Emmerdale Chas Paddy Lisa and Ashley deaths Credit: (ITV)
Soaps

Emmerdale’s 13 most devastating deaths

Who has died in the Dales and left us in bits?

| Updated:

Emmerdale is a pretty scary place to live with so many deaths each year.

From helicopter crashes, to freak storms, murders and illness, you’re never safe in this village.

But which are the deaths that have got us really choked up?

As Emmerdale enters it’s 50th year, here’s our list of the 13 most upsetting deaths.

Read more: Who is leaving Emmerdale in 2022? Find out here!

1. Lisa Dingle (May 23, 2019)

Lisa’s death has left a gapping hole in the Dingle family (Credit: ITV)

In May 2019 Lisa Dingle died hours after remarrying love of her life, Zak Dingle.

It had been revealed back in March, in a special all-female episode to celebrate International Women’s Day, that Lisa was dying of an incurable heart condition.

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 very quickly.

After completing 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 died 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)

Chas and Paddy say goodbye to Grace
Chas and Paddy lost Grace in 2018 (Credit: ITV)

In 2018’s most gut-wrenching storyline, Chas Dingle and Paddy Kirk discovered their unborn baby daughter would not live beyond birth.

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.

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. 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. 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 died peacefully.

Ashley reappeared later in video diaries that his young son Arthur was watching.

4. Sarah Sugden (November 16, 2000)

Editorial use only Mandatory Credit: Photo by ITV/Shutterstock (673498ad) 'Emmerdale' TV - 2000 Sarah Sugden [Alyson Spiro] ITV ARCHIVE
A barn fire started by her adoptive son took Sarah’s life (Credit: ITV/Rex/Shutterstock)
Sarah Sugden, mum to Victoria Barton and adoptive mum to Robert Sugden and Andy Sugden, died in a fire started by Andy.

At the time, Sarah had split up with Jack Sugden and was living with younger lover Richie Carter.

But she 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 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)

Editorial use only Mandatory Credit: Photo by ITV/Shutterstock (676455ep) 'Emmerdale' TV - 2003 Sheree Murphy who plays Tricia Dingle The Freak storm of 2003 in Emmerdale. ITV ARCHIVE
Tricia Dingle died in the 2003 freak storm (Credit: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

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 and she struggled to forgive him.

She decided to leave him and the village. In a bid to get her to stay, Marlon wrote her a letter of 101 things he loved about her.

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. It sent 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.

However, she was declared brain dead after sustaining massive internal injuries and having a cardiac arrest. Marlon made the devastating decision to turn off her machine.

6. Holly Barton (September 29, 2016)

Emmerdale Holly Barton found dead by Moira Credit: ITV/YouTube
Holly died of a heroin overdose (Credit: ITV/YouTube)

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.

However, she discovered her daughter lifeless in her bed.

Holly had taken a heroin overdose.

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)

Emmerdale Alice Dingle dies Credit: ITV/Youtube
Alice died in her husband’s arms (Credit: ITV/YouTube)

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)

Emmerdale Val dies Credit: ITV/YouTube
Val died in the mirror maze (Credit: ITV/YouTube)

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.

Diane and Val were injured and trapped. 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.

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, she appeared on a video and as a ghost, and again appeared as a ghost to Robert Sugden.

9. Jackson Walsh (June 7, 2011)

Emmerdale Jackson dies Credit: ITV/YouTube
Aaron helped Jackson end his own life (Credit: ITV/YouTube)

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.

However, Jackson couldn’t cope with his new life and wanted to die.

Aaron tried to make Jackson see life was worth living. He took him to the seaside and sky diving.

But he 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 exonerated Aaron from all blame and explained the death was his own choice and no one else’s.

10. Donna Windsor (August 14, 2014)

Emmerdale Donna Windsor death (Credit: ITV/YouTube)
The cancer wasn’t going to take Donna (Credit: ITV/YouTube)

Donna Windsor returned to Emmerdale in March 2014 after an absence of five years.

However, it turned out to only be for a short stint 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 took matters into her own hands.

She handcuffed 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)

Deranged Emma Barton‘s downfall culminated in the death of her youngest son Finn 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. 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.

Read more: Emmerdale cast for 2022 – who’s sticking around?

12. Batley (February 11, 2002)

Emmerdale Batley dies Credit: ITV/YouTube
Edna’s love for her dog reduced us to tears (Credit: ITV/YouTube)

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.

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)

Emmerdale Alfie dies Credit: ITV/YouTube
Tears for Alfie (Credit: ITV/YouTube)

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 after nine years on the soap.

Want more spoilers from Emmerdale? Entertainment Daily has a dedicated Emmerdale spoilers section for you to get your fix before the latest episodes air.

Emmerdale usually airs weeknights at 7pm on ITV, with an extra episode at 8pm on Thursdays.

Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think!