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Warning: Contains some unmarked spoilers for Crimson Peak.

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Edith Cushing
"Ghosts are real, that much I know. I've seen them all my life..."
Played By: Mia Wasikowska

A young aspiring writer from America, who has recently married Sir Thomas Sharpe and has moved to his home Allerdale Hall, in Cumbria, England.

  • Action Survivor: Turns into one in the climax, hobbling rather spryly around the house on a damaged foot and wielding a variety of Improvised Weapons to escape an Ax-Crazy Lucille. And this on top of being poisoned as well!
  • All of the Other Reindeer: It's implied that Edith is something of an outcast amongst the other high society women, as she does not share their interests and they are subtly mocking and condescending towards her.
  • Animal Motifs: Monarch butterflies. As Lucille notes in an early conversation, they're very pretty but frail she's not, and they thrive in the warmth of summer but catch chill in winter. This reflects Edith's waning spirits and health once she moves to the cold and depressing Allerdale Hall, which is really just her getting poisoned and almost "devoured" by the Sharpe siblings, whose Animal Motifs are the black moths that feed on butterflies. Butterflies also symbolize transformation; Edith transforms into a tougher and more worldly person over the course of the film and her presence at Allerdale Hall changes the lives of both Thomas and Lucille especially the former.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: When Thomas cruelly derides her manuscript (acting on Carter's orders), Edith slaps him across the face in front of everyone.
  • Badass Bookworm: She's intellectual, and loves to read and write. As for the badass part, see Determinator.
  • Berserk Button: She slaps Thomas across the face when he insults her manuscript and calls her "nothing more than a spoiled child". Much later Lucille revealing she murdered her father is what snaps her out of her Heroic BSoD, stabbing Lucille in the shoulder with a fountain pen.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Edith is undoubtedly a kind and polite young woman and one of the most moral characters in the film, but as Thomas and Lucille learn, if you insult her manuscript, kill her father, kill her dog, lie to her about having multiple wives whom you've killed, marry and have sex '''[with your sister'''], and then try to kill her your ass will be grass.
  • Blood from the Mouth: She begins coughing up blood after getting sick as a result of being poisoned by Lucille. She gets better.
  • Bookends: A literal case, as the film opens with a book titled Crimson Peak opening and showing a picture of New York, where the action begins. At the end of the Creative Closing Credits, the book is revealed to have been written by Edith Cushing, before closing.
  • Color-Coded Characters: She's seen wearing all white or pale colors during the stay at Crimson Peak. She contrasts the dark appearances of Allerdale Hall and the Sharpe siblings.
  • Color Motif: Besides white, Edith is often seen wearing gold and yellow with a bit of black, rather like her Animal Motif, the monarch butterfly. It also represents her warm and positive nature and status as The Hero, as well as her wealth and prosperity as a young heiress. White, of course, represents her innocence and purity; both colors strongly contrast with the darker colors of the Sharpe siblings and Allerdale Hall.
  • Commonality Connection: She initially doesn't think much of Thomas Sharpe, until he praises her manuscript.
  • Daddy's Girl: She has a very close and affectionate relationship with her father; he happily indulges and encourages her passion for writing and she is utterly distraught when he dies, insisting on identifying him herself and refusing to let anyone touch him.
  • Damsel out of Distress: See Rescue Reversal and Determinator.
  • Determinator: She survives being poisoned, thrown down a stairwell, withstands multiple physical injuries, and stabs the Big Bad with a handcrafted pen, then takes her out for good with a rusty shovel in the middle of a snowstorm.
  • The Dog Bites Back: After spending nearly the entire film being insulted, looked down upon, intimidated and injured by Lucille, Edith has enough of playing nice, stabbing her in the shoulder with a fountain pen after learning she murdered her father, and later bludgeoning her to death with a shovel.
  • Dramatic Necklace Removal: In the third act, Lucille rips Edith's engagement ring from her finger, hard enough to make her cry out in pain and cause a bruise. This is so she can wear it herself again. Though to be honest, Edith got off lightly – Thomas' other wives apparently had their fingers cut off by Lucille to remove the ring.
  • Final Girl: Although Crimson Peak isn't quite a Slasher Movie, she still has some aspects of this trope by the end. She's the last of Thomas’ wives and the only one who survives; she also nearly single-handedly takes out Lucille following a deadly cat-and-mouse chase around the mansion. She's also intelligent and one of the film's more wholesome characters...though interestingly enough, she's not virgin by the end. In fact, she slept with Thomas, Lucille's accomplice.
  • Flower Motifs: A few of Edith's dresses have bright flower patterns and her Nice Hats have flowers on them, symbolizing how she is associated with life and beauty, in contrast to the bleak and decrepit Allerdale Hall.
  • Giant Poofy Sleeves: Several of her outfits include this, fitting in with the fashion trends of the time period, though they also fit with her butterfly motif.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Takes down a literally Ax-Crazy Lucille with a shovel.
    Lucille: I won't stop 'til you kill me, or I kill you!
    Edith: [hits Lucille over the head with a shovel] I heard you the first time.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: She's got long, slightly messy blonde hair and is the film's most moral character.
  • Happily Married: To Thomas, more or less. Most of her unhappiness and troubles stem more from her disliking her new home (which is admittedly very dreary, falling apart and haunted to boot), her tense relationship with her sister-in-law and her grief over her father's death. Thomas is her primary source of comfort and companionship during her stay at Allerdale Hall. At least, until she finds out he's poisoning her and sleeping with his sister.
  • Haunted Heroine: She is figuratively haunted by the death of her mother and later her father's death, can literally see ghosts and moves into a haunted house with a dark past.
  • Heroic BSoD: Starts going into one after finding out her husband is having an affair with his own sister, her only would-be rescuer has been seemingly murdered and she has no chance of escaping (the fact she's suffering the effects of arsenic poisoning doesn't help). Then Lucille reveals she murdered her father....
  • The Hero: Ended up saving herself from an Ax-Crazy Lucille at the end of the movie, and helping a bleeding-out Alan walk through a snowstorm while her leg was broken. It was splinted, but still.
