So I just finished the Haunting of Bly Manor and I really enjoyed it. The way it built the story lines, the folk tale aspect of it really struck a chord with me and I found myself becoming really attached to the story and characters. I think that, while not the most scary per se, it did build the horror in a very gradual, very effective way, that, at least for me, didn’t die until the final episode. Now I’m going to talk about my interpretation of the ending. So, spoilers I guess.
So that final shot. My understanding is that the general consensus is that this shot of Dani’s hand on Jamie’s shoulder shows that Dani is still watching over her from beyond the grave. I disagree, I think, or at least, what I took away from the series is that life should be for the living, you shouldn’t hold out hope for ghosts and the supernatural, because they aren’t real. This calls back to the fireside conversation after the Owen’s mother dies.
I interpret Dani’s end to be the death of the last ghost, there are no more dead people walking, she does not walk the halls, and she does not visit her wife. Here’s what I said just after I finished the series:
“and she is there, only in the quiet moments when she's hovering next to sleep, drifting into memories, she can feel her hand on her shoulder”
So that is my interpretation, not that the ghosts of the dead will watch over you, but that you should hold the memory of the ghosts close to you, treasure them, for their memory is strong. That’s why I think that Flora and Miles loosing their memories of what happened, while a net positive, is also tragic, the memory of these ghosts, of these people, of Ms. Jessel, of Hannah Grose especially, is gone for them.