List of American Horror Story characters
American Horror Story is an American horror television series created and produced by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. Described as an anthology series, each season is conceived as a self-contained miniseries, following a disparate set of characters, settings, and storylines. However, Murphy has stated that all of the seasons are and will be connected by the end of the series.
The first season, subtitled Murder House, takes place during 2011 in Los Angeles, California and centers on a family that moves into a house haunted by its deceased former occupants. The second season, subtitled Asylum, takes place during 1964 in Massachusetts and follows the stories of the inmates and staff of an institution for the criminally insane. The third season, subtitled Coven, takes place during 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana and follows a coven of witches who face off against those who wish to destroy them. The fourth season, subtitled Freak Show, takes place during 1952 in Jupiter, Florida and focuses on one of the last remaining freak shows in America and its struggle to survive. With the production of each season, the number of lead roles has increased from six in the premier season, to eight in the second season, nine in the third season, and ten in the fourth season.
While some actors have appeared in each season of the series, others have appeared in two or three, and many have only appeared in one. Evan Peters, Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Lily Rabe, and Frances Conroy are the only five actors to appear and have lead roles in each season (with the exception of Paulson's supporting role in Murder House, Rabe's supporting roles in Murder House and Freak Show, and Conroy's supporting roles in Murder House and Asylum). Denis O'Hare is the only actor to have a lead role in three seasons, while Taissa Farmiga, Emma Roberts, and Kathy Bates have all had lead roles in two seasons. Actors who have had lead roles in one season, but have made appearances in other seasons, include Dylan McDermott, Zachary Quinto, and Angela Bassett. In minor and supporting roles, Jamie Brewer has appeared in three seasons, while Alexandra Breckenridge, Ben Woolf, Robin Bartlett, Naomi Grossman, Gabourey Sidibe, Danny Huston, Mare Winningham, and Grace Gummer have all appeared in two seasons. Grossman's character, Pepper, and Rabe's character, Sister Mary Eunice McKee, are the only two credited characters to appear in multiple seasons, both appearing and reappearing in Asylum and Freak Show, respectively.
- 1 Notable Cast Members
- 2 Murder House
- 3 Asylum
- 4 Coven
- 5 Freak Show
- 6 References
Notable Cast Members
| Murder House
| Freak Show|
|Evan Peters||Tate Langdon||Kit Walker||Kyle Spencer||Jimmy Darling|
|Jessica Lange||Constance Langdon||Sister Jude Martin||Fiona Goode||Elsa Mars|
|Sarah Paulson||Billie Dean Howard||Lana Winters||Cordelia Foxx||Bette and Dot Tattler|
|Lily Rabe||Nora Montgomery||Sister Mary Eunice McKee||Misty Day||Sister Mary Eunice McKee|
|Frances Conroy||Moira O'Hara||Shachath||Myrtle Snow||Gloria Mott|
|Denis O'Hare||Larry Harvey||Spalding||Stanley|
|Jamie Brewer||Adelaide Langdon||Nan||Marjorie|
|Taissa Farmiga||Violet Harmon||Zoe Benson|
|Emma Roberts||Madison Montgomery||Maggie Esmerelda|
|Kathy Bates||Marie Delphine LaLaurie||Ethel Darling|
|Dylan McDermott||Dr. Ben Harmon||Johnny Morgan|
|Zachary Quinto||Chad Warwick||Dr. Oliver Thredson|
|Angela Bassett||Marie Laveau||Desiree Dupree|
|Alexandra Breckenridge||Moira O'Hara||Kaylee|
|Ben Woolf||Thaddeus Montgomery||Meep|
|Robin Bartlett||Dr. Miranda Crump||Cecily Pembroke|
|Gabourey Sidibe||Queenie||Regina Ross|
|Danny Huston||The Axeman||Massimo Dolcefino|
|Mare Winningham||Alicia Spencer||Rita Gayheart|
|Connie Britton||Vivien Harmon|
|Joseph Fiennes||Monsignor Timothy Howard|
|Lizzie Brocheré||Grace Bertrand|
|James Cromwell||Dr. Arthur Arden|
|Michael Chiklis||Dell Toledo|
|Finn Wittrock||Dandy Mott|
- Dr. Ben Harmon (Dylan McDermott) is a psychiatrist, married to Vivien Harmon and the father of Violet Harmon. At the series start, Ben had an affair with one of his psychiatry students, Hayden McClaine, after his wife Vivien had a miscarriage. As a result, he and Vivien decide to move the family from Boston to Los Angeles to start over. Ben and Vivien's married life becomes strained, due to her difficulty forgiving him for his infidelity. After a heated argument he and Vivien make love. Some time later, a figure in a black latex suit (called the "Rubber Man") the Harmons discovered in the attic appears in the bedroom. Vivien believes it to be Ben, and has sex with him, unaware Ben is sleepwalking downstairs. Vivien learns that she is pregnant, and Hayden later reveals to Ben that she is pregnant as well. Ben returns to Boston to support Hayden through an abortion, but leaves while Hayden is in the operating room, after discovering multiple missed calls from Vivien. Hayden later shows up in Los Angeles and reveals to Ben that she has not received an abortion and plans on moving to Los Angeles so they can raise the baby together, but before she can do so she is killed by Larry Harvey, who attempts to extort Ben. Ben starts holding psychiatric sessions in his home office; one recurring patient, Tate, oversteps his boundaries when he starts dating Violet, and Ben discontinues their sessions. Vivien learns she is pregnant with twins, who both have different fathers – him and the Rubber Man, whom Ben learns raped Vivien. During a scuffle, Ben is able to pull off the Rubber Man's mask, and discoves that he is Tate before going unconscious. In "Afterbirth", after his wife and daughter die, Ben attempts to escape with his newborn son, but he is murdered by Hayden's ghost, when she and the other malicious ghosts hang him from a light fixture. He is presumed by the living to have committed suicide. As a ghost in the house, he, Vivien, and Violet take it upon themselves to scare away new tenants to prevent them from suffering the same fate. For his performance, McDermott was nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Actor on Television.
- Vivien Harmon (Connie Britton) is the wife of Ben Harmon, and the mother of Violet Harmon. Prior to the series' start, she had a miscarriage that caused her withdraw from Ben, who then had an affair with Hayden McClaine, one of his college students. Vivien initially finds it hard to forgive Ben, but Ben is committed to keeping the family together, and she agrees to move to Los Angeles to start over. She slowly warms up to her husband, and they make love for the first time in months. She later participates in what she thinks is a kinky sexual encounter with Ben in a rubber bondage suit. Vivien soon discovers she is pregnant with twins, but later learns that due to heteropaternal superfecundation, only one of the babies is Ben's; with the other belonging the man in the rubber suit (Tate Langdon). When Ben's now-pregnant ex-mistress, Hayden, shows up in Los Angeles to lure him away from Vivien, she is killed and she and the other ghosts plot to drive Vivien insane, in order to get her out of the house and raise her children. In "Birth", Ben and Vivien learn one of the twins is growing more rapidly, and may arrive at any time. Vivien gives birth to both twins – one of which is stillborn, and the other is healthy- but dies in the house during labor. In death, Vivien is able to forgive Ben, and they and other ghosts, resolve to scare away any new tenants in order to prevent them from suffering the same fate. For her performance, Britton was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie in 2012.
- Violet Harmon (Taissa Farmiga as teenaged Violet, Carmen Blanchard as young Violet) is the teenaged daughter of Ben and Vivien Harmon, who is initially unhappy about moving to Los Angeles. In the pilot episode, Violet befriends Tate Langdon, one of her father's patients, and the two eventually start dating. She later discovers that he is in fact a ghost who died in the house after committing a mass shooting at her school in 1994. Following this discovery, she attempts to talk to Tate, but is instead confronted by many of the other ghosts that reside in the house. Overwhelmed with fear and shock, she attempts suicide by ingesting a bottle of pills, but is seemingly saved by Tate. However, in "Smoldering Children", Tate reveals that her suicide attempt was successful and that she is now a ghost too. Neither she or her parents are aware of this at first, because Tate hid her body in a crawl space under the house. When she tries to tell Ben that she's a ghost and therefore cannot leave the house, he refuses to listen to her, and accuses her of being on drugs. In "Birth", Violet is informed by Chad Warwick, the ghost of a former resident, that Tate was the one who murdered him and his boyfriend, and also raped her mother. As a result, she banishes Tate from contact with her by using the trick he taught her in "Open House". She is then comforted by Vivien, who died during childbirth. Violet apologizes for Vivien's death and the loss of the baby, and the two reconcile. In the season finale, Tate tries to murder a teenage boy who is currently living in the house in order to give Violet someone else to love, but she stops him and kisses Tate goodbye, allowing the boy to escape. At Christmas time, Violet is seen decorating a tree with her parents and Moira, as Tate watches from afar.
- Tate Langdon (Evan Peters as teenaged Tate, Paul Butler as young Tate) is the son of Constance Langdon and brother of Adelaide, Beauregard, and another unnamed sibling. He is a sociopathic ghost who resides in the Murder House, and becomes romantically involved with Violet Harmon. He first appears in the pilot episode as one of Ben's new patients. During a session, Tate describes an ongoing dream in which he commits a mass shooting at his high school. It is revealed in "Halloween (Part 2)" that Tate was allegedly responsible for a school shooting that took the lives of fifteen of his classmates. During Halloween night (the only time ghosts are allowed to leave the property, and the first time he had left the house since his death) he and Violet are visited by the ghosts of his last five victims. It is revealed in "Piggy Piggy" that SWAT team members shot him 17 times in his bedroom for attempting to pull out a gun. Constance implies that Tate's violent and unstable behavior is the result of the house's influence, but he is also shown using meth the morning of the shooting. As a ghost, he has murdered numerous people in the house, often while dressed in a latex fetish suit. He also rapes and impregnates Vivien. Tate claims to know nothing about the murders he committed, before and after his death, but it is revealed in the season finale that Tate has known all along and is simply in denial, unable to take responsibility for his actions. Upon finding out that Tate had raped her mother, and was therefore indirectly responsible for her death, Violet ends their relationship, leaving Tate devastated, but Tate tells Hayden that he is willing to "wait forever" for Violet to take him back.
- Larry Harvey (Denis O'Hare), also known as the "Burned Man", is a former owner of the Harmon's house; he is heavily scarred, and walks with a limp. He originally claims, in the "Pilot" episode, that he acquired these injuries when he burned his wife and children alive, while under the house's influence, but it is revealed in a later episode, that his wife Lorraine set herself and their daughters, Margaret and Angie, on fire upon learning of Larry's affair with Constance. In the same episode, it is revealed that Tate actually set Larry on fire as revenge for killing his brother Beauregard. Larry later disposes of Travis' body after Hayden's ghost kills him and, in the "Smoldering Children" episode, implicates himself in the murder as a means of penance for what he had done to his wife and children. He is subsequently arrested and jailed for the murder. He is visited by Constance and tells her that he will be able to endure the punishment if she can just admit that she loves him, but she cruelly rebuffs him. For his performance, O'Hare was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie.
- Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange) is the next door neighbor to the Harmons, and a former resident of the house, who is determined to steal one of Vivien's twins and raise him as her own. Constance had four children: Tate, Adelaide, Beauregard, and one other unnamed child. She tells Vivien that her womb is "cursed" because three of her four children were born with some sort of genetic defect, and they have all died aside from Adelaide. Constance originally moved from Virginia to California in order to become a movie star, but she was against nudity so her career never took off. At some point in the late 1970s/early 1980s, Constance and her family moved into the house. In 1983, she caught her husband, Hugo, attempting to rape their maid, Moira, and shot them both. She buried Moira's body in the backyard and ground Hugo in a meat grinder, feeding him to her dogs. At an unknown time, possibly due to financial hardship, Constance and her family moved out. The Harvey family moved in next, and Constance began taking advantage of Larry's affection in order to move back into the house. In 1994, Larry told his wife Lorraine of his intentions to divorce her and move the Langdon family in with him; Lorraine then killed herself and their children as a result. Not long after, Constance asked Larry to kill her son Beauregard, who was going to be taken away by child services due to Constance's neglectful and abusive method of chaining him in the attic. Larry smothered Beau with a pillow, and Beau's ghost still haunts the attic. Later that year, her son, Tate went on a shooting spree, taking the lives of fifteen people, and was shot to death in his bedroom by a SWAT team. Constance's last living child, Adelaide, was hit by a car on Halloween night and died before Constance could get her to the Murder House property so that she could come back as a ghost. Constance's much younger boyfriend, Travis, is murdered in the basement by the ghost of Hayden and resides in the house as well. In the season one finale, after the Harmon family die, Constance abducts her grandson and raises him in secrecy. Three years later, Constance claims to her hairdresser that after all the tragedy she's been through, the baby has given her the chance to be the mother of someone destined for "greatness". The last moments show that her now 3-year-old grandson, Michael, has inherited his father Tate's murderous tendencies and lack of remorse, as he has brutally murdered his nanny, and is gleefully sitting next to her corpse. In the final seconds, Constance pridefully says, "Now what am I going to do with you?" For her performance, Lange won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie, the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film, the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series and was nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Actress on Television and the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Movie/Miniseries Actress, as well as receiving a 2011 Satellite Special Achievement Award.