  • How We Got Here: The film opens with Edith wearing a white nightgown out in the snow, with her face and hand covered in little cuts and blood, then the movie flashes back to show how she got to that point.
  • Hypocrite: Downplayed. When she first hears about Thomas, she sneers that nobles are just "parasites with a title." However, she was born into her wealth as much as he was to his, and early capitalist millionaires (like her father) were notorious for exploiting their workers (with long hours, grueling to dangerous work conditions, and scut pay) as badly as any baronet exploited their dependents. Justified as she's very young, idealistic, and oversheltered.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Right after declaring her distaste for Thomas Sharpe due to her low opinion of aristocrats, she practically flutters when he compliments her manuscript.
  • The Ingenue: She's a polite, kind, virginal and rather sheltered young woman. Her naivety gets her into trouble at some points in the film. Lucille herself remarks that she's beautiful but fragile, like a butterfly. However, Edith also subverts some aspects of this trope. When she and Thomas finally consummate their marriage, Edith actually takes the lead rather than being a passive partner, and as the third act proves, she is much tougher than she looks.
  • I See Dead People: She has the ability to see ghosts when most people can't. First her mother's ghost in the USA, then the ghosts of Allerdale Hall in England.
  • Light Feminine Dark Feminine: She's the 'light' to Lucille's 'dark'.
  • Light Is Good: She tends to wear white or bright clothing, has blonde hair, is associated with butterflies, flowers and sunshine, and is one of - if not the - nicest characters in the film.
  • Love Martyr: A downplayed one for Thomas. After learning he's an accomplice to several murders (including the murder of her own father), only married her for her money, is having an affair with his sister and has been helping poison her to steal her fortune, she is understandably distraught and furious with him, threatening him with a pen. However, when Thomas proclaims he genuinely does love her and wants to help save her and Alan, she chooses to trust him. When his ghost helps save her from Lucille, she gently touches his face, silently weeping, implying that despite everything he had done, she did still love him.
  • Meaningful Name: Edith means "riches" or "blessed", or alternatively "war" or "prosperous in war". Her surname, Cushing, is a Shout-Out to actor Peter Cushing.
  • Missing Mom: Her mother died during her childhood and the ghost visits Edith to warn her about Crimson Peak.
  • Morality Pet: To Thomas to the point where he has a Heel–Face Turn because of her.
  • Most Writers Are Writers: She aspires to be an author, particularly enjoying writing ghost stories (and grudgingly agreeing to add a romantic subplot to her manuscript at the behest of her publisher). The credits reveal she successfully published a book titled Crimson Peak, apparently based on her own experiences.
  • Mystery Writer Detective: A variation. Writes horror stories about ghosts... then guess what.
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye: Due to the ravages of the cholera that killed her, Edith's father kept his daughter from seeing her mother's body so she wouldn't be traumatized. Edith laments the fact that she never had a final farewell with her mother...until her ghost comes back, that is.
  • Nice Girl: She's usually quite friendly and polite, tends to see the best in people, is fond of animals, defends Thomas to her father and makes an effort to be kind to Lucille despite her continual coldness towards her. But, as the film's climax proves, Edith's kindness does not make her weak. See also Good Is Not Soft.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • When Thomas casually mentions that Allerdale Hall is nicknamed Crimson Peak by the locals, her mother's ghost having repeatedly warned her to "Beware of Crimson Peak".
    • When she's listening to the wax cylinder recordings and learns that the Sharpes are poisoning her via the tea she keeps drinking.
  • One Head Shorter: Than Thomas (she's around 5'4", he's 6'2").
  • The Ophelia: Edith is a subversion. By the end of the second act, she's wandering around in a floaty white nightgown with long disheveled hair, looking anxious and ethereal as she babbles about ghosts, begins getting inexplicably ill and suspects her husband and sister-in-law of hiding things from her. However, Edith's actually not crazy despite the Sharpes' attempts to gaslight her and she is in fact Properly Paranoid.
  • Parasol of Prettiness: She carries a parasol while walking with Thomas in the park.
  • Pyjama-Clad Hero: She spends much of the film's third act, in particular the climax, in a nightgown.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Her hair isn't as impressively long as Lucille's, but it's still waist-length, giving her an ethereal look.
  • Rescue Reversal: Ends up having to save Alan from Lucille after he tries to save Edith and Lucille stabs him.
  • Security Cling: After having to identify her father's body, she flings herself into Thomas' arms, sobbing. Upon first moving into Allerdale Hall, she also tends to cling to Thomas' arm for reassurance when she hears the wind howling eerily through the house.
  • Sexless Marriage: Her marriage to Thomas, as she is in the process of mourning her late father. It doesn't help that every time she tries to be intimate with him, Lucille has a tendency to interrupt; she even subtly taunts Edith for still being a virgin. It's subverted eventually, as she and Thomas have sex while snowed in at the post office. Of course, not long after she learns of the other reasons Thomas was previously reluctant to sleep with her...
  • Smart People Wear Glasses: She wears them in either scenes when she's writing her stories or when she's investigating what happened to Sharpe's other brides.
  • Spirited Young Lady: She is from a wealthy background and aspires to be a writer, is something of a proto-feminist, investigates the mysteries of Allerdale Hall and is perfectly capable to taking care of herself when she's in danger.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Lucille in particular dismisses Edith as being pretty, but frail and vulnerable to predators. Edith proves her wrong by the climax.
  • Virgin in a White Dress: She wears white quite a bit, most notably including a white evening gown when Thomas begins courting her, and a white overcoat when she first arrives at her new home after marrying Thomas - they don't consummate their union right away due to Edith grieving for her father, among other things. It's subverted too, though, as Edith continues wearing white dresses even after having sex; her purity comes from her good heart rather than her sexual status and sex is portrayed as positive and empowering for her.
  • You Monster!: She calls Lucille and Thomas monsters after they stab Alan, who is trying to save her from them.


