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The Creepy Connection Between The Haunting Of Bly Manor And Evil

There's a saying that goes, "every dog will have his day." In today's TV landscape, you could swap out the dog with the devil, and it would be just as true. 

For the last several years, the small screen has proven that the devil and occult sell, thanks to TV devilishly large catalog of fallen-angel themed content. From Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Supernatural to Lucifer and American Horror Story, we can't get enough of the dark prince and his mythology, biblical and pop-cultural. Now, it seems that entertainment has become so saturated with tales of Lucifer and his demons that at least two popular shows featuring the cast-out angel have drawn on the same bible story to develop their narrative universes. 

Redditor u/Tehni caught that the tale of the demons and the pigs, otherwise referred to as "Legion," has been used as a plot device in both CBS' supernatural crime series Evil and Netflix horror drama The Haunting of Bly Manor. (That's on top of both series using puzzles to engage their fans.) In the New Testament, the gospels of Mark, Matthew, and Luke, tell a tale of an exorcism performed by Jesus. In it, the son of God happens upon a man — or in the case of Mark, two men — after arriving onshore in a boat. That man had been living in the tombs and, after breaking free of his shackles, wondered them and mountains night and day. Jesus recognized him as an "unclean spirit," and in their meeting, the man throws himself to the ground and begs to know what Jesus wants with him, saying, "I beg You before God not to torture me!" 

When Jesus asks his name, the man reveals it to be Legion, telling him, "for we are many." Fearful of being sent from the region, the demons beg Jesus to cast them into a herd of bigs feeding on a nearby hill. He grants their request, and the unclear spirits leave the man for the pigs, which all eventually rush to the sea and drown. 

Evil and The Haunting of Bly Manor deploy the tale of the 60 swine differently

While both series feature the scripture, they weave it into their narrative in creatively different ways. In Evil, the legion is discovered around episode five by Dr. Kristin Bouchard (Katja Herbers) and Mike Coulter's priest-in-training David Acosta from a woman possessed by a demon. When another woman, who claims to receive messages from God, reveals that a "massacre of the innocents" is on the way — a reference to the Bible tale in which all male infants under the age of two are slaughter by King Herod to prevent the maturation of the messiah — the duo soon find themselves trying to decipher a map laying out a hierarchy of demons. In possession of The Vatican, which is uninterested in handing it over, the two snap photos of the map, and as the first season unfolds, realize that they're frequently coming face to face with members of Legion in their cases. 

In The Haunting of Bly Manor, the biblical tale of the "Miracle of the Gadarene Swine" takes a more metaphorical bend, underscoring one of the series biggest questions. The season follows au pair Dani, hired to work at a remote estate and care for two children. One of those children is Miles, a young boy who hears from his teacher, Father Stack, about the story of possessed swine. After it's recounted to him, the young boy questions whether the man who was once possessed permitted the demons to enter his body, as the demons had to request to possess the pigs. In this scenario, the story of Legion isn't about literal demons, but the dynamics of the Bly Manor ghosts and their ability to possess the home's inhabitants.  

The plots in which Evil and Bly Manor deploy the gospel — or other pop culture mentions in Mass Effect, Twelfth Night, The Exorcist, and Angel — are distinct enough that only an eagle-eyed fan might notice. But the well-known tale of possession is unmistakable and the perfect vessel for exploring darker behavior of the human — and demonic — variety.