How every Usher family member dies in Netflix horror series The Fall of the House of Usher

Prospero, Camille, Leo, Bill, Tamerlane, and Arthur in Netflix's The Fall of the House of Usher
(Image credit: Netflix)

Warning! This article contains major spoilers for The Fall of the House of Usher. If you've yet to watch the series and don't want to know anything, turn back now!

Mike Flanagan's bloodiest and most macabre miniseries yet, The Fall of the House of Usher, features more death scenes than the titular family's bank account does zeros. No one makes it out alive, or at least, no Usher does anyway...

Based on several works by Edgar Allan Poe, the Netflix show centers on Roderick Usher (Bruce Greenwood), the CEO of a corrupt pharmaceutical company, who is forced to reconcile with the sins of his past when his children start getting picked off by a mysterious force. You see, Roderick and his twin sister Madeline made a deal with a devil type figure back in 1979 to ensure themselves successful and wealthy futures, though she took quite the down payment: the lives of every future member of their bloodline. Having agreed to the terms in a drunken, post-murder haze, the siblings never really talked – or even thought much – about that fateful night again, until Ushers started dropping like flies.

As Roderick relays his murky rise to the top, and the previous two weeks in which his family were wiped out, to an old acquaintance, the series centers each episode around one character, revealing their horrible ends in the final few moments. Below, we break down who dies when and how... 

The Masque of the Red Death - Prospero

Sauriyan Sapkota as Prospero in The Fall of the House of Usher

(Image credit: Netflix)

Poor Prospero, the youngest of Roderick Usher's children, is the first to meet his maker; he bites the dust at the end of episode 2. The Masque of the Red Death follows the 20-something as he goes behind his father's back to set up the first of his planned series of super exclusive kinky parties. At the masquerade ball, he comes across a woman, wearing a skeleton mask and a red cape, who wasn't on the guest list and follows her into a back room. 

The pair flirt a little, or Prospero (Sauriyan Sapkota) reads the exchange that way at least, before the woman (Carla Gugino) disappears once again into the scantily clad crowd. Prospero tries to catch up with her but gets distracted by his two lovers on the dancefloor. Elsewhere, Verna, Gugino's character, urges the bar staff and Prospero's unsuspecting sister-in-law Morrie (Crystal Balint) to vacate the premises. Uh oh.

As the rich and hedonistic carry on boogieing unawares, the warehouse's sprinkler system suddenly activates, raining acid all over Prospero and his guests. As the skin and hair melt off their bodies, everyone starts sticking together, eventually turning all of the attendees into a conjoined gooey, fleshy mass. 

In Poe's short story The Masque of the Red Death, a character called Prince Prospero tries to avoid being struck down by a dangerous plague by hiding out in his abbey. To ease his isolation, Prospero throws a masquerade ball for his well-to-do peers, but dies after a curious encounter with a stranger dressed as a Red Death victim. All of the other guests die, too...

Murder in the Rue Morgue - Camille

Kate Siegel as Camille in The Fall of the House of Usher

(Image credit: Netflix)

Sorry, Kate Siegel fans, but Camille is the next Usher to bite the bullet after Prospero – and her death is directly inspired by a Poe tale, too. 

After police investigator C. Auguste Dupin (Carl Lumbly) suggests in court that the Ushers have a mole amidst them, Camille, Forunato Pharmaceuticals' public relations head, takes it upon herself to sniff out who it is. She quickly becomes convinced it's her older sister Victorine (T'Nia Miller) and, with her two woefully-treated assistants having recently quit, takes it upon herself to investigate her scientist sibling's laboratory. 

There, she discovers Victorine and her partner Alessandra have been testing out their super techy heart device on chimps, and that the adrenaline they're pumping into the animals so it seems like it works is making them aggressive and agitated. While stumbling around in the dark, she's accosted by the female security guard from reception – odd, given the fact that the lab doesn't have any women working in security. After some cryptic chat, the guard, who us viewers know is Verna, unveils an oozing vertical wound on her chest and it's in that moment that Camille realizes she's done for. "Fuck it, I got mine," she says, as she holds up her phone to Verna's face and, taking a photo, reveals Verna to actually be a chimp. 

The following morning, two of Victorine's colleagues head into work, discovering the floors of the lab smeared with blood, and Camille's mutilated body.

