"The Altar of the Dead" is the fifth episode of The Haunting Of Bly Manor.
Whilst the narrator explains that things often go wrong at Bly Manor, and Hannah has a way of putting them back together, Owen and Hannah talk around the bonfire. Owen is drunk, and tells Hannah that they cannot continue to live in the then, but now must live in the now; if not, their memories fade. Owen points out that Hannah should stop worrying about everyone around her and focus on herself; he makes a point of saying that his mother’s death has been a relief for him, he can finally leave Bly Manor and return to Paris. When Hannah sounds saddened to hear that Owen could be leaving for Paris, he invites her to go with him.
The conversation between the two is interrupted, however, by a flashback to the day Owen was interviewed for his position at Bly Manor. During his interview, Charlotte Wingrave, the Wingrave children’s mother, can be seen busy in the background — the frightful pause from Hannah identifies that something could be aloof about Charlotte’s position and whereabouts. Hannah asks why Owen wants to work at Bly Manor and, much like Rebecca, he remarks that it would be a learning experience for him.
The flashback, however, is slightly jarred, and changes with a jump in time. The Wingrave’s have returned from vacation and Henry is seen at the manor, accompanied by Peter Quint, his driver. Hannah instantly doesn’t like Peter, who doesn’t aid with the family's luggage. Another jump in time occurs when Hannah enters the house, and it shows the moment her partner, Sam, left her and Charlotte invited her to sleep at their house for the night. Another jump shows Hannah witnessing Miles attempting to push Jamie from a ladder despite having the title of “golden boy”.
A slight return to the present bonfire occurs, before Hannah is thrown back into the flashbacks. Hannah finds herself on the day after Peter accused Rebecca of cheating on him, but Peter is adamant that it didn’t happen. Peter tells Hannah to live a little upon exiting the awkward conversation with Rebecca, but Hannah is too focused on the crack in the wall to listen. Hannah approaches and touches the crack in the wall, shifting the flashback to another moment. This time, Hannah finds Peter looking through Charlotte Wingrave’s vanity. He finds a 400 year old necklace presumed to be worth thousands, remarking that Henry has asked him to retrieve it. Unfortunately for Peter, Hannah is aware that he is stealing from the Wingrave’s. When she confronts him, Peter questions why she is so attached to the family, considering they are from two separate worlds, but Hannah doesn’t reply, simply notices the crack in the foundation once more.
Hannah is thrown back into the interview room with Owen. Owen begins asking questions, specifically about Miles and his behaviour, but before she can answer the flashback switches. In the chapel with Charlotte, Hannah is offered a live-in position at Bly Manor, but Hannah is sure that Sam will return to her one day. Charlotte is not convinced, however, and explains that her husband often leaves her alone for long periods of time. Another time-jump shows Hannah explaining to Rebecca that Peter is bad for her and will more than likely (ironically) cause her death.
Hannah’s memories are jarred from here. She finds herself in Rebecca’s bedroom the night Peter left her, but Hannah realises that this is not her memory. She hears how Peter tells Rebecca about their plan to get rich fast, but he does not openly admit to stealing money from the Wingraves. The situation becomes jarred and we witness as Peter warns the Wingrave children to return to bed that night. He is, however, snatched by a tall lady in a white dress and dragged to the restricted wing. He emerges moments later but it is not clear what the woman did to him. After Hannah, the kids and Peter himself watch the white woman dragging Peter’s body down the stairs, it becomes clear that Peter is a ghost and, upon touching Miles’ shoulder, Miles becomes his vessel. It becomes clear that Miles’ behaviour is actually characteristic of Peter. Moments later, Hannah witnesses as Peter’s body is dragged and dumped by the lake. Hannah, however, is confused, as neither of the memories did she experience herself.
A further flashback to the moments before Dani’s arrival at Bly Manor shows Peter pushing Hannah down the well, hence the fogginess she felt upon meeting Dani. It all becomes clear for Hannah herself, she too is a ghost trapped at Bly Manor. Her body remains, however, which allows her to interact with the living world much unlike the other ghosts on the property.
- Victoria Pedretti as Dani Clayton
- Oliver Jackson-Cohen as Peter Quint
- Amelia Eve as Jamie
- T'Nia Miller as Hannah Grose
- Rahul Kohli as Owen Sharma
- Tahirah Sharif as Rebecca Jessel
- Amelia Bea Smith as Flora Wingrave
- Benjamin Evan Ainsworth as Miles Wingrave
- Henry Thomas as Henry Wingrave
- The episode centres around Hannah and her life/history at Bly Manor.
- The title of the episode — and the episode itself — is loosely inspired by a 1895 Henry James short story.
- The episode reveals a startling fact: Hannah Grose is a ghost, killed by Peter Quint moments before Dani's arrival at Bly Manor.