Mike Flanagan is up to his old tricks again in Netflix’s The Haunting of Bly Manor. The nine-part series, based on the works of Henry James, stars veterans from 2018’s The Haunting of Hill House, including Victoria Pedretti, Henry Thomas, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, and, oh yeah, a bunch of hidden ghosts. Flanagan and his writers are yet again telling a story of a haunted mansion, which means they’re once again populating their sets with shadowy spirits, sometimes obvious to the naked eye but often so hard to spot that viewers are likely to miss it the first time.
For the first few episodes of The Haunting of Bly Manor, there are ghost sightings around every corner, almost as if our protagonist, Dani, is on a fun-house ride. But the series pulls back midway through the season, only including them sporadically in the back half. Still, there are dozens of sightings — many of them by one particularly active Bly Manor ghost — that viewers might have missed. That’s why we’re here.
Note: For the most part, we’re skipping over “unhidden” ghosts like Peter Quint or the glowing eyes that Dani sees repeatedly in reflections.
Spoiler warning: Since the identities of some of these ghosts aren’t revealed until later in the season, there will be minor spoilers from the beginning.
The Ghost Behind the Stairs
Any shot of stairs in a show like Bly Manor is going to have viewers peeking under them to see what’s hiding, and Flanagan plays along right from the very beginning. As Flora gives Dani a tour of the house, an out-of-place hat with a dark figure underneath can be seen to the right of the staircase. The figure will return regularly in the first few episodes and is revealed to be a plague doctor who was murdered at the house decades earlier.
Hiding in the Mirror
After that little creeper Miles opens the door on a changing Dani, her focus (and that of the viewer) is naturally on the smooth-talking young man, when she should probably be looking in the mirror again. If she did, she’d realize that the same hatted figure by the stairs is now lurking in the corner of her room. Well, at least in the reflection.
When the gang sits down for dinner at Bly Manor for the first time, the show drops the first hidden ghost that might be excused as something else if there weren’t an establishing shot. Flanagan has a habit of establishing an empty space, cutting away, and then putting a shape or figure in that space. The first shot of Miles at the table has nothing over his right shoulder, and there’s nothing there in repeated wide shots. So what is that shape in what looks like a dirty outfit as they discuss Owen’s sick mother? It could be a continuity error, but even those look ghostly on Bly Manor.
The Doctor Comes to Bedtime
The ghost that will be revealed as the plague doctor who died decades earlier is active for the midsection of the series premiere, and he can be spotted here in the frame, just behind Dani, as she looks into the mirror and sees the glowing eyes of the “unhidden” ghost that haunts her.
The Doctor Wants Your Attention
As Flora plays in her room and Dani puts Miles to bed, the plague doctor is just hanging out in the bathroom that connects the children’s rooms, waiting to scare anyone who happens to see him. This is another one in which he’s only briefly there in certain shots, removed in other close-ups and wide shots. That’s one tricky ghost doctor.
The Doctor in the Bathroom
Seconds after the shot of the plague doctor in the background, as Dani crosses through the bathroom, we get our most explicit shot of him so far in the mirror. This is the first time in which it is easy to make out his long distinctive nose.
The Doctor Gets Around
Dani chitchats with Flora and then goes to pick up a doll that was under her dresser. As Flora gets all creepy kid and tells her quietly to “put her back,” the doctor’s fuzzy shape can be made out in the mirror behind her. Man, that doctor is busy tonight.
Can’t Anyone See the Doctor?!?!
In the final shot of what’s basically an extended “spot the doctor” sequence, it’s easy to see his creepy weird nose behind Dani in the moonlight coming through the window.
Is That You?
On her first night in the house, Dani has trouble sleeping and goes to the kitchen to make tea. She hears a creaking sound in the hall and goes to investigate, and Bly Manor drops what is really one of its least-hidden ghosts, once one knows what to look for. The shot of Dani coming into the hall is partially blocked by something, and that something has a long, pointy nose much like the plague doctor who has been active all night.
It Sure Is
The next shot makes it clear this is no modern Bly décor, as the plague doctor can again be explicitly seen over Dani’s right shoulder. Guess this guy can’t get to sleep either.
Not So Hidden
Okay, we agreed not to include “unhidden” ghosts, but we made an exception for this shot, which ends the saga of the plague doctor’s busy evening at Bly Manor. As Dani goes to leave with her poorly made tea, the establishing shot through the plague doctor from a minute ago comes into focus, and the figure with the odd nose turns to watch her leave. What’s funny is how many viewers might have missed the fact they’ve seen this figure in some form so many time before this shot.