In Poe's The Murders in the Rue Morgue, Parisians Madame L'Espanaye and her daughter Camille are violently killed by an escaped orangutan that had been captured in Borneo and taken to Paris by a sailor.

The Black Cat - Leo

Rahul Kohli as Leo in The Fall of the House of Usher

(Image credit: Netflix)

Cats might have nine lives but humans, it turns out, definitely only have one; something Napoleon (Rahul Kohli) learned the hard way in episode 4. 

Having stabbed his boyfriend Jules's cat Pluto to death in a drug-induced stupor, Leo hits up his local shelter to replace it before anyone notices. The on-shift volunteer, who just so happens to be Verna, offers up a bunch of friendly felines but Leo insists on taking the black cat out back, despite being told it's not available for adoption. After pulling a "don't you know who I am?" and offering to donate a hefty sum to the shelter, he leaves with Pluto's doppelganger – but it doesn't take long for him to wish that he hadn't...

The moggy proves vicious and elusive, though things don't really escalate until Leo starts finding dead animals it's brought in in the most inopportune places; a mouse in his slippers, a pigeon on his gaming chair, and a rat under his pillow. Irritated by the Pluto wannabe when it scratches his eye one night, he calls the shelter volunteer – though she doesn't prove much help. At one point, he pops out the kitty's eye, which manifests in Verna's eye being gone, too. Hearing the cat crying behind the walls, he grabs his replica of Thor's hammer Mjolnir and starts launching it at the unseen furry foe, destroying his apartment in the process. 

Jules comes home and is shocked to find Leo, screaming after finding Verna's body in the wall, in such a state. As he tries to reason with his partner, Leo spots Pluto #2 outside. Frenzied, he runs towards the cat, who's perching nonchalantly on the balcony railing, despite Jules's protestations and winds up stumbling over a bannister and splatting in front of the apartment block's lobby doors.

Poe's The Black Cat centers on an animal lover who turns on his pets one day. When his favorite pet, a black cat, bites him, he punishes it by cutting its eye out and hanging it from a tree. He replaces the cat, but finds himself with a similar disdain for the new one, too, and tries to kill it with an axe, despite his wife's protestations. In the end, the man winds up murdering his wife instead, concealing her body behind a brick wall in their basement. Later, the police discover the corpse after hearing the cat crying from inside the crawl space. 

The Tell-Tale Heart - Victorine

T'Nia Miller as Victorine in The Fall of the House of Usher

(Image credit: Netflix)

Victorine's death is grisly and not just because she knowingly stabs herself, while the previous passings seemed more accidental, but because she took her girlfriend down with her. Much like the earlier deaths, Victorine's takes direct inspiration from the short story in which the episode title is lifted: The Tell-Tale Heart. Published in 1843, it sees an unnamed narrator try to convince the reader of their sanity, all the while describing a murder that they themselves have committed. 

In the latter half of the installment, Victorine (T'Nia Miller) gets into a huge fight with her partner Alessandra, after she tells the latter she's enrolled a human candidate, who we know is Verna, into their surgical study. Alessandra insists they're not ready, which leads to Victorine's admission that she forged Alessandra's signature on a bunch of important documents to bypass certain safety precautions. 

Alessandra breaks up with Victorine, professionally and romantically, claiming that all of the Usher siblings are corrupt, suggesting she's going to contact the police. In a panic, Victorine throws a heavy ornament towards a leaving Alessandra, before the show cuts to another scene. 

Later, Roderick pays a visit to Victorine, where she asks her father whether he too can hear the muffled beating, squelching sound that's been plaguing her all day. As they investigate the noise, Roderick is shocked to discover Alessandra's open-chested dead body in the back room – turns out, Victorine had actually struck in the back of the head with the ornament and let her bleed out, before trying to fit their pump prototype around her heart. 

For a moment, Victorine addresses Alessandra as if she is still alive, making it clear to Roderick how unstable she is. Shortly after Roderick explains to her that Alessandra is "quite dead", Victorine insists that "work is everything" and plunges a knife into herself, all while maintaining eye contact with her pops.

Gold-bug - Tamerlane

Samantha Sloyan as Tamerlane in The Fall of the House of Usher

(Image credit: Netflix)

In The Fall of the House of Usher, Samantha Sloyan's Tamerlane becomes convinced Verna is having an affair with her husband Bill. After inviting Verna into her home one evening, to indulge her kink of watching other women pretend to be her and enjoy a flirty dinner with Bill, Tammy starts catching glimpses of Verna everywhere; in Bill's exercise videos, talking to her bodyguard in the hallway outside their apartment, and at her wellness company's launch. 