Sir Thomas Sharpe, Baronet of Cumberland
"Where I come from, ghosts are not to be taken lightly."
Played By: Tom Hiddleston

"The charming Thomas Sharpe whose motives are not all that they appear."

Edith's recently-married husband. A mysterious young baronet who resides in Allerdale Hall with his older sister, Lucille.

  • Affably Evil: He's genuinely friendly to those he encounters (especially Edith) while also helping out in his sister's murderous schemes.
  • Anti-Villain: A victim of lifelong domestic abuse at the hands of both his parents and later his sister, and his sexual relationship with Lucille is heavily implied to be the result of childhood sexual abuse/conditioning on her part, as Thomas was less than twelve years old when the relationship began. Although he is involved in some truly horrible crimes, it's implied that Lucille is the ringleader - she indicates that Thomas has never actually personally killed anyone, he seems to lack Lucille's sadistic streak and becomes increasingly disturbed and regretful over his actions. He also tried to get legitimate funding for his clay extracting machine and only resorted to becoming The Bluebeard when that failed..
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Double Subverted. He's an accomplice to murder, but takes no real pleasure in his crimes, comes to regret his actions and becomes The Atoner.
  • Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: Near the end of the film, Thomas' ghost disappears from the grounds of Allerdale Hall after bidding Edith farewell, implying that his actions earned him redemption and allowed him to move on to the afterlife, although whether that afterlife is Heaven or Hell is left up to the viewer's imagination.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Make no mistake, he was complicit in the murder of his three previous wives and planned to do the same to Edith, but unlike his sister he clearly takes no pleasure in any of it, and eventually stands up to her, tries to convince her to abandon their plans, and saves Edith.
  • The Atoner: After falling in love with Edith, he tries to atone for the blood on his hands by rescuing her and Alan from his sister's wrath.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: It's implied that one of the main reasons he genuinely falls for Edith and later tries to save her is because Edith is one of the only people to ever show him true compassion and love, takes an active interest in his hobbies, and encourages him to be a better man and to follow his dreams rather than wallow in the past.
    Thomas: You're so different.
    Edith: From who?
    Thomas: Uh, from...everyone.
  • Becoming the Mask: He genuinely fell in love with Edith despite mainly only wanting her money first.
  • Betty and Veronica: The dark, sexy, exotic Byronic Hero to Alan's Dogged Nice Guy for Edith's affections.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Thomas is actually the little brother, but he is protective of Lucille at times. It's implied that one of the main reasons he goes along with her murderous schemes is because he wants to keep Lucille safe; she points out to him that if they don't go through with it, they'll have no money or roof over their heads, not to mention that if they were caught, Lucille would be taken away and probably locked up in an asylum again. Thomas straight up says at one point that he vowed never to leave Lucille. Even after turning against her, he still tries to reach out to her rather than harm her. He gives this up after she kills him, though, distracting her to save Edith.
    Lucille: You couldn't leave me. You wouldn't.
    Thomas: I can't.
  • The Bluebeard: His wives were all killed by Lucille as they were used for convenience, but then Thomas slowly starts to fall in love with Edith, his fourth wife, much to his sister's disdain.
  • Byronic Hero: He hits a lot of the requirements: Handsome, mysterious, intelligent and with a very dark past.
  • Cool Shades: Wears a pair while visiting the park, of the tea shades variety.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: He and his sister were confined to a nursery as children, and their mother who would beat them sometimes died in terrifying circumstances in the bath.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Though a bit strange and gloomy, with a dark appearance, Thomas seems like a nice enough person. Subverted when it turns out he's an accomplice to murder, then Double Subverted when he has a Heel–Face Turn.
  • The Dragon: To his sister Lucille. She's the one with the plans, he carries them out by seducing young women with fortunes and no family.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Like his sister, he is pale with brown hair, though he is less outwardly eerie compared to her (at first).
  • Extreme Doormat: A bit of one to his sister. It's clear she's the one who really calls the shots and he tends to acquiesce to her demands. He eventually starts to stand up to her, though.
  • Eye Scream: In a fit of rage, Lucille impales him beneath the eye and causes his death.
  • Female Gaze: During the love scene with Edith, Thomas shows a lot more skin than Edith. The fangirls were very appreciative.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: He invents a digging machine in order to make a fortune with the red clay around his home. He became this since his childhood where he would make mechanical toys to play with.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: In a bizarre way. Though The Blue Beard long before he met Edith, Thomas genuinely falls in love with her, and when they finally consummate their marriage it's framed in a very passionate, loving, romantic light. His Love Martyr relationship with his Serial Killer sister, however, is very twisted, controlling, and abusive, and when Edith walks in on them having sex it's framed in a very disturbing light.
  • Grew a Spine: By the third act, Thomas has finally starting standing up to and defying his sister. Unfortunately, she doesn't take this well.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: After his Redemption Equals Death, his ghost has blond hair.
  • Heel–Face Turn: After falling in love with Edith and wanting to run away with her, Thomas does everything he can to foil his sister's plans and help Edith and Alan escape.
  • Hidden Depths: Inverted in his introduction: He's an upper class rendition of a Gadgeteer Genius though other characters seem not to recognize him for it.
  • I Just Want to Be Free: More than anything, Thomas really seems to just want to leave behind his Dark and Troubled Past and be his own person, able to follow his dreams. However, his circumstances and methods of trying to achieve this make it very difficult to do so. In the end, he gets his wish, but not quite in the way he wanted.
  • Impoverished Patrician: He blew through his and three other family fortunes in a vain attempt at commercializing the mud under Allerdale Hall. He also indicates that his and Lucille's father squandered the family fortune as well when he was alive, leaving them practically nothing to inherit besides the house.
  • Lie Back and Think of England: An early line has Thomas tell Edith that if he finds something distressing or uncomfortable, he closes his eyes so "it'll pass more quickly." When he and Edith consummate their marriage, his eyes are open. When Edith eventually walks in on him and his sister having sex, his eyes are closed. Considering it had been going on since Thomas was 12 while Lucille was 14...
  • Light Is Good: Unique in the film, Thomas' ghost is white after he earned himself a Redemption Equals Death.
  • Love Martyr: To Lucille (at first). No matter how horrible she is and how poorly she treats him, he remains loyally by her side and goes along with her schemes, even promising he would never fall in love with anyone else. It's implied to be because he doesn't really have anyone else, Lucille being the only one who loved and protected him (in her own twisted way) and because he feels he owes her for what she did for him during their childhood.
  • Love Redeems: His love for Edith is what helps him see the error in his ways and finally stand up against his sister.
  • Manchild: Though charming and sophisticated, Thomas at times displays a somewhat childlike disposition. He spends much of his spare time in his workshop, making toys and inventions (which Lucille indicates he wasn't allowed to do when their parents were alive) and displays some rather naively optimistic or idealistic views at times a particularly egregious example is in the climax, where he quite sincerely tries to persuade Lucille to leave Allerdale Hall with him and Edith, saying they can all be happy together, even though there is no way in hell this would ever work. He tends to let his older sister Lucille dominate and control him, deferring to her on several occasions, even though he's adult capable of making his own decisions. His advice to Edith about how he often closes his eyes when he's experiencing something unpleasant also seems to be retained from his childhood and has childish undertones. He also seems to prefer sleeping up in his old nursery than in the marital bed with Edith, judging by the amount of times she wakes up to find him gone. It's likely justified, as being an abused child who was confined in his nursery, orphaned by the age of 12 and practically raised by his sister (who is even less mentally stable than him) has probably left him emotionally and developmentally stunted to a degree.
  • Marriage of Convenience: He only married his first three wives to get their fortune. His marriage to Edith also starts out as this, but it's subverted, as he truly falls in love with her; it's actually implied that he may have started developing feelings for her at an even earlier stage.
  • Meaningful Name: He certainly has a Sharpe mind, doesn't he? In more ways than one.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: After Lucille brutally stabs him to death in a jealous rage, his ghost turns up to help distract her so that Edith can deliver a fatal blow.
  • Mr. Fanservice: A Tall, Dark, and Handsome Pretty Boy, who’s always dressed sharply. This is cemented late in the film, when he gets his clothes off when making love to Edith, including a brief (yet oft-mentioned) shot of his bare behind.
  • Necessarily Evil: It's clear that Thomas would rather get legitimate funding for his clay extraction machine, but feels he must go along with Lucille's Bluebeard schemes as a last resort after being turned down each time.
  • Nobility Marries Money: Thomas is an impoverished British baronet who marries Edith, a wealthy American heiress whose father was a Self-Made Man. However, the match was actually for love rather than money, although Edith is happy to share her wealth with Thomas and his sister and help fund his inventions. It then turns out that Thomas really did just marry Edith for her least at first. He wasn't planning on actually falling in love with her "But it happened".
  • One Head Taller: Than Edith (he's around 6'2", she's 5'4").
  • Pretty Boy: He's delicately handsome with longish hair and a slender build.
  • Questionable Consent: His incestuous relationship with Lucille has implications around this. He was only twelve when their mother found out about them, though it had possibly been going on longer, while Lucille was fourteen note . Then there's the fact Lucille is rather emotionally abusive towards him, often coercing or guilting him to get what she wants. Some viewers have also pointed out that when Edith catches her and Thomas being intimate, he has his eyes closed – previously, he had told Edith that when he was experiencing something unpleasant, he'd close his eyes "to make it pass more quickly" (for comparison, when he has sex with Edith he keeps his eyes open).
  • Redemption Equals Death: Dies trying to get Lucille to spare Edith's life and run away with him, though he still wasn't sane enough to realize that Edith probably wouldn't want to come with them, or that Lucille probably wouldn't react well to having competition.
  • Sex Equals Love: Edith is the only wife he ever loved. She's also the only one he ever had sex with. Said sex is framed as very passionate, loving, and romantic.
  • Sexless Marriage: His marriage to Edith is this, as he is respecting her decision to mourn for her late father. As it turns out all of Thomas' previous marriages were sexless as well, as he only loved his sister and she wouldn't have been happy about him sleeping with anyone else. However, Thomas actually does end up consummating his marriage to Edith, whom he genuinely comes to love.
  • Sliding Scale of Anti-Villains: Mostly types Woobie Anti-Villain and Well-Intentioned Anti-Villain.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Thomas fits the trope, especially because he's played by Tom Hiddleston.
  • Tiger by the Tail: Around the Second Act, Thomas asks Lucille if they really need to go through with their plans. She convinces him that Edith knows too much and if they don't kill her then everyone will know, he'll be hanged for murder and she'll get locked away again, and convinces him that going through with it is the only way to avoid this. Thomas very reluctantly agrees, for a time.
  • Tragic Villain: Although still complicit in the murders of his wives and Carter, Thomas doesn't appear to take any pleasure in his crimes. His main goal is to get funding for his clay machine, which will allow him and his sister to be financially secure. He is loyal to Lucille due to the care and protection she gave him as they were growing up and, as Lucille points out, "the only love [they] ever knew was from each other", as twisted as it is. When Thomas expresses anger and regret over their crimes, Lucille guilts Thomas by reminding him that if they don't go through with it, he would likely be hanged for murder while she would be locked away, further making it seem that Thomas feels he has no choice but to continue down this dark path to protect his sister and their future. The fact he dies trying desperately to persuade Lucille to let go of the past and find a better way really underlines his tragic nature.
  • True Love Is Exceptional: In a sense. He's in a sexual relationship with his older sister and all of his previous wives were older women without other marriage prospects, though for them it was a Marriage of Convenience, and he falls in love with the youthful Edith.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Averted. Thomas has a Sharpe mind, and is certainly building a Sharpe product in his extractor.


