More Horror TV Victims Who Should’ve Survived

Surviving the horror genre, regardless of the medium, is no easy task. Even some of the strongest and most determined characters meet the grim reaper in the end, thanks to bloodthirsty writers who crave making audiences fall in love with certain characters before cruelly ripping them away in the most gruesome fashion possible. The scope and format of a television series mean writers have more time to develop (and then torture) characters than they do in movies, making the threat of death even more unpredictable. Suddenly, the thought of surviving a ten-episode season instead of an hour-and-a-half film seems a little more daunting. Unfortunately, none of the characters on this list survived their encounters with death, and in some cases, it’s downright heartbreaking, while in others, it’s head-scratchingly frustrating.

I’ve written about characters in horror television shows who didn’t make it to their respective series’ finales, even though they may have been important to the plot or they fought like hell to survive. I’m back with more characters to add to the list and since I’ll be discussing dramatic and gory demises and important plot points, consider this your official spoiler warning. Lock the doors and arm yourself with the nearest kitchen knife, dear reader. Here’s More Horror TV Victims Who Should’ve Survived.

Beverly Katz, Hannibal

Hettienne Park as Agent Beverly Katz
Special Agent Beverly Katz (Hettienne Park) wasn’t long for the world after she learns Dr. Hannibal Lector’s secret life as a cannibalistic serial killer. Throughout the two seasons of NBC’s killer drama Hannibal she appeared in, Beverly established herself as an intelligent and compassionate agent and indispensable ally to Will Graham, making her sudden death even more traumatizing. In the show’s second season, Beverly secretly consults with the imprisoned Will on murder cases and slowly begins to suspect the good doctor Lector is the Chesapeake Ripper. After examining the body of the mural killer, James Gray, who was masterfully stitched into his own human mural by another killer with surgical precision, Beverly discovers he’s missing a kidney and suspects Lector is responsible.

Against Will’s advice, she breaks into Hannibal’s house and finds his basement of horrors. Unfortunately, this is the end of the line for the character, as she’s caught and killed offscreen by Lector, who then enjoys an exquisite dinner of her organs. Beverly didn’t have the largest impact on season one—to be fair, Hannibal knows what it is and narrows its focus on the relationship between Graham and Lector—but Season 2 appeared to be elevating her importance to Will and the show in general. With Beverly gone, a small bit of warmth left with her. Fans responded negatively to the character’s death, citing it as racist and sexist, though Park defended creator Bryan Fuller’s decision to kill off Beverly. While she did wish Beverly had gone out with a fight, she acknowledged the important focus on the show’s two central (male) characters. In a blog post, Park wrote:

Believe me, I would’ve preferred having Katz go down with a fight, but when I brought it up, I was told there was concern around showing Hannibal beating up a woman. I can see why they would be concerned. They were being sensitive not to overdo the violence against women in a story that inherently deals with violence. On the other hand, I also felt like that was sort of akin to relegating a female cop to a desk job rather than sending her out into the field. Isn’t that sort of perpetuating the notion that women are the weaker sex? So I suggested to a couple of producers that they mitigate their concerns by having Katz get a good solid shot at him before dying, maybe a kick in the balls or wounding him somehow. But then that poses more issues and problems with maintaining integrity and making sure Hannibal doesn’t get caught too soon, which of course can’t happen, otherwise there’s no show. To be fair, I don’t believe they didn’t listen to me because I’m an Asian or a female. I think they didn’t listen to me because I’m an actor.

It’s not a surprise Beverly’s death would be controversial, especially because she cultivated a meaningful relationship with Hannibal‘s fans. It’s a shame we didn’t have more time to spend with her, and even though the character could return in another adaptation focusing on Hannibal Lector, Hettienne Park made the character special in this version, and it was sad to see her go.

Nikki Bolton, Harper’s Island

Ali Liebert as Nikki Bolton

Nikki Bolton didn’t have a lot of screen time in the one-season slasher series, Harper’s Island, but that doesn’t change what a cool character she was. The series follows a group of family and friends who travel to the titular island for the wedding of Trish Wellington and Henry Dunn only to find themselves getting picked off one by one by a deadly killer. As the best friend of final girl Abbie Mills, the chances of bartender Nikki making it out of the season alive were relatively slim, even though she was born and raised on Harper’s Island. Still, Alie Libert brought an air of awesomeness to the character, and her shotgun and swaggering attitude painted her as someone people didn’t mess with. She was a loyal friend to Abbie, whose mother was murdered by the infamous serial killer John Wakefield, and she proved time and again she wasn’t afraid of confrontation when her friends were threatened.

