Everything we know so far about The Haunting of Hill House season 2 – AKA The Haunting of Bly Manor

Jack Shepherd
The Haunting of Hill House season 2

Ever since The Haunting of Hill House reached Netflix, television producers have failed to release anything that's even close to being as scary. Yes, M. Night Shyamalan's Servant tried to give Mike Flanagan's show a run for its money, but – in the end – the two could not compare. As a result, we're eagerly awaiting The Haunting of Hill House season 2, officially titled The Haunting of Bly Manor.

Although the coronavirus has heavily impacted multiple Netflix shows – including Stranger Things season 4 and The Witcher season 2 – The Haunting of Hill House season 2 wrapped filming a few weeks before the pandemic. Post-production will likely be affected, but the series will hopefully still arrive this year. 

And what a series this should be. While The Haunting of Hill House season 2 won't follow the Crain family – the showrunners are taking an anthology approach – it will adapt the famous ghost story The Turn of the Screw, a chilling tale from 1898. Need to know more? You're in luck, as below we go through everything you need to know about the show. We even spoke to Flanagan about the upcoming series! Prepare to be scared. 

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The Haunting of Hill House season 2's title meaning

Wave goodbye to Steve, Shirley, Theo, Nell, and Luke, because The Haunting of Hill House season 2 will centre on The Haunting of Bly Manor. As revealed in the above Instagram post, we can expect all-new characters (but not an all-new cast – more on that later).

That voice you're hearing in the above teaser? “The terrace and the whole place, the lawn and the garden beyond it, all I could see of the park, were empty with a great emptiness,” is a quote from chapter four of The Turn of the Screw, the horror novella by Henry James set in the English estate of Bly Manor. 

The Turn of the Screw, on which the new series is based, tells the story of a governess who moves to Bly Manor to take care of a man’s niece and nephew – Miles and Flora – after their parents died. Things turn sour when the governess starts to see ghosts of the previous governess Miss Jessel and her lover Peter Quint around the property. As to now spoil anything about the novel's ending, just know that the debates rage on in literary circles about its ambiguity. 

However, while the series will be predominantly based The Turning of the Screw, Flanagan has told GamesRadar+ that the new series will also take in aspects of other stories by Henry James. "The thing I have access to, that no other adaptation of The Turn of to the Screw has, is the rest of Henry James’ ghost stories. I get to use all of them," he said. "The Turn of the Screw has been adapted so many times. We know how perfectly it fits into a feature film format. We're doing a whole season of television. The Turn of the Screw is only one of a dozen stories that we're telling. All Henry James; all thematically linked. 

"I think of Turning of the Screw as the backbone of this season – the through-line that carries us from beginning to end. But we get to go off into The Jolly Corner and The Romance of Certain Old Clothes, and so many other of these wonderful ghost stories that people haven't seen adapted before. It's all wrapped up in what seems to be familiar, but that familiarity goes away really early in the first episode. It says, 'We're off on a whole other road.'"

Flanagan added that there's "no upside" to doing a straight adaptation of Turn of the Screw. "It’s been really exciting to have this much bigger canvas, because you're not going to do better than The Innocents anyway," he continues, referencing the 1961 movie based on the same novel.

The Haunting of Hill House season 2 release date – when can we expect The Haunting of Bly Manor?

All we know, so far, is that The Haunting of Bly Manor is coming in 2020. When exactly that year? We really have very few hints. The Haunting of Hill House was released on Netflix in October – and many fans expect the second series to be released by the streaming service around the same time, perhaps even on Halloween itself.

What we do know, is that the series has wrapped production. The showrunner Mike Flanagan confirmed the news, saying: "Congratulations to the cast and crew, the familiar faces and the new, and congratulations to the filmmakers who came on board to make this season their own." This hopefully means the show's ETA will not be impacted by the Coronavirus, though this remains to be seen.

Oliver Jackson-Cohen, who played Luke Crain in season 1 and returns for Bly Manor in a different role, has teased the upcoming series. "The hard thing is, is The Haunting of Hill House was – this makes me sound like arrogant – such a brilliant show," he said. "I really loved it. It was such an incredible story, what Mike had done. And so the hard thing was, how's he going to kind of make a second one and it be equally as brilliant?

"And he has, which is just phenomenal. We finished shooting. ...I left The Invisible Man shoot to go and start on Bly Manor, and it's quite the story. He's so clever, Mike Flanagan."

The Haunting of Hill House season 2 cast and directors

Oliver Jackson-Cohen and Victoria Pedretti, who played Luke Crain and his younger twin Nell in the first season of The Haunting of Hill House, are back! Yes, despite the series being an anthology, the pair will be returning. However, they will be playing different characters. 

Netflix has revealed that Jackson-Cohen will play someone named Peter, “a resident of Bly Manor, who makes life very difficult for everyone who lives there.” Pedretti will play the governess, Dani, who "looks after two very unusual children." The actress announced the news in an instagram video, which you can watch below.

Pedretti later told Nylon in an interview: "I'm really excited about it. In some ways, it is [more intense] than season one. It's its own thing. Even though it's the second season of a show that I've been in before, almost everything is different."

Speaking to GamesRadar+, series creator Mike Flanagan spoke about recasting the same actors in new roles. "It will be a totally new story," Flanagan confirmed when asked about bringing them back. "It was important to me that we told that story to its conclusion in the first season. I didn't want to cynically repeat ourselves, and the actors didn’t want to either. 

"This frees us up because, in theory, in this anthology format, every season can be its own exploration of another classic piece of horror literature. Actors can stay or go depending on their preference and their availability. That opens it up to new cast and new chances for existing actors. I love that format. It would be quite a disappointment to have to revisit the Cranes. It would rob them of the closure they got at the end of that season."

With regards who will be directing season 2, Flanagan, who directed all episodes of season 1, will be handing the torch to a bunch of new horror directors. He wrote on twitter that Yolanda Ramke and Ben Howling (Netflix's Cargo), Ciarán Foy (Sinister 2), Liam Gavin (A Dark Song), and Axelle Carolyn (Tales of Halloween) will all helm episodes. 

That's about all we know about the secretive The Haunting of Hill House season 2. However, if you're looking for more terrifying tales from Flanagan then you're in luck.  He has a new Netflix series, titled Midnight Mass, on the way. It will revolve around an “isolated island community” who experience “miraculous events and frightening omens” after a mysterious young priest joins them.

There's plenty to watch before the Haunting of Hill House season 2 land. Check out our list of best new TV shows coming soon.