As far as demented televisual moments go, Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s anthology series American Horror Story has stuffed more utter derangement into its four years of existence than is strictly decent. Soon to join the mania is Lady Gaga, who’ll be playing, according to Murphy, “a wealthy social doyenne who is consumed with art and fashion and people” in the new series which premieres on FX on October 20. Not a huge stretch, then. Here’s the show’s most stomach-churning moments so far…
The Home-Invading Rapist Santa
From: American Horror Story: Asylum
Yeah, really didn’t see this one coming. As one of Briarcliff asylum’s most unhinged inmates from series two, the man formerly known as Lovejoy (British actor Ian McShane) became the most terrifying Kris Kringle since Dan Aykroyd’s trampy turn in Trading Places. Like Santa, he arrives on Christmas Eve. Unlike Santa, he ties you to a chair, pistol whips you, makes sinister jokes about ‘Santa’s sack’, rapes, pillages and all manner of other decidedly dark festive nastiness.
When Delphine Made A DIY Minotaur
From: American Horror Story: Coven
Thought Misery would be Kathy Bates’ freakiest role? Nope. Her immortal New Orleans socialite Delphine LaLaurie, who tortured and murdered her slaves, has a secret to her facial beauty routine, and it’s not pentapeptides. It involves slathering blood on her mush from the pancreases of her captives. Better still, though, was when she made her own DIY minotaur. Obviously it wasn’t a real one. Just one of her slaves adorned with a hollowed-out bull’s head. Well, how would you do it?
The Frankenstein Baby
From: American Horror Story: Murder House
Hurray! Another stomach-churner! The arguably excessively haunted house in the first series, it is soon revealed, wasn’t just a normal gaff but a former illegal abortion clinic (yes, there’s a troubling theme here). The eminent proprietor, one Charles Montgomery, after the abduction and dismemberment of his son Thaddeus by a disgruntled customer, decides to build himself a new one out of the spare baby bits and pieces lying around the lab, creating the truly horrifying Infantata. Christ, it was a bit much.
From: American Horror Story: Freak Show
Coulrophobic much? You will be. You’d think that making a freaky, murderous clown would be like shooting fish in a barrel, but the innocuous-sounding ‘Twisty’ from the Freak Show series really went the extra mile. He kills with mundane things like bowling pins and knives. The bit where he speaks to Wes Bentley’s Edward Mordrake with most of his jaw blown off by a shotgun will stay with you to the grave.
American Horror Story: Hotel starts on FX on October 20.