Lady Lucille Sharpe
"It's a world of everything dying and eating each other right beneath our feet."
Played By: Jessica Chastain

"Lucille Sharpe holds the keys to all of Crimson Peak's locked doors."

Sir Thomas' sister, who also lives in Allerdale Hall and is as mysterious as her brother.

  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Lucille is polite but cold and condescending.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: There's clearly something not quite right with her. She seems to have trouble socially interacting with people besides her brother, coming off as quite stiff and haughty, even awkward at times. She is very controlling to the point of paranoia, even keeping the house keys on her person almost constantly. She's also very self-centered, is intentionally intimidating or condescending, has difficulty empathizing with others, and swings between tearful anger and eerie calm as she becomes increasingly stressed. She also has no qualms about committing murder, even appearing to enjoy killing to some extent, whether it be for financial gain, to protect herself and Thomas, or because she perceives her victim as having wronged her in some way.
  • Animal Motifs: Black moths. As she herself notes, they aren't as pretty as butterflies, but much more hardy. They thrive in the dark and cold, and survive by devouring butterflies. This reflects her own cold and hard disposition, her desire to stay at the cold, dark, crumbling Allerdale Hall, and her taking the money and the lives of her brothers' wives to afford it, as well as the threat she poses to Edith, who's Animal Motif is the butterfly.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Played straight, though she does have a Freudian Excuse.
  • Ax-Crazy: Her insanity is subtle at first, but by the end she's chasing Edith with a cleaver.
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: Her more sadistic side comes out early on when she lets a butterfly be eaten alive by ants. She's also shown to have a collection of pinned butterflies and asked Thomas to kill a stray dog which was actually Enola's pet. In the climax she literally kicks the dog, killing it purely to spite Edith.
  • Bare-Handed Blade Block: In the climax, she at one point grabs Edith's knife by the blade. Despite her hands becoming visibly bloody, she barely even seems to notice.
  • Barred from the Afterlife: The final scene shows her ghost playing the piano in Allerdale Hall, implying she is trapped there forever - in death, just as in life, she refused to leave her family's ancestral home..
  • Beneath the Mask: She maintains an aloof but polite and composed demeanour much of the time. However, it becomes increasingly clear this hides an underlying mental instability and disturbed emotional state. By the third act, she's revealed to be completely Ax-Crazy and her public image of propriety is purely a facade to hide her true, depraved nature.
  • Berserk Button: Trying to take her brother away from her, physically or symbolically.
  • Big Bad: She's revealed to be the film's primary antagonist, especially after Thomas' Heel–Face Turn in the third act. Lucille had killed Thomas' former wives, who are now ghosts that wander the house, by poisoning them slowly because she wanted to have Thomas all for herself and tries to do the same to Edith.
  • Big Sister Bully: While she is very protective over Thomas, she is also very controlling and possessive over him as well as emotionally domineering.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Protected her younger brother Thomas from their abusive parents, and later, killed them partially to protect him. Averted later when she kills him in a rage by stabbing him right under his eye with a kitchen knife after he admits to falling in love with Edith.
  • Bookends: In her first and last appearance she turns out to be providing Source Music at the piano.
  • Color Motif: Lucille is primarily seen in black and dark blue; black representing menace, decay and death, blue representing sadness and tragedy. The only times she doesn't wear either color is in her first scene where she wears red (symbolising danger) and in the climax where she wears a white gown with a green robe (white representing coldness and death for Lucille specifically; green possibly representing envy and greed).
  • Compressed Hair: Long enough to sit on, though she keeps it in a tight updo most of the time.
  • Condescending Compassion: This is about as nice as she gets towards Edith.
  • Control Freak: She will not relinquish the many keys to Allerdale Hall, not even to let Edith wander around or for Thomas to get coal for his machine. They have to come to her whenever they need something in one of the endless locked doors, cabinets, and boxes unlocked. She also gets... uneasy whenever Thomas is out of her sight for too long, as she can't manipulate or monitor his every word and action.
  • Cool Shades: Wears a pair while visiting a park in the US, of the tea shades variety.
  • The Corrupter: It's hinted she may have been this to Thomas, encouraging or instilling some of his darker impulses. In contrast, Edith tends to bring out his better qualities.
  • Cradling Your Kill: After fatally stabbing Thomas, she cradles him in her arms, sobbing hysterically.
  • Dark Action Girl: She's surprisingly strong for a woman, easily killing Edith's father by smashing his head repeatedly into a sink until it breaks (his head and the sink). She's also quite agile while chasing Edith around Allerdale Hall with a cleaver.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: She was confined in a nursery until the death of her abusive mother whom she killed, and after that sent to a Victorian mental asylum where, according to her actress Jessica Chastain she may also have been raped.
  • Death Seeker: After she kills Thomas, she seems to want Edith to kill her almost as much as she wants Edith dead.
  • Domestic Abuse: Despite her hatred for her abusive parents and having spent her entire childhood shielding her little brother from them, she continues this fine family tradition. She controls Thomas' time and actions to an almost obsessive degree, manipulates and guilt-trips him into participating in the attempted murder of Alan and began a sexual relationship with him when he was less than twelve years old, although she herself was only fourteen at the time of their discovery. When he finally admits to falling in love with Edith, Lucille kills him. No matter how much she regretted it afterward, or how tragic the circumstances, considering they most likely never saw, let alone knew, any other children until they were teenagers, the fact that their relationship ended in his death is still a pattern common to abusive relationships.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Like her brother, she is very pale with thick brown hair and very mysterious and stern. Consider that she's played by the natural redhead Jessica Chastain in a wig.
  • Electra Complex: Lucille has shades of this. She despises her abusive and controlling mother to this very day and now considers herself the lady of Allerdale Hall, including wearing her mother's ring and dresses, and keeping hold of all the keys to control who goes where. She keeps her mother's portrait up and says she likes the idea of her "looking down on everything we do", which given later revelations is obviously intended to be a last 'screw you' to Lady Beatrice. It's revealed that Lucille murdered her mother and definitely has incestuous attraction to a male family member, though it's not her father (whom she also hated) but her brother (whom she was also a bit of a mother figure to). She killed Beatrice after she found out about the incest and Lucille feared she'd be separated from Thomas. She also torments and kills Thomas' wives, as they threaten to take her place as Lady Sharpe and Thomas' closest companion.
  • Entitled to Have You: She's strongly implied to have a case of this in regards to Thomas, overlapping woth Types A and B. Because he's her only family member who loved and didn't abuse her, and because she spent their whole childhood protecting him, she feels that he should do whatever she wants and that he belongs to her. She even got him to promise her he'd never love anyone else but her, as if he has any control over how feels about people.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Deconstructed. She is obsessively devoted to her brother (and lover), but she's also manipulative and domineering towards him, and when he chooses Edith over her, she loses it and stabs him to death. Edith even points this out when Lucille claims the only love she and Thomas ever knew from was from each other:
  • Evil Brit: She's a murderous British aristocrat (although her actress is actually American).
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: She changes from a pinned up hairstyle to having it down during the reveal of her incestuous relationship and her subsequent Sanity Slippage.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Unlike Thomas, who can be genuinely kind and pleasant to others, Lucille's polite observance of social niceties serves as more of a facade to either manipulate people or passive-aggressively humiliate and undermine them. Or both at once. During the climax, she at times speaks to Edith in a conversational and even friendly manner, while she's trying her very hardest to murder her. She also swiftly drops the friendliness when Edith pisses her off, becoming very aggressive and threatening.
  • Females Are More Innocent: Inverted. Although Lucille and Thomas are both complicit in their murderous crimes, Lucille is the more dominant one and comes off as a lot less sympathetic. While she does have a Freudian Excuse involving abuse by men, it doesn't remotely justify her later crimes (most of which involve other women) and she's depicted as being a ruthless sadist, whereas Thomas only goes along with the murders out of perceived necessity and despises it. It's strongly implied that the root cause of Thomas' darker side is Lucille's influence. In fact, people assuming this trope leads them to underestimate Lucille, as they focus more on Thomas and don't realize just how dangerous she is until it's too late. Notably, Thomas makes a Heel–Face Turn and gets to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence, while the unrepentant Lucille is Barred from the Afterlife.
