‘The Midnight Membership:’ That Ending Defined and All Your Questions Answered


Identical to Mike Flanagan’s different horror reveals, The Midnight Membership is a multilayered ghost story laden with element. Apart from Easter egg references to Flanagan’s earlier works, the primary season of the Netflix collection uncoils an unpredictable thriller with a satisfying ending. It then leaves us clamoring for extra with that tantalizing cliffhanger.

Let’s focus on that ending and the way all the key questions wrap up within the spoiler-packed part beneath.

Warning: Spoilers forward.

What are the origins of the Paragon cult?

The origins of the Paragon cult are all recorded in a diary that was saved by the cult chief’s disillusioned 16-year-old daughter,  Athena. Athena wrote that the commune was began in 1931 by her mom, Regina Ballard. After Ballard’s husband died of pneumonia and her son of polio, she started a brand new age well being philosophy — “a naturopathic different to the medical institution.” However this philosophy modified for the more severe due to Ballard’s obsession with 5 Greek goddess sisters all related to therapeutic. She created the Paragon cult, their hourglass emblem drawn from Historic Greece’s symbols for Earth and air.

Ultimately, Ballard and the cult delved into historic rituals involving blood sacrifices. However, in 1940, certainly one of these rituals went badly flawed. All the opposite grownup members died from poisoning. Ballard was the one survivor, claiming she collected the flawed substances for his or her tea. When the police found her, she not had hair. A tattoo of the hourglass image was seen on the again of her neck.

After the Paragon tragedy, Ballard was despatched to a psychological establishment. Her home remained empty till it was bought by Dr. Georgina Stanton in 1966. Whereas we see present cult chief Julia Jayne go to Ballard within the ’60s, it is not clear whether or not Ballard continues to be alive in the course of the ’90s.

Igby Rigney as Kevin standing in an elevator behind Iman Benson as Ilonka, who's holding a lit match and crouching down over strange markings on a basement floor

Igby Rigney as Kevin and Iman Benson as Ilonka within the creepy basement utilized by the Paragon cult.

Eike Schroter/Netflix

What’s Dr. Stanton’s true id?

Simply when there is a sense of acceptance and calm inside Brightcliffe Hospice, Dr. Stanton reveals within the closing cliffhanger scene that she — like most of the different most cancers sufferers — is bald and wears a wig. Besides, when she takes her wig off for the evening, a tattoo of an hourglass will be seen on the again of her neck, identical to Regina Ballard.

Is Dr. Stanton a part of the Paragon cult?

Identical to the various tales advised in The Midnight Membership, you’ll be able to interpret the that means behind Dr. Stanton’s look in a number of methods.

It is fairly seemingly Stanton was as soon as a believer within the Paragon’s strategies, even when she does not presently observe them. She was undoubtedly conscious of the Paragon, having acquired their books and teachings after buying the home. Possibly Stanton tried to make use of the Paragon ritual on her sick son, Julian.

However Julian is seemingly not alive, so the tactic did not work. In a dialog with Ilonka after Julia breaks in, Stanton labels the Paragon’s methods as “sick.” Now not a believer within the Paragon methodology, she hid her connections to the cult. Possibly she’s nonetheless bald as a result of she too was identified with an sickness and has accepted that the one motive she’s nonetheless alive is due to luck. “The factor about Julia and different folks I’ve met over time is … they can not settle for that they have been simply fortunate,” she tells Ilonka.

Possibly, after her son died, Stanton fostered real good intentions behind beginning the hospice, offering a spot the place the terminally sick can “concentrate on residing” whereas giving herself function within the course of.

A girl standing behind hooded figures screaming in a basement

Sandra (Annarah Cymone) is not the one one to have ominous visions.

Eike Schroter/Netflix

Is Dr. Stanton good or dangerous?

There’s one other method to take a look at Stanton’s intentions.

