‘The Haunting of Bly Manor’: Why Can Everyone See [SPOILER], But Not the Other Ghosts?
The Haunting of Bly Manor might be a gothic romance, but the tale is riddled with ghosts. T’Nia Miller, who plays Hannah Grose, has a good explanation as to why many characters can see certain ghosts but not the other spirits that inhabit Bly Manor.
[SPOILER ALERT: Spoilers for The Haunting of Bly Manor ahead.]
Hannah Grose is dead
Initially, Hannah comes off as a character who is often lost in her thoughts. But in episode 5, “The Altar of the Dead,” we learn Hannah’s mind wanders to memories of when she was alive because, in reality, she is dead.
Some fans took notice of Hannah’s ghostly behavior from the start. Hannah’s spacey tendencies weren’t the only clue to her status. If ever, Hannah rarely ate or drank anything because she no longer required food or drink to stay alive.
Hannah’s death came about tragically at the hands of Peter Quint (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), who was possessing Miles Wingrave’s (Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) body at the time. The moment Hannah fell down the well, broke her neck, and died was the same moment Dani (Victoria Pedretti) arrived at Bly Manor.
Hannah Grose seems to be the only ghost the others can see at Bly Manor
Just as there were in The Haunting of Hill House, The Haunting of Bly Manor contains ghosts. Some are hidden in plain sight, like Hannah. Others have a more traditional approach, roaming the shadows of the grounds.
Everyone at Bly Manor seems able to see Hannah. However, not everyone can see the soldier ghost or the ghosts created by Viola Willoughby (Kate Siegel). Flora (Amelie Bea Smith) seems to be the only one capable of seeing and communicating with these ghosts, as replicas of them reside in her dollhouse.
Did the others at Bly see these ghosts but not think anything of them, like a young Stevie (Paxton Singleton) in Hill House? Or were these ghosts genuinely hidden in plain sight, much like Hannah?
Hannah Groses’s determination to care for the ones she loves allows her to manifest a physical appearance
While it may seem like many of the ghosts at Bly Manor were unable to be seen by the living, it could be that they didn’t feel the need to be seen. Unlike Hannah, who felt a purpose and connection to Bly’s living, the other ghosts were simply caught in the purgatory that Viola Willoughby had created there.
“[Hannah’s] determination [to care for the ones she loves] allows her to have a physical manifestation to be able to do and touch things in the real world and imagine what outfit she’s going to wear that day,” Miller explained to TV Line. She said Hannah is the definition of the modern example of a woman.
“I think it’s that real sense of the patriarch we actually have created, where [modern] women — we work, as well as we’re mothers,” she said. “We have a career. We are so driven that we don’t often have time to think of ourselves.”
T’Nia Miller believes only Hannah Grose’s inner circle can see her
For Miller, Hannah’s determination to care for the Wingrave children that allows her to manifest her human appearance. “No, [Miles and Flora are] not her children, but as far as she’s concerned, they are her children,” Miller said. “This is her family, and she’s like a lioness. She will fight to the death, literally, Hannah, goes there for these kids.”
For Miller, Hannah’s circle wasn’t limited to the Wingrave children.
“[Her circle includes] Owen the chef, Jamie the gardener, and anyone who comes into that,” she continued. “You could be there for two minutes or have been there for 10 years. Once you’re a part of her inner circle, she’s fighting for you.”
Stream The Haunting of Bly Manor on Netflix now.