- Moira O'Hara (Frances Conroy as older Moira, Alexandra Breckenridge as younger Moira) was a maid for Constance and her husband when she was alive, and her ghost continues to service the current occupants of the house. Moira has been shown to appear as an old, matronly woman to women and a young, attractive woman to men. She was shot in the eye by Constance after she was caught being raped by Constance's husband, Hugo. Constance buried her body in the house's backyard. Out of all the ghosts in the house, Moira is the only one that genuinely cares for Vivien's well-being, and she talks to her frequently to comfort her. Moira appears to display a mistrust towards men, frequently using her younger form to taunt them. In her younger form, she repeatedly flirts with Ben, and though he continually rebuffs her advances, he does fantasize about her on multiple occasions. Once Ben realizes things in the house are not as they seem, Moira finally allows Ben to see her in her "true" form. In the season finale, Moira assists the Harmon's ghosts in preventing any more tragedy by scaring away new tenants, and Vivien asks her to be the godmother of her newborn son. For her performance, Conroy was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie and the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress on Television.
- Hayden McClaine (Kate Mara) is the emotionally unstable, former lover and student of Ben Harmon. In the episode "Home Invasion", she calls Ben to request that he return to Boston to support her in getting an abortion, as she is pregnant with his baby. In the next episode, "Murder House", it is revealed that she had not gone through with the abortion. She informs Ben that she plans on moving to Los Angeles and expects Ben to divorce Vivien, pay for all of her expenses, and help her raise the child. Hayden is then murdered by Larry Harvey. She is buried in the backyard, alongside Moira's body, and Ben builds a gazebo on top of the grave. Since that episode, Hayden appears several times as a ghost to harass the Harmons, particularly in an attempt to drive Vivien crazy enough for her to be admitted for psychiatric treatment, and to stake her claim on one of the unborn babies. After the birth of the babies and Vivien's death, Ben is convinced by Vivien's ghost to leave the house with their only surviving child, before being met at the stairs by Hayden's ghost and the ghosts of the home invaders, Fiona and Dallas. The ghosts forcefully hang Ben from the chandelier, strangling him to death. Constance finds Ben's body, and immediately goes looking for her grandson. She finds him in the basement with Hayden's ghost cradling the living twin in her arms, intent on not allowing anyone to take him. Travis slices her throat (simply a momentary distraction, since both were already ghosts), takes the baby, and gives him to Constance. Later, Hayden tries to convince Tate's ghost that Violet will never acknowledge him again. He tells her that he is willing to "wait forever" for that to happen.
- Adelaide "Addie" Langdon (Jamie Brewer as an adult, Katelyn Reed as a child) is the daughter of Constance and Hugo Langdon, and sister to Tate, Beauregard, and one other unnamed sibling. Addie would frequently appear inside of or near the house, often giving ominous warnings of death to those who enter, or to play with some of the ghosts that reside on the property. Constance appears to be somewhat abusive towards Addie, such as locking her in a closet full of mirrors if she misbehaves, but is very protective of her and appears to love her regardless. In the "Halloween" episode, Addie is killed in a hit and run accident. Her mother unsuccessfully tries to bring Addie's body onto the Harmon property so that her ghost will remain there. After her death, Constance communicates with Addie with the help of a medium, Billie Dean Howard, and Addie's spirit tells her that she forgives her for her abuse and that after finding out about Tate's psychopathy, she is glad she did not come back as a ghost, so she would not have to be near him. Addie is one of the few characters who dies on the show but does not come back as a ghost, other examples being Bianca Forest, Joe Escandarian, and Derek.
- Marcy (Christine Estabrook) is the Harmons' real estate agent. When the Harmons first view the house, Marcy gives them "full disclosure" of the house's history, but in fact only tells them about the previous tenants being found in the basement, in what was believed to be a murder-suicide. The house's past history has caused its price to drop by half of its worth. The Harmons become the new owners. Once strange things happen to the Harmons, including a home invasion, Vivien forces Marcy to put the house back onto the market as the Harmons intend to move out. Several of the new prospects are heard from again; and one, Larry, comes across as creepy, causing Marcy to pull a handgun on him. When Vivien starts to think the house may be haunted, Marcy believes Vivien is delusional. After the Harmon family dies, she sells the house to a new family, again withholding the history of the house. Marcy adopts the Harmon family's dog, Hallie, after their deaths.
- Chad Warwick (Zachary Quinto) was Patrick's partner, and the house's previous co-owner. Chad is shown to be a control-freak, which eventually drove away his boyfriend, Patrick, who regularly cheated on him. He bought the latex suit in order to accommodate what he believed were Patrick's sexual fantasies, but Patrick laughed at him and mocked him, devastating Chad and driving them further apart than ever. On Halloween, he was murdered, along with Patrick, by a man wearing the latex suit. The Rubber Man (Tate's ghost) began to drown Chad in a tub, but ultimately broke his neck. Both Chad and Patrick were brought into the basement, and their bodies were positioned for it to appear as a murder-suicide. It is later revealed that Tate's ghost had previously made a deal with the ghost of Nora, that he would provide her with a child; Tate murdered Chad and Patrick because it appeared their relationship would not last long enough for them to have children, and he hoped a new family would move in. After their deaths, Chad and Patrick appear to grow closer, intending to take one of Vivien's twins to raise themselves, but this comes to an end when Chad overhears Patrick telling Tate that he doesn't love him. For his performance, Quinto was nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Guest Starring Role on Television.
- Patrick (Teddy Sears) was Chad's partner and the house's previous co-owner. He was eventually turned off by Chad's controlling attitude and lack of "manliness", which caused him to cheat with other men. After walking in on the Rubber Man (Tate's ghost) killing Chad, Patrick was beaten and sodomized with a fire poker. After he died, Tate's ghost dragged Patrick and Chad into the basement, and positioned their bodies to look like a murder-suicide. It is later revealed that Tate's ghost had previously made a deal with the ghost of Nora, that he would provide her with a child; Tate murdered Chad and Patrick because it appeared their relationship would not last long enough for them to have children, and he hoped a new family would move in. In death, Patrick and Chad seem to be attempting to reconcile and intend to raise one of Vivien's twins, but this ends after Patrick confesses to Tate that, because of him, he is now doomed to spend eternity with someone he doesn't love.
- Leah (Shelby Young) is Violet's bully-turned-companion. On Violet's first day of school, she is seen smoking inside the school's common area by Leah and her friends. Leah confronts the new student to the point of threatening Violet with physical force. Eventually, threats become reality and the two scuffle. Violet plots with Tate to lure Leah to the house's basement with the promise of a drug deal, which is a ruse to merely scare Leah enough to get her to leave Violet alone. The plan gets out of hand and Leah is attacked by the Infantata in the basement, causing deep facial scars. The stress from scare also causes streaks of grey to later appear in her hair. The experience brings the two together as friends, leading Leah to give Violet pills to help her sleep. However, numerous events cause Violet to attempt to commit suicide by overdose on the pills, prompting Tate to attempt, unsuccessfully, to save her. However, Violet remains unaware that she has actually been dead for several weeks; her body hidden in a crawl space by Tate.
- Lorraine Harvey (Rebecca Wisocky) was the wife of Larry Harvey. In the pilot episode, it is stated that Lorraine and her two children were set on fire by her husband after he was influenced to do so by the Murder House. However, in "Open House", it is revealed that Lorraine immolated herself and their daughters, Margaret and Angie, after discovering Larry's love for Constance and his intention to file for divorce. In "Smoldering Children", Larry apologizes to Lorraine's ghost and swears to get revenge on Constance, but she tells him that he was the one who broke their vows, not Constance. In the season finale, Lorraine is seen trying to burn Miguel Ramos, wanting to inflict the same wounds she has on him.
- Dr. Charles Montgomery (Matt Ross) was a surgeon to the stars in 1922 when he had the house built. He was a very successful doctor until he became addicted to ether and his reputation faltered. He soon developed a Frankenstein complex, and experimented using animal parts in the basement. Once the Montgomery's finances grew thin, he began performing illegal abortions in his basement on showgirl clients, provided by his wife Nora. After finding out about a secret abortion, an angry boyfriend of one of their clients sought revenge on the Montgomerys by kidnapping and murdering their infant child, Thaddeus. The baby had been dismembered and the remains preserved in jars. Devastated by grief, Dr. Montgomery reassembled their son using his remains, animal parts, and the heart of an abortion client. Upon seeing the monster Charles had resurrected, Nora killed her husband, before shooting herself in the head. Dr. Montgomery later appears to dismember the body of Elizabeth Short, who also died in the house, so she could be transported with more ease. He also mutilates Travis' body in the same way after his death. When Vivien goes into labor, Dr. Montgomery delivers the babies.
- Nora Montgomery (Lily Rabe) was Dr. Montgomery's wife and Thaddeus Montgomery's mother. She was a society debutante before she moved to the new home that her husband built for her; the Tiffany glass fixtures were specifically chosen to match the color of her eyes. Nora was used to a wealthy and privileged lifestyle, and became verbally abusive towards her husband when their finances began to suffer. To supplement their dwindling income, caused by the lack of work due to his ether addiction, she and her husband provided illegal abortions in the basement of their home; Nora found the clients and anesthetized them, and Charles performed the procedures. After finding out his girlfriend had secretly gotten an abortion behind his back, an angry boyfriend of one of their clients sought revenge on the Montgomerys by kidnapping and murdering their infant child, Thaddeus. The baby had been dismembered and the remains preserved in jars. Dr. Montgomery had developed a Frankenstein complex and reassembled their son from his remains, animal parts, and the heart of an abortion-seeking client. The result was what is referred to as the "Infantata"; the creature was deformed and had razor sharp teeth and claws. Nora attempted to breastfeed the creature which resulted in her being bitten on the breast, as the monster desired blood and not milk. She then attempted to kill it with a letter opener, but failed. Upon realizing what her family had become, Nora shot her husband in the head, before turning the gun on herself. When she appears as a ghost, there is an exit wound in the back of her head from the bullet; this seems to cause some memory problems for her since she continuously cries for her son, and intermittently appears to be unaware of what has happened to him. Tate's ghost promises Nora's ghost that he will provide her with a child, under any circumstances. After Vivien gives birth to the twins, Nora takes one of them for herself. Soon after, however, she decides she no longer wants to raise a child and instead gives him back to Vivien.
- Luke (Morris Chestnut) is the Harmons' security patrol officer, whom the Harmons hire after the home invasion. Luke provides them with a button which, when pressed, alerts him to the house. Luke develops romantic feelings for Vivien, which she secretly returns. Ben picks up on the attraction and initially believes that Luke may be the father of the other one of Vivien's twins. Luke then reveals that he is infertile.
- Billie Dean Howard (Sarah Paulson) is a medium. Constance introduces her to Violet in "Piggy Piggy", after Violet learns of Tate's dark past. After noticing Violet's confusion, Billie Dean tells Violet about how some confused spirits linger on the earth after their deaths. Constance explained that she had wanted Ben to treat Tate, hoping that he would accept his "condition", and she wants Violet to help Tate move on. Violet still doubts Billie Dean's validity as a medium, but Billie Dean then asks about a woman named Mary, presumably Violet's dead grandmother, whom Billie "sees" formerly telling Violet that people didn't "understand" her. Violet no longer doubts Billie Dean's integrity. Violet later understands that Tate is indeed dead and is a ghost. After her death, Billie Dean asks Constance to "talk" to Addie, which she does. When Constance learns that Tate's ghost had sex with Vivien, she asks Billie Dean what happens when a human copulates with a spirit and there is a conception. Billie Dean tells her about the Pope's Box, a locked box to which a new Pope is given a key. Inside is the ultimate secret of the end of the world, foretelling how the Antichrist, born of human and spirit, will usher in the End of Times.
