Back in October of 2011, FX brought viewers an original horror television series that fans simply couldn’t get enough of. Following the success of previous popular shows such as Nip Tuck and Glee, Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk created and produced American Horror Story. The first season, Murder House – which just happens to be my favorite season – was incredibly successful, creating a huge fan base and inspiring 5 seasons, with the 6th season coming this fall. Each season in the series has a new setting and new characters, along with a unique storyline inspired loosely by true events, and hints to what the next season will be about.
It’s a truly fantastic show that horror fiends look forward to every year. However, what provokes people to keep coming back are the original, memorable personas played by the same talented actors each year. Every fan has a favorite character from each season and that’s why I wrote up this fun list of the Top 14 Best American Horror Story Characters.
Liz Taylor (Season 5: Hotel)
I’ll be honest, although season 5 has been a favorite among several fans, I fall into the other bunch that didn’t really enjoy much about it at all… Perhaps I was mourning the fact that it was the first season that Jessica Lange did not have a role. Either way, not much stood out for me besides one character: Liz Taylor, played by Denis O’Hare. Denis has played many roles throughout the five seasons of American Horror Story, but he was brilliant in this role. He played a brash, bald, transgender bartender at the Hotel Cortez, although in his previous life, he had been known as Nick Pryor, a man unhappy with his job, his marriage, and his life. He met the Countess (Lady Gaga) at the hotel during a business trip, and she convinced him to stop living a lie and be the person he was meant to be.
Addie (Season 1: Murder House)
Jamie Brewer has played in three seasons thus far, but in season 1, she played one of my favorite American Horror Story characters. She played the daughter of Constance (Jessica Lange), a lovable, fun girl who knew the secrets behind the house. Her part wasn’t huge, but she did make a lasting impression. She was also one of the only people to die in that season and not come back as a ghost, which she was happy about. Also, “You’re gonna regret it!” is one of the most famous lines in the series.
Marie Delphine LaLaurie (Season 3: Coven)
Kathy Bates is one of my favorite actresses and her portrayal of Marie Delphine LaLaurie was amazing. Not only was it awesome to see her character unearthed after almost 200 years and try to adjust to the present world, going from a high society lady to the servant of the house, but her backstory is also great. She was created based on the true events of a New Orleans socialite – the things she did to her slaves for pleasure and beauty was insane.
Dandy Mott (Season 4: Freak Show)
Oh, Dandy boy… he was infuriating and you just wanted to kill him, but without him, the season would have been rather dull. Finn Wittrock played Dandy, ain immature, rich, antisocial brat who was a borderline psychopath. After attending the Freak Show, he decided that it was where he belonged, but when they reject him, he lashes out in an adolescent way. To deal with his anger and bizarre tendencies, he decided to go around killing people and tried to control everyone around him with his money. Typical spoiled, psychopathic rich kid.
Queenie (Season 3: Coven)
The Coven is another season that I was not particularly fond of, however, the characters were very memorable. Gabourey Sidibe played Queenie, a young witch who grew up in the Detroit foster care system. She moved to New Orleans to join the Madam Robichaux’s Coven Academy and learned how to improve and control her powers. But what were her powers? She was a human fucking voodoo doll – how cool is that? Any pain she inflicted on herself gets transferred to another person, which was perfect for anyone trying to cause her harm. I’ve always thought that was an amazingly unique power and I loved that they brought that into the story.
Chester Creb (Season 4: Freak Show)
First of all, who doesn’t love Neil Patrick Harris? I, among many other fans, was super excited to hear about him having a role on American Horror Story. Neil played Chester Creb, a stage magician as well as a traveling salesman who was haunted by his ventriloquist dummy, Marjorie. Marjorie spoke to him (only him) and sometimes the things she told him to do were bad…very bad. In his story, it was revealed that he was a soldier in World War II and an injury left him with a metal plate in his head, causing him to have hallucinations. His small role brought life back into Season 4 and my only complaint was that I wish he could have been there longer!
Pepper (Season 2: Asylum)
Pepper is one of the most beloved American Horror Story characters. She was played by Naomi Grossman and was one of the residents at Briarcliff, an asylum for people with psychological issues. Pepper has microcephaly, a condition in which the brain didn’t develop properly in utero, resulting in an abnormally small head. She was placed in the asylum and labeled a psychopath after supposedly drowning her sister’s baby boy. Later on in the season, we find out the truth about what happened and that she was nothing more than a sweet, misunderstood girl. We also find out more about Pepper’s story in season 4, which was an awesome tie-in.