When the bodies of the murdered wedding guests begin piling up around them, Nikki and the other survivors jump into action and barricade themselves in Nikki’s bar, the Cannery. Since barricades mean nothing to slasher villains, the killer, revealed to be Wakefield, easily smashes his way into the bar. Nikki tries to grab her shotgun, but Wakefield yanks it away, causing her to fire into the ceiling. He then stabs her through the stomach, pulling her body over the bar counter and leaving it behind as he chases the other survivors. It would have been cool to see Nikki expand her role and fight alongside Trish and Abbie for just a little longer, but at least she got a cool death scene.

Shazia Akhand, Black Mirror

Kiran Sonia Sawar as Shazia Akhand.

The horror anthology series Black Mirror is full of characters who often deserve their cruel fates, but the kindly insurance investigator Shazia Akhand, played by Kiran Sonia Sawar in the episode “Crocodile,” isn’t one of those characters. Despite being trapped in a cold role of verifying insurance claims, Shazia never loses her warmth or friendliness, and Sawar’s powerful performance brought a level of complexity and vulnerability to the character. The episode is an uncomfortable examination of a woman’s willingness to cover up her bloody crimes, and Shazia and her family unfortunately become tangled in her murderous web.

Upon her introduction in the episode, Shazia collects people’s memories with a piece of technology called the “Recaller” and uses them to verify insurance claims. She’s investigating the case of a driverless delivery vehicle that hit a pedestrian when she’s pointed in the direction of Mia Nolan, a woman who just committed murder. Shazia meets with Mia, who tries not to think about her crime—but that goes as well as you can imagine, and Shazia’s Recaller reveals Mia’s memory of killing her old friend Rob. Shazia attempts to escape, but Mia ties her up and bludgeons her to death, ignoring Shazia’s pleas and promises to keep quiet about Mia’s crime. She uses the Recaller and learns Shazia told her husband she would be meeting with Mia. In another excruciatingly dark and traumatizing moment, Mia murders Shazia’s husband and her infant child to cover up loose ends. It’s sickening, especially as Mia sobs while she conducts her murderous deeds. Her tears do not change or justify the horrific violence she’s inflicted on an innocent family.

Shazia’s demise is so unsettling because of the amount of humanity Sawar brought to the role. She’s a working-class mother stuck in a dead-end job to support her family, and while her husband is supportive of her career, he loves her and wants her to relax. Shazia doesn’t judge people’s memories either; she remains calm and logical and understands the complexities of emotions and memory. The Recaller was an interesting piece of technology, but it takes a backseat to the focus on the murderous intentions of Mia and the horrific things people are willing to do to cling to power and prestige. Shazia and her family deserved a better ending.

Vanessa Ives, Penny Dreadful

Eva Green as Vanessa Ives.

Has there ever been a character more betrayed by their own television series than Penny Dreadful‘s Miss Vanessa Ives? Well—yeah, it’s why we have these lists. However, Vanessa’s fate is so jarring because everything important in the series was somehow connected to her, and it felt like there was so much more of her story to tell. She was a powerful medium and incarnation of the primordial goddess Amunet. The Fallen Angels sought to corrupt her and use her powers to unleash the apocalypse, making her the Mother of Evil in the process. At its heart, Penny Dreadful was a series about a lonely woman struggling with her faith while grappling with dark forces entirely out of her control. Eva Green brought so much complexity and nuance to the role of Miss Ives, whose desperate yearning for inner peace made her easy to root for.

Penny Dreadful, created by John Logan, follows the lives of characters from 19th-century Gothic fiction, including Mina Harker, Count Dracula, Victor Frankenstein, Henry Jekyll, and Dorian Gray. Even though she was an original character, Miss Ives stood among the show’s most fascinating characters. In the show’s third and final season, an emotionally tormented and exhausted Miss Ives succumbs to Dracula, becoming his bride and the Mother of Evil. She spends the final episode waiting in a room for Ethan Chandler, a sharpshooter and werewolf, to find and kill her. As Dracula’s plague and total darkness begins consuming the world, Chandler and Miss Ives admit their love for one another before Chandler shoots her and she dies in his arms.

Penny Dreadful’s abrupt ending may be the main reason behind Miss Ives’ unsatisfactory death. Maybe death was always in the endgame for the character, but I can’t help but think if the show had lasted longer, perhaps Vanessa would have enjoyed a happier ending. At least she found her faith in the end, but her demise was so underwhelming, and after all the heartbreak and darkness she fought through, the character deserved a little bit of happiness.

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Written by Mack Veltman

Mack is a pop culture writer and horror movie enthusiast from Oregon who enjoys binging Netflix, listening to Star Wars audiobooks, watching James Bond movies, and reading interesting, behind-the-scenes facts about his favorite movies and TV shows. You can follow him at

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