- Travis Wanderley (Michael Graziadei) first appears as Constance's "business associate", as he is described by her to Addie when she interrupts them in the "Home Invasion" episode. He is a struggling actor, employed at a call center. He becomes close enough to Addie to read her stories and hear her secrets, which comes across to Constance as Addie trying to take him away from her. After Addie's death, his relationship with Constance becomes strained. They frequently argue, leading him to become intimate with Hayden's ghost. In the "Spooky Little Girl" episode, he is murdered by Hayden, and becomes one of the ghosts in the house. His body is mutilated by Charles Montgomery, in the same way that he mutilated Elizabeth Short's, and he is disposed of by Larry. When his body is discovered, Travis is referred to by the media as the "Boy Dahlia", in contrast to Elizabeth Short, who was referred to as the "Black Dahlia". When Travis learns of his media coverage, he is delighted that he has finally become famous. Travis' ghost assists Constance in the season one finale; when Hayden tries to prevent Constance from taking the living twin out of the house, Travis slices her throat and hands the baby to Constance.
- Stephanie Boggs (Alessandra Torresani) was a victim of the 1994 Westfield High shooting, and the first to die in the library. She was dressed in gothic clothing, and died after Tate shot her in the head.
- Kevin Gedman (Jordan David) was a victim of the 1994 Westfield High shooting, and the second to die in the library. Once the shooting began, he ran into the library and barricaded the door. He was wearing a black leather jacket, and is shown as a ghost covered in the blood of one of his classmates. He died while begging Tate for his life.
- Amir Stanley (Alexander Nimetz) was a victim of the 1994 Westfield High shooting, and the third to die in the library. He was editor of the yearbook. His ghost cannot speak because Tate shot Amir's jaw off when he tried to dial the phone for help.
- Kyle Greenwell (Brando Eaton) was a victim of the 1994 Westfield High shooting, and the fourth to die in the library. Kyle wore a letterman's jacket, and was a football player who had recently earned a scholarship to Georgia Tech. He died after Tate shot him in the head.
- Chloe Stapleton (Ashley Rickards) was the final victim of the 1994 Westfield High shooting. She was a varsity cheerleader, and was shot in the chest by Tate in the library.
- Bryan and Troy (Kai and Bodhi Schulz) were two destructive red-haired preadolescent twins who are shown to have been victims of the house in the "Pilot" episode. In 1978, they explored the then-abandoned house, before being killed by the Infantata. Their ghosts can be seen throughout the first season, usually causing trouble, breaking things and throwing bang snaps.
- Elizabeth Short – The Black Dahlia (Mena Suvari) was an aspiring actress who was given an accidental overdose of nitrous oxide by Dr. Curran, a dentist living in the house in 1947. Unable to pay for the procedure, Elizabeth offered to pay Dr. Curan with sex instead, but was killed after Dr. Curran accidentally left her on nitrous oxide while having sex with her, causing her to overdose. The ghost of Dr. Montgomery helped Dr. Curran dispose of the body by dismembering her, making her body easier to transport. Her body was found by a mother and toddler, displaying a Glasgow smile. Her ghost assisted the Harmons in scaring off the Ramos family in the season one finale. Elizabeth Short's character is based on the real-life woman of the same name, who was found mutilated in the same manner displayed in the show.
- Dr. Curran (Joshua Malina) was a dentist who lived in the house in 1947. He used the house for dental practice. When Elizabeth Short came for an appointment, he had sex with her unconscious body as payment for the procedure. When he unknowingly gave Elizabeth too much anaesthesia, she overdosed and died. Panicking, Dr. Curran dragged Elizabeth to the basement, where he was met by the ghost of Dr. Montgomery who promised he would take care of it. Dr. Montgomery mutilated her body, before giving it to Dr. Curran to dispose of.
- Maria (Rosa Salazar) was a student nurse murdered in the house in 1968. She was tied up and stabbed in the back repeatedly by murderer R. Franklin. Her ghost assists the ghost of Dr. Montgomery in delivering Vivien's twins in the "Birth" episode.
- Gladys (Celia Finkelstein) was a student nurse murdered in the house in 1968. She was drowned in a bathtub by murderer R. Franklin. Her ghost has appeared several times from a filled bathtub, as well as assisting the ghost of Dr. Montgomery in delivering Vivien's twins in the "Birth" episode.
- R. Franklin (Jamie Harris) is a serial killer who murdered Maria and Gladys in the house in 1968. He visits the house, pretending to be injured and needing help. He is let inside and knocks out Maria using an ashtray. He then forces Gladys upstairs and drowns her in a bathtub. He forces Maria to wear a nurse's uniform, and ties her up on the couch. He walks away, leading Maria to believe he is letting her go, before stabbing her in the back repeatedly.
- Bianca Forest (Mageina Tovah) is a copycat killer who poses as a patient of Ben Harmon's. She tells him during a session that she regularly dreams of being cut in half while trying to escape from a falling elevator. She claims to have gotten lost in the house after the session. Later, she comes back to the house to re-enact R. Franklin's murders, along with Fiona and Dallas. She eats an ipecac-spiked cupcake which Constance had actually made for Violet out of spite after she began dating her son, Tate. Violently vomiting, Bianca is killed by Tate who hits her with an axe. She is found dead six blocks away from the house. Bianca, unlike Fiona and Dallas, doesn't come back as a ghost because she did not actually die on the property.
- Fiona (Azura Skye) is one of the home invaders who tries to re-enact the R. Franklin murders as a copycat crime. Fiona uses the same ploy R. Franklin used to gain access to the house, by feigning injury. Vivien initially refuses to let her in, but she gains access herself. Fiona brings out an ashtray, which she claims is the same one R. Franklin used to knock out Maria. Fiona is obsessed with the recreation being absolutely accurate. Violet informs her that the original bathtub was moved downstairs in a remodel, which infuriates Fiona. Fiona then comes face-to-face with the ghosts of Tate and Gladys, and is found dripping wet (presumably drowned) with her throat slit. Fiona becomes a ghost and she and Dallas help Hayden murder Ben in the "Afterbirth" episode.
- Dallas (Kyle Davis) is one of the home invaders who tries to re-enact the R. Franklin murders as a copycat crime. Dallas holds Vivien hostage, and when he unties Vivien to force her to wear the nurse's uniform, Vivien tries to distract him. She eventually grabs the ashtray the invaders had planned to use in the re-enactment and uses it to knock him out. Maria's ghost leads Dallas to the basement, where he is killed by her and Gladys. His throat is slit and there appears to be stab wounds. Dallas becomes a ghost and he, along with Fiona, helps Hayden murder Ben in the "Afterbirth" episode.
- Thaddeus Montgomery - The Infantata (Ben Woolf) is the son of Dr. Charles and Nora Montgomery, who was reconstructed and brought back to life by Charles, after being kidnapped, killed, and dismembered. He is first seen in the "Pilot" episode, in which he kills the twins. He also takes part in Tate and Violet's basement attempt to scare Leah into ceasing her bullying of Violet by attacking her. In the "Birth" episode, a young Tate loses his toy in the basement's shadow and goes to retrieve it. Tate is grabbed by the Infantata, but is saved by Nora's ghost, who still refers to the monster as Thaddeus.
- Stan (David Anthony Higgins) is the tour guide who often shows up around the Murder House with various tourists explaining the house's history. He is one of the causes for the house to decline in price.
- Hugo Langdon (Eric Close) was Constance's alcoholic, cheating husband, who was shot to dead by Constance after she found him trying to force sex on their maid, Moira, (which she had previously agreed to) back in 1983. His body is ground up and fed to Constance's dogs. His ghost resides in the house, and is seen once having sexual relations with Hayden.
- Beauregard "Beau" Langdon (Sam Kinsey) is the son of Constance and Hugo Langdon and the brother of Tate, Adelaide, and one other unknown sibling. He is afflicted with craniodiaphyseal dysplasia and seems to suffer a mental disability as well. He is very friendly in all of his encounters with other people, but despite this, he was kept chained in the attic by his mother when his family lived in the Murder House. He was smothered with a pillow by Larry Harvey (at Constance's request). However, Constance refused to admit this, instead saying he died of natural causes. His spirit is trapped within the house's attic. Constance was going to be charged with child neglect, meaning Beau would have been institutionalized by Child Protection Services, and she couldn't bear the thought of "them taking away" her family. It is unclear if she neglected one or all of her children. It was, however, 1994, the year in which Tate committed the Westfield High massacre. Later on, Constance visits Beau in the attic and tells him they will be separated because of Joe Escandarian's plans to tear the house down.
- Miguel Ramos (Anthony Ruivivar), along with wife Stacy and son Gabe, moves into the house after the Harmons die, in the "Afterbirth" episode. While unpacking their belongings, Miguel and his wife discuss the idea of having another baby. This causes the Harmons, with the help of other ghosts, to scare the family away, so that they won't suffer the same fate they did. After only one night, the Ramoses move out of the house.
- Stacy Ramos (Lisa Vidal) along with husband Miguel and son Gabe, moves into the house after the Harmons die, in the "Afterbirth" episode. While unpacking their belongings, Stacy and her husband talk about having another baby. This causes the Harmons, with the help of other ghosts, to scare the family away, so that they won't suffer the same fate they did. That night, Ben dresses himself as the Rubber Man, and pretends to attempt to rape Stacy, scaring her and her family away.
- Gabriel "Gabe" Ramos (Brennan Mejia) is the son of Miguel and Stacy Ramos. He develops a connection with Violet's ghost after he finds her in his new bedroom looking through his music. Tate then tries to kill him so that Violet can have someone else to spend eternity with. Violet enters just in time to distract Tate, so that Gabe can escape. After one night, Gabe and his parents move out of the house.
- Michael Langdon (Asher Gian Starita as 3-year-old Michael) is the surviving twin who killed his mother, Vivien. His father is the ghost of Tate Langdon, and the product of Vivien's rape. According to Billie Dean, he is the living Antichrist, due to being conceived by a ghost impregnating a human. After his entire family is murdered in the house, he is abducted by his grandmother Constance and raised in secrecy. At the age of 3, he brutally murders his nanny. When discovered by Constance, he smiles with glee and pride at his actions.
- Jeffrey Harmon is the son of Vivien and Ben, brother of Violet, and half-brother of Michael. After being born, he took only one breath before dying, making him a spirit in the house. His ghost is taken by Nora Montgomery, who, after some time, decides she no longer wants to take care of him and gives him back to Vivien. Jeffrey is shown with the Harmons during Christmas time.
- Lana Winters (Sarah Paulson) is an ambitious journalist committed to the asylum after she attempts to expose Briarcliff's darkest secrets. Lana is in a committed relationship with her girlfriend, Wendy, and they keep their relationship a secret from most people in their life. She first comes to Briarcliff to allegedly write an article about the asylum's bakery, but her true intentions are to interview the killer "Bloody Face", whom she believes is Kit Walker. Sister Jude, suspicious of her intentions, takes an immediate disliking to her, and commits her for her homosexuality after she is caught in the asylum after hours. Lana is appalled and feels betrayed when she discovers that Wendy allowed her to be institutionalized, but unbeknownst to her Sister Jude actually blackmailed Wendy into committing Lana into the asylum. Whilst in the asylum, Lana is subjected to a barbaric form of aversion therapy. In the episode "I Am Anne Frank (Part 2)", Dr. Thredson helps Lana escape Briarcliff and holds her captive after revealing himself to be "Bloody Face". He explains that he intends to keep her alive to be the mother he never had as a child and later rapes her. Lana escapes Thredson's lair, only to end up back at the asylum after a car accident. Thredson finds her there, now intent on killing her, but Kit is able to knock him out. Lana wishes to kill him, but Kit needs him to stay alive in order to prove that he is not the killer. Lana learns that she is pregnant from the rape and uses this to get Thredson to confess to being the serial killer, while Kit secretly records him. She attempts to abort the baby, but is unsuccessful. She is able take the tape and escapes the asylum with the help of the Mother Superior, from the urging of Sister Jude. She promises Jude she will someday return the favor by getting Jude released and shutting down the asylum. Lana waits with a gun at Thredson's house, telling him she has turned the tape over to the police, before killing him herself. She later gives birth to the baby and puts him up for adoption. In 1968, she publishes a book about Thredson and her experiences in the asylum, Maniac: One Woman's Story of Survival, which thrusts her into the spotlight and tops The New York Times bestseller list. Kit, who has since been freed from the asylum after Thredson's conviction and death, reminds her of the promise made to Jude that she would get the asylum shut down. Lana initially refuses to help. However, three years later, in 1971, she decides to use her status as a well known journalist to bring attention to and shut down the asylum. She sneaks through the tunnel with a film crew and produces a documentary called Briarcliff Exposed which documents the mistreatment of the patients at the asylum. In 2013, Lana is 75 years old and publicly open about her sexuality, and has a new girlfriend. She takes part in an interview, retelling her experiences, and reveals that she had lied about her son dying during birth and that he is still alive. After the interview, she is confronted by her murderous son Johnny, who had posed as a member of the TV crew, although Lana had known he was there the entire time and had been aware that he was the modern-day "Bloody Face". Johnny attempts to kill Lana, in revenge for her attempting to abort him, abandoning him at birth and for not loving his father, whom Johnny idolizes. She ultimately convinces him that he is not like his murderous father and then uses his own gun to kill him, blaming herself for the murders he had committed. For her performance, Paulson won the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Movie/Miniseries, and was nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Actress on Television and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie in 2013.