When Tammy's paranoia ruins the event, she returns home to an empty flat and suffers visions of Verna, wearing the exact same dress as her, stalking around. In her hysteria, she grabs a fire iron and inadvertently begins trashing the place, bloodying herself as she strikes walls, ornaments, and, eventually, the huge mirror above her and Bill's bed.

To reach the ceiling, she jumped in the air so, as she falls back first onto the mattress, she winds up fatally impaling herself on all of the broken shards of the mirror. 

The Pit and the Pendulum - Frederick

Henry Thomas as Frederick in The Fall of the House of Usher

(Image credit: Netflix)

In the run-up to The Pit and the Pendulum, Henry Thomas's Frederick had seemed like a bit of a drip; a neurotic, immature man who was buckling under the pressure of being the heir to the Usher empire. In the penultimate episode, though, he proved that not only was he as nasty as his deceased siblings, he was possibly even worse...

After bringing home his severely injured wife Morrie (Crystal Balint), who was badly burned during the acid attack at Prospero's masquerade ball, Frederick covers the walls of her convalescing room with print-outs of their wedding photo. Though it's hardly a sweet a gesture as it sounds... 

Having convinced himself Morrie was cheating on him with his brother, he drugs her and pulls out all of her teeth with a pair of pliers. It's an act that Gugino's Verna, being all-knowing and everything, sees, and uses to decide upon his fate accordingly. Instead of letting him succumb to his recent cocaine addiction, Verna orchestrates a more gruesome death for the eldest Usher child, distracting him with a phone call while he's dosing Morrie up for the last time. Absent-mindedly, Frederick puts the paralysis-inducing substance in his plastic baggy, before heading to Prospero's factory to oversee its demolition. 

In his rage, he barks at the wrecking crew's surveyor, and insists he inspect the property one last time before they knock it down. Inside, he snorts some of his favorite white powder before starting to pee on the floor. His plan is interrupted, though, when he suddenly collapses to the ground and quickly realizes he can't move. Verna shows up and using Frederick's voice, tells the workers outside that he's clear of the building. Verna lays down next to Frederick as the factory crumbles around them and a sharp object caught on a beam begins swinging above them. Every few moments, the makeshift pendulum gets closer to immobilized Frederick's middle, before... and you've probably guessed where this is going... it eventually reaches him, and rhythmically slices away at his stomach before he's essentially bisected.

The Raven - Lenore, Madeline, Roderick

Bruce Greenwood as Roderick Usher in The Fall of the House of Usher

(Image credit: Netflix)

In The Fall of the House of Usher's finale, the three remaining Ushers - Lenore, Madeline, and Roderick - all die; though it's worth noting that Verna was super shook up about having to off the former. With that, she elects to simply put the youngster to sleep but the other two aren't so lucky... 

Interestingly, the twins kind of kill each other; with Roderick sneakily delivering Madeline a deadly dose of Fortunato Pharmaceutical drug Ligodone over a drink – as well as a conversation about capitalism and whether or not they were ever really that bad or not. He then cuts out her eyes and replaces them with stones. "I sent her off like a queen. Queen Twosret, as a matter of fact," Roderick tells Dupin in the present, explaining that he "buried" his sister with certain things she'll need in the afterlife. 

However, the banging from the basement the twosome have been hearing throughout their entire chat suggests Madeline isn't quite gone yet, and lo and behold, in the final few minutes of the episode, her bloody, eyeless corpse bursts through the door and grabs Roderick by the throat. Pushing him to the floor, she maintains her grip as their old family home crumbles around them.

Dupin just about manages to escape before the building completely collapses, presumably killing Roderick and finishing Madeline off. The investigator squints through the darkness and notices Verna hovering over the site. He blinks, looks again, and spots a raven sitting atop of the wreckage.

In Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher, Roderick dies in much the same way, despite the story being very different.

The Fall of the House of Usher is streaming now. For more, check out our list of the best Netflix shows.

Amy West

I am an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things TV and film across our Total Film and SFX sections. Elsewhere, my words have been published by the likes of Digital Spy, SciFiNow, PinkNews, FANDOM, Radio Times, and Total Film magazine.