In particular, we're having an enormous amount of fun talking about how to take some of the ideas from Season 1 about hidden ghosts and things like that, and find new gears for them this time. It'll be the same type of story, and we'll treat the ghosts very much the same way."
The Haunting of Hill House is available on Netflix now.