- Dr. Oliver Thredson (Zachary Quinto) is a psychiatrist at Briarcliff whose approach to treatment creates conflict with that of Sister Jude's. He is first brought in to examine Kit to see if he is mentally fit to stand trial, and convinces him to plead guilty in order to avoid the death penalty. Thredson quickly becomes appalled at the dated treatments practiced at the asylum. Sister Jude, having already taken a disliking to him, demands him to leave within two weeks after he accidentally implies that he had planted an old newspaper article on the young girl Jude believes she killed, despite the fact that it had actually been planted by the possessed Mary Eunice. Lana begins to trust Thredson, and asks him to deliver a letter to her girlfriend Wendy. Thredson tells her that when he visited Wendy to deliver the letter, he found her house empty. He decides to help treat Lana's homosexuality through the use of aversion therapy, but abandons the treatment when he concludes that she is sane. Thredson records Kit confessing to the murders, even though he doesn't believe nor remember that he ever committed them. After resigning, Thredson sneaks Lana out of the asylum, leading her to believe that he intends to help her reveal the horrors committed there. After the two arrive at his house, Thredson reveals himself to be "Bloody Face", and informs Lana that he has killed her girlfriend Wendy. Thredson tells her that he was abandoned by his mother as a child and yearns for a "replacement", believing that she is "the one". He keeps her locked up in his basement where he rapes her. After a failed escape lands Lana back at Briarcliff, Thredson reappears to thwart her plans of exposing his true identity. He explains that no one would believe her due to her mental history, and that he has destroyed all the evidence that could link him to the murders. Lana wants to kill him, but Kit says they have to wait until they can prove that he is the killer, so that Kit can be cleared. They put him in an abandoned storage space where Lana visits him in "The Coat Hanger". She informs Thredson of her pregnancy, but threatens to abort it if he doesn't admit to killing the three women. After finishing his confession, Thredson discovers that Kit had taped the whole conversation. Lana later escapes with the tape. Mary Eunice frees Thredson, and she offers him a permanent position at the asylum. Thredson reveals that he intends to murder Lana after she has given birth, only keeping her alive until after she has breastfed the baby. Thredson makes a deal with Kit to help get him out in exchange for the tape. After arriving home, he finds Lana in his house with a gun and she tells him that the police have in fact been given the tape. He seems relieved that his "secret" is out. She mentions that he will now be put to death for his crimes and he scoffs at her, saying that no court will give him the death penalty as he is certifiably insane. He tells her that he will spend the rest of his life in prison and she shoots him through the neck, saying prison is too good for him. For his performance, Quinto won the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Movie/Miniseries and was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie in 2013.
- Monsignor Timothy Howard (Joseph Fiennes) is Sister Jude's superior and the object of her affections. The Monsignor and Jude set up the asylum together, and he intends to keep her by his side even when he achieves his aspirations of becoming a bishop of the diocese. He is aware of Dr. Arden's human experiments, having been told by Arden that they will aid humanity. However, he doesn't realize the extent of the experiments until, in the episode "The Origins of Monstrosity", he visits the severely mutated Shelley in a hospital. In order to put her out of her misery and preserve the asylum's secrets, he performs a mercy killing, strangling Shelley with his rosary while performing last rites. When Monsignor Timothy confronts Arden, Arden silences him by reminding him that he has allowed the mutations to happen and if he goes to the police, he will be held accountable as an accomplice. When Mary Eunice frames Jude for Frank's murder, the Monsignor admits her as a patient in the asylum. He baptizes Leigh Emerson, in order to redeem his crimes. In the baptismal pool, Leigh grabs the Monsignor's head and forces it underwater until he loses consciousness, before nailing him to a crucifix. As he is close to death, Shachath appears to the Monsignor and informs him that the Devil is residing at the asylum and that it is his duty to cast it out. Sister Mary Eunice nurses him back to health, only to rape him when he attempts to exorcize her. The Monsignor visits Jude to ask for advice, and she tells him to kill Mary Eunice. Mary Eunice tries to convince the Monsignor to work with her to gain control of the Vatican and offers him the position of Pope, to which he declines. She then corners the Monsignor on the stairway, before the real Mary Eunice breaks through and lets go of him, begging him for death. The Monsignor quickly pushes her off the stairway, before the Devil can regain control of her body, killing her. After Lana's release from the asylum, he lies to her and the police, telling them that Jude has committed suicide when in reality she is still alive. Monsignor Timothy is later promoted to the position of Cardinal of New York and promises Jude that he will bring her with him, but never comes back for her. In "Madness Ends", it is revealed that during his days as Cardinal, Lana conducted an exposé which documented Arden's human experiments and the Cardinal's awareness of them. Lana approached Timothy with a camera crew, asking him about his awareness of the experiments. On camera, he denied the allegations before speeding off in his car. It is revealed that he committed suicide later that day by slitting his wrists in a bathtub.
- Kit Walker (Evan Peters) is an inmate at Briarcliff who is believed to be the serial killer, "Bloody Face", accused of killing several women, including his wife Alma. Kit and Alma keep their interracial marriage a secret, in fear that someone might hurt their families. In the first episode, "Welcome to Briarcliff", Kit hears noises from outside and goes to investigate. When he enters the house, he is pinned against the ceiling by grey humanoids. When Alma goes missing, Kit is accused of her murder as well as the murder of several other women, committed by the serial killer "Bloody Face". At the asylum, Kit is subjected to sadistic experiments from Dr. Arden, including one that leads Arden to discover a microchip implanted in his neck. He develops a relationship with fellow inmate Grace, and the two have sex. In the episode "I Am Anne Frank (Part 2)", he is tricked by Dr. Thredson into a taped confession of the murders, after which it is revealed that Thredson himself is the killer. Kit is arrested after Thredson hands the tape to the police. Kit escapes custody and returns to the asylum to save Grace, who is accidentally shot by Frank after she jumps in front of a bullet to save him. Grace dies from the shot, but unbeknownst to Kit, her body is abducted by the aliens. Kit keeps Thredson alive in order to clear his name. Grace is returned by the aliens, almost in labor with Kit's baby. Arden revives Kit, and it is later shown that Grace has had his baby. Grace claims to have seen his presumed-dead wife Alma, telling him that she believes Alma has died while with the aliens. Kit proposes to Grace, who accepts. He, Grace and the baby are separated, and when he is released, he convinces the Monsignor to let Grace and his baby come with him as Grace is thought to have been killed. Kit threatens to tell of the asylum's mistreatments if Grace and the baby are not allowed to come with him, after which the Monsignor lets her go. He and his new family return home, only to find Alma there with her own baby, of which Kit is the father. By 1967, Kit, Grace and Alma are living in a polyamorous relationship, with their two children, Thomas (Grace's child) and Julia (Alma's child). Upset that Grace is obsessed with the aliens, Alma kills Grace with an axe in an insane rage and is sent to the asylum, before dying there shortly after. During Kit's visits to the asylum to see Alma, he connects with Jude. Kit tells Lana that she needs to help Jude get out, to which she declines. Jude is later released from the asylum and into the care of Kit, who sees her through her detox of pain medication. Jude relapses back into insanity, but Thomas and Julia take her into the woods, after which she comes back inexplicably healed. Jude bonds with Kit and the children, before dying six months later, leaving the family devastated. In "Madness Ends", Lana reveals in the interview that she is the godmother to Thomas and Julia, who both grew up to be successful, and that Kit married a woman named Allison. At age 40, Kit developed pancreatic cancer and seemingly disappeared without a trace. In reality, Kit was re-abducted by the aliens, leaving his fate unknown. For his performance, Peters was nominated for the Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film.
- Sister Mary Eunice McKee (Lily Rabe) is a young nun who works at Briarcliff under Sister Jude who favors her, believing her naivety to be an indication of her "purity". She seeks to please everyone, which proves to be a difficult task in the Briarcliff setting. Mary Eunice puts much trust in Dr. Arden, who regularly asks her to deliver buckets of meat to the creatures in the woods, which Arden tells her little about. However, after Jed's exorcism she becomes possessed by the Devil, and her innocent personality quickly disintegrates as the spirit takes control of her, causing her to become sly and manipulative. Mary Eunice kills a patient, feeding her corpse to Arden's creatures. She begins to formulate a plan to gain control of the Vatican. When Jude is removed as head of the asylum, Mary Eunice quickly takes her place. When speaking to the Shachath, the real Mary Eunice manages to break free from the Devil's reign and begs for death, before the Devil quickly regains control and silences her. After Jude hires a Nazi hunter to find out whether Dr. Arden is a former Nazi scientist, she kills the inspector and keeps some of the evidence to blackmail Arden with. Jude, realizing that Mary Eunice has been possessed, intends to kill her, before Mary Eunice locks her in a cell with Leigh Emerson. She frames Jude for the murder of Frank, and admits her into the asylum as a result. Knowing that he is "Bloody Face", she hires Dr. Thredson as a full-time psychologist at the asylum. After Monsignor Timothy is crucified by Leigh, he is visited by the Shachath who warns him that the Devil is living at the asylum in one of the nuns. Mary Eunice nurses the Monsignor back to health, and he attempts an exorcism, which does not work. She then rapes him, before trying to convince him to work with her to gain control of the Vatican, with him as Pope, to which he declines. Mary Eunice corners the Monsignor on the stairway, before the real, innocent Mary Eunice breaks through from the Devil's reign and releases him, begging for death. The Monsignor immediately pushes her off the stairway, before the Devil can regain control of her body. The visiting Shachath, Angel of Death comes to claim both her and the evil spirit. For her performance, Rabe was nominated for the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Movie/Miniseries. The character makes a brief recurrence during the season four episode "Orphans".
- Grace Bertrand (Lizzie Brocheré) is an inmate at Briarcliff who is accused of murdering her family. She is assumed to be an immigrant from France due to her accent and knowledge of the French language. Grace quickly befriends the supposed serial killer, Kit Walker, and the two unsuccessfully attempt to escape together on numerous occasions. Grace tells Kit that she was framed for murdering her father and stepmother after she saw a man kill them. Frank catches Grace and Kit having sex, and they are punished by Sister Jude, who canes Kit 40 times and orders for the two of them to be sterilized. Kit reads Grace's file and accuses her of lying about killing her father and stepmother, after which Grace admits that she killed them after years of molestation from her father, which her stepmother did nothing about. Mary Eunice informs them that Sister Jude changed her mind and that Kit is no longer to be sterilized, but Grace still has to go through with the procedure. Grace is taken by the aliens, who impregnate her before she is sterilized. After she is returned, Kit sees Grace bleeding and assumes she has been sterilized, but Grace is too weak to call out to him. She is shot and killed by Frank after jumping in front of a bullet to save Kit, who has escaped from police custody to return for her. Dr. Arden takes her body outside to be fed to the Raspers and she is abducted by the aliens. She is not seen again until they bring her back, alive and ready to give birth. Grace gives birth to the baby, whom she names Thomas, and is able to briefly visit Kit, telling him that she has seen his presumed-dead wife Alma with the aliens. She tells him that she believes Alma has died while with the aliens and Kit proposes to her. She, Kit and the baby are separated, and, when Kit is released after being cleared of the murders, he convinces the Monsignor to let Grace and the baby come with him as Grace is listed as being dead from the shooting. Grace and the new family go to Kit's home, only to find Alma there with her own baby. Grace welcomes the idea of the aliens returning for them one day and intends to tell their children, while Alma is fearful of it. Alma kills Grace with an axe in a moment of madness.