Regardless of all the things Stanton has stated about caring for her sufferers as a physician, she may nonetheless be utilizing the Paragon’s strategies. Why else has she saved the basement in the identical state because it was in the course of the time of the commune? Possibly Julian continues to be alive in some type. To maintain him alive, Stanton has been utilizing the home and its particular properties — that is why she goes to nice lengths to maintain Julia and the brand new Paragon cult out of the image.

On this studying, Stanton’s motive for founding Brightcliffe Hospice may need one thing to do with utilizing the sufferers as sacrifices to the gods — or the ghosts.

Who’re the outdated ghosts?

Within the closing cliffhanger scene, the digital camera pans throughout a framed newspaper clipping from 1898 within the Washington Journal. It features a image of industrialists Stanley Oscar Freelan and his spouse, Vera Freelan, the unique house owners of the home. They give the impression of being fairly darn much like the 2 ghosts who hang-out Ilonka and Kevin, named within the credit as The Mirror Man and Cataract Girl.

On this scene, Stanton listens to the identical outdated music that performs each time Ilonka travels again in time. The music — Come The place My Love Lies Dreaming — consists by Stephen Foster and was revealed in 1855. The outdated newspaper clipping says that the New Freelan Property was completed in mid-1898 and that it is “actually a marvel of structure.” (This contradicts Ilonka’s analysis — she says the home was inbuilt 1901.) Possibly this musical connection is meant to recommend that Stanton is way older than she seems and that her longevity has one thing to do with this “marvel” of a home.

Is Stanton feeding the Brightcliffe youngsters to the ghosts?

One other principle is Stanton may need some type of cope with the resident ghosts. On the seashore in episode 5, whereas celebrating Amesh outliving the day he was imagined to die, Natsuki speculates that Stanton began Brightcliffe to siphon off the sufferers’ life drive into different vessels. Spence additionally factors out that they do not know the place the our bodies of ex-Brightcliffe youngsters go.

In episode 9, Ilonka says that the ghostly outdated lady with the cataracts “retains speaking about how she’s hungry, she’s ravenous.” Natsuki then shares that her mom advised her a narrative a couple of “factor,” an “eater of years” or “the years eater” which seemed like an outdated lady. It was present in locations the place folks have been going to die and it might eat the years they might have had. “This place could be a feast,” Natsuki says of Brightcliffe.

Possibly Natsuki’s proper. Possibly Stanton actually is feeding the Brightcliffe youngsters to the ghosts in trade for some type of profit or life drive for Julian.

Is ‘The Dwelling Shadow’ Demise?

Or might or not it’s Julian?

Possibly Stanton managed to maintain Julian alive due to the Paragon’s strategies, but it surely got here at a value: Julian now exists as a type of in-between being. Each Anya and her ex-roommate Rachel talked about seeing The Dwelling Shadow shortly earlier than their deaths. The parable of The Dwelling Shadow has been handed down via generations of The Midnight Membership, its presence felt so long as there are sufferers round to probably hold it and the opposite ghosts effectively fed.

Or perhaps, in the long run, the shadow actually is the manifestation of the youngsters’ premature ends.

Samantha Sloyan as Shasta, holding a walking stick and smiling in a forest

Samantha Sloyan performs the mysterious Shasta.

Eike Schroter/Netflix

What precisely occurred to Julia Jayne?

It ought to have come as no shock that Shasta (sanskrit for “instructor”) — the all-too pleasant founding father of Good Humor Wellness, a naturopathic firm sourcing substances round Brightcliffe — is de facto ex-Brightcliffe affected person Julia Jayne.

Like Ilonka, Julia was additionally identified with thyroid most cancers within the throat as a teen. She based The Midnight Membership in 1969, then later found Athena’s journal within the Brightcliffe library. She tracked down ex-Paragon cult chief Ballard by impersonating a hospice care nurse, visiting Ballard’s forwarding addresses from the psychological establishment till she discovered her.

