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The Timeline Of ‘The Haunting Of Bly Manor,’ Explained

Updated February 10, 2021 26.9k views15 items

The Haunting of Bly Manor on Netflix has horrified viewers with its gothic tale of love beyond the grave, but one thing has left audiences scratching their heads - when does The Haunting of Bly Manor take place? Short answer: The 1980s, but that era only encompasses a small part of the Bly Manor timeline. To understand the full story of the ghosts haunting this English home, you have to go all the way back to the 17th century.

Creator Mike Flanagan tells the story of Bly Manor through a narrative interspersed with memories and flashbacks, all of which are being told in a story set in the not-so-distant past. If you need the Bly Manor timeline explained, you're not alone: it's a puzzle that's hard to untangle without multiple viewings, a white board, and a lot of red string.

Thankfully, you don't have to lose your mind trying to get to the bottom of the Bly Manor timeline because we've done it for you.

  • Photo: Netflix

    Viola Willoughby Marries To Keep Control Of Their Manor

    When: Episode 8, "The Romance of Certain Old Clothes"

    Mid 17th century

    At some point in the 1800s, the owner of Bly Manor passes away, leaving his two daughters, Viola and Perdita, with no recourse for keeping hold of the home. Viola marries her distant cousin, Arthur Lloyd, in order to maintain their residence. After giving birth to a daughter, Viola becomes ill and refuses her last rites, noting that she won't leave the premises.

    Viola is smothered by her sister, trapping her spirit in a chest full of her dresses and jewelry to be saved for her daughter. When Perdita opens the chest with plans on selling the goods, Voila's ghost chokes her to death. Arthur throws the chest into the lake on the grounds, turning Viola into the Lady of the Lake, who emerges from the water to walk through the manor on the hunt for her daughter, killing anyone who gets in her way.

  • Photo: Netflix

    Dani And Edmund Begin Their Relationship

    When: Episode 4, "The Way It Came"

    Sometime around 1973

    It's not entirely clear when young Dani Clayton and Edmund O'Mara begin their childhood friendship, but it looks to be sometime around 1973 or 1974, thanks to the poster for The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad that's on his wall. Aside from that clue, they look to be a little more than a decade younger than the grown-up Dani and Edmund, who break up in 1986.

  • Photo: Netflix

    Flora Wingrave Is Born Months Early

    When: Episode 6, "The Jolly Corner"


    Bly Manor is in a tizzy as Flora Wingrave is born much earlier than expected. At this point in the narrative, Dominic is unaware that his brother Henry has been having an affair with his wife Charlotte. It's most likely that Flora was conceived while Dominic was away on business in Ireland.

  • Photo: Netflix

    Owen Sharma Is Hired As A Cook At Bly Manor And Flora Makes A Ghostly Friend

    When: Episodes 5 & 6 "The Altar of the Dead," and "The Jolly Corner"


    At this point in the series, Owen Sharma is hired on as the cook at Bly Manor by Hannah Grose. She later admits that in their face-to-face interview, she fell in love with him. Owen explains that he moved back to the area to take care of his sick mother, but that he's not going to up and leave when she passes away.

    Not simultaneously, but in the same year, Flora faces her fear and gives the Victorian ghost child a mask to wear as its new face before telling it a story.