- Dr. Arthur Arden (James Cromwell) is the chief physician at Briarcliff who is actually a Nazi war criminal named Hans Grüper who appears to have a history of violence towards women and a bondage fetish, Elsa Mars being among his victims. Escaping to America under a new identity, Arden was among Briarcliff's first staff member and performed sadistic experiments on patients who have no family for what he insists is beneficial to the human race to survive a nuclear attack. While Arden claiming they died of natural causes, the Monsignor knowing the truth, he secretly placed the horrifically mutilated patients in the woods surrounding the institution. The experimented people end up becoming inhuman creatures called "Reapers" that Arden feeds with raw meat which Sister Mary Eunice usually delivers. Arden becomes infatuated with Mary Eunice, and remains loyal to her even during her possession. He and Sister Jude often clash, as he is regularly fighting for the power she has over the asylum and dismisses her faith. Arden takes a particular interest in Kit after finding a microchip implanted in his body. He attempts to rape Shelley before he amputated her legs and mutilated when she laughed at the size of his penis to the Monsignor's disgust. A patient who believes she is Anne Frank, revealed to be a woman called Charlotte Brown, reveals Arden's true name and Sister Jude hires Sam Goodman to uncover the truth. However, Mary Eunice kills the inspector but keeps some of the evidence to use to blackmail Arden. Together, Arden, Mary Eunice and Leigh frame Jude for the murder of Frank. He performs an experiment with Kit after he believes aliens have taken Grace's body, killing Kit temporarily in order to make the aliens return to save him. The experiment succeeds, and the aliens return with a Pepper and a now-pregnant Grace, the former of which has been given significantly more intelligence. Pepper tells Arden he and his scientific experiments are a joke to the aliens. He later walks with Mary Eunice to feed the Raspers and shoots them all, before attempting suicide by turning the gun on himself. Mary Eunice is unmoved, describing him as "pitiful". When the Monsignor later kills her, Arden insists that she should be cremated. Alone with her body at the furnace, he starts the fire inside, climbs on top of her body, and starts the conveyor to immolate himself. For his performance, Cromwell was nominated for the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Movie/Miniseries and won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie in 2013. James Cromwell's son, John Cromwell, portrayed the character in flashbacks as Young Arden. Young Arden also makes a brief appearance as Hans Grüper in season four, during one of Elsa and Massimo Dolcefino's flashbacks in the episode "Show Stoppers".
- Sister Jude Martin (Jessica Lange) informally referred to as "Judy Martin", is a stern nun with a dark past, who oversees the doctors and patients at Briarcliff. Though she initially appears to be strict with the patients, she is later shown to be caring and vulnerable. She harbors sexual feelings towards Monsignor Timothy Howard, and has fantasies that they will one day be together, whilst despising Dr. Arden for his power over the asylum and his lack of faith in Christianity. In the episode "Tricks and Treats", it is revealed that she was once a philandering nightclub singer who unintentionally killed a young girl in a drunk driving accident in 1949. It is later revealed that Sister Jude became a nun because of the car accident. Unbeknownst to Jude, Mary Eunice begins taunting her about the hit-and-run. After "Anne Frank" declares Dr. Arden to be a Nazi concentration camp doctor, Jude grows suspicious and hires Sam Goodman, an investigator of Nazis. Arden manipulates the Monsignor into firing Jude from her position as the head of Briarcliff. She goes to deliver a copy of Arden's fingerprints to Sam Goodman, who has confirmed her suspicions, only to find him stabbed and dying. Jude realizes Mary Eunice killed him and is possessed by the Devil from Jed's exorcism. She intends to commit suicide, but plans to visit the family of the girl she thought she killed in the hit-and-run. Jude discovers the girl is actually alive and survived the accident. Sister Jude then believes that God has had a plan for her all along, and she decides that it is her duty to put an end to all the inhumane treatments being used at Briarcliff. She returns to the asylum to right all the wrongs she's made, but quickly finds herself committed to Briarcliff after being framed for murdering Frank, the security guard. When Mother Superior Claudia visits her in the common room, Jude requests for her to help Lana get out of the asylum as she regrets admitting her in the first place. Before Lana successfully escapes, she promises Jude that she will return the favor and get Jude released as well. However, when Lana returns less than a year later, she is told by Monsignor Howard that Jude had committed suicide, even though she is actually being held in solitary confinement. Some years later, Kit Walker sees Jude and visits Lana to insist that she keep her word about getting her out, but Lana believes that Jude deserves to be kept in the asylum after all the suffering she's caused. Jude is given the alias "Betty Drake" in order to hide her identity to ensure she is not discovered and freed from the asylum. The Monsignor reveals to Jude that he is being promoted to the position of Cardinal of New York, and promises to release Jude as soon as possible, however he never comes back for her. Jude gradually falls deeper into insanity, not realizing two years have passed since the Monsignor left the asylum and handed it over to the state of Massachusetts. In Lana's interview in 2013, she reveals that she tried to find Jude during the filming of her documentary, Briarcliff Exposed, but that she was already gone. It is revealed that Jude had been released from the asylum and taken into the care of Kit, who frequently visited her following Alma's death. Kit helped Jude through the detox of medication given to her while she was at Briarcliff. She seemed to get better, before having a violent episode of insanity. Thomas and Julia took Jude into the woods, where she came back inexplicably healed. Jude taught swing dancing to Kit and the children, while giving the latter life lessons. Lana reveals that Jude died six months later, succumbing to Shachath's kiss. For her performance, Lange was nominated for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series, the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress on Television, the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film, the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Movie/Miniseries and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie in 2013.
- Shelley (Chloë Sevigny) is one of the inmates at Briarcliff, who has been diagnosed as a nymphomaniac. It is revealed that she married a bass player, who expected her to be a doting housewife while he openly cheated on her with multiple women. In revenge, Shelley had sex with two Navy sailors, and when her husband found out, he had her admitted to the asylum for alleged nymphomania. Shelley is despised by Arden, who deems her a "whore". In the episode "Nor'easter", Dr. Arden tries to rape Shelley in his office, but she laughs when he ejaculates too early and mocks the size of his penis, but soon finds herself unconscious when Dr. Arden knocks her out. When she wakes up, she realizes that both of her legs have been amputated. Dr. Arden continues his experiments on her over the course of several weeks while everyone believes that she has escaped. In the episode "I Am Anne Frank (Part 1)", she is discovered by "Anne Frank", prompting the possessed Sister Mary Eunice to take her out of the asylum and dump her in a playground. She is discovered by a group of frightened school children. Believing that her deformed appearance is the result of tuberculosis, she is confined to a hospital bed. Monsignor Howard chokes her with a rosary after performing last rites, both to end her suffering and preserve the asylum's secrets.
- Frank McCann (Fredric Lehne) is the Head of Security at Briarcliff. He is a calm, middle-aged man who is fond of Sister Jude and distrusts both Dr. Arden and Monsignor Howard. Frank tries to shoot Kit when he appears to attack, but accidentally shoots Grace when she jumps in front of the bullet. He is pushed off a ladder and attacked by Leigh, but Frank manages to subdue him. Frank informs Arden that he intends to report the accidental shooting to the police, and Arden informs Mary Eunice who insists she will take care of it. After locking Leigh up in a cell, Mary Eunice asks Frank if Leigh has given him any trouble, before slitting his throat. Mary Eunice then frames Jude for his death.
- Spivey (Mark Consuelos) is one of the inmates at Briarcliff, who is considered to have aggression issues and inappropriate feelings toward young girls, possibly being a pedophile. He attacks Kit Walker on his first day in the asylum. Dr. Arden catches him spying on Sister Mary Eunice bathing while masturbating, although Spivey insists Mary Eunice invited him to watch her. Arden takes him away, and uses him to experiment on, showing him to the Monsignor as an example of "the next step in evolution". After Arden is told by Pepper that his experiments are laughable, he shoots Spivey and the other Raspers, putting an end to his work.
- Leo Morrison (Adam Levine) is the newlywed husband of Teresa and a photographer. As part of their honeymoon, set in the present day, the couple take a tour around various haunted locations in the country, with their final destination being the abandoned Briarcliff Manor. The couple have sex in various locations on the property, but then hear noises and go to investigate. Leo puts his iPhone through the slot of a door to investigate what's on the other side, but ends up having his arm hacked off. "Bloody Face" then stabs him several times. When "Bloody Face" tries to kill Teresa, Leo attempts to save her by stabbing "Bloody Face" in the chest, and Teresa finishes killing him. The pair attempt to escape, only to find two more "Bloody Faces" chasing them. Devon, one of the impostors, shoots them both, killing Leo. It is revealed that the "Bloody Face" Leo and Teresa killed was also an impostor named Joey. In the season finale, it is revealed that Johnny Morgan was responsible for severing his arm.
- Teresa Morrison (Jenna Dewan Tatum) is the newlywed wife of Leo. In the present day, she and Leo celebrate their honeymoon by visiting multiple reportedly haunted locations. After they hear noises and go to investigate, Teresa persuades Leo to put his phone through the slot on the door to take a photo of whats on the other side, resulting in his arm being severed. She runs through an underground tunnel, only to run into "Bloody Face". She escapes but is shot by two teenagers dressed as "Bloody Face". Police later arrive at the asylum to find her missing, as she is seen being restrained by the real "Bloody Face", Johnny Morgan. She was skinned alive by him, which he reveals to a therapist when talking about skinning animals and women.
- Pepper (Naomi Grossman) is microcephalic and one of the inmates at Briarcliff, who is the first to appear in multiple seasons of the series. As revealed in the show's fourth season, Freak Show, Pepper was placed in an orphanage by her older sister Rita before she was found by Elsa Mars. Made into the first performer in Elsa's sideshow while receiving an education, Pepper came to see Elsa as a mother figure as she helped her gain a "husband" in another pinhead named Salty and Ma Petite as her baby. But after Salty and Ma Petite die, Elsa decides it would be best for Pepper to leave the freak show and live with her sister, who was uncomfortable with the idea at first. A few years after the events of Freak Show, despite helping around the house, Pepper ended up becoming an inmate at Briarcliff after being claimed to have drowned Rita's baby boy and cut off his ears. She gives Lana a rose which pricks her when she arrives at the asylum for the first time, and Mary Eunice reveals to her the reason Pepper is in the asylum. She goes to the bathroom during the movie night in "Nor'easter" and doesn't return, causing Sister Jude to suspect her to be one of the escapees. In reality, she was abducted by the aliens. In the episode "The Coat Hanger", she and a recovered Grace are found by Dr. Arthur Arden after his attempt of summoning the extraterrestrials, with Pepper having been given a newfound intelligence. She delivers Grace's baby shortly afterwards. Pepper later reveals her innocence and that Rita's husband murdered the baby because of the child's deformed appearance, the couple using her as a scapegoat due to her mental condition. Pepper tells Arden that his experiments are considered a joke by the aliens, which leads him into a depression. After Jude's admission into the asylum, she and Pepper become allies and close friends. Pepper is said to have died in 1966, but lives on in Sister Jude's hallucinations.
- Alma Walker (Britne Oldford) is Kit's wife. They are secretly married as he is white and she is black. She is believed to have been killed by Kit after becoming tired of hiding their marriage, but Kit staunchly affirms that she has been abducted by aliens. After Grace is abducted, she sees Alma with the aliens. However, when Grace returns after her abduction, she tells Kit that she believes Alma has been accidentally killed by the aliens. When they are released, they discover that Alma is alive, and has a newborn girl fathered by Kit, which the aliens impregnated her with. Alma is frightened of the idea of the aliens returning to re-abduct them, while Grace welcomes it. Alma kills Grace with an axe in a moment of madness and she is committed to the asylum. Kit is later told she died from heart failure.
- Wendy Peyser (Clea Duvall) is Lana's girlfriend, and a third grade school teacher. Wendy encourages Lana to pursue her idea of getting into the asylum to interview "Bloody Face". After taking a disliking to Lana, Sister Jude threatens to expose their relationship and blackmails Wendy into signing Lana into custody. She quickly regrets her decision, and encounters "Bloody Face" when he breaks into her house the night before she plans to take Lana out of the asylum. She pleads for her life, saying that the children she teaches will be traumatized by her death. In the episode "I Am Anne Frank (Part 2)", it is confirmed that she was in fact killed by "Bloody Face" when Dr. Thredson shows Lana her preserved body. When Lana later asks Thredson what he did with her remains, he explains that he had sexual intercourse with her corpse, before scattering her body parts in several places. After her release, Lana is able to find some of Wendy's remains to be put into a mortuary crypt. She appears in Lana's hallucination at her book reading of Maniac, angered at her for lying about their relationship and only referring to her as a "roommate" in the memoir.
- Mother Superior Claudia (Barbara Tarbuck) is Sister Jude's superior, and possibly the abbess of Briarcliff Manor, who serves as her friend and mentor. In the episode "Unholy Night", she promises to do her best to help Sister Jude return to her job at Briarcliff and informs her that Dr. Arden is waiting for her in the chapel. She testifies on Sister Jude's mental health in "The Coat Hanger". After a prompt from a delirious Sister Jude, she later attempts to help Lana escape from the asylum and expose the asylum's mistreatments by giving her some files, wishing the place be destroyed. She sets up an escape for Lana, calling a taxi to the asylum to pick her up.