Ballard, seeing Julia’s ardour, agreed to let Julia keep together with her for every week, throughout which she taught Julia the methods of the Paragon. She known as Julia her “shiny lady” — the identical title Julia/Shasta offers Ilonka. Ballard and Julia spun a narrative round what actually occurred. Within the police reviews Ilonka reads, Julia disappeared from Brightcliffe for every week. She returned in full remission and stated, “It was due to this place, that she discovered one thing right here and it cured her.”

In her artwork remedy saved in her Brightcliffe file, Julia wrote down the Dewey Decimal System numbers of the place she hid Athena’s Paragon diary within the library, passing on the data as Ballard did for her.

Why does Ilonka have visions?

Is it as a result of her medication is making her “see stuff” as Kevin says in episode 3? Or is it as a result of the home and its ghostly residents are calling to her? “I hear issues. I see issues. These whispering voices … [are] virtually screaming at me,” Ilonka tells Kevin. She initially thinks the voices are her personal instinct spurring her to research Julia Jayne’s previous, however perhaps it is actually the ghosts reaching out to a brand new sufferer to feed on.

A young girl in a school uniform holds her hand up in a creepy way with dark wispy smoke covering the bottom half of the screen

Natsuki (Aya Furukawa) within the first story we hear from The Midnight Membership.

Eike Schroter/Netflix

Any Easter eggs?

You guess! Flanagan likes to pepper in satisfying Easter eggs all through his reveals and The Midnight Membership — co-created with The Haunting of Bly Manor producer and author Leah Fong — isn’t any exception.

  • The cool slanting graphic design of The Midnight Membership’s title card seems to be to be impressed by Christopher Pike’s novel, aka the supply materials. One of many editions makes use of an identical font for the title on the entrance cowl.
  • The Lasser Glass, a possessed vintage mirror that featured in Flanagan’s 2014 horror Oculus, will be seen within the basement room in episode 4 a bit over a minute in, partially hidden below a material cowl. This Easter egg additionally seems in Flanagan’s 2021 horror collection Midnight Mass.
  • This is not actually an Easter egg, however a enjoyable truth: Episode 1 of The Midnight Membership broke the Guinness World Document for “most scripted soar scares in a single tv episode” with 21 cases of the traditional horror trope.
Adia as Cheri Ian, Igby Rigney as Kevin, Annarah Cymone as Sandra, Iman Benson as Ilonka, Aya Furukawa as Natsuki, Ruth Codd as Anya, Sauriyan Sapkota as Amesh, Chris Sumpter as Spencer all sitting around a table, in a library, next to a fireplace

The Midnight Membership convening within the library.

Eike Schroter/Netflix

Is The Midnight Membership based mostly on a real story?

Sure! The story of The Midnight Membership relies on Christopher Pike’s younger grownup novel of the identical title. The tales the members of The Midnight Membership inform one another are drawn from Pike’s different novels, together with The Depraved Coronary heart, Gimme a Kiss, See You Later, Witch, Street to Nowhere and The Everlasting Enemy.

Pike drew inspiration for The Midnight Membership from a real story. In 1993, a younger most cancers affected person requested him to write down a narrative about her and the youngsters in her ward, who had began a “Midnight Membership.” “They’d meet at midnight and focus on my books,” Pike stated in a Netflix press launch. Pike gave Ilonka Pawluk a Polish title in honor of the younger affected person, who additionally had a Polish title. Sadly, regardless of his finest efforts, Pike was unable to complete the e book earlier than she died.

Is Brightcliffe Hospice an actual place?

The Brightcliffe home itself does not truly exist. Whereas a portion of the home’s facade was arrange on the filming website in Pitt Meadows, Vancouver, the vast majority of the outside was created via VFX magic. In accordance with a Netflix press launch, the Zoic Studios results staff scanned a home in Maine because the VFX foundation for Brightcliffe’s gothic exterior.

Will there be a season 2?

Netflix hasn’t given the official inexperienced gentle for renewal but. Based mostly on different Netflix renewal bulletins, we would hear one in November. After scoring good viewing figures, teen collection Heartstopper was renewed for 2 extra seasons 4 weeks after its preliminary launch.

Supply hyperlink