The Season 7 episode “Heathridge Manor” dabbles in gothic horror and has a spectacularly unnerving ending. In the episode, the BAU are called in when a dead woman is discovered in an abandoned asylum, dressed for the 16th century. They suspect Satanic worship is at play, but as the story unravels, we discover that the killer is the delusional James Heathridge (“Veronica Mars” star Kyle Gallner). His mother believed her mission was to kill the Devil’s wives, going so far as to mutilate her own daughter to make her less appealing to the Devil. Since his mother’s death, James has had hallucinations of her telling him to continue the mission.
James kidnaps women and drowns them in a pseudo witch hunt. He enlists his sister, Lara (Madeleine Martin), in making them elaborate historical dresses, which he forces his victims into. As the BAU closes in on him, he turns on Lara, believing her to be corrupted, and nearly kills her. However, in a fight with Hotch (Thomas Gibson), James accidentally dies, and Lara is saved.
One of the local cops comments that Lara, the sister, will probably stay in the manor, calling it a “house that breeds delusions.” The camera then cuts away to some time in the near future, when Lara answers the door to find a tall, unidentifiable man dressed in black and carrying a cane decorated with a stylized cow skull. He, presumably the Devil, says he’s been waiting for her, but that it’s time for her to go with him. She takes his hand, but when the camera pulls away, she’s all alone — he is simply a hallucination. But of course, delusions are what drove her mother and brother to kill, so it leaves the audience wondering: What will Lara do next?