As it progresses, The Haunting of Bly Manor reveals itself to be a tragedy wrapped in horror, sharing elements of family drama with The Haunting of Hill House. From the very first episode, the au pair Dani Clayton is haunted by a mysterious man with flashing glasses. She sees him whenever she's around a mirror, thus she frantically covers up every mirror she encounters. His unsettling presence is terrifying at first, but we learn his story is quite tragic. The show drops a bombshell around its midpoint: the creepy man, in fact, is Edmund (Eddie) O'Mara, Dani's childhood sweetheart and former fiancé.
The fourth episode opens with a sweet flashback to Dani's childhood as she tries on Eddie's glasses. Many years later, Dani has a ring on her finger, and she and Edmund attend an engagement party of sorts. There, Edmund tells the story of how Dani dared him to kiss her when they were kids and how he was worried that he'd get her pregnant, so he asked her to marry him. He asks her over and over again throughout the years until she finally says yes.
But doubt casts over Dani's face as Edmund professes his love for her. Trouble begins when Edmund's mom gives her an old dress during the party. When Dani gets fitted for the dress, she feels sparks for the seamstress (as she does for Jamie the gardener). Her next dinner with Edmund is tense. Edmund picks up that something is wrong, wondering if she wants to get married at all. She reaches out to him and tells him she can't. In the car, Dani tells Edmund she had wanted to stick it out and not hurt him, hoping she'd eventually feel how she was supposed to. Distraught, Eddie exits the car. Immediately, a moving truck strikes him, and its headlights create a flashing light in his glasses. He soon dies after arriving at the hospital.
Overwrought with guilt, Dani sees Edmund and his flashing glasses as she's trying to pull herself together in the hospital bathroom. He's not really there — but he continues haunting her anyway. After Edmund's death, his mother stops by to bring Dani food and her late son's glasses. She invites Dani to dinner, not realizing Dani is all packed up to go to Europe.
Edmund's presence continues to haunt Dani, who brings the glasses with her on her journey abroad. Even when she wants to move on with Jamie, it's impossible for her to stop seeing him at Bly Manor, which already has its fair share of ghosts. At the end of the fourth episode, Dani finally confronts this tragedy and tosses the glasses into a bonfire.