It might look like a quiet little village in an idyllic location, but move to Emmerdale at your peril – because death follows many of those who do!
While the Dales might be a dangerous place, with car accidents, freak storms, helicopter crashes, and more, death by illness also ranks pretty high on the list of things that sends residents to meet their maker.
Here is our list, in no particular order, of the most devastating deaths ever to hit the village.
Read more: Emmerdale full cast list 2019
1. Lisa Dingle (May 23, 2019)
She’d then returned in early May to break the news to her devastated family that she didn’t have long left. But we were led to believe she had months rather than weeks.
In fact, Lisa’s condition deteriorated and after getting the number one wish on her bucket list: to marry Zak again, she returned home to change her clothes, sat down on the sofa for a rest, and passed away in her sleep.
Zak spoke for us all when he discovered her and sobbed: “Nooo, this is too soon, Lisa.”
And dog, Monty’s little canine face broke hearts even harder.
2. Grace Dingle (October 1, 2018)
In 2018’s most gut-wrenching storyline, Chas Dingle and Paddy Kirk discovered their unborn baby daughter would not live much beyond birth when she was diagnosed with bilateral renal agenesis, which means her kidneys didn’t develop properly while in the womb.
The couple made the decision to carry on the pregnancy, even though they knew the heartbreaking truth, and Chas gave birth in October.
In a beautifully moving episode, Chas gave birth to their little girl, Grace, and was forced to say goodbye to her when she died in her arms. Just heartbreaking.
3. Ashley Thomas (April 7, 2017)
The last few months of vicar Ashley Thomas’s life were heartbreaking as he found himself in the grip of early onset vascular dementia and eventually passed away surrounded by his loved ones.
He’d been diagnosed two years earlier in 2015 and the scenes that followed were moving and emotional as he battled to remember who he was, and who those around him were.
After wife Laurel made the difficult decision to put him in a care home, he eventually contracted pneumonia and was taken home to die.
As most of the village came to pay their respects, Ashley briefly regained consciousness, and in a touching, tear-jerking moment he recognised Laurel and said her name whilst clutching her hand.
Laurel left him to get some more pillows to make him more comfortable and when she returned she discovered that he had passed away peacefully.
Ashley reappeared later on in video diaries that his young son Arthur was watching, although Emma Barton cruelly deleted them to keep the secret that Ashley knew: she’d murdered James Barton.
4. Sarah Sugden (November 16, 2000)
Sarah had split up with Jack Sugden and was living with younger lover Richie Carter, but had decided she wanted to make it work with her husband and had headed over to the farm to talk to him.
However, Richie followed her and begged her to talk, so they went into the barn and hid behind a haybale.
Meanwhile, young Andy, in a desperate bid to help his family who were facing financial ruin, decided to set fire to the barn to try to claim on the insurance.
As the flames took hold in November 2000, Richie escaped, but Sarah was too scared to move. Despite both Richie and Jack trying to save her, the barn exploded and Sarah died instantly, with her body recovered the next day.
5. Tricia Dingle (January 8, 2004)
The death of Tricia Dingle tragically tore apart one of the soap’s most beloved couples. Tricia was married to Marlon Dingle and they had left the village two months after their Valentine’s Day 2003 wedding so she could star in a Bollywood movie.
Marlon returned days later having had trouble getting into the country, and during Tricia’s absence, he slept with Charity Dingle. He confessed the truth to Tricia when she returned in November and she struggled to forgive him.
She decided to leave him and the village, but he wrote her a letter of 101 things he loved about her, which Diane Blackstock gave to her just as she was about to leave.
It was New Year’s Eve 2003 and a freak storm had just started, but having read the letter Tricia decided to return to the Woolpack to reunite with Marlon.
However, a bolt of lightning hit the pub’s roof, sending a window crashing down on Tricia and causing the chimney to fall through the roof.
Tricia was discovered under the rubble by Marlon and Diane and airlifted to hospital, but she was declared brain dead after sustaining massive internal injuries and having a cardiac arrest, and Marlon made the devastating decision to turn off her machine.
6. Holly Barton (September 29, 2016)
Moira Dingle’s daughter, Holly, had battled drug addiction for a number of years, but finally seemed to be getting clean.
A near-fatal overdose had landed her in hospital some months earlier and Moira had promised to help her through.
It looked like it was working, as she started to get work as a photographer and began dating fellow addict Jai Sharma in secret.
The couple attended a wedding together and the next day Moira went to wake Holly who’d overslept, but she discoverd her lifeless in her bed.
Her daughter had taken a heroin overdose and the subsequent scenes and Moira’s coming to terms with the loss of her child, were heartbreaking.
Although it had been rumoured that actress Sophie Powles was leaving the role of Holly, her death came as a complete shock to viewers who thought she was clean and on the road to happiness.
