OMITB: How Did Gideon Goosebury Die? Is His Curse Real?

Created by Steve Martin and John Hoffman, Hulu’s ‘Only Murders in the Building‘ is a mystery comedy-drama series about three true crime podcast lovers who solve murder mysteries in their apartment complex. In the show’s third season, Oliver’s play is jeopardized when his lead actor, Ben Glenroy, is killed on the opening night. In the sixth episode, the death of Gideon Goosebury, another actor who died on stage while enacting a play, serves as a major plot point. If you are looking for answers about Gideon Goosebury’s death and whether the curse sparked by his demise is real, here is everything you need to know! SPOILERS AHEAD!

How Did Gideon Goosebury Die?

Gideon Goosebury is first mentioned in the sixth episode of ‘Only Murders in the Building.’ He appears in a brief flashback sequence during the episode’s opening montage. In the montage, Howard Morris, Oliver’s assistant in the Broadway play ‘Death Rattle,’ gives a rundown of different ghostly curses that plague the theater world. Howard explains that Gideon dreamt of playing the lead role in a major Broadway production. However, in 1990, he was killed on the opening night of Gideon’s first play in a starring role. Howard’s narration reveals that the actor was killed when a sandbag fell on his head while delivering a monologue on the stage.

Gideon Goosebury’s death led to superstition among theater enthusiasts that the late actor’s soul tormented the theater and the productions that are housed in it. Gideon’s death mirrors that of Ben Glenroy, who also seemingly died on stage on the opening night of his first Broadway play. However, unlike Gideon, Ben survived only to be killed later that night by falling down an empty elevator shaft. Gideon’s tragic death is the subject of the sixth episode, and it provides Charles, Mabel, Oliver, and even Howard major inspiration in their pursuit of answers about Ben Glenroy’s death.

Is Gideon Goosebury’s Curse Real?

Gideon Goosebury’s curse is a superstition that started with the actor’s death on stage. However, Gideon Goosebury does not appear to be based on any real actor. It is safe to say that the actor and the curse stemming from his death are both fictional. However, in the show’s narrative, the answer is twofold. In the episode, Howard explains that Gideon Goosebury’s curse haunts the Goosebury Theater. Howard was aware of the curse and implemented a ritual that seemingly prevented Gideon’s ghost from harming anyone involved with Oliver’s play or creating mishaps. Howard explains that he swept the floor every day, three steps in each direction, which stopped the curse from taking effect.

Eventually, Kitty, the stage manager at the Goosebury Theater, explains that sweeping does not negate the curse. Kitty explains that they must make Gideon a part of their play to avoid the curse. As a result, Kitty asks Howard to perform a monologue similar to the one Gideon was delivering at the time of his death. The monologue serves as a way of appeasing the dead actor’s ghost. Ultimately, the episode’s ending reveals that the man Howard presumed to be Gideon’s ghost was Oliver’s homeless friend, Gerry Blau. Thus, the series suggests that the curse is not real. However, after Howard performs the monologue, he and Kitty experience a rush of wind that takes away the pages from Howard’s hand, hinting at the presence of a ghost. The episode does not rule out the possibility of the curse being real but only makes the situation more enticing by showcasing both sides of the coin.

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