  • Freudian Excuse: Her childhood was not a happy one; her father was violent towards them and squandered the family fortune and her mother wasn't much better, being very cold and unloving, and confining the children to the attic. Lucille always tried to look out for Thomas and took beatings for him. It's also revealed she spent time in a mental institute, which were not nice places to be in Victorian times, and Jessica Chastain indicated she was raped. It's not really all that surprising she's a bit messed up.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: She has two small scars on her face, hinting at her Dark and Troubled Past.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: It becomes increasingly obvious Lucille resents Edith's presence in Allerdale Hall, taking up Thomas's time and attention, as well as supplanting her as the lady of the house. As it turns out, Lucille's jealousy is also greatly fuelled by her obsession with Thomas and refusal to share him with Edith.
  • Hand-Hiding Sleeves: Her nightgown's sleeves are very long and voluminous. It counts as both types High Class and Sneaky, as the outfit is symbolic both of her aristocratic background, and of her sinister and manipulative nature. Interestingly, overly-long sleeves are sometimes associated with childlike characters, which may also fit with Lucille's Psychopathic Womanchild traits.
  • Hates Being Alone: She completely flips out after Edith and Thomas spend the night at the post office due to a snowstorm, saying how she was left all alone in the house and that she "can't be alone". It's unclear if she doesn't like being alone in general, or if it's specifically because she was alone without Thomas that really upset her. Given certain revelations, the latter looks more likely.
  • High Collar of Doom: Though a lot more subdued compared to many examples of this, lots of Lucille's dresses have high collars.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: She has pale blue eyes, reflecting her cold and calculating nature.
  • If I Can't Have You…: Lucille kills her brother/lover Thomas in a fit of jealousy after he confesses to loving Edith and wanting to be with her over Lucille.
  • Impoverished Patrician: Due to the time period, the unmarried Lucille is financially dependent on her younger brother; however, their father squandered the family fortune and the rest of their money goes into Thomas' attempts to mine the red clay beneath their land, leaving Lucille destitute. It's shown that she always wears outdated clothes – possibly her mother's old dresses – and she occasionally complains about the state of the house, insisting they "must do something about it".
  • In Love with Your Carnage: She looks positively thrilled when Thomas stabs Alan, finally "[getting his] hands dirty for once". Little does she know, Thomas has had a Heel–Face Turn and non-fatally stabbed Alan to save him.
  • Ironic Name: Lucille means "light" in French, but Lucille Sharpe is constantly associated with darkness.
  • I See Dead People: During her climatic showdown with Edith, Lucille sees Thomas's ghost (she having murdered him not long ago), implied to be the first time she's ever seen a ghost. It distracts her long enough for Edith to take her out with a shovel.
  • It's All About Me: Her selfishness is subtle yet increasingly noticeable. Lucille seems to care about no one but her brother...but even then it's on her terms. If he does something she doesn't approve of, she's quick to show her disapproval and guilt him into doing what she wants. Notably, when Thomas finally gets his clay machine working, he happily says "I can't wait to show Edith!", prompting Lucille to snap "Edith? I helped you do this." See also If I Can't Have You….
  • Jerkass: Increasingly, Lucille shows a tendency to be controlling, passive-aggressive and condescending to most people, especially Edith. And this is before it turns out she's a murderer several times over.
  • Kick the Dog: She has few moments of cruelty done out of pure spite and sadism.
    • A literal example in the climax; while Thomas deals with Alan, Lucille kills Edith's dog.
    • As she tries to force Edith to sign her inheritance over to Thomas, she mockingly states "You thought you were a writer" (which is Edith's lifelong dream) before burning the manuscript she'd been working on for months, at the least, right in front of her.
    • This actually backfires on her in the climax; right before a despairing Edith is about to sign the document transferring her money to Thomas, she asks Lucille to tell her which of them killed her father, she having figured out the Sharpes had murdered him. Lucille cruelly reveals she did the deed, stating "Such a coarse, condescending man. He loved you. You should've seen his sad face when I smashed it on the sink." Cue an enraged Edith snapping out of her Heroic BSoD and stabbing her in the shoulder with a pen.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Both of Lucille's first victims, her parents, were abusive assholes (though her murder of her mother is still depicted as rather disturbing).
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: Lucille indicates that many of her actions are motivated by a desire to protect her beloved brother, no matter what. This includes murdering their mother (and their father, according to Word of God), among various other crimes.
  • Lady Macbeth: Revealed to be this to Thomas – she's technically not his wife, though she probably wishes she were and acts like she is when no one else is looking. However, unlike many examples, she actually ends up being the film's true villain after Thomas' Heel–Face Turn (and subsequent murder at Lucille's hands). She seems to kill not just out of perceived necessity, but because she enjoys it, and she manipulates and goads Thomas into committing evil acts.
  • Light Feminine Dark Feminine: She's the 'dark' to Edith's 'light'.
  • Light Is Not Good: In the climax, she wears a white nightgown, the only time she's seen wearing white in the film which is also when the true extent of her Ax Crazyness comes out. It gives her a rather eerie, otherworldly look, especially when she runs through the snow and fog.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Lucille only wanted her brother to marry for convenience because she has been crazily in love with him since they were children. As she told Edith, love makes you a monster.
    "The horror was for love. The things we do for love like this are ugly, mad, full of sweat and regret. This love burns you and maims you and twists you inside out. It is a monstrous love and it makes monsters of us all."
  • Mask of Sanity: She's wearing one for most of the film, though by the middle of the story it's started to slip (and there's always something a bit 'off' about her). In the climax, she has a complete mental breakdown and is running around slashing at people with knives or cleavers.
  • Meaningful Name: Like her brother, she has a very Sharpe mind. And she loves using sharp weapons when she goes Ax-Crazy.
  • More Deadly Than the Male: It's revealed that Lucille is the true mastermind behind the Sharpe's murderous schemes and the one who carries out the murders, be it via poison, with a cleaver or simply a nearby sink. Although he knows of the murders, Thomas himself has never killed anyone and isn't nearly as Ax-Crazy. Alan in particular makes the mistake of assuming Thomas is the more dangerous of the two; as he's trying to take Edith from the house he keeps his focus on Thomas, giving Lucille the opportunity to slip up behind him and stab him.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: After stabbing Thomas, she begins sobbing and gathers him in her arms. Her grief soon gives way to psychotic rage, but when encountering Thomas' ghost, she actually freezes up and tearfully says his name, indicating she regrets killing him.
  • Nice Hat: She wears a black lacy one while out at the park.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: In the climax, she taunts Edith about how she murdered her father. However, this snaps Edith out of her Heroic BSoD, stabbing Lucille with a pen and making a run for it.
  • Not Blood Siblings: Edith eventually starts to suspect Lucille might not actually be Thomas' sister, given her apparent obsession with him and especially Mr Holly's revelation that Thomas has already been married. As it turns out Lucille actually is his sister as well as his lover.
    Edith: I knew it! I knew it! You're not his sister!
    Lucille: That's delightful. I am.
  • Not Good with Rejection: When Carter rejects Thomas' business proposal and orders them to leave town, she brutally murders him by smashing his head against a sink. And when Thomas admits he has fallen in love with Edith and believes he and Lucille are finished, she has a complete meltdown and stabs him to death.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: She's rather cold, passive-aggressive and subtly threatening towards her sister-in-law Edith, despite her attempts to befriend her. And this is before it turns out Lucille is secretly poisoning her and did the same to Thomas' other wives too.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: It's revealed that the ghost baby was actually Lucille's child with Thomas. The infant was born sickly (possibly because its parents were brother and sister, possibly because of the poor state of the house, or both) and despite Enola's attempts to nurse the child back to health, it ultimately died. Lucille indicates she actually cared about her baby to an extent, saying that she believed it should've been left to die at birth because of its health condition, but that she initially let it live because "[she] wanted it".
  • Pet the Dog: She mentions she cared for her mother after her father broke her leg, helping her get in and out of the bath and feeding her, even though Lady Beatrice wasn't a very nice mother. Of course, she later went on to murder her, which undermines it somewhat. She is also very protective of her brother; see Big Sister Instinct and Knight Templar Big Brother.