The Doctor is Back!
Even with his busy night, the plague doctor is still fascinated with Bly Manor’s newest resident the next morning. After Miles tries to scare Dani and Flora with a spider, there is a conversation between the creepy kid and his new au pair. As she leans down to talk to him, the doctor can be spotted several times over her left shoulder, and he comes and goes in various shots, as Flanagan ghosts have a tendency to do.
As Miles and Flora run back to the house, Dani spots the ghost of Peter Quint on a balcony, and the viewer’s eye is naturally drawn there too. But there’s a hidden ghost to match the explicit one. Yep, it’s that damn doctor again, standing left of center frame in a doorway by the car.
The doctor keeps getting around, and this is his most explicit form in the first episode. In fact, it’s so obvious that it almost looks silly to see the doctor just hanging out in the fireplace left of frame as Dani comes into the kitchen. He’s begging people to see him! He’s not there in the next shot with the fireplace behind Dani but returns in a wide shot two minutes later at 38:10.
Dani blows off an increasingly creepy Miles as he talks about games and goes to comfort Flora, telling her about the importance of imagination. In this shot, there’s definitely a shape over her left shoulder in the hall that looks like it could be the doctor. It might be easier to write this off as nothing if the doctor hadn’t been the most active ghost in TV history up to this point. It’s probably him again.
Back in the Mirror
Dani kicks the creepy doll of the lady in the lake, freaking Flora out, and the mirror gets that blurry image yet again, just like earlier in the episode. It could be nothing, but it does look at least vaguely like that hyperactive ghost doctor.
And Back in the Bathroom
Miles comes into Flora’s room to see what’s up and ask Dani to get the fan he needs to sleep. The good doctor can be quite easily spotted over his shoulder.
Back in the Hallway
After her traumatic event in the cupboard, being locked in by Flora and Miles, Dani leaves the kids behind and catches her breath in the hallway. The house’s friendly ghost doctor can be spotted at the end of the hall, showing off his nose in the moonlight.
On the Grounds
The doctor is on the grounds of Bly Manor after Dani follows the muddy footprints outside. She’s clearly looking for something but doesn’t notice the plague-doctor ghost on the left of the frame, hiding in the fog.
The Doctor Is in the Basement
This one could be a trick of the eye, but when Dani looks down into the basement after Miles sends Flora’s doll on a ride down the laundry chute, there’s a shadow that looks suspiciously familiar with its broad hat and long, pointy nose.
Debate among yourselves if this one counts as “hidden,” but it’s so quick that it’s easy to miss if you’re not looking in the right place, or look away even for a second. After Dani leaves the basement, the camera lingers on a creepy collection of dolls in center frame. Then one of them in the center moves. It’s the first appearance of a kid ghost that will now take center stage in the parade of hidden ghosts, almost as if the doctor has clocked out and she has clocked in.
Dani comes down to the main floor and crosses the foyer. The ghostly child with the doll’s face can easily be spotted at the end of the hall. The Bly Manor ghosts don’t seem to care if it’s day or night. They’re active 24/7.
Under the Table
The episode flashes back to why Miles was kicked out of boarding school, which means no ghosts for a bit, but picks up again when Owen and Hannah are sitting in the kitchen. Look closely and you can spot small hands, probably those of the girl who is now in charge of hidden-ghost duty, creeping out from under the table and onto a chair in right of frame.
In the Garden
The good doctor is back! As Dani gives Julie a break and forces Miles and Flora to do some of the gardening, Owen brings the group some drinks. Give one to the creepy plague doctor hanging out in the background!
The Doc Goes Back to the Hallway
After Dani has a ghost-reflection panic attack, she flees Bly Manor and has her first major moment with Jamie, who comforts the terrified au pair. After their conversation, Jamie heads into the house and there is one of those long shots down the hall that has something hidden at the end. The doctor is pretty easy to make out if you’re looking for him.
The kids ask Dani to play hide-and-seek at night in a haunted house, and she inexplicably says yes. After the kids find their spots, Dani comes down the stairs, crossing the foyer. The king of staying hidden, the plague doctor, can pretty easily be spotted in the background.
An episode heavy on flashbacks — to fill in the history of Peter Quint and Rebecca Jessel — means getting away from the hidden-ghost activity at Bly Manor. However, a sequence early in the episode leads to multiple sightings. The first shot even has two! Directly behind Dani, one can spot the plague doctor’s unmistakable long nose. There also appears to be something in the shadows far right of frame that looks like the first shot of the soldier ghost who will make a more prominent appearance later in this scene.