7. Alice Dingle (July 31, 2006)
There can’t have been a dry eye in the house when Sam Dingle’s wife, Alice, passed away in his arms having taken her own life rather than struggle with the pain of her terminal cancer.
Viewers had been thrilled when Sam found love with Alice and she fell pregnant. But when she began feeling ill and tests confirmed she had cancer things went horribly wrong for the young couple.
Alice refused to terminate her pregnancy to start chemotherapy and gave birth to Samson prematurely in January 2006.
When she finally started her treatment it was too late and didn’t help, so she stopped the chemo and after several weeks in pain, Sam helped Alice to die by giving her an overdose of morphine.
She passed away with Sam and Samson next to her.
8. Val Pollard (August 4, 2015)
Gone but never forgotten, the inimitable Valerie Pollard died in a way as dramatic as only she deserved in August 2015.
After planning to fake her own death to avoid a prison sentence for fraud, Val died for real when she was locked in a maze of mirrors with her sister Diane.
Their respective other halves had locked them in to sort out their differences, but devastation ensued when a helicopter crashed into the village and an explosion tore through the fairground – and the hall of mirrors.
Diane and Val were injured and trapped, and after making up, Val insisted the emergency services saved Diane first. As Diane was carried out, Val looked up and saw a shard of glass hanging precariously above her.
Knowing it was going to fall and kill her, Val lit a cigarette and shouted at the glass: “Come on then, do your worst. I’m not frightened of ya.”
It fell and killed her.
Charlie Hardwick has reprised her role as Val since her death in scenes with Eric Pollard, where she appeared on a video and as a ghost, and again appeared as a ghost to Robert Sugden.
9. Jackson Walsh (June 7, 2011)
After a train hit his van on a railway line, Jackon Walsh, Aaron Dingle‘s first love, was left with two broken bones in his neck, paralysing him from the neck down, with no chance of recovery.
Despite Jackson blaming Aaron for the crash, the pair reunited, but after Aaron watched Jackon’s video diary in which he said he wanted to die, things looked bleak for the couple.
Aaron tried to make Jackson see life was worth living, taking him to the seaside and sky diving, but failed to change his boyfriend’s mind and Aaron, along with Jackson’s mum Hazel (Pauline Quirke) agreed to help him end his life.
Hazel brought the pills, but couldn’t give them to her son, so Aaron took the cup and gave it to Jackson. He died, and Aaron was put on trial for Jackson’s murder.
But a video left by Jackson exhonerated Aaron from all blame and explained the death was his own choice and no one else’s.
10. Donna Windsor (August 14, 2014)
When Donna Windsor returned to Emmerdale in March 2014 after an absence of five years, it turned out to only be for a short sting as it was revealed she was terminally ill.
She had returned to introduce ex-husband Marlon Dingle to the daughter he never knew he had, April, so the little girl would be well looked after when Donna died.
After falling for Ross Barton and turning to crime to raise funds for her daughter’s future once she was gone, Donna and Ross did one last job together for known criminal Gary North.
Knowing her cancer was at stage four and she had weeks to live, Donna ended up handcuffing herself to Gary and, after telling Ross she really did love him, she threw herself and Gary off the rooftop of a multistory carpark.
11. Finn Barton (October 5, 2017)
Derranged Emma Barton’s downfall culminated in the death of her youngest son Finn when she accidentally shot him in October 2017.
Finn had discovered the truth about Emma murdering his dad, James, and Emma locked him in the church to stop him blabbing.
After he managed to get out he went searching for his mum in the woods and she shot him when the noise startled her.
Badly wounded, he ran into the road and was found by Cain and Harriet, who rushed him to hospital. But he died of cardiac arrest, leaving Emma contemplating suicide.
She didn’t end up going through with throwing herself off a bridge though, Moira Barton found her and pushed her instead after Emma blamed her for Holly’s death.
12. Batley (February 11, 2002)
It wouldn’t be right if our favourite four-legged friends didn’t get a look in on the list and when Edna Birch’s dog Batley had to be put down, a nation mourned.
So much so, that Bately’s demise won the dog Best Exit at the British Soap Awards 2002.
Batley was cruelly kicked by Edna’s grandaughter, Eve Jenson, a month before he fell ill and had to be put down. A heartbroken Edna took a long time to get over the death, but later got new dog, Tootsie.
Edna herself died off screen in May 2016 after actress Shirley Stelfox passed away following a short battle with cancer.
13. Alfie (December 6, 2017)
In 2017 we lost another friend of the four-legged variety when the Dingles’ beloved dog, Alfie, was put to sleep.
The loyal friend of Zak was diagnosed with an inoperable tumour and in a lot of pain, so the family made the kindest decision for their pet.
In real life, Alfie retired aged 11 affter nine years on the soap.
Whose do you think has been the most devastating death in Emmerdale? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know!