  • The Peeping Tom: She peeps on Thomas when he's alone with Edith. It's to make sure they aren't having sex.
  • Please, Don't Leave Me!: Lucille has serious issues with being left alone, especially when it comes to her brother. When she learns he has fallen in love with Edith, she stabs him to death and then loses it completely.
  • Precision F-Strike: When Edith accuses her of murdering Enola's baby, Lucille bluntly tells her "None of the others ever fucked Thomas", a stark contrast to her usual propriety. She then clarifies that the baby was actually her's.
  • Prim and Proper Bun: She usually wears her long hair pinned back tightly, until the climax, where she finally lets her hair down, in more ways than one.
  • Promoted to Parent: Given how horrible their own parents were to them and Lucille's comments about how she tried to protect and comfort Thomas when they were growing up, it's implied she took on a motherly role to him. Of course, this just makes it all the more disturbing when it's revealed they've been in a sexual relationship for years.
  • Proper Lady: Subverted. Lucille appears to be one, being a very refined, well-spoken and elegant upper-class lady, who keeps things running smoothly around Allerdale Hall, but it eventually becomes clear this is an act more than anything. By the film's climax, Lucille's true self is revealed and she's pretty much the antithesis of a Proper Lady being a sadistic murderess who is involved in an obsessive incestuous relationship with her brother; she even drops an F-bomb after Edith pushes her Berserk Button.
  • Psychopathic Womanchild: Lucille is a dangerous and intelligent antagonist but in some situations, especially in the climax, she behaves more like a child in a full grown woman's body. She's prone to fits of jealousy, impatient, likes to sing her childhood lullaby frequently and by the end, she kills her brother and lover Thomas when she finds out he's genuinely in love with Edith. When she kills him, her crying isn't that dissimilar to that of a upset child.
  • Rapunzel Hair: When her hair is down, it goes past her waist.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: She has black hair and in her first scene, she's wearing a red gown. She soon proves to be quite a sinister and secretive character and is definitely revealed to be evil in the end.
  • The Resenter: It's implied she resents all the beatings she took to protect Thomas when they were children, and being sent to an asylum after killing their mother to keep their relationship secret... and poisoning their father after a particularly brutal beating nearly killed Thomas... And "letting" Thomas marry rich women to fund his inventions... And having to do all the dirty work to dispose of them because Thomas was "too soft" to do it himself... She may love her brother, but it's a toxic, obsessive love tainted by all the sacrifices she felt she had to make to protect him and their incestuous relationship.
  • Sadist: Displays signs of being one. She drops a dying butterfly onto the ground to be eaten alive by ants while smirking and seems to enjoy making Edith feel uncomfortable with snide and passive-aggressive remarks. When Edith catches her 'with' Thomas, she's positively gleeful at her distress. She's smirking the whole time while stabbing Alan and killing Edith's dog in front of her, and when she confronts Edith with a meat cleaver, she tauntingly hisses at her just to freak her out.
  • Sanity Slippage: Although hardly the paragon of sanity before, after killing Thomas she loses it completely and becomes a deranged, feral killer.
  • Self-Made Orphan: She murdered her abusive mother with a cleaver and according to Word of God, killed her father too.
  • Serial Killer: Although they're both complicit, Lucille is the one who's been killing Thomas' wives slowly with poison. She also killed both their parents. It's revealed she keeps locks of hair from her female victims, including cutting one from Edith's hair eventually, like trophies. She also kept the cleaver she used to murder her mother, hiding it in the cellar before the authorities arrived, as she tells Edith when she retrieves it to kill her in the climax. Furthermore, the ghosts of Thomas' wives all have missing ring fingers, implying Lucille hacked them off to get the Sharpe family ring back.
  • Signature Move: She seems to quite like going for people's faces, either stabbing them or bashing them in.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: Lucille usually wears dark and concealing clothes, befitting her aloof and rigid manner. However, in the film's climax, she's wearing a much looser, floatier and more revealing nightgown and robe, reflecting the revelation about her true nature.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: A dark example. She comes across as a Proper Lady, but is revealed to have a will of iron when it comes to fulfilling her goals and physically she is suprisingly strong. See also Dark Action Girl.
  • The Social Darwinist: She has hints of being one, mostly types 4 (The Jerk Justifier) and 6 (The Weakness Punisher). After finding some dying butterflies being preyed on by ants, Edith remarks that it's "sad", only for Lucille to say "No, it's not sad, Edith. It's nature. It's a world of everything dying and eating each other right beneath our feet" (part of this is featured in her character quote). This is also reflected in her conversation with Edith about butterflies and the black moths of Allerdale Hall – she regards butterflies (i.e. Edith) as being pretty, but frail and weak, especially when taken out of the sun, while moths (i.e. herself) aren't that pretty, but much tougher and more "formidable", thriving in the dark and cold. She makes a point of saying that moths feed on butterflies to survive. In the climax, when she and Edith are discussing Thomas' previous wives, Lucille states they were all 'damaged' women with no families, incapable of surviving in such a harsh world, and that killing them was almost an act of mercy (though it seems doubtful she feels any sympathy for her victims at all, merely treating them as a means to an end). She also seems to try justifying all her crimes to Edith as protecting herself and Thomas.
  • Something About a Rose: In one scene, she's wearing a red rose pinned to her black dress, the only bit of color on her entire outfit. It serves as more Foreshadowing of her dangerous nature.
  • Speak Ill of the Dead:
    • She doesn't exactly have nice things to say about either of her late parents (which is understandable, considering how they treated her and Thomas). When Edith is trying to find something to say about Lady Beatrice's very stern-looking portrait, Lucille bluntly suggests she looks "Horrible?" and states it's "an excellent likeness". She later refers to her father as "a brute".
    • In the climax, this trope backfires on Lucille when she makes nasty remarks about Edith's deceased father and tauntingly tells her how she murdered him, prompting Edith to stab her with a pen.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: It's revealed it was her who murdered Carter in the bathhouse, disguising herself as a man by pinning her hair back and borrowing Thomas' clothes to sneak inside. Carter actually recognized her when they came face to face, but Lucille quickly silenced him permanently before he had time to react much.
  • Teens Are Monsters: At fourteen, she was having a sexual relationship with her younger brother and murdered her mother with a cleaver. She only got worse from there.
  • Two Decades Behind: An intentional example with her dresses. The film is set in 1901, but Lucille's wardrobe - while still beautiful - is better-suited to fashion trends of the 1870's/1880's. This further helps to establish the Sharpes as Impoverished Patricians – Lucille cannot afford newer clothes – and also symbolises how Lucille clings to the past.
  • The Unfettered: As it turns out, Lucille is willing to do just about anything up to and including murder to get her own way and keep her and Thomas safe in Allerdale Hall.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Believe it or not. The art book reveals that for a brief time in her early childhood her mother would let Lucille and Thomas outside to play, she would collect insects out of scientific curiosity rather than sadism, and she genuinely befriended the one housekeeper they could afford. However, Beatrice couldn't stand her well-bred daughter mingling with The Help, dismissed the servant the next day, and confined Lucille and Thomas to the attic, only letting Lucille out to make her do chores the housekeeper used to do, and care for her after her husband broke her leg. Long bouts of isolation broken up with horrific physical abuse from her parents strained and eventually broke Lucille's psyche, turning her into the monster she is now.
  • Villainous Breakdown: After killing Thomas, she goes utterly insane and becomes a shrieking, bloodthirsty monster.
  • Walking Spoiler: There are many secrets at Allerdale Hall and she holds the most.
  • White Shirt of Death: The white nightgown she wears in the climax gets very bloodstained with both other people's blood and her own blood by the time Edith kills her.
  • Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: Is she ever. See also Beneath the Mask.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Her nightmarish childhood very likely influenced her murderous insanity. She implies that she believes becoming harsh and brutal is the only way to survive in such a place.
  • Yandere: For Thomas, as it turns out. So much so that she ends up killing Thomas after finding out that he fell in love with Edith. She then sobs hysterically over his corpse after he dies.
  • You Owe Me: It's implied that Lucille resents all the beatings she took to protect Thomas when they were children, and getting sent to an asylum after murdering their mother to keep their relationship secret), giving this undercurrent to her emotional control and manipulations over him. She went through hell to protect him, so now she feels he owes her complete obedience and submission in all matters.


