Days Of Our Lives' Most Tortured Characters Of All Time

"Days of Our Lives" viewers have seen a lot of drama with all of their favorite characters over the years. Characters like Abe Carver (James Reynolds), Kate Roberts (Lauren Koslow), Maggie Horton (Suzanne Rogers), Bo Brady (Peter Reckell), and Roman Brady (Josh Taylor) have been through so much over the decades. 

Of course, so many of the bad times were caused by the soap opera's biggest villain, Stefano DiMera (Joseph Mascolo), and many Salemites have been victims of his and his family's wrath on several occasions. Sadly, there are a handful of characters that seem to be more tortured than others, and they've been through the worst of the worst.

Stefano made many enemies during his time in Salem. However, he wasn't the sole reason for the pain and misery suffered by several of the characters. So much has happened to so many over the years. There's been heartbreak, tragedy, loss, betrayal, and mystery surrounding the show's most tormented characters.

Marlena Evans has dealt with demonic possession

Marlena Evans (Deidre Hall) is one of the most popular characters to ever appear on "Days of Our Lives." Marlena was introduced to fans in 1976 and she's been one of the most tormented characters ever since. 

In her early days in Salem, Marlena had to deal with being stalked by a serial killer, the murder of her identical twin sister, the death of her infant son, and the collapse of her first marriage to Don Craig (Jed Allan). Marlena later married Roman Brady (then Wayne Northrop) and welcomed twins Sami and Eric. Marlena went on to fall in love with John Black (Drake Hogestyn) and was forced to choose between him and Roman when her first husband miraculously returned.

Marlena has also survived being kidnapped by Stefano DiMera on several occasions, being locked away in a secret room, and kept from her family for a long time. Stefano even used Marlena to give birth to Rex and Cassie Brady, who were genetically engineered twins. 

In the '90s, fans were stunned when Marlena was possessed by the Devil and had to go through an exorcism. She became possessed again decades later.

After several decades on the sudser, Marlena is still at the center of the drama; and, in 2023, she was presumed dead and cryogenically frozen alongside Kayla Brady (Mary Beth Evans) and Kate Roberts before finally being reunited with John and her children.

John Black never found out his true identity

When John Black first stepped into Salem in the mid-1980s he became one of the most mysterious characters of all time. "Days of Our Lives" fans were intrigued by John, who was first introduced as an injured man with amnesia who befriended Marlena. 

Eventually, John was believed to be Marlena's presumed-dead husband Roman Brady. John lived as Roman for years and fell madly in love with Marlena. However, when the real Roman returned to Salem, John was heartbroken when he and Marlena tried to reconcile. John tried to figure out his true identity and discovered that he had been brainwashed by Stefano DiMera to be a soldier to do his bidding. 

After moving on from Marlena, John met Isabella Toscano and the couple tied the knot. The pair were thrilled to welcome their son, Brady Black, but soon after Isabella tragically died from cancer.

John and Marlena eventually got back together and even wed, but John still had questions about his past. He found information revealing that he had been adopted by the Alamain family and given the name Forrest Alamain. Years later, he was thought to be the biological child of Colleen Brady and Santo DiMera, making him Stefano's half-brother. However, that was later debunked.

John has created a life and family in Salem. However, he's never truly found out who he is or where he came from.

Hope Brady has lost many important people in her life

Hope Brady (Kristian Alfonso) is one of the most beloved Salemites of all time. Longtime "Days of Our Lives" fans have watched the character grow up. Hope was born to Addie Horton (Patricia Barry) and Doug Williams (Bill Hayes), but she tragically lost her mother when she was a small child. Hope was raised by her father and her half-sister, Julie Williams (Susan Seaforth Hayes) who went on to marry Doug and create a long-lasting relationship. Teenage Hope met Bo Brady and fell head over heels in love. However, she was forced into a marriage with corrupt politician Larry Welch before Bo eventually saved her and the two went on to build a life together.

As an adult, Hope was often a target of Stefano DiMera. She was kidnapped multiple times and even brainwashed to believe she was an art thief named Princess Gina. 

Over the years, Bo and Hope welcomed three children together. Their youngest son, Zack Brady, was switched at birth, and they were sadly forced to grieve the loss of the little boy after he was killed in a hit-and-run accident caused by Bo's daughter Chelsea Brady (Rachel Melvin). 

Later, Hope watched Bo die in her arms after he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She went on to marry Rafe Hernandez (Galen Gering), but that marriage ended after he cheated on her with Sami Brady (Alison Sweeney).

Abigail Deveraux DiMera struggled with mental illness

Abigail Deveraux DiMera (Kate Mansi/Marci Miller) is one of Salem's most tortured characters. The legacy character is the daughter of Jack Deveraux (Matthew Ashford) and Jennifer Horton (Melissa Reeves/Cady McClain). 

Abby lived a very dramatic life, starting with a serious illness as a baby. She also dealt with her father being presumed dead on several occasions. She had several love interests, including Chad DiMera (Billy Flynn) and Ben Weston (Robert Scott Wilson). Abby was engaged to Ben when it was discovered that he was a serial killer. She was also pregnant with a child she believed to be his. After the serial killer reveal, Ben kidnapped Abby and forced her to give birth in an abandoned cabin before trying to kill her. Eventually, Abby escaped and found out that her son belonged to Chad, but she was tormented by the memory of Ben.

Abby eventually began having serious mental health issues, including delusions. Things got so bad that she developed a split personality disorder, which caused her to murder Andre DiMera (Thaao Penghlis) and develop feelings for her brother-in-law Stefan DiMera (then Tyler Christopher). 

After getting help, Abby and Chad welcomed a daughter. However, their time together was limited. Abigail was murdered by Clyde Weston in one of the soap opera's most shocking murder mysteries, leaving behind Chad and her children, as well as many friends and family members, to mourn her.

Tony DiMera's family betrayed him

"Days of Our Lives" viewers know that Tony DiMera's story is tragic and surprising. The character was once believed to be the son of Stefano DiMera and the identical half-brother of Andre DiMera. He was fully invested in the DiMera family before being presumed dead several times and developing a rivalry with Andre, who kidnapped him and impersonated him before Anna DiMera (Leann Hunley) rescued him. Eventually, it was revealed that he was completely betrayed by his would-be father and brother.

Stefano arranged for Tony to be kidnapped and placed on a deserted island. Tony spent 20 years on that island without his friends and family members while Andre returned to Salem and assumed his identity. After finally returning home, Tony told his story and even reconciled with the love of his life, Anna.

After years of feuding with Andre, Tony felt freed by his death and was able to take a bigger role in the DiMera family business until he and Philip Kiriakis (Jay Kenneth Johnson) got into a physical altercation that harmed Tony and caused him to die from his wounds. Of course, Tony wasn't really dead, and he was brought back by Dr. Rolf's serum. Sadly, all of Tony's presumed deaths cost him decades of his life.