Horror fans love to gush about Mike Flanagan and there are many reasons that that’s justified. Flanagan has captured the hearts of horror nerds with his clear understanding and passion for the genre. He brought Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep and Gerald’s Game to life, created several hit Netflix supernatural horror series, and much more. Hit after hit is what he’s been giving us for years now. But what about the deaths in the Flanaverse (as folks like to call it)?
Flanagan isn’t the type to sugarcoat the nature of death or shy away from the horrifying ways that people could die. It’s refreshing and also intriguing if you happen to be a gore hound such as myself. If you’ve been wanting a refresher in regard to some of the most unsettling deaths in the shows within the Flanaverse, you have come to the right place. I’m embarking on that journey right now, listing them off in no particular ranking, and you’re along for the ride.
Author’s note: The Midnight Club has more deaths via midnight stories rather than actually occurring in the show’s events. So I’ve decided to omit the show from this list as a result.
Nell Crain (The Haunting of Hill House)
In terms of all the deaths that happen in The Haunting of Hill House, Nell (Victoria Pedretti)’s death is horrifying. Hill House harbors sinister spirits, and Nell was drawn back after years of not going back there. Unfortunately, the spirits tricked her, and before she had time to realize what was actually happening, she had a noose around her neck and the spirit of her mother pushed her, causing her to fall through time to realize she was the ghost haunting herself. Nell realizing she was the “Bent Neck Lady” all along is pure tragedy. A disturbing revelation for herself and the viewers. The look on her face is enough to shake you if you loved her character.
Riley Flynn (Midnight Mass)
It’s relatively uncommon for a miniseries to kill off their main/central character so late in the season. Midnight Mass flipped that fact on its head when Riley (Zach Gilford) refuses to live on as a vampire and meets the sun in front of his ex-girlfriend Erin (Kate Siegel). After being turned by the “angel,” Riley realizes that in order to save Erin’s life, he has to die in order for her to believe what’s happening. The way that Riley bursts into flames as Erin screams in the boat they are floating in is nothing short of uneasy.
Hannah Grose (The Haunting of Bly Manor)
One of the most tragic parts about The Haunting of Bly Manor is that some of the ghosts aren’t malevolent, they just can’t fully accept they’re dead. Hannah (T’Nia Miller) meets her end in a way that’s so sudden that it’s ultimately disturbing as a result. Imagine, the ghost of an abusive man (Peter) that’s possessing that child you take care of just pushes you into a well. She’s dead from the moment Dani (Victoria Pedretti) arrives at Bly Manor, and doesn’t confront that she’s dead until later episodes.
Sign-up for Letters From The Psychopomp
a weekly letter from The Psychopomp about Death, and the latest from Psychopomp.com:
Perry (The Fall of the House of Usher)
The Fall of the House of Usher is the last series that Netflix will ever get from Flanagan. And it surely ended things with a bang. The entire Usher family falls (as per the title) by way of a curse, and Perry (Sauriyan Sapkota) is the first member of the Usher family to die. Instead of dying in a relatively easy way, Perry dies by way of acid rain at his elite orgy party (that’s as simple as I can put it) and it’s about as painful as it sounds. The goopy bodies and him dying without skin, beside two of his lovers. The idea of being burned alive by acid rain is just horrible, and it’s absolutely a death I won’t forget.
Rebecca (The Haunting of Bly Manor)
Having your body controlled and manipulated by a man who is abusing you is a terrible fate in itself. Rebecca (Tahirah Sharif) doesn’t even realize she’s drowning because of Peter (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) until it’s too late to save herself. The visuals of her underwater and not being able to swim up and then seeing her own corpse face down is a certain level of disturbing. Not to mention how she didn’t deserve her fate. She stood no chance after getting involved with a man like Peter.
Camille L’Espanaye (The Fall of the House of Usher)
All of the deaths (or at least the build up to them) in The Fall of the House of Usher had some level of creativity. Camille (Kate Siegel)’s death by monkey-mauling isn’t shown to us, and for some folks, it’s a shame that we didn’t get to see it happen. She got the death that was meant for her sister, but due to her stubbornness, she didn’t leave when she had the chance. The aftermath is ugly, and she’s very busted up and bloodied. Picturing how she got beaten to death is enough to make someone cringe.