On the 26th night, the saga of ‘The Haunting of Bly Manor’ unfolds its dark origins in Episode 8: “The Romance of Certain Old Clothes”, earning a chilling score of 8.5/10 on my scare scale. This episode finally unveils the ghostly narrative binding the haunted halls of Bly Manor.
Let’s Dive In
Centuries past, Bly Manor housed the Willoughby family. Upon the patriarch’s demise, his daughters Viola and Perdita inherited the estate. Viola’s marriage to a distant cousin, Andrew, stirs envy in Perdita’s heart, laying the first stones of a tragic tale. As the birth of Viola and Andrew’s daughter arrives, dark clouds loom over Viola. Contracting a fatal ailment dubbed ‘the lung’, aka tuberculosis.
Love and Betrayal
Quarantined in what is now Dani’s room, Viola witnesses her sister and husband’s growing affection, which notably culminates one night by the fireplace. As Viola’s health deteriorates her impeding demise prompts a desperate act by Perdita, who smothers Viola to death. Viola’s last wish was for her belongings to be inherited by her daughter, secured in a chest opened by no one but her.
In spirit, Viola lingers in her death chamber as the living struggle financially. Yielding to desperation, Perdita unlocks the forbidden chest seeking to sell Viola’s valuables. Here, she’s strangled by ghostly hands emerging from the darkness, marking Viola’s first vengeful act.
The narrative follows the chest’s descent to the lake’s bottom by Andrew and the daughter, leading to the slow erasure of Viola’s face and her eternal roaming in search of her daughter. The gruesome fate of those she encounters reveals the origin of the numerous spirits haunting the manor.
“The Romance of Certain Old Clothes” uncovers the root of Bly Manor’s haunting, delivering a story rich in tragedy, betrayal and ghostly vengeance. Through a web of past events, the episode connects the dots to the present-day hauntings. Heightening the eerie atmosphere as the story nears its conclusion.
Hermantown boy living in the desert.