Dr. Alan McMichael
Played By: Charlie Hunnam

A doctor and childhood friend of Edith, who is secretly in love with her.

  • Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder: It's implied that he and Edith were sweet on each other once, but then he went to London and was apparently away for so long that her feelings for him faded. However, before he can rekindle that old spark, Thomas steps in.
  • Betty and Veronica: The sweet, humble, sincere "boy next door" Betty to Thomas' Tall, Dark, and Handsome Veronica.
  • Chekhov's Hobby: An early throwaway line by Edith reveals that he reads detective fiction novels. After Edith's father is murdered, he puts those amateur detective interests to use to find out what happened.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Alan and Edith have been friends since they were children, and he clearly hopes they can become more. However, Edith's feelings toward him cooled after he left for London without writing to her for so long, and she falls for the Tall, Dark, and Handsome Mysterious Stranger Thomas Sharpe.
  • Determinator: He does everything in his power to uncover the truth behind the Sharpes and help Edith, including traveling for hours through a snowstorm to reach her when he believes she's in danger. He even survives being stabbed twice and manages to limp out of the house in the snow, with Edith's help.
  • Disney Death: He apparently dies after Thomas stabs him, but it's then revealed Thomas stabbed him in a non-fatal place to fake his death, then hides him in order to save him and Edith from Lucille.
  • Distressed Dude: In the film's climax, his attempt to rescue Edith goes awry after being stabbed by the Sharpe siblings and in the end Edith has to rescue himnote .
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Edith chooses to marry Thomas instead of Alan who shares with her the fascination of believing in ghosts.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: The only blond male and by far the nicest.
  • Hidden Depths: The optometrist that mostly keeps medical books in his office also loves detective fiction. Despite also being a Nice Guy and a man of science, he has a deep fascination with ghosts and his hobby involves collecting photos that prove their existence.
  • Love Epiphany: The art book reveals that, as children, Alan and Edith decided to practice kissing under a summer tree to see what it would be like. Edith just thought it was an interesting experience and wanted to use it to better write about love in her stories, but Alan never forgot the kiss, and basically fell in love with Edith immediately afterward.
  • Maybe Ever After: With Thomas Sharpe dead and Edith widowed at the end, maybe Alan might have a chance?
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Despite knowing each other for a long time, Edith chooses Tall, Dark, and Handsome Mysterious Stranger Thomas over him. Now that the Sharpe siblings have been exposed and killed, with Edith left a widow, he just might be victorious after all.


Carter Everett Cushing

Played By: Jim Beaver

Edith's father, a wealthy American businessman who has a bad feeling about Thomas and Lucille Sharpe.

  • Break Her Heart to Save Her: Invoked. He orders Thomas to break Edith's heart and leave town rather than pursue her, to save her from whatever fate the Sharpe siblings have in store for her. Unfortunately for Carter, the siblings do not do this.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Lucille repeatedly smashes his head to the lavatory leaving a crude hole in his head and breaking his nose.
  • Foil: To Thomas and Lucille's father. While Carter is a Self-Made Man, Sir James squandered the fortune he was born into. While both are controlling father (as Del Toro explains in the art book), Carter is very loving if overprotective, while Sir James was an abusive and neglectful "brute."
  • Good Parents: He's a very warm and loving father to Edith and the two of them have a very close relationship.
    • Parents as People: The art book points out that he's also incredibly controlling, though: Edith's sheltered upbringing and Carter's tendency to withhold information rather than allow her to make her own decisions are a major contributor to how the plot plays out.
  • Gut Feeling: He instantly takes an instinctive dislike to Thomas.
  • Hypocrite: Downplayed. Carter prides himself on being a Self-Made Man and despises Thomas partly for being Blue Blood, yet he refuses to give Thomas the same chance to make something of himself through his own ingenuity by refusing to fund his clay extracting machine.
  • Kick the Dog: In the end he was right about Thomas and Lucille being not to be trusted, but he went out of his way to be an absolute dick to them, particularly Thomas, based entirely on the fact he just didn't like them. Lucille even points this out in the climax.
  • He Knows Too Much: Lucille brutally murders him after he reveals he knows about Thomas and Lucille's past.
  • Open-Minded Parent: Despite the expectations for young women in the period this film is set in, Mr. Cushing has no problem with, and in fact encourages, his daughter's dream of becoming a published author. He even lets her use his office typewriter when her choice of genre is turned down on account of her penmanship revealing her gender.
  • Papa Wolf: As he knows that Edith is getting more and more attracted to the charming Sir Thomas and distrusts him for his failed projects in several countries, he contracts the private investigator Holly to look into his past. After learning that Thomas is already legally married, he disapproves the marriage. Imagine if he would have had the newspaper clipping about the Sharpe mother's murder! But at this point in the movie he only had the marriage certificate.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: He's right that the Sharpe siblings shouldn't be trusted, and the information Mr. Holly digs up about their past confirms it, but what he doesn't know is they are Impoverished Patricians who feel compelled to marry and discard rich girls for money as a last resort to fund Thomas' clay extracting machine to ensure their economic security, due to being turned down for legitimate funding by men like Carter time and time again.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: To an extent. He doesn't like or trust the Sharpe siblings due to a Gut Feeling, and refuses to fund Thomas' clay-extracting machine or allow him to woo his daughter on these grounds. He also hires a private investigator to dig up their past. This leads to him being killed because He Knows Too Much, and the Sharpes to continue their old cycle of marrying and discarding rich girls for their money to get the funding for Thomas' machine that Carter refused.
  • Self-Made Man: He prides himself on having built a successful business by the sweat of his brow.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: If he'd just funded Thomas' invention, or told Edith the truth about them, the siblings wouldn't have felt compelled to marry Edith for her money.


