The Haunting of Bly Manor Timeline Explained

With spoilers, we piece together a complete chronological timeline of events for Netflix’s spooky new series…

Photo: Netflix

The following contains spoilers for every episode of The Haunting of Bly Manor.

The Haunting of Bly Manor’s dream-hopping conceit allows the dead and the possessed-living to jump from memory to memory, reliving key moments of their lives. Some memories, like Peter Quint’s encounter with his mother, are traumatic, but others, like Hannah’s first meeting with Owen, are sources of comfort. One thing the memories share is a disorienting effect on us as viewers, left to piece together the puzzle of exactly when everything is happening. 

You can’t count on the past, Owen memorably tells Hannah, but you can count on the below: a chronological timeline of when the events of The Haunting of Bly Manor took place, all the way from episode eight’s historical flashback to the eve of Flora’s wedding…

Mid-17th century – Viola and Perdita lose their father, Viola marries, has a child and becomes ill, but remains alive for several years, until Perdita strangles her and her body is hidden in Bly lake, whence she emerges to haunt the manor, kill those in her path and trap the spirits of her victims within the manor grounds for centuries.

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August 1978 – Henry and Charlotte Wingrave’s affair leads to Flora’s conception while Charlotte’s husband (and Henry’s brother) Dominic is away in Russia on business.

June 1979 – Flora is born, without Dominic or Henry knowing that Henry is her biological father.

Summer 1984 – The Wingraves arrive at Bly Manor for the school summer holiday. Housekeeper Mrs Grose meets Henry’s assistant Peter Quint for the first time and takes against him. Aged five, Flora sees her first ghost – the Faceless Boy, and gives him a doll’s face. Henry and Charlotte’s affair continues.

1984 – Owen is interviewed for the job of chef by Mrs Grose. It’s love at first sight for her.

June 1985 – Flora’s 6th birthday. ‘Uncle’ Henry buys her a dollhouse modelled on Bly Manor. Dominic works out that his wife and brother are having an affair and that he isn’t Flora’s biological father, and confronts Charlotte and Henry about it, quitting his partnership at the family law firm.

Summer 1985 – Charlotte and Dominic are killed in an unspecified incident while abroad in India, where they were retracing the steps of their honeymoon in the fallout of Charlotte and Henry’s affair.

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Summer 1986 – Rebecca Jessell takes up the post of au pair for Miles and Flora at Bly Manor. She falls for Henry’s assistant Peter Quint, who seduces her and then disappears for a fortnight. Blackmailed by his mother and abusive father, Peter steals money from Henry, returns to Bly and makes plans with Rebecca to run away to America the next day. That night, Peter is killed by Viola on her walk through the grounds, and accidentally learns that he can possess Miles’ body.  Some time passes while Peter works out the rules of being a Bly ghost, before he convinces Rebecca to allow him to possess her while ‘she’ kills herself by drowning in the lake.

Autumn/Winter 1986 – In the United States, Dani’s fiancé Eddie is killed in a traffic accident, moments after she comes out to him and breaks off their engagement. 

Winter 1986/Early 1987 – Dani flies to England.

January 1987 – Miles returns to boarding school after the winter break and contrives to be sent home for bad behaviour after receiving a letter from Flora begging him to return, with a picture of her crying next to the ghosts of Peter Quint and Miss Jessell. He’s dismissed early from the spring term after killing a dove and choking another boy. (This is all Miles, by the way, Peter Quint’s ghost can’t leave the grounds of Bly.)

Summer 1987 In London, Dani is interviewed for the au pair role by Henry Wingrave, and gets the position.

Day One – Hannah Grose is killed by Miles (possessed by Peter) pushing her into a well. Her ghost doesn’t realise that she’s dead. Dani arrives at Bly and goes exploring at night.

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Day Two – Miles and Flora lock Dani in Flora’s bedroom cupboard to stop her from encountering the ghost in the lake.

Day Three  Dani plays hide and seek with the children and sees Peter Quint’s face at the window.

Day Four – The police are called about the reappearance of the still-presumed-missing Peter Quint. After the children’s story-time performance, Owen receives a phone call and learns that his mother has died.

Gap of a few days  (If Owen’s mother is, say, a practicing Muslim, it would be traditional for her funeral to take place 24 hours after death, though it would be common for there to be a two-week gap in other traditions and religions. For the sake of the length of time Hannah’s decaying corpse spends at the bottom of that well, let’s assume it was a fast turnaround funeral). 

Day of the Funeral – Dani and Hannah don’t attend the funeral. In the evening, Bly’s staff gathers to drink wine around a bonfire. Dani and Jamie share their first kiss, and, after burning Eddie’s glasses on the bonfire, Dani finally exorcises his ghost.

Day after the Funeral – Miles (possessed by Peter) takes Hannah to look at her own dead body at the bottom of the well, to convince her that she’s dead. Flora, ‘tucked away’ in memories by Rebecca, wakes up confused on the lawn. That night, Dani and Jamie go to see the moonflower blooming, and spend their first night together.

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Two Days after the Funeral – Dani sees Rebecca’s ghost on Flora’s bed and follows a possessed Flora up to the attic, where she is knocked unconscious by Miles/Peter. Viola tries to kill Dani, and then attempts to take Flora with her into the lake but Dani saves Flora by inviting Viola to possess her, releasing all the Bly ghosts from their trap, including Hannah, who moves on and finally leaves Bly.

Autumn/Winter 1987  Dani and Jamie travel to America and find peace happily running a florist shop in Vermont. Henry takes Miles and Flora to live in America for a fresh start.

1992 – Dani and Jamie get engaged and travel to Paris to visit Owen at his bistro. They learn that Miles and Flora don’t have any memory of the events at Bly. A little time passes after their return home and Viola resurfaces in Dani. Shetries to strangle Jamie one night, so to protect her, Dani travels to Bly and drowns herself/Viola in the lake. Now when their ghost walks the grounds at night, it’s neutralised and “harmless as a dove.”

2005-ish (Flora looked in her mid-20s) A grown-up Flora gets married in Northern California. The night before the wedding, Jamie tells the guests a ghost story about Dani’s time at Bly. 

The Haunting of Bly Manor is streaming now on Netflix.