Darkest Soap Opera Moments

© Howard Wise/jpistudios.com

The land of soap operas can be a beautiful, fun-filled place, with romance and adventure at every corner! Then, there are times when things get creepy, scary and eerie. Whether it’s watching a serial killer wreak havoc in your favorite little town or a good character turning shady, daytime drama can explore a darker side, now and again. Below are some of the darkest moments in soap operas’ recent history.

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12. Days of Our Lives – Carly’s Buried Alive

When Vivian Alamain decided to bury her nemesis Carly Manning alive in the 1990s, soap opera fans sat at the edges of their seats, wondering if she’d accomplish this feat. Every Days fan’s worst nightmare eventually came true, and what made this storyline that much darker is Viv not only buried Carly alive in a coffin, but she also placed a device in the box so she could taunt Manning as the young lady slowly ran out of air. Thankfully, Alamain didn’t get away with the stunt, and Carly was saved; however, claustrophobic viewers everywhere felt Manning’s desperation throughout every single scene!

© Paul Skipper/jpistudios.com

11. General Hospital – A Party Turned Nightmare

Picture it: Port Charles, November 2007. Emily Quartermaine and Nikolas Cassadine were the “it” couple in town, and the Black & White Ball held at Wyndemere was supposed to be the “party of the year”. Sadly, the entire event went downhill fast, and fans could feel something big was on the horizon. The mansion blacking out was a nice, “dark” touch, but when the lights came on, and Emily was found breathless and lying on the ground, both partygoers and GH fans were stunned (and completely creeped out) at the loss of this beloved character.

©Jill Johnson/jpistudios.com

10. Young and the Restless – JT Does A U-Turn

Back in late 2017, many Y&R fans were excited to learn that JT Hellstrom was returning to the show. Viewers continued to swoon when he and Vicky decided to reunite; after all, they did make a lovely pair. With that said, as the weeks went by, it was clear that the good-natured JT had truly changed his stripes. Watching the domestic assaults that occurred between him and Vic, his controlling nature, as well as his emotional abuse was hard for many fans. The writers turned things up a notch in the darkness department when Vicky, along with Nikki, Sharon, and Phyllis axed the guy and tried to cover up his murder. The revelation of him being alive was that much scarier until a brain tumor explained why he was so, shall we say, “tense”.

© Howard Wise/jpistudios.com

9. Days of Our Lives – Marlena’s Possession

There’s nothing darker than the Devil, and poor Marlena Evans has not only had to suffer through one possession but a 2.0 version that was rolled out in fall 2021. Her body elevating, green eyes shining, not to mention all the terrible things Satan did to John through Marlena was scary, yet sometimes cheesy, too (both times around).

© XJJohnson/jpistudios.com

8. Days of Our Lives – The Apple Does Fall Far From The Tree

Devil Johnny has caused a ton of trouble in Salem and seems to be looking to do more. Unlike Marlena, DiMera’s version of Satan is more into causing chaos and breaking hearts than creepy elevation scenes with fire and destruction. With that said, his run hasn’t been as long as his grandmother’s. Still, how weird is it that Ciara and Ben’s cross keeps turning upside down? Something as pure and holy as a cross has transformed into something very dark on Days, as of late.

© XJJohnson/jpistudios.com

7. Young and the Restless – Adam Taunts Chelsea  

When Chelsea landed in a wheelchair, unable to move, talk, or feed herself, Adam attempted to help her rehabilitation by using Sharon. His thought process was to flaunt his friendship with Sharon around Chelsea as a motivation for Lawson to make progress. All this ended up doing was pushing Lawson over the edge so much so, she lost her ever-loving mind.

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© Howard Wise/jpistudios.com

6. General Hospital – Metro Court Hostage Situation

Maybe 2007 was an overall “dark” time for Port Charles? When Jerry Jacks returned to town that year, he overtook the Metro Court, held many residents hostage and did some terrible things. Not only was Robin Scorpio shot, and not allowed to be evacuated for medical attention, Alan Quartermaine suffered multiple heart attacks and was not taken to the hospital. Carly, Sam and Emily were also tormented. Sadly, Alan ended up passing away, after everyone was released. It marked a saddening time for the Quartermaines, the hospital, and friends close to the good doctor.

©Paul Skipper/jpistudios.com

5. Young and the Restless – Delia’s Accident

It’s never easy for any fan to see a child pass away, and there are a number of younger people who have suffered this fate on Y&R (and other soaps). However, Delia’s passing hits this list for a few reasons. First off, Billy leaving her in the car to get ice cream and not bringing her with him tugged on the heartstrings of many parents. Secondly, Adam running the little girl over (without knowing it and then hiding it) was another “dark” element within the storyline. Lastly, Delia had fought and recovered from cancer about a year earlier. It seemed completely unnecessary to have her pass away in this regard. But she did, and in many ways, her demise forever changed the landscape in Genoa City, as audiences knew it.

© Sean Smith/jpistudios.com

4. General Hospital – Ryan’s Killing Spree

Everything about Ryan Chamberlain is dark. From his original obsession with Felicia to popping back up on daytime screens in 2018 when he locked away his brother Kevin and impersonated him, it’s undeniable that Ryan is an extremely complicated character. However, one of his darkest moments had to have been romancing Ava Jerome, then murdering her daughter as an act of revenge for his “love”. In fact, how he left most victims during that spree was horrific.

© ChrisD/jpistudios.com

3. Young and the Restless – Max Doesn’t Like Abby

In general, children on soaps tend to be super smart, cute and charming. This is why the 2016 storyline around Max Rayburn and Abby Newman was very disturbing. Abby was involved with Max’s dad, Stitch (who ended up being a little loopy, too, in the long run). Basically, Max resented Abby for marrying his dad, and slightly being responsible for his mom’s passing. When he came to live with Stitch and Abby, he tormented his stepmom, manipulated situations to get them to fight, and ultimately was the reason she and Stitch lost their child. Max ended up going to a facility for his mental health issues and hasn’t been heard from since.

© ChrisD/jpistudios.com

2. General Hospital – Nik Poisons His Grandmother

Can’t get any darker than poisoning your own grandmother, but that’s probably a standard protocol in the Cassadine family. Each member at some point or another has tried to ruin another. With that said, Nikolas axed his dear sweet grandmother Helena in 2015 by poisoning her tea. From the sounds of it, she (sort of) got the last laugh as she ended up giving him a painting of her (drinking tea, no less!) during her will hearing.

©Howard Wise/jpistudios.com

1. Young and the Restless – Adam Drives Ashley Crazy

Believe it or not, Adam Newman and Ashley Abbott were actually the best of friends in 2009. She and Victor had re-ignited their romance and she was gleefully expecting his child. They both lived at the ranch, and Adam purposely worked overtime to attack Ashley’s mental health, something she’s struggled with over the years. He had her believing that Sabrina’s ghost was reaching out to her, and he even caused her to lose her baby. What’s even worse was to cover up losing her baby, he had her believing she was still expecting. He ended up stealing Sharon’s baby (Faith) and handing it over to Ashley as her own (when the time came). The entire thing brought so much unnecessary grief and heartache to Ms. Abbott (and Sharon), whose only real fault was befriending Victor’s son in the first place!

©sean smith/jpistudios.com

Dorathy Gass

Dorathy Gass

Dorathy Gass is an avid fan of daytime drama and has been watching Days of Our Lives, General Hospital, and Young and the Restless for over two decades now. As a full-time freelance writer, she gets to combine her love of soap operas and writing through her Fame 10 articles. Also a mother of two busy girls and a mommy blogger, she's been published multiple times over in Huffington Post Parents and Scary Mommy.