Who is Joseph Crackstone in Wednesday?

Joseph Crackstone in Wednesday
Who is Wednesday antagonist Joseph Crackstone? (Image credit: Netflix)

Joseph Crackstone was a huge name in Wednesday's core investigation, and we even met the man himself in the thrilling final episode. But who was he, and how was he connected to the case?

The Wednesday ending was filled with twists and turns, with Crackstone being resurrected so that Laurel Gates (aka "Mrs Thornhill") could enact her plan of avenging her brother and ridding the world of outcasts.

We found out that Laurel was hiding in plain sight throughout the whole of Wednesday, pretending to be Nevermore's plant expert and dorm mom, but she was actually plotting a plan to kill everyone in the school.

With Joseph Crackstone a key part of Laurel's plan, read on to learn everything you need to know about the character, and how he tied into the main plot of the Netflix series...

Who was Joseph Crackstone?

Joseph Crackstone surrounded by other pilgrims with torches

(Image credit: Netflix)

Throughout Wednesday, the titular character keeps having visions which bring her closer to uncovering the truth about the murders happening near her boarding school, Nevermore Academy.

In episode 2, Wednesday has a vision where she sees her ancestor Goody Addams outside the crypt of Joseph Crackstone, and she goes off to learn more about this name and who he was.

Goody Addams and Wednesday Addams

(Image credit: Netflix)

Wednesday heads to the local Jericho attraction Pilgrim World on a field trip with her Nevermore classmates but is frustrated to learn that the exhibit about Crackstone is closed. Still, that would never stop her, and she sneaks in to learn more.

She discovers that Crackstone was one of the first Pilgrims to settle there in 1625 and was a high-ranking member of the community. But unfortunately, his senior position meant he was able to spread his hateful views and encourage others to follow in his footsteps.

Crackstone despised outsiders, anyone who didn't belong or had supernatural powers, and as a result tried to have Goody Addams burnt to death as a witch, which is why Goody was trying to warn Wednesday about him.

Of course, Crackstone was long dead by this point, but Wednesday managed to piece together the puzzle and work out that someone was trying to resurrect Crackstone.

How are Laurel Gates and Joseph Crackstone connected?

Joseph Crackstone and Laurel Gates

(Image credit: Netflix)

Joseph Crackstone is an ancestor of the Gates family, who was one of the wealthiest and most powerful families in Jericho. We found out that Wednesday's mother Morticia accidentally caused the death of Garrett Gates after he became obsessed with her and got into a fight with Gomez because he wanted to be with her instead.

Morticia stabbed Garrett during the altercation and was never arrested for the crime, and Gomez vowed to take the fall for her instead. But Gates' relatives wanted vengeance following his death, fuelling a life-long hatred of outcasts that mirrored Crackstone's own.

Laurel Gates is Garrett's sister, who was posing as a Nevermore professor ready to get her long-awaited revenge on outcasts, and she was biding her time to create a ritual that would resurrect Crackstone.

By using Tyler, a Hyde, she was able to collect the body parts necessary for the ritual and brought Crackstone back to the Nevermore grounds, ready for revenge.

How was Joseph Crackstone defeated?

Crackstone bursting into flames

(Image credit: Netflix)

Although Crackstone seemed unstoppable, he was eventually defeated once again following a fight in the Nevermore courtyard.

We see Crackstone nearly kill Wednesday after shattering her sword, but Siren student Bianca offers a distraction by sneaking up and stabbing Crackstone in the back, which shocks him and he turns to focus on her.

This gives Wednesday an opening and she plunges the shattered sword into his newly-resurrected black heart. Crackstone dissolves in a blaze of fire, and it's over for him, hopefully never to be resurrected again.

Lucy Buglass
Senior Staff Writer

Lucy joined the WhatToWatch.com team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes, reviews and the latest TV news. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.

She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story, Stranger Things and Black Mirror but she is also partial to a quiz show or a bit of Say Yes to the Dress