Mr. Holly

Played By: Burn Gorman

A detective hired by Carter to investigate the Sharpes.

  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: He almost bears a resemblance to the very people he's investigating.
  • Mr. Exposition: He helps Mr. Cushing (and by extension the audience) to let them know what the nature of the Sharpes really are. He's an interesting example of this, as he really doesn't say much expository dialogue as one would expect.
  • Private Detective: An early example but still counts, due to his role.

    The Ghosts 

The Visiting Ghost

Played By: Doug Jones

A skull-faced ghost dressed in black who warns Edith not to go into Crimson Peak. She's actually Edith's late mother.

  • Cassandra Truth: She keeps warning Edith to avoid entering Crimson Peak even before she marries Thomas. But Edith still goes to marry Thomas and move to Allerdale Hall. However, Edith didn't know the place was nicknamed Crimson Peak until she had already moved there, and is shaken when she discovers this.
  • Creepy Good: She dresses all in black, has a skull face, and had tormented Edith a few times since her childhood, though she always appeared as a reminder for her daughter not to enter Crimson Peak.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: She wears a sinister-looking black dress and veil, and has a skeletal form, but she has only good intentions.
  • Mama Bear: Not even being dead will stop her from coming back to try and warn of Edith about Crimson Peak.
  • Missing Mom: She is the ghost of Edith's mother, who died of cholera while Edith was still a child.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: She's never seen again after visiting Edith, shortly before she marries Thomas Sharpe. Presumably, she moved on to the afterlife after Edith was safe.

Lady Beatrice Sharpe

Played By: Doug Jones

The deceased mother of the Sharpe siblings who died under disturbing circumstances.

  • Abusive Parents: Lady Beatrice would beat her children, kept them locked in the attic and is generally implied to have been very cold towards them, which was one of the reasons Lucille killed her.
  • Asshole Victim: She was not a particularly pleasant woman and was abusive to her children with her own daughter being the one who offed her.
  • Awful Wedded Life: Her marriage was a loveless one and her husband was abusive to her.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Her skull was split with a cleaver. Although it was probably a quick death (one hopes), if the sounds Edith hears are any indication, Beatrice's killer got her while she helpless in the bathtub and made sure she knew she was going to die.
  • Deadly Bath: She was murdered in her own bathtub. Edith later finds Beatrice's bloody ghost laying in her bathtub full of blood, with a cleaver sticking out of her skull.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Although hardly the paragon of virtue, Beatrice was horrified to discover her children were in an incestuous relationship, calling them monsters.
  • Evil Cripple: Her husband broke her leg and it never quite healed properly, giving her a limp. Lucille states she had to care for her.
  • Ironic Name: Beatrice means "she who brings joy," but from all accounts she was a cold, cruel, horrible woman who beat and neglected her children, and is largely responsible for how miserable and messed up they are.
  • Parental Neglect: She was at the very least emotionally neglectful, treating her children coldly, confining them to the nursery in the attic and not allowing them to go outside or play with other children.
    • The art book also reveals that she fired the one servant they had when she saw Lucille become close to her, as Beatrice couldn't stand her well-bred daughter mingling with "the help," but then Beatrice confined her children to the attic and made Lucille do a lot of chores the fired housekeeper used to do because Beatrice couldn't be bothered.
  • Pet the Dog: Despite not being a very nice woman when she was alive, her ghost tries to warn Edith away from Allerdale Hall, so she won't end up the same.
    • An additional warning she gives is "his blood will be on your hands", implying that she knows that Thomas loves Edith and Lucille will kill him in a jealous rage (since ghosts are implied to be able to see into the future or move "out of time," like Edith's mother regarding Crimson Peak), it could be a posthumous and long-overdue case of being a Mama Bear.

The Ghosts from Allerdale Hall

Played By: Javier Botet

The ghosts that haunt Allerdale Hall who are the spirits of Thomas Sharpe's murdered wives.

  • And I Must Scream: Due to the violent nature of their deaths, they're unable to move on, trapped in the dismal halls of the people who murdered them.
    • Enola probably gets the worst of it. She's doomed to forever care for the crying baby of her husband's incestuous affair with his own sister, that she tried and failed to save so they would spare her, but not before leaving a tearful and frantic Apocalyptic Log begging whoever finds it to find her body and take her home.
  • Bloody Horror: The ghosts all appear to be covered in blood. It's actually the liquified red clay placed in locked tanks under the house and where the corpses are hidden. They also retain the injuries they suffered while alive—or that killed them. Beatrice retains her broken leg and axed skull, one wife's face is caved in and her ring finger hacked off, and so on.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: If the injuries on their ghostly bodies are any indication. One has a rope around its neck if you look closely, potentially indicating strangulation, while another has the top of it's skull missing. It's revealed that they were all slowly poisoned with arsenic, but it's strongly implied Lucille killed some of them in more even more direct and brutal ways, because the poison was taking too long.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Despite their horrifying appearance and creepy tendencies, the ghosts all try to warn Edith about the horrors of Crimson Peak. Enola's ghost in particular even helps Edith discover the truth about Thomas and Lucille's relationship..
  • Outside-Context Problem: A Heroic example. The Sharpes probably weren't expecting the ghosts of their previous victims tipping Edith off to their plans.
  • Vetinari Job Security: Enola tried to invoke this to buy herself some time, convincing Lucille to spare her so she could save her baby. The baby died anyway and Lucille axed her.


Sir James William Sharpe

Lucille and Thomas' late father.
  • Abusive Parents: It's strongly implied he was abusive towards his children; according to Word of God, he once nearly killed Thomas through his maltreatment prompting Lucille to murder him.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: By all accounts, he was not a nice man, abusing and terrorising his wife and children. Lucille refers to him as "a brute."
  • Asshole Victim: According to the filmmakers, James was poisoned by his own daughter, after subjecting her and the rest of his family to years of abuse.
  • Domestic Abuse: Towards his wife, once beating her so badly he broke her leg, which never fully healed.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Of the whole film. Though he’s been dead for many years and so doesn’t directly influence the plot, his cruel treatment of Thomas and Lucille is a big part of why they're so messed up; his poor financial decisions also led to his children’s impoverishment which is the driving factor behind their Bluebeard scheme.
  • The Hedonist: It's not clear how he squandered the family fortune, but considering his abusive nature and the common money-losing vices for indolent nobles at the time (drinking, gambling, whoring, keeping expensive mistresses, excessive traveling and/or spendthrifting) it's safe to assume he blew it on vices rather than unwise or unfortunate business investments.
    Thomas: Father didn't lose the entire fortune overnight, he really had to put his back into it.
  • Posthumous Character: He's dead long before the events in the film and apparently doesn't show up as a ghost or in any portraits, though he’s mentioned a few times.
  • Would Hit a Girl: He physically abused Beatrice, even snapping her leg.


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