The Haunting of Bly Manor tells the tale of young Miles (Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) and Flora (Amelie Bea Smith) Wingrave, two siblings who lost their parents. The orphans are left in the care of a governess and the other caretakers at Bly. But fans have many questions about what happened to Miles and Flora’s father and mother, Dominic (Matthew Holn) and Charlotte (Alex Essoe) Wingrave. How did the parents die in the Netflix series The Haunting of Bly Manor?
[SPOILER ALERT: Spoilers ahead for The Haunting of Bly Manor.]
Henry Wingrave blames himself for the death of his brother and sister-in-law
Henry (Henry Thomas) is more than an uncle to Miles and Flora. He is Flora’s biological father. Henry was in love with Charlotte and had been having an affair with her for years. Before leaving for their fateful trip, Dominic pieced together the extramarital affair his wife was having with his brother, realizing Flora was too big to be a premature birth. Ultimately, Dominic banned his brother from Bly Manor.
When Henry received the news of Dominic and Charlotte’s death, guilt overcame him. Henry felt their death was his fault — they would have never taken a trip to India to save their marriage if he hadn’t slept with Charlotte. This guilt is what keeps him away from Bly, putting the responsibility to care for the children onto governesses Rebecca Jessel (Tahirah Sharif) and later, Dani Clayton (Victoria Pedretti).
Dominic and Charlotte Wingrave die in a ‘terrible accident’
Many Bly Manor fans were left confused about the Wingraves’ untimely death. In the show, it’s unclear as to what caused the accident.
What is clear is that the Wingraves died while they were abroad. In “The Jolly Corner,” Henry is forced to relive the moment he got the call about his brother and sister-in-law. When he answered the call, all that was made known is that Dominic and Charlotte were in an accident and their bodies could not be recovered.
Henry Thomas confirmed the ‘terrible accident’ that kills Charlotte and Dominic Wingrave is a plane crash
Some fans theorized that Dominic killed Charlotte for what she’d done, then took his own life. Others thought a plane crash was more plausible, considering they could not provide the family with their remains. One fan on Reddit thought the Wingraves might have been on Air India Flight 182, the flight bombed in 1985 by a terrorist group.
A fan who interacted with Thomas on social media got more clarity on the matter. “They died in a plane crash,” Thomas said in an Instagram message (via Reddit).
Why don’t Charlotte and Dominic Wingrave roam the grounds of Bly Manor?
Much like the spirits dreamed up in American Horror Story, the souls of the people who die on the grounds of Bly Manor are stuck there. As Flora explained to Dani, she has been looking for her parents since their tragic death but has only found the other spirits who roam Bly.
Because Charlotte and Dominic died off of the property, their spirits aren’t confined to Bly Manor. Flora is only able to see her parents when she is “tucked away” in memories.