Jimmy Darling (Season 4: Freak Show)
Let’s be honest, it’s no secret that I’m a huuuuuge Evan Peters fan! I love every single thing he’s done and every role he’s portrayed on American Horror Story, but certain ones stick out more than others. In season 4, he played Jimmy Darling AKA Lobster Boy, a man born with lobster claws instead of hands. You would think this would turn you off from him, but nope… not one bit. Instead, it just makes your mind wander, am I right, ladies? Anyway, despite his oddities, he was the dude that everyone loved and who would do anything to protect his Freak Show family…no matter who got in the way. He also has an epic singing ballad on the show where we hear him sing “Come As You Are” by Nirvana.
Shachath: The Angel of Death (Season 2: Asylum)
Frances Conroy has played many of my favorite characters thus far in American Horror Story, each one different but amazing. In season 2, she played The Angle of Death and she was completely breathtaking, pun attended. Her big, beautiful, black wings were something everyone should see. Although she represented death, she was more of savior in this story as she offered to take people away from their suffering. It’s sad but beautiful. I really loved her story in this.
Sister Mary Eunice (Season 2: Asylum)
Sister Mary Eunice was played by the beautiful Lily Rabe who has been in every season of American Horror Story thus far. At first, her character in season 2 was nothing of great importance, just a humble nun who was trying to find her purpose at the asylum as she let everyone push her around. That is… until the Devil possessed her. After taking part in an exorcism, the Devil transferred from an asylum patient and into the body of the innocent Sister Mary Eunice, and things started to spice up. She became a force to be reckoned with and a really fun American Horror Story character.
Moira O’Hara: The Maid (Season 1: Murder House)
Although the older version of the maid was played by Frances Conroy, the younger version was portrayed by the sexy and talented Alexandra Breckenridge. The maid is one of the reasons everyone loves season 1. Men see her as a sexual, lustful deviant while women only see an old maid. As the show goes on, it tells her back story. She was the maid of the manor when Constance lived at the Murder House; that is until Constance caught her having an affair with her husband and shot them both. However, she did make sure Moira would be a ghost stuck in the house – forever a maid.
Bloody Face (Season 2: Asylum)
Bloody Face is one of the most fascinating American Horror Story characters ever portrayed. Zachary Quinto played the double role of Bloody Face and Dr. Oliver Thredson, an intelligent and disturbed psychiatrist who came to Briarcliff to examine Kit (Evan Peters) to determine if he was fit to stand trial. Meanwhile, he saw the horrendous situations occurring at the asylum and went out of his way to save one of the females he befriended. Halfway through the season, we find out that Dr. Thredson is also Bloody Face, the serial killer who had been slashing up women and wearing their skin. His whole story was fascinating and if you haven’t watched it, I highly recommend it. Asylum has some of the darkest stories and although there were many things going on, they all ran smoothly in the end.
Twisty the Clown (Season 4: Freak Show)
Twisty was such a great character! Unfortunately, he didn’t have a huge part in the season. Played by the amazing John Carroll Lynch, Twisty was a slow-witted yet gentle man who enjoyed dressing up as a clown at a carnival in 1943. After terrible rumors traveled around by other asshole carnival workers, Twisty was forced to leave the business. He tried to support himself by selling toys for a living, but when that failed, he unsuccessfully attempted to kill himself, leaving him deformed. After multiple years of abuse and rejections, his innocent mind became warped and he turned into a twisted killer clown, slaughtering “bad” parents and kidnapping kids in the hopes that he could provide a good show for them once again.
Tate Langdon (Season 1: Murder House)
Finally, Tate Langdon, everyone’s favorite psycho ghost. He’s not as friendly as Casper, but you still want to be his friend and more! Tate, played by Evan Peters, is the face of American Horror Story – no matter what discussion you have about the series, he’s always brought up. Although Tate seemed like an innocent yet disturbed ghost of the Murder House, you couldn’t help but fall in love with him as each episode aired and you discovered the truth about his horrible past. First, we learn he murdered his classmates in a school shooting, set fire to his stepfather, killed previous house residents and ultimately raped his girlfriend’s mother. Yet… you still kind of love him, even after all this. Just remember, if you want to be forgiven for all your bad deeds, trying coming back as a ghost with big brown eyes and huge dimples… that seems to work for some dudes.
You may notice that I didn’t put any of Jessica Lange’s characters on this list. However, that is not because I didn’t love them because I loved every single one of them. She is the Queen of American Horror Story, and all of her specific characters stood out to me. I can only hope she comes back to the show in the future and knocks me off my feet once again with a brand new role. I hope you enjoyed reminiscing in these American Horror Story roles with me. You just may have a yearning to go on American Horror Story binge!