It’s that time of year again, “American Horror Story” is back for another season. This anthology horror series has been scaring audiences for the last eight years. While this series has received both praise and criticism there’s no arguing the show has created several fantastic characters. Below is a list of a few of the best American Horror Story characters we all love to love. While this isn’t everyone, that list would last for hours, these are the characters who truly left a mark on audiences.
Lana Winters Asylum
Starting off this list is the tour de force Lana Winters as one of the best American Horror Story characters. Played by fan and critic favorite Sarah Paulson this character is a shining beacon of hope in an otherwise clunky season. Winters is a reporter who attempts to investigate the Bloody Face murders only to be forcibly admitted to Briarcliff for being a lesbian. During the season she undergoes inhumane treatment, is raped and forced to kill her serial killer son decades later. Lana managed to escape the atrocities of Briarcliff and ends the season with a successful career as a TV journalist similar to Barbara Walters. She’s even brought back in the Roanoke finale just to prove how much of a badass she is.
Fiona Goode Coven
This list is about characters we love to love, not necessarily good characters and Fiona Goode is far from good. Fiona is the Supreme witch, inheriting her fulls power after killing her predecessor in 1971. She is one of the main antagonists of Coven, going as far as killing a teenager who threatens her power, status, and most importantly her youth. Despite having a weak moral compass Fiona has her decent moments. She condemns the racist ideologies of Madame Delphine LaLaurie and teams up with voodoo queen Marie Laveau to save witches everywhere. By the end Fiona dies from her a combination of illness and old age. Her memory still lives in on as a cautionary tale of how dangerous power can be.
Elsa Mars Freak Show
Elsa Mars is the owner of Fräulein Elsa’s Cabinet of Curiosities, a traveling carnival consisting of people who at that time are considered to be “freaks”. Prior to the beginning of the season Elsa had both her legs cut off with a chainsaw when she was acting as a dominatrix in Europe. This is the fourth and final character Jessica Lange played during her time on the show. A tragic character Elsa spends most of the season trying to find happiness in fame only to realize she was surrounded by happiness all along. In the end Elsa summons Edward Mordrake to kill her, although he does not take her with him instead allows her to reconnects with her now deceased carnival family in the afterlife.
Liz Taylor Hotel
Denis O’Hare is one of “American Horror Stories” most underrated actors. In this season he takes on the role of Liz Taylor, a transgender woman who found sanctuary at the Hotel Cortez. While characters on the show rarely have happy endings Liz Taylor manages to do just that. After successfully getting rid of the Countesses and giving the hotel a new life she lives out the remainder of her days reconnected with her estranged son. After finding out she has cancer she willingly allows the Countess to kill her thus allowing her to remain at Hotel Cortez forever; also reuniting with her love Tristan Duffy. Liz Taylor is not a horrifying character by any means, she’s an endearing person who goes through the difficulties of being true to yourself and the sacrifices that come with that. She was arguably the best American Horror Story character that season.
Winter Anderson Cult
Cult is a politically charged season where showrunner Ryan Murphy minces no words. One of the more interesting characters of the season is Winter Anderson. She is the sister to cult leader Kai, who has her become part of his cult, infiltrate a family, and destroy them from the inside out. While Sarah Paulson does give a riveting performance as Ally, it’s Winter who has a more terrifyingly relatable story. Winter goes from being confident in a democrat taking political power only to have her beliefs and expectations shattered. Her story ends after realizing she’s in over her head as a cult member but before escaping dies at the literal hands of her brother. This season has a lot to digest and she is one of the more palatable characters.
Lee Harris Roanoke
Lee Harris is a mother who will stop at nothing to save her child. Played by both Angela Bassett and Adina Porter, Lee is a former cop and recovering addict who finds herself at the mercy of a cursed land, evil ghosts, cannibals, and trying to be a good parent. Lee is definitely an anti-hero, who makes questionable decisions throughout the season although it’s argued her survival mentality is what gets her what she wants. In the end she sacrifices her life for her daughter, who wanted to die to protect a young ghost girl from the evil Butcher. At the beginning Lee is a difficult character to stomach but that’s what makes her one of the best American Horror Story. When it’s all said and done she forces audiences to question just how far they would go to protect the ones they love.
Madison Montgomery Coven
Talk about a character arc. Madison Montgomery is by far one of the best American Horror Story characters to grace the franchise. When audiences first meet Madison she’s a washed up actress. After being assaulted in the first episode she quickly shows how powerful she is. Throughout the third season it is heavily implied she’s the actual supreme, only to be killed in the final episode. Fast forward to Apocalypse and Madison becomes a key part in taking down the antichrist. Love her or hate her Madison is truly a force to be reckoned with, intimidating even the powerful Fiona Goode.
James Patrick March Hotel
This is the character that was so terrifying even Evan Peters was afraid to play him. A lot of villains from “American Horror Story” have a sympathetic backstory, but not March. This is a character that found pure joy out of being a literal monster. He used his wealth and status to build the Hotel Cortez, which is actually a massive torture chamber. While alive March took pleasure in slaughtering many and in death his kill count went even higher. What’s truly chilling about this character is that he is based off of a real person, H.H. Holmes who built a similar hotel in Chicago to murder people. March is unlike many characters because his complete lack of any sense of emotions. He comes off as barely human despite the fact that he was at one point just a man.
Michael Langdon Apocalypse
The most recent season of “American Horror Story” was an ambitious one. This season saw the reintroduction of Michael Langdon, the young boy in the final scene of Murder House. Here he’s all grown up and fully embracing his role as the antichrist. While he definitely has terrifying moments Michael is both charismatic and a scared little boy. The season plays out in a series of flashbacks, showing how after his grandmother Constance killed herself to get away from him he meets Ms. Venable who raises him as his own. Despite his best efforts of destroying humanity, the witches manage to kill him before he was given the chance to harness his godlike powers. The season isn’t perfect but Michael still manages to entice audiences to the point of almost feeling sorry for him.
Constance Langdon Murder House
The first character played by Jessica Lange and the grandmother of the antichrist. Constance Langdon begins by being a nosy neighbor who actually has a taste for murder. She’s very much aware of the horrors the house next door has to offer, considering she used to live there. Rather than try to help the Harmons she sits back and watches while the house picks them off one by one. At the end of season one she sees the opportunity to try again with her grandson Michael, and whisks him away. In Apocalypse it is revealed she killed herself because she couldn’t handle Michael anymore but her death didn’t take away from the powerhouse of her character. Constance helped to put the show on the map and is considered to be one of the best American Horror Story characters ever.