Once kids get tired of the sappier Christmas movies, they move on to Tim Burton’s 1993 stop-motion fantasy, The Nightmare Before Christmas. As dark as the 76-minute film is, though, there’s a lot left to viewers’ imaginations. For example, we never find out how the ghoulish residents of Halloween Town died … or even if they are, in fact, dead.
Reddit user ImAPotatoF–kYou, however, got that conversation going in the Fan Theories forum. This Redditor thinks Sally’s line, “I had a vision,” hints at her death. “Sally may have been suspected of witchcraft when she was living (due to her being able to see the future) and she was dismembered as a punishment for being a ‘witch,’” they wrote. “Not to mention, she does know her way around herbs (nightshade, witch hazel, etc.).”
A commenter on the post, a Redditor named theknightinthetardis, linked to a Tumblr post theorizing about the possible deaths of some other characters in the film — including Jack Skellington, Dr. Finklestein, the Mayor of Halloween Town, and Oogie Boogie. None of those characters appear to have died peacefully.
Jack was burned alive, this Tumblr author posited, since Jack is just a skeleton in the movie, and since we see him go up in flames at the beginning. Dr. Finklestein was poisoned, which is why none of Sally’s poisoning attempts seem to have much of an effect on him. The Mayor, meanwhile, probably died of a broken neck since his head seems to do a 180-turn at the slightest provocation. Lock froze to death, which explains his pale skin and blue lips. Oogie Boogie was skinned alive, which is why he’s just a burlap sack with insects for innards. And Zero the dog was electrocuted (the fact that he looks like smoke and his jack-o-lantern nose illuminates like a lightbulb may have clued us in).
So these are some nightmares before Christmas, right? Of course, it’s entirely possible these beloved characters aren’t dead humans at all but an entirely different species of life. Either way, let the record show, that Tumblr user does cite “You ruined my childhood!” as one of the most frequent responses to his post.