- Charlotte Brown (Franka Potente) is a woman who claims to be Holocaust victim and diarist Anne Frank. She claims to hold a secret about Dr. Arden's past, insisting that he is a cruel Auschwitz doctor named Hans Grüper. She corners Arden, holding a gun stolen from a visiting homicide detective, and shoots him in the thigh before opening a door to discover the legless and severely mutilated Shelley. She holds Arden at gunpoint and demands to speak with Sister Jude but is subdued by Frank the security guard. Her husband later visits the asylum, telling Jude of her descent into madness, her obsession with the Holocaust and her delusion of believing she is Anne Frank. Sister Jude, in order to protect her from Arden's retaliation, arranges to discharge her into her husband's care. However, after she attempts to suffocate their infant son, her husband returns her to the asylum where Dr. Arden recommends a transorbital lobotomy. She is again sent home to her family and appears to be doing well. On her wall, with various other Holocaust photos and clippings, is a picture of Adolf Hitler and a young Nazi with an incredible likeness to Arden.
- Sam Goodman (Mark Margolis) is an Israeli hunter of Nazi war criminals whom Sister Jude contacts when she begins to believe that asylum doctor Arthur Arden is a former concentration camp doctor. He later contacts her to confirm her suspicions, but needs Arden's fingerprints as proof. Once Jude has successfully got a copy of Arden's fingerprints, she goes to deliver them only to discover that he has been killed. In his dying moments, he tells her that he was killed by one of her nuns.
- Shachath: The Angel of Death (Frances Conroy) is the personification of death, similar to the Grim Reaper. She is clothed completely in black 1940s style clothing, including a veil. She appears to those on the verge of death, and if they accept death, she kisses them on the lips to end their life; this is referred to as "the kiss of death". She appears over the course of Episode 7; being summoned by Miles, and appearing to an inmate who has attempted suicide, as well as Sam Goodman. Later in the episode, she appears to Lana and Sister Jude, who both refuse to accept death. Finally, she appears to Grace, who accepts her. When she encounters the possessed Sister Mary Eunice, it is apparent that she has some sort of relationship with the spirit that is possessing her. After Monsignor Howard is crucified by Leigh, Shachath appears to him to warn him of the Devil's presence in the asylum. When the Monsignor kills Mary Eunice, she appears to take the spirits of both the real Mary Eunice and the Devil possessing her. After the asylum is sold to the state of Massachusetts and used to house prisoners, Jude suffers from a longtime hallucination that Shachath is her cellmate. In the season finale, Shachath appears to Jude to finally give her the kiss of death, six months after being taken into the care of Kit Walker.
- Leigh Emerson (Ian McShane) is an inmate at Briarcliff; he was originally a petty criminal who was arrested and jailed for stealing a loaf of bread. Around Christmas one year, he was raped and attacked by five inmates. He left jail in 1962 and proceeded to go on a rampage and kill eighteen people while dressed as Santa Claus. He was sent to Briarcliff in December 1963, and he attacked one of the orderlies by biting him. He was then put into solitary confinement, and remained there until released in December 1964 by a possessed Mary Eunice, who sends him after Jude in her office. He attempts to attack and rape Jude, but she stabs him with a letter opener. He survives the attack and insists Jude attacked him, and then pretends to have a desire to turn his life around, "forgiving" Jude and asking for a baptism from the Monsignor. During the baptism, Leigh grabs the Monsignor's head and holds it under the water in the font, until he is unconscious, before nailing him to a crucifix. Leigh manages to escape the asylum after the struggle. Lana later mentions to Kit that she heard that Leigh killed seven nuns after his asylum escape and was a wanted criminal in five states. Lana reveals that she pondered writing a book about him, called Santa and the Seven Nuns. His fate is largely unknown.
- Missy Stone (Chelsey Valentine as a child, Kristin Slaysman as an adult) is a child, struck by Sister Jude's car in her secular past, whom she presumes to be dead. She appears to Jude during the exorcism of Jed Potter and accuses her of never getting out of the car. She is reported in a 1949 newspaper article which is delivered to Jude by the possessed Mary Eunice as "missing". During the storm she again plagues Jude with accusations, this time by phone, and her shattered glasses are discovered upon the nun's desk, although this is possibly a delusion as a result of Jude's guilt. When Jude goes to the Stone household to confess to the hit-and-run, she learns, to her shock, that Missy is alive and well with a child of her own. Missy survived the hit-and-run with a few broken bones, and her father vowed to get revenge, before her parents agreed it would be best to let the culprit deal with the torment for the rest of their life.
- Johnny Morgan (Dylan McDermott) is the biological son of Lana Winters and Dr. Oliver Thredson. He was conceived when Thredson raped Lana multiple times while she was being held captive in his basement. Once Lana is informed that she is pregnant, she tries to abort the baby using a coat hanger. She later finds out from Sister Mary Eunice that her attempt was unsuccessful, and that the child will be a boy. Johnny first appears in the episode "The Coat Hanger", where he explains to a therapist why he has homicidal tendencies. Johnny grew up in foster homes, and began to skin dead animals as a child. He developed a desire to hurt and skin women as an adolescent and was sent to prison for armed robbery; while there, he tracked down his family heritage through the internet. He identifies with his father, and decides to carry out his legacy by killing multiple women, including Teresa, as "Bloody Face". He discovers that Lana, his supposed biological mother, had written a book about his father and seeks out a copy. He reads that she was pregnant, although she claimed the baby died at birth. He plans on proving to her that he is alive by killing her as revenge for attempting to abort him and never loving his father. Johnny tracks her down and poses as a member of the crew during an interview with Lana in the year 2013. After the interview, when the real crew have left, Lana calls him out of hiding, aware of his presence and who he was after seeing pictures of him in a police investigation. Johnny tells her that his hatred for her began when he purchased Thredson's taped confession to her online, and heard the part in which Lana threatens to abort the baby, to which Thredson is devastated. He puts a gun to her head, but she manages to convince him that he is not evil like his father. He lowers the gun, which she takes from him before shooting him in the head herself.
- Billy (Joe Egender) is a friend of Kit Walker who threatens Kit in the first episode. Kit initially thinks the alien abduction is Billy taunting him.
- Carl (Mark Englehardt) is an orderly who fought in Korea. He is fond of sexual favors from Shelley.
- Jed Potter (Devon Graye) is a 17-year-old boy admitted to Briarcliff by his parents after he is found in the family barn having disemboweled their best cow and muttering an unknown language. He is believed to be possessed by the Devil. The spirit taunts the staff at Briarcliff, and uses Jed's innocence to manipulate them. He dies during the exorcism.
- Father Malachi (John Aylward) is a paraplegic priest who comes to Briarcliff to aid in the exorcism of Jed Potter.
- The Prostitute (Jenny Wade) is invited to Dr. Arden's home for dinner, music and wine (she refuses the latter) followed by some nun-inspired roleplay. Arden is disgusted by her vulgar language, and forces her to try on a nun's habit. She grows suspicious and discovers his collection of Third Reich medals and photographs of women in bondage. Arden walks in on her snooping and attempts to rape her, but she manages to escape and reports Arden to the police.
- Devon (Parker Croft) and Cooper (Blake Sheldon) are twin brothers who pretend to be a modern day "Bloody Face". They are killed by the real "Bloody Face", Johnny Morgan.
- The Mexican (Gloria Laino) is an elderly Hispanic inmate at Briarcliff who is likely suffering from some form of dementia. She spends her free time at the asylum dancing to the song, "Dominique", that is constantly played in the common room. She is the first to realize that Sister Mary Eunice is possessed, and begins to harass her, calling her Satan. Mary Eunice then visits the Mexican's cell and corners her, forcing her to kneel in prayer before killing her in "Nor'easter" and giving her body to the Raspers.
- Daniel (Casey Wyman) is a deaf and mute patient at Briarcliff. He is brought to Lana by Dr. Thredson in an attempt to "cure" her lesbianism.
- Rudy (John Lee Ames) is a patient at Briarcliff. He suffers from compulsive masturbation, which Sister Jude's caning only intensifies.
- Martha is a patient at Briarcliff who spends most of her time banging her head against the wall.
- Jim Brown (David Chisum) is the husband of Charlotte Brown. He originally wants Charlotte back home in order to take care of their son, David. However, he soon realizes that Charlotte is more obsessed with the Holocaust than he initially thought. He later gives Dr. Arden permission to perform a lobotomy on Charlotte.
- Jenny Reynolds (Nikki Hahn) is a young girl whose mother, suspecting her daughter has murdered her playmate, abandons her to the care of the asylum. When questioned by the police, she gives a description of a man in a brown coat. After being given advice from the possessed Sister Mary Eunice, she presumably kills her entire family when her mother comes back to pick her up. She is questioned again for the murders of her family members, and gives the same description as she did when her friend was murdered. Jenny's fate is unknown.
- Miles (Tongayi Chirisa) is an alcoholic and patient at Briarcliff who suffers from auditory hallucinations. The voices in his head taunt him, mostly telling him to kill himself. He eventually succumbs to the voices by cutting open his wrists with a bread slicer and summoning the Angel of Death, who takes his soul.
- The Lancasters (Chris McGarry, Lara Harris, and Tehya Scarth) are Mr. Lancaster, Rhonda Lancaster and Susie Lancaster, whose house Leigh Emerson, disguised as Santa Claus, broke into before he was committed into Briarcliff. The family were tied up, before being murdered by Leigh some nights before Christmas.
- Dr. Gardener (Brooke Smith) is a psychiatrist to whom Johnny Morgan goes to seek treatment. She is murdered by Johnny after he reveals to her that he is the son of "Bloody Face".
- Pandora (Jill Marie Jones) is a prostitute who has just given birth to a baby, and hence is lactating. Johnny Morgan hires her in order to suckle on her breasts. When he begins to talk about his mother, Lana, he becomes extremely angry and attacks Pandora, presumably killing her.
- Dr. Miranda Crump (Robin Bartlett) is the new head of Briarcliff after it is acquired by the state of Massachusetts when Monsignor Howard is promoted to the position of Cardinal of New York. Jude goes to her office after attacking her roommate, whom appears as the Angel of Death in her hallucinations. Jude is shocked when Dr. Crump informs her that the Monsignor was promoted over two and a half years ago and that Pepper is dead. Dr. Crump orders for an increase in her medication.
- April (Camille Chen) is a reporter who interviews Lana Winters in the year 2013, as Lana is being honored in the Kennedy Center. Lana recalls her story at Briarcliff to April, and reveals to her that she lied about her son dying after birth.
- Marion (Joan Severance) is Lana's girlfriend in 2013. The two are in an openly lesbian relationship.
- Cordelia Foxx (Sarah Paulson) is the "disappointing" and infertile daughter of the current Supreme, Fiona Goode, and the practical headmistress of Miss Robichaux's Academy. She is protective of her students, content with her role, and prefers to settle conflict in a peaceful manner, opposing her mother's beliefs. However, Cordelia never backs down from doing what is best for the Coven and her students, even when that means attempting to murder her own mother, or committing self-mutilation. In "Fearful Pranks Ensue", an unknown assailant throws sulphuric acid on her face when she is in a restaurant bathroom and Cordelia is blinded. As a result, Cordelia develops the gift of Second Sight, which enables her to receive visions of the past and future. This new power leads her to discover her husband Hank's infidelity, as well as the other dark secrets of Coven members. Growing in confidence from this ability and her mother's ever-weakening state, Cordelia begins to develop other powers and takes a more assertive leadership role when freed from her mother's shadow. Cordelia is talented at mixing potions due to her proficiency and knowledge of botany and magical plants. Cordelia's relationship with Fiona is complicated and contentious, and Cordelia considers Myrtle Snow, whom Cordelia calls "Auntie Myrtle", her substitute mother and role model. Her personal hell is pathetically begging for her mother's approval and being slapped for it on eternal loop. Cordelia assumes the title of Supreme after completing the 7 Wonders on the urging of Myrtle, the resulting surge of energy healing her wounded eyes. For her performance, Paulson was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie.
- Zoe Benson (Taissa Farmiga) is a shy, young girl who discovers she is a witch in "Bitchcraft", when she accidentally kills her boyfriend Charlie by causing him to have a severe brain aneurysm and subsequently dying when they have sex for the first time. She is then sent to Miss Robichaux's Academy by her mother, who knew of her family's genetic affliction and is afraid of Zoe's power. Zoe accompanies Madison Montgomery to a college party where she meets and falls in love at first sight with Kyle Spencer, a university student – however, Kyle is murdered by Madison that same night. Obsessed and depressed with Kyle's death, Zoe brings about his eventual resurrection. With Kyle's support, Zoe quickly becomes a more assertive witch and a strong contender for the next Supreme, growing from the nervous, innocent and frightened young witch into a woman willing to kill for her sister witches and the Coven. Zoe often acts as a leader and is an influence on the other students, encouraging them to act as a united team – though she frequently comes into conflict with Madison. Unlike the other students, she is also very proficient at casting spells. In "Burn, Witch. Burn!", she demonstrates her power when she breaks a strong curse placed on the undead by voodoo priestess Marie Laveau. She also develops undefined intuitive abilities and several other powers. Her strong-willed naiveté often leads her into trouble, such as when she unwittingly revives the Axeman. Her personal version of hell is Kyle continuously breaking up with her and saying he no longer loves her.
