The anthology horror series American Horror Story first hit television screens in 2011. Running for more than a decade, the show has certainly had its ups and downs. Still, the series' ensemble cast, which has included greats like Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Zachary Quinto, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Taissa Farmiga, and far too many more to mention, has captured the hearts of viewers.
As fans of the show eagerly await a 12th season, we at The Lineup asked which past seasons got you the most excited. Here is every season of American Horror Story ranked, according to our readers.
Overwhelmingly beloved by our audience, American Horror Story: Coven is the third season of the series. Set in New Orleans in 2013, the season follows a coven of witches. Descendants of Salem, these modern-day witches gather at a school to learn the ways of magic and survival. Unfortunately for them, some of the biggest dangers may be coming from with the coven itself...
2. Murder House
Up next in the hearts of our readers is the first season, American Horror Story: Murder House. The Harmons move into a Los Angeles mansion hoping to get a fresh start. With the baggage of a miscarriage and an extramarital affair weighing on their shoulders, they're going to need it. Little do they know, their home has a dark history, and its former residents are refusing to move on.
Coming in at a close third is the show's second season, American Horror Story: Asylum. Set primarily in 1964, this season follows the staff and inmates of the Briarcliff Manor mental institution. While sinister forces lurk inside the asylum, a gruesome killer called "Bloody Face" slays people in both the past and the present.
The show's fifth season, American Horror Story: Hotel, comes in at fourth place. Loosely based on the eerie tragedies of the real life Cecil Hotel, the season takes place in Los Angeles's Hotel Cortez. The building is rife with unsettling paranormal activity, and the staff itself is no less odd. This season strays from the anthological format, making ties to Murder House and Coven. It's also got the benefit of featuring Lady Gaga.
5. Freak Show
American Horror Story: Freak Show, the series' fourth season, takes fifth place. Set in Jupiter, Florida in 1952, the season follows one of the last freak shows in America. Ostracized from society, the performers in the show struggle to build a life. Meanwhile, a disturbed gentleman named Dandy and a killer clown named Twisty wreak havoc on the town.
In sixth place is season season eight, American Horror Story: Apocalypse. This season serves as a crossover event between Murder House, Coven, and Hotel. Front and center stand the witches from New Orleans, tasked with saving the world from the Antichrist. This season marks the addition of fan favorite Cody Fern.
The show's sixth season, American Horror Story: Roanoke, ranks at number seven. Set in North Carolina, the season is centered on a haunted house and the supernatural happenings in the surrounding area. The first half of the season acts as a paranormal documentary titled My Roanoke Nightmare. In the fictional documentary, there are reenactments of a married couples experiences within the home. The second half of the series functions as found footage, portraying the demise of those involved in the documentary's sequel.
Eighth place goes to the show's ninth season, American Horror Story: 1984. In the 80s, a summer camp outside of Los Angeles reopens 14 years after a brutal massacre at the hands of a serial killer called Mr. Jingles. Reeling from the trauma of an attack from the Night Stalker, Brooke Thompson is one of the people who signs on as a new counselor. When Mr. Jingles and the Night Stalker descend upon the camp grounds at the same time, bloody chaos ensues.
The 11th and most recent season, American Horror Story: NYC, takes the number nine slot. Set in New York City in the 1980s, a mysterious virus is emerging. Meanwhile a string of murders targeting gay men plagues the city, and the police have no interest in helping.
10. Double Feature
Coming in at number 10 is the 10th season, American Horror Story: Double Feature. Split into to parts, the first is additionally titled Red Tide. This portion follows a present day family who settle down in Province Town, Massachusetts—but they're in for a shock when they meet the town's true inhabitants. The second half of the season, additionally titled Death Valley, focuses on campers who get tangled up in an alien conspiracy.
While it can't be said that the series' seventh season, American Horror Story: Cult, is no one's favorite, it can be said that more people ranked it on the bottom of their list than those who ranked it on top. Set in the fictional suburb of Brookfield Heights, Michigan in 2017, the events of this season unfold after Donald Trump is elected president. A woman with a paralyzing fear of clowns spirals into anxiety as clowns and a mysterious set of siblings terrorize the neighborhood.