Aha, there’s our newest ghost! As anyone who has seen the whole series can tell you, each hidden ghost has a meaning, and their history is eventually revealed. One of the soldiers who died at Bly Manor is haunting the place pretty explicitly, visible behind Mrs. Grose in this shot.
The Gang Is All Here
Almost as if they are making fun of a police officer who can’t see what is right in front of his face, there’s a third ghost in this sequence! Blink and you’ll miss the side of the dress worn by doll-face girl by the door as the officer turns to leave. She’s barely there, but it’s undeniably her.
She’s Come Inside
The doll-face ghost that was basically holding the door for the officer is around the corner and down the hall in another blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shot as Dani rounds the corner.
The Soldier in the Chapel
This one is hard to make out, but a wide shot of the chapel as Jamie and Dani enter it at night reveals nothing against the wall on their left, but a figure that looks like the shadow of the soldier ghost can be seen in this shot on left of frame.
The Flashback Ghost
While most ghosts are in the present-day timeline, Bly Manor didn’t start being haunted when Dani got there. In a flashback to Peter and Rebecca in the kitchen, the soldier ghost can easily be spotted right of frame, behind Miss Jessel. In fact, it’s illuminated so much by a lightning strike at one point that this barely qualifies as “hidden.”
The Girl in the Shadows
The girl with the doll’s face returns to watch Dani as she comes downstairs, obviously visible in the shadows, what looks like mere feet from the show’s protagonist.
The Doctor’s Gear
Blink and you’ll miss the doctor’s hat through the archway in the kitchen as Hannah talks to Owen.
Kid in the Kitchen
As Peter Quint leaves Mrs. Grose and Owen in the kitchen, the doll-face girl can be seen hiding in the corner of the room, near the doorway that Peter is headed through. That kid sure is tricky.
A New Friend!
The fourth episode introduces a fourth ghost to join the one with the doll’s face, the plague doctor, and the soldier. As Dani confuses Owen for Peter Quint, everyone gathers in the foyer. Back where the soldier ghost has been spotted before, a figure in period clothing can easily be seen. Just look for the white leggings.
Hat and Mask
At this point in the series, the hidden ghosts become fewer and fewer, and the second one this episode pops up after Dani walks through the house with a bottle of wine. As she passes a room, a familiar hat and nose can be spotted in the background, although they almost look like they’re sitting on a desk, as if even the ghost of the plague doctor has to take them off every now and then.
By the Fire
Hill House and Bly Manor have a habit of popping hidden ghosts into emotional moments, so it makes sense there’s a mysterious figure in the background as Dani stands by the fire at the end of this episode. It looks like the soldier again.
A New Friend in the Chapel
The ghost in period clothing that appeared last episode has moved to the chapel. Look closely in this wide shot of the Wingrave clan arriving at Bly Manor and it can be spotted in the doorway in the distance.
The Haunted Foyer
The foyer of Bly Manor may be the most haunted room in the house. In this shot, there are two! The doll-face kid is just right of center, the face visible next to a blue lamp. But keep looking right and a new hidden ghost will appear, another period-looking figure, later revealed to be the vicar who was killed at the home.
The centerpiece of Bly Manor gets away from hidden ghosts for a bit but then drops one that barely counts as hidden. Hiding in the same corner she was in when Peter Quint left the room but now standing, the doll-face kid can clearly be seen center frame as Mrs. Grose shares a story with Owen in their deeply haunted kitchen.
Who the Heck Is That?
An episode that spends a lot of time away from Bly Manor means fewer ghosts, but there’s a terrifying shape just outside of Flora’s room in the bathroom again as Dani and Mrs. Grose talk closer to the doorway to the hall. It could be a new ghost, because it looks larger and more menacing, almost like someone in a Michael Myers costume.
Don’t Go in the Attic
After spotting Rebecca and Peter, a panicked Dani chases Flora into the attic. One of the most unsettling shots appears as it looks like two ghosts are watching over the stairs, one on each side.
Is That You?
This one could be the toughest call on the list. At the end of the hall, in the forbidden wing of Bly Manor, a shrouded figure can be seen that’s not there in other shots of the same location. And it kind of looks like it has a foot if you follow the shape down to the bottom. Maybe it’s just a mirror with a sheet on it, but maybe not.
Most of the hidden ghosts become explicit in the final two episodes, meaning there are none that qualify — unless we’re missing something. Let us know in the comments.
Credit: We kept track of as many ghosts as we could find, but credit to Screen Rant and GameSpot for filling in a couple blanks.