- Myrtle Snow (Frances Conroy as old Myrtle, Michelle Page as young Myrtle) is the eccentric head of the Witches' Council with shocking orange hair. Though she adores Fiona's daughter Cordelia as her own, Myrtle holds a lifelong grudge against Fiona, whom she (correctly) believes murdered the previous Supreme while the two were together at school, and makes frequent attempts to denounce or overthrow her. Fiona, in turn, scape-goats, frames, and eventually (ineffectually) burns Myrtle at the stake. Myrtle is a graduate and former headmistress of Miss Robichaux's Academy. Myrtle is a vernacular in the truth, which means she has the ability to know when the truth is being told and can detect lies. She can enchant others so they will utter nothing but the truth, and she is also seen using telekinesis, which is her favorite of the powers that she possesses. Myrtle also has the power of transmutation (teleportation) and uses it frequently, disappearing and reappearing throughout the Academy. Myrtle is a traveled gourmand who adores exquisite food, haute couture, jewelry, romance, and associating with fashion designers. Fiercely loyal to the Coven as a whole (though this does not stop her from gleefully murdering the remaining members of the Witches' Council) and to Cordelia, Myrtle wants what is best for their future and believes Misty Day or Zoe to be the strongest candidates for future Supreme. Myrtle's last word before her second and final death is "Balenciaga". For her performance, Conroy was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie.
- Kyle Spencer (Evan Peters) is a cheerful college student on a scholarship, and the leader of his fraternity. He falls in love with Zoe at first sight. The victim of extensive sexual abuse, Kyle worked hard to earn a scholarship and escape poverty for college, and Kyle's dream was to become a civil engineer and ensure a catastrophe like Hurricane Katrina would never happen again. He is killed at the beginning of the season, when Madison flips over a bus he is riding in. He is later revived in the morgue using a spell cast by Zoe and Madison, after his severed head is attached to various body parts from other victims of the crash. He suffers severe drawbacks after his resurrection – such as rarely being able to speak, suffering fits of murderous rage, and often being confused, as a child would be. Kyle enters into a menage-a-trois relationship with Zoe and Madison, and becomes the "guard dog" of the Coven. Kyle chooses Zoe exclusively once he fully regains his mental abilities. Eventually, Kyle becomes the new butler of the Academy, taking over Spalding's role.
- Misty Day (Lily Rabe) is a young witch who is not associated with a Coven of her own. She was discovered as a witch after being ostracized and burned alive by her Pentecostal community for exhibiting the extremely rare "gift of resurgence" (the ability to fully resurrect the long dead, as opposed to the Seven Wonders' vitalum vitalis, which merely balances life forces between the healthy witch performing it, and the ill/just dead receiver). Her death made the news and Misty was thought to be dead, but she mysteriously revived herself and spends her time alone walking through the swamps. She is a lonely woman who is obsessed with Stevie Nicks, believing her to be a kindred spirit and a white witch. Misty is kind, despises killing, and is desperate to find a place where she'll belong as family, though she is reluctant at first to become the next Supreme everyone assumes she will be. She helps heal Kyle's body after Zoe and Madison revive him with a spell, and also ends up using her necromancy to revive Myrtle Snow after Myrtle is burned at the stake. Her powers seem limited based on the amount of time the body has been dead, as observed in "The Axeman Cometh", when she struggles to revive Madison, who had been dead for weeks. She has also shown minor abilities controlling animals, such as making the alligators attack the poachers and also calling animals away from Myrtle's charred body. Misty has demonstrated telekinetic abilities and has also been observed manifesting in other areas at will, potentially demonstrating teleportation ability. Misty's personal hell is a memory from her school days, where she revives a frog meant for dissection in order to save it, only to be forced to murder it again as she screams and her classmates laugh at her, and then, when she revives it again, the murder and laughter repeat. Misty perishes when she cannot escape her personal hell within the allotted time, her body reduced to ash in the physical world.
- Madison Montgomery (Emma Roberts) is a young Hollywood star who makes $7 million a picture and discovers she is a witch after she uses telekinesis to murder a director who had been annoying her. She had been in and out of rehab for years and was the sole support for her parasitic family from a very young age. Madison is drugged and gang-raped by a group of frat boys in "Bitchcraft", who film the event. She avenges herself and proves herself the most powerful telekinetic in the Coven when she flips their bus and kills most of them, and becomes friends with Zoe after Zoe kills the ring leader who had survived. Madison craves attention, approval, confirmation that she is special, and desires power so others can no longer hurt or ignore her. Madison's cock-sure personality resembles Fiona's as a young woman. In "The Replacements", Fiona believes her to be the next Supreme after Madison begins to demonstrate new powers. Flowering under the attention, Madison is devastated when Fiona overpowers her and cuts her throat, leaving Madison to die on the floor in an attempt to regain her powers as Supreme. After her resurrection, Madison is unable to feel pain or sensation and begins a love-triangle with Kyle and Zoe, because her feelings for Kyle are the only thing she can feel. Madison hardens as the season progresses and becomes willing to do anything in order to be named the next Supreme and control Kyle, who ultimately chooses Zoe over her. Madison's desire for Kyle and power are what lead to her second and final death. Madison's personal hell is living without sensation, and being trapped in a supporting role on a TV performance of The Sound of Music Live!.
- Spalding (Denis O'Hare) is the butler of the Academy. He has been mute since 1971 when he cut off his own tongue to prevent the Witches' Council from finding out the truth about Anna-Lee's murder. He has been in unrequited love with Fiona for many years. Spalding is fond of tea parties and has an extensive doll collection that he plays with while dressing in a woman's nightgown. He adds Madison's body to his collection. He later is interrogated by Zoe, Nan and Queenie about Madison's murder, claiming he was responsible, though Zoe is skeptical. Later, Zoe recites an incantation, enchanting Spalding's tongue and returning it to his mouth. He admits that Fiona was responsible for murdering Madison, due to his tongue being enchanted to tell the truth, and Zoe stabs Spalding in the chest, killing him. After his death, he remains in the Academy as a ghost, and, along with LaLaurie, is responsible for the death of Marie Laveau. He then acts as a mentor to Kyle as the new butler, saying that they are "the help".
- Marie Delphine LaLaurie (Kathy Bates) is based on the true-life New Orleans socialite from the 1830s, infamous for killing and torturing her slaves. To punish Delphine for disfiguring the houseboy, Bastien, the voodoo priestess Marie Laveau tricks Delphine into drinking a potion of eternal life and buries her alive. Delphine is re-discovered by Nan and a war rekindles between the voodoo tribe and the witches when Fiona digs Delphine up and houses her to use as a bargaining chip against Laveau. Delphine is immortal because of Marie Laveau's potion and cannot die. Delphine is a complex, dualistic character, at once pitiable and monstrous. Arrogant and proud, she's also practical and willing to get her hands dirty. She truly loves her family, but is willing to torture them to keep them from disobeying her. In the Academy, Delphine is required to be Queenie's slave and the two form a tentatively fond relationship. Queenie's betrayal smashes Delphine's trust and inclinations to attempt atonement for her racist ways, and Delphine again takes up her murderous hobbies when tempted. Delphine longs for death, but her personal hell is being locked in a cage in her torture attic, just out of reach of her daughters, and forced to watch her African-American enemy torture her children in front of her, without being able to help. For her performance, Bates was nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress on Television and the Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film, and won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie.
- Fiona Goode (Jessica Lange as adult Fiona, Riley Voelkel as teen Fiona) is the Supreme witch of her generation, the leader of the Salem witch descendants. She lives a glamorous life of luxury in Los Angeles. She returns to Miss Robichaux's Academy after the murder of Misty Day with the intention of teaching the young witches to fight, and reconciling with her estranged daughter Cordelia. She yearns for eternal life and looks for any way to get it. Fiona, being the Supreme, embodies countless magical abilities including, but not limited to, telekinesis, pyrokinesis, vitalum vitalis, clairvoyance, concilium, descensum, resurgence, divination, and transmutation. As the Supreme, Fiona has mastered the Seven Wonders, seven magical abilities that signify a witch as the Supreme. Fiona grows terribly ill and develops terminal cancer due to a new Supreme rising within the Coven. She tries at all costs to regain her youth. At first, she attempts to obtain immortality by seeking it from an immortal voodoo priestess Marie Laveau. After failing miserably, she believes the only way to stay alive is to kill the emerging Supreme. She murders several of the students, but still continues to grow weaker. Fiona conspires with the Axeman and fakes her own death by implanting a false vision inside him, revealing that he murdered her. Fiona returns to the Academy to kill the new Supreme – however, after realizing her daughter has taken her position, Fiona renounces her self-serving, murderous intentions and dies of her cancer. In her own personal hell, Fiona is bound to live in a shack with the Axeman for all eternity. For her performance, Lange was nominated for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series, the Satellite Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film, the Saturn Award for Best Actress on Television, the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film and won the Dorian Award for Best TV Performance of the Year – Actress and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie.
- Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett) is the mighty high priestess of voodoo magic. The voodoo practitioners are one of the main adversaries of the Salem witches. She is unforgiving to those who wish to hurt her people. Marie is centuries old and alive in the present, owning a hairdressing salon called Cornrow City in the 9th Ward. She claims that the American Salem witches and their descendants were given their powers as a gift from the slave woman, Tituba, before the Salem Witch Trials. She previously signed a truce with then-Supreme Anna-Lee Leighton in the 1970s, but considers Fiona Goode to be her sworn enemy. She later considers the truce to have been broken upon the killing of her lover, Bastien. She sends Bastien to attack the Academy and after his death, her undead army. It is revealed in the fifth episode that she had broken the truce many years ago, hiring the witch hunter Hank to rid the world of Salem descendants. Marie is a powerful voodoo queen, adept at performing rituals of fertility, creating potions granting eternal life and mind control, using the power of transmutation, levitation, and necromancy. Marie is also the only voodooienne to survive Hank's massacre and subsequently seeks sanctuary amongst the witches of the Coven. She later reveals her longevity is the result of selling her soul to Papa Legba, a spiritual entity who serves as gatekeeper of sorts between worlds. In exchange for her eternally life, she must offer him a yearly sacrifice: the soul of an innocent child. After forming an unlikely alliance with Fiona Goode, the two launch a devastating attack on the witch hunter organization, ridding themselves of the threat once and for all. Marie is later attacked and dismembered by Delphine LaLaurie and her body parts are scattered across New Orleans. Unable to fulfil her repayments to Papa Legba, their contract is rendered void and the centuries-old voodoo priestess finally dies. She comes to her senses in a hellish afterlife, where she is instructed to torment the recently deceased Madame LaLaurie for all of eternity. At first she relishes the position, but when forced to torture the innocent LaLaurie daughters while their mother looks on she finds herself no better than her cruel nemesis. For her performance, Bassett was nominated for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special, and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie.
- Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe) is a young inner-city witch who grew up in the foster system in Detroit, where she worked at a fast food restaurant. She is a descendant of Tituba, one of the first witches accused of practicing witchcraft during the Salem witch trials. She is a student at the Academy and is described as a human voodoo doll thanks to her ability to transfer pain and injuries inflicted on herself onto anyone else without actual harm coming to herself. Queenie proves a special case as it is speculated that she has voodoo and Salem blood running through her, and she is as much a Salem witch as well as a voodoo priestess. In the third episode, she is attacked by Bastien, and later dies from her internal injuries. Luckily, Fiona revives her. After Fiona forces Madame LaLaurie to be her personal slave, they form an unlikely friendship despite Delphine's racist tendencies. Queenie puts in a large effort to help Delphine overcome her bigotry and atone for her crimes. However, after LaLaurie tells Queenie that the other witches do not truly see her as their friend, she turns on the Salem witches, and turns over LaLaurie to Marie Laveau. Then, having left the Academy, she works at Cornrow City as a receptionist and voodoo assistant, helping Marie with various rituals. She is shot by Hank during the voodoo massacre, however she survives and manages to kill Hank by shooting herself in the mouth. It is later revealed that Queenie survived her wounds, demonstrating a complete resilience to the witch hunter's silver bullets. Her powers have subsequently flourished, and she demonstrates the ability to descend spiritually into the afterlife and return again and deploys potent telekinetic abilities in saving Misty Day from her entombment and later again during the Axeman's assault on the Coven. In the season finale, Queenie, along with Zoe, is appointed the position of Council member by the new Supreme, Cordelia. For her performance, Sidibe was nominated for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special.
- Nan (Jamie Brewer) is a young witch who is a student at the Academy and is sometimes underestimated and dismissed by her peers as she is perceived to be less socially sophisticated and quick-thinking than they are – though in fact, she often picks up on things quicker than the other students, and people sometimes warm to her more quickly than the others. She has the ability of clairvoyance. She has a crush on the Academy's new next door neighbor, Luke. She found, or "heard" Delphine's thoughts from underneath her old estate. She assists in Zoe's interrogation with Spalding, since she is the only one who can actually hear him since his tongue has been cut off. Nan is a telepathic witch. She can read the minds of others and also see various details of their lives, and is hinted to possess precognitive and retrocognitive abilities. She refers to her mindreading as "hearing", as when the undead army invaded she couldn't "hear them". She gives details that she is quite promiscuous and has had a lot of sexual relations with many boys. Nan falls for the neighbor, Luke Ramsey, but her chances of happiness are routinely dashed by the interferences of her fellow witches and Luke's unstable mother, Joan – though Luke himself is quite charmed by her, clearly preferring her to Madison. When Luke is near-fatally shot in an attack by Hank, Nan uses her telepathic abilities to allow Luke and his mother to communicate, but at the same time uncovers Joan's murderous past. Joan later smothers a comatose Luke to keep her secrets buried and cremates his remains. When Nan finds out that Luke is dead and there is no chance of a resurrection, she demonstrates previously unseen telekinetic and mind control abilities, forcing Joan to consume a fatal quantity of bleach and leaves her dead on her own kitchen floor. Nan later approaches Marie Laveau after finding a planned child sacrifice crying in a cupboard and exchanges heated words with both the voodoo priestess and Fiona Goode. Later that evening, Nan is drowned by Marie and Fiona in a bathtub as an offering for Papa Legba. The sacrifice is grudgingly accepted and Nan's spirit happily goes into the afterlife with Legba, having had enough of the mortal coil.
- Joan Ramsey (Patti LuPone) is a fundamentalist Christian, who moves next door to the Academy with her son, Luke. In "The Replacements", Madison and Nan visit her home in an attempt to seduce Luke. Joan then forces them to leave after Madison uses her telekinesis to send a knife flying at her, after which Madison sets her curtains on fire. Later that night, Joan confronts Fiona and warns Fiona of the consequences if the girls ever set foot on her property again. She is shot multiple times by witch hunters, but is revived by necromancer Misty Day. It is later revealed that she murdered her husband after he cheated on her. Joan is later killed by Nan, who uses the power of concilium to make Joan drink bleach.
- Luke Ramsey (Alexander Dreymon) is the son of Joan, who moves next door to the Academy. He quickly attracts the young witches and is conflicted due to his religious background. In "Burn, Witch. Burn!", he comes to the Academy to gift Nan with some cookies in return for the cake, but is later locked in when Marie Laveau's undead attack. He thinks it as a prank so he goes out to coerce them to leave, but one manages to stab him in the back with a pickaxe and Nan comes outside to help him. The next day, it is mentioned that he is in Nan's room recovering. He is shot in the head by witch hunters, but survives and is hospitalized in a coma. During his coma, he is able to talk to both God and Nan. Joan later suffocates him with a pillow after he discovers she murdered his father.
- Hank Foxx (Josh Hamilton) born Henry Renard, is Cordelia's supporting husband. He is a contractor and has opposing beliefs to Fiona on his wife's best interests. In reality, he is a witch hunter hired by Marie Laveau, who has killed over nine Salem descendants in the last 3 years, including the pyrokinetic witch, Kaylee. Marie later threatens to kill Hank as he hasn't managed to clear the Academy of all its students and staff. He works under a witch hunting company known as the Delphi Trust, with his father being the CEO, though he has a constrained relationship with his father and is only delegated the task of gathering intelligence. He turns on the voodoo witches and conducts a shooting at Cornrow City. However, he is killed when Queenie shoots herself in the mouth, transferring her injuries onto him.
- The Axeman (Danny Huston) is a serial killer. He was given the moniker due to his weapon of choice. In 1919, he was lured into Miss Robichaux's Academy and killed by the Coven to stop his reign of terror. His spirit is discovered and brought between worlds by Zoe in the present day when she uses a ouija board to locate Madison. After threatening Cordelia, his spirit is released from the Academy by Zoe, and he locates Fiona in a bar. Fiona conspires to fake her own death with the Axeman by implanting him with a vision that he killed her. The Axeman is later killed by Zoe, Queenie, Madison and Misty who stab him to death in the same manner that he died in 1919. He appears in Fiona's personal Hell for all eternity. For his performance, Huston was nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Guest Star in a Television Series.
- Papa Legba (Lance Reddick) is a god of lore from the Haitian and New Orleans voodoo traditions. He is the gatekeeper of the spirit world as well as the god of travel, opportunity and luck. In "The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks", Marie Laveau reveals the source of her immortality to Fiona Goode: "To sell the soul to Papa Legba, an ancient voodoo spirit, and obey his commands no matter what once a year." In Marie's case, this is to present to him the life of an innocent, which started with her own baby centuries ago. He is later summoned by Fiona, who offers her soul in exchange for eternal youth, willing to do anything for it. Papa Legba turns down the offer as he claims she has "no soul to give." Afterwards, Marie and Fiona decide to get rid of Nan and offer her as sacrifice to Papa Legba, after drowning her in the bathtub. He reluctantly accepts the substitute for the newborn baby and warns Marie and Fiona of being "trouble" together. In "Go to Hell", Delphine LaLaurie hacks up Marie's body so that Marie can no longer honor her agreement with Legba. Queenie, after returning from her personal Hell, convinces Papa Legba to take away Marie Laveau and, as a result, LaLaurie's immortality.
- Cecily Pembroke (Robin Bartlett) is the secretary of the Witches' Council. She is seen as very reserved and old fashioned, using a typewriter. Quentin mentions she has no charisma. It is unknown what Salem abilities she possesses as a witch. She and Quentin agree on burning Myrtle at the stake for the alleged blinding of Cordelia. After being resurrected, Myrtle murders her as revenge, claiming Pembroke had merely used the blinding as an excuse and had always wanted her gone in order to take control of the Council, and uses her eyes to give Cordelia her sight back.
- Quentin Fleming (Leslie Jordan) is a member of the Witches' Council, Fiona helped make him a best-selling author. He is very flamboyant and sassy, making him a polar opposite of his fellow Council member Cecily Pembroke. Myrtle murders him, along with Cecily, as revenge. One of his eyes is then used to give Cordelia her sight back.
- Chantal (Dana Gourrier) is a young salon stylist for Marie at Cornrow City and a voodoo practitioner, assisting Marie in her various voodoo rituals and spells. She attempts to stop Marie from reigniting the conflict between the voodoo witches and Salem witches, but ultimately agrees on helping her. Marie mentions that she's quite young, saying that she wasn't even born when the voodoo practitioners and Salem witches were at war. She is shown working as a receptionist and hair stylist for the salon. Chantal's voodoo capability is unknown, but she is shown overseeing and helping in the rituals such as the voodoo fertility spell and assisting in Marie's necromancy spell to raise her undead army. She is the second member of Marie's tribe to be shot in Hank's massacre, presumably to death.
- Alicia Spencer (Mare Winningham) is Kyle's "9th ward white-trash," drug-abusing mother. Raising Kyle as single mom, the flaky and abased Alicia became unhealthily dependent upon her young son for support by needing him to assume all of the adult "man of the house" responsibilities and take care of her. She is suicidal and clingy after the death of her son, and Kyle kills her after his resurrection.
- Anna-Lee Leighton (Christine Ebersole) is the previous generation's Supreme witch. She is portrayed as a competent, strong, and fair Supreme. As a Supreme, she was vital in forging the truce with Marie Laveau, ending a decades-long war between Voodoos and Witches. Anna-Lee felt Fiona would be a selfish and disastrous Supreme, and vowed not to allow Fiona to assume the mantle of Supreme. She is killed by Fiona in 1971 for her position, her body is never found, and her death is blamed on the Voodoos. It is unknown what specific abilities Anna-Lee had, but it is mentioned that she could perform all Seven Wonders, so it is speculated she was a very powerful witch.
- Archibald "Archie" Brener (Grey Damon) is one of Kyle's frat brothers. He, along with some of his other friends, drug and gang rape Madison at a party after Madison rebuffs them. He is then later heavily injured when she flips their bus. Zoe comes to the hospital to see if Kyle is still alive, but sees it is Brener who survived and not Kyle. In turn, Zoe begins to fondle him and rapes him, killing him with her abilities to inflict a brain aneurysm.
- Bastien/Minotaur (Ameer Baraka) is one of Madame LaLaurie's slaves. He was tortured in 1834 for allegedly attempting to seduce LaLaurie's daughter, Pauline, and had a bull's head put onto his body. He was also Marie Laveau's lover. He survived to the present day using her magic and was sent by Laveau to attack the Academy, injuring Queenie. He was stopped by Fiona, who sent his head back to Laveau in a box. As a Minotaur, Bastien possessed enhanced strength.
- Dr. Morrison (James DuMont) is Cordelia's general physician, he tells Cordelia that the fertility drugs he has prescribed her have not worked. In "The Replacements", he reveals that Cordelia is completely infertile.
- Dr. David Zhong (Ian Anthony Dale) is a top of the line biochemist who has developed a youth serum over the years. In "Bitchcraft", after he refuses to give Fiona an unlimited supply of the serum, she sucks the life out of him and kills him.
- Harrison Renard (Michael Cristofer) is Hank's father and head of the Delphi Trust, a brotherhood organization created centuries ago to rid the world of witchcraft and voodoo. He is fond of his son, but finds and treats him as incompetent. Harrison bears the scars of Hank's first hunt; when the boy flinched with completing his duty, Harrison was forced to step in and complete the hunt for his son, his arm horribly burned in the process. Harrison is a greedy man, willing to ally with the witches to save his lucrative business and to use his son as a pawn for information. He is killed by Fiona, who slices his neck with an axe.
- Helen (Lyndsay Kimball) was a student at the Academy, a few years older than Fiona. She bullied many of the younger witches, particularly Fiona. In a flashback, it shows the Axeman collapsed a bookcase on her after she forced Fiona to spill milk on herself. She is shown to display basic telekinetic abilities.
- Cora (Tonea Stewart) is a salon hairdresser who works at Cornrow City. Although she was optimistic about the civil rights movement, her son was unfortunately lynched for being registered to an integrated white school in 1961. In the present time, she is seen again being pampered by Marie Laveau for the Mayor's Annual Halloween Ball. It is unknown if she was killed or present at the voodoo massacre.
- Chinwe (Philip Fornah) is one of Marie's cohorts. He is always seen close to Marie, possibly a bodyguard, as when Fiona sets her wigs on fire, he and another man put them out. He breaks into Hank's hotel room in the midseason finale to give Hank Marie's warning. Later on, he is the first person shot down by Hank in his massacre against Marie's voodoo tribe.
- Gummy (Darcel Moreno) is one of Marie's cohorts and also salon stylists. She regularly takes over for Marie whilst she tends to other matters. In the midseason finale, after Hank shoots down Chinwe and Chantal, she attempts to attack Hank with a small machete but is shot down violently.
- Kaylee (Alexandra Breckenridge) is a woman whom Hank Foxx seduces, targets, and kills after learning she is a witch. She previously rejected Cordelia's offer to stay at the Academy, opting to repress her abilities while desperate to live a normal life and gain a family. Kaylee was shown with the ability of pyrokinesis, as Cordelia mentions she was involved in two arson incidents, and is shown setting fire to her fiancé in "The Axeman Cometh".
- Pauline LaLaurie (Ashlynn Ross) is Delphine's youngest daughter. In "Bitchcraft", she had sexual relations with Bastien, which in turn caused her to be severely punished by her mother. She is lynched along with her sisters and father.
- Marie Jeanne LaLaurie (Raeden Greer) pleads to her mother after being locked up in the basement.
- Borquita LaLaurie (Jennifer Lynn Warren) is Delphine's eldest and most favored daughter. She reluctantly assists her mother with collecting the ingredients for her mother's beauty treatments. After her mother causes one of her suitors to run away in fear of her "Chamber of Horrors", she rounds up her sisters and plots to kill their mother. Unfortunately, their mother overhears and locks them up in the attic with the other tortured slaves. It is mentioned that they would be locked down there for one year and that Borquita, for being the ringleader, would have her mouth stuffed with feces on Christmas Day.
- Louis LaLaurie (Scott Jefferson) is Madame Delphine LaLaurie's husband. He is aware and complicit in his wife's torturing of their slaves and children. His constant affairs are a few of the reasons for Delphine's obsession with making beauty salves from human pancreases, and his wife's desire to end Louis' philandering once and for all is what lead her to drