Horror is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.
How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.
How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.
To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.Show less
One season after another, this series has delivered the goods when it comes to baddies! Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 American Horror Story villains.
For this list, we’ll be looking at what we consider to be the greatest, evilest, and most memorable villains in American Horror Story history. Because we’ll be discussing some major plot details, a spoiler warning is in effect.
Subscribe to WatchMojo—Ranking Pop Culture Since 2006
#10: Arthur Arden “American Horror Story: Asylum” (2012-13)
Arthur Arden served as both the main physician and administrator at Briarcliff Manor, a sanitarium for the mentally ill. However, Arden is less caring physician and more psychotic ex-Nazi war criminal who enjoys torturing his patients without anesthetic. Arden is a completely psychotic man who is interested in advancing human evolution through his experiments. However, in practice, all he’s really done is sadistically torture his patients and create nasty zombies. If you think that’s bad, just remember that Arden was based on an all too real Nazi physician named Josef Mengele, who conducted horrific experiments on the prisoners of Auschwitz.
#9: Kai Anderson “American Horror Story: Cult” (2017)
It was only a matter of time before narrative television explored the current political climate. Kai Anderson serves as a cult leader who will do anything to bring people to his cause, including murder. Due to his political ideologies, he attacks ethnic minorities and LGBTQ+ communities and uses them to fuel his political agenda to further incite hatred and oppression. Kai also showcases classic traits of psychopathy—he is externally charming, but he is also highly manipulative, he lacks any sort of empathy, and he doesn’t seem to have any semblance of a conscience. The social commentary in season 7 may have been a little over-the-top for some, but Kai is delightfully evil.
#8: The Butcher "American Horror Story: Roanoke” (2016)
Oh, so that’s what happened to the lost colony of Roanoke! The Butcher was once a woman named Thomasin White who was banished from the Roanoke colony and left to die. However, she was saved by a witch named Scáthach and developed an allegiance to the supernatural entity. She soon butchered the colony, going so far as to kill her own son when he began to rebel against her. Now… The Butcher is a disgusting, rotting supernatural entity who kills anyone entering her sacred land. She is nothing but a horrifying monster who will stop at nothing to keep her land protected. In short, she is the stuff of nightmares.
#7: The Countess “American Horror Story: Hotel” (2015-16)
If we’ve learned anything here, it’s that villains with a title are extremely terrifying entities who should never be messed with. The Countess, also known as Elizabeth, is the beautiful and seductive owner of Hotel Cortez. The Countess is a vampire who uses her beauty, sexuality, and seductive nature to lure people to her hotel so she can kill them and feast on their blood. She even keeps various children inside the hotel to serve as a constant source of blood. And while she is a far more complex villain than most, she’s still a cold, heartless vampire who will do anything for a meal.
#6: Dandy Mott “American Horror Story: Freak Show” (2014-15)
Don’t let the boyish appearance fool you: Dandy Mott is an evil, evil man. While Dandy was raised in wealth, his mother was often absent but ever enabling, so the riches resulted in Dandy becoming a spoiled man-child who would incite violence whenever he wouldn’t get his way. He later allies himself with Twisty and becomes a serial killer, and once the freak show is sold to him, he massacres most of the troupe in a fit of rage. What makes Dandy so scary isn’t exactly the character, but the realism. Ghosts and vampires are good for campfires and scary movies, but it’s the psychopaths who inspire true fear.
#5: Tate Langdon “American Horror Story: Murder House” (2011)
Like Dandy Mott, Tate Langdon is a villain very much based in real-world fears, and these fears remain just as relevant today as they did when the first season was released. Like most psychopaths, Tate is both intelligent and charming, but he also harbors an extremely dark past. You see, Tate was once a mentally disturbed individual who clad himself in black and committed a mass shooting at a high school, killing 15 people. Don’t let Evan Peters’ boyish good looks fool you—Tate is a psychotic man whom everyone, both adults and teenagers alike, can, and should, fear.
#4: Bloody Face/Oliver Thredson “American Horror Story: Asylum” (2012-13)
Silly though his name might be, Bloody Face is downright terrifying. Bloody Face is an infamous serial killer, and while Kit is falsely believed to be Bloody Face, we later learn that it is in fact the hospital’s psychiatrist, Oliver Thredson. Thredson skins and decapitates his victims, rapes Lana, and admits to her that he had sex with the corpse of Wendy. Bloody Face brings to mind numerous serial killers of the past, including Ted Bundy, who also decapitated his victims and practiced necrophilia. Like Bundy, Bloody Face is a true monster in every sense of the word.
#3: Twisty “American Horror Story: Freak Show” (2014-15)
If there’s one villain even non-American Horror Story fans recognize, it’s Twisty. His macabre appearance has a way of immediately getting under your skin, as he is clad in a filthy clown outfit and an absolutely terrifying prosthetic mask—which gives him the appearance of a perpetual grin. Of course, his personality is just as horrifying as his outward appearance. Twisty is a serial killer who targets and kidnaps children, as he believes that he is saving them from their overbearing and unloving parents. His horrendous actions and petrifying appearance combine to make Twisty one of the show’s, and one of television’s, scariest villains.
#2: Delphine LaLaurie “American Horror Story: Coven” (2013-14)
There’s simply no going wrong with Kathy Bates. She gave us one of Stephen King’s most memorable villains in Misery, and she has proved time and time again that she can be ridiculously scary given the right material. This is the right material, as Delphine LaLaurie is about as evil as you can get. In the past, she was a serial killer who would dissect, torture, and kill her black slaves (including babies) and make a beauty balm out of their organs. Even in the modern age, she retains her pride, vanity, and terrible racism, and she continues to prove that she has little to no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Delphine is the embodiment of evil.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
- The Axeman, American Horror Story: Coven (2013-14)
- James March, American Horror Story: Hotel (2015-16)
- Stanley, American Horror Story: Freak Show (2014-15)
#1: Sister Mary Eunice “American Horror Story: Asylum” (2012-13)
So far we’ve seen various forms of evil—sadistic physicians, creepy ghosts, seductive vampires, and numerous psychopaths. And while those are all extremely unsettling, nothing compares to the Devil itself. Sister Mary Eunice begins the series as a shy and meek nun before she is possessed by the Devil, which results in her becoming both manipulative and evil. In this state, she commits blackmail and rape, offers the psychotic Oliver Thredson a cozy job, commits murder, and even plans to completely take over the Vatican with the Monsignor as Pope. It really doesn’t get more evil than the Devil, even when it’s in the body of a meek and beautiful woman.