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Top 10 American Horror Story Moments

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Written by Nick Spake We won’t be sleeping tonight, that’s for sure. Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 American Horror Story Moments. For this list, we’re taking a look at the most memorable scenes from this anthology horror series. Since this show has a habit of killing characters off, a spoiler alert is in order. Special thanks to our users Isabella Andrews, Marson17, Melina Livermore and Elite Four Brad for suggesting this idea, check out the voting page at WatchMojo.comsuggest/%20American%20Horror%20Story%20Moments

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We won’t be sleeping tonight, that’s for sure. Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 American Horror Story Moments.

For this list, we’re taking a look at the most memorable scenes from this anthology horror series. Since this show has a habit of killing characters off, a spoiler alert is in order.

#10: Devil’s Night Dinner
“Devil’s Night” - Hotel

“American Horror Story” has assembled some bizarre characters over the years. In Season 5, the most infamous serial killers in history come together for a dinner party on Devil’s Night. The guest list includes the spirits of Richard Ramirez, Aileen Wuornos, Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, and the Zodiac Killer. Also in attendance is Detective John Lowe, who’s essentially Alice at a tea party in Wonderland… an extremely demented Wonderland. We guess that would make the hotel’s founder, James Patrick March, the Mad Hatter. It’s an inventive setup overflowing with dark humor and gothic atmosphere, delivering a killer resolution.

#9: Elsa’s Snuff Film
“Edward Mordrake (Part 2)” - Freak Show

Early in Season 4, it’s revealed that freak show owner Elsa Mars has a set of artificial legs, which had fans clamoring to learn her backstory. Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait long. In episode 4, Elsa explains that she was once a dominatrix with a flair for theatrics and torture, attracting only the most depraved clients in search of sick thrills. Among her clientele were the Watchers, who drugged Elsa, made her the star of their snuff film, and stole her legs in the process. What makes this even more shocking is that the man who amputated Elsa’s legs is later exposed to be a man also known as Dr. Arthur Arden, whom you might remember from Season 2.

#8: Rubber Man
“Pilot” - Murder House

One of the first season’s biggest mysteries revolves around the Rubber Man’s true identity. This enigmatic foe plants his demon seed inside Vivien, who’s under the impression that her husband is wearing the bondage suit. Rape by deception is already an incredibly disturbing concept, but this scene reaches another level of uncomfortable once the Rubber Man finally takes off his mask in a flashback later in the season. The father of the antichrist growing inside Vivien is none other than Tate. Although we already knew Tate was a messed up kid capable of unspeakable atrocities, this twist still caught everybody off guard. Adding to the creep factor is the fact that Tate also had a sexual relationship with Vivien’s teenage daughter, Violet.

#7: Dr. Thredson Is Bloody Face
“I Am Anne Frank (Part 2)” - Asylum

Dr. Oliver Thredson initially seems like a decent human being, especially compared to some of the other employees at Briarcliff Mental Institution. The audience eventually learns, however, that he’s actually the most immoral person in this madhouse, committing acts far more disturbing than any of the patients. When journalist Lana Winters is wrongfully locked up, Thredson helps her escape from the asylum. He takes her to his house and all appears to be well… that is until Lana notices Thredson’s home décor. Falling down a trapdoor, Lana trades one prison for another, now at the mercy of the serial killer, Bloody Face. Talk about a satisfyingly chill-inducing twist.

#6: Cordelia Stabs Her Eyes
“Protect the Coven” - Coven

Reminiscent of Daredevil, Cordelia Foxx loses her sight after getting acid in her eyes. In exchange, however, rather than heightened senses, she gains the power of Second Sight. Cordelia eventually receives a new set of eyes, only to find her ability stripped away as a result. Unable to brew up a cure, the headmistress settles on a truly gruesome solution. As a trembling Cordelia holds a pair of gardening shears up to her eyes, the audience prepares for a ghastly display. The ensuing carnage will leave anybody cringing in horror, no matter how strong their stomach is. Gritty, unexpected, and genuinely unsettling, it’s a sight you’ll never be able to un-see.

#5: Lana Escapes Briarcliff
“Spilt Milk” - Asylum

Much like Cordelia, Lana is another Sarah Paulson character that just can’t seem to catch a break. The woman she loves is murdered, she’s thrown into a loony bin, and a homicidal maniac impregnates her. After a season of torment, we just want to see this poor lady get away. To our delight, Lana at long last comes out on top in this episode. With some help from Mother Superior Claudia and Kit, Lana is able to sneak past the authorities unnoticed. The audience is overcome with relief as Lana makes it to a taxi. Before leaving, she bids Thredson farewell with an incriminating tape and the finger. All that’s missing is a mic drop.

#4: School Shooting
“Piggy Piggy” - Murder House

As nerve-racking as this show can be, much of the horror is rooted in fantasy. This alarming sequence felt all too real, however, bringing the Columbine massacre and other school shootings to mind. Flashing back to 1994, it’s a seemingly ordinary day at Westfield High School until multiple gunshots are heard. Several students and a teacher seek refuge in the library, but they can’t keep Tate out. The camera cuts away as Tate guns down each of his victims. We don’t even really see any blood or gore… but that’s what makes this scene so effective. The haunting cinematography, editing, and sound effects are more than enough to send us into a state of panic.

#3: Twisty’s Face
“Edward Mordrake (Part 2)” - Freak Show

The early 21st century has seen people in evil clown attire popping up. Twisty could be seen as a trendsetter for this bizarre fad. As his name suggests, this serial killer has a twisted face and an even more twisted past. Removing his mask, Twisty delves into his jaw-dropping backstory. He was once a friendly clown that made children laugh. The other carnies had a different definition of humor though… setting Twisty up to look like a pedophile. With nowhere to go, the sad clown put a shotgun in his mouth, only to survive the suicide attempt. Whether you fear Twisty or sympathize with him, the punchline of his story is sure to make an impression.

#2: The Name Game
“The Name Game” - Asylum

“American Horror Story” is full of surprising moments, but never in a million years could we have anticipated a peppy musical number. Then again, co-creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk also brought us “Glee,” so maybe we actually should’ve expected this. Committed to the asylum she once worked at, Judy is subjected to electroconvulsive therapy. When Lana approaches her afterwards, Sister Jude responds with a rendition of this classic pop song. While this might be among the most colorful and upbeat moments in the series, it’s also one of the most depressing. As Judy is pulled back to reality, we see just how far she’s descended into madness, barely able to remember her own name.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Bed on Arrival

“Checking In” - Hotel

- Shelley’s Amputation

“Nor’easter” - Asylum

- Delphine Lalaurie’s Chamber of Horrors

“Bitchcraft” - Coven

#1: Violet’s Death
“Smoldering Children” - Murder House

Since this show focuses on a new cast of characters every season, pretty much anyone is expendable. Going into Season 1, though, audiences generally weren’t aware of the producers’ long-term plans. Thus, we all assumed that the Harmon family could overcome whatever the murder house threw at them. Imagine our surprise when Violet stumbled upon her own dead body. It turns out that Violet didn’t survive her suicide attempt from several episodes earlier. Unbeknownst to even herself, she’s been a ghost this entire time. Although, in retrospect there were clues, nobody saw this one coming. It’s a twist worthy of “The Sixth Sense” or “Psycho,” complete with brilliant buildup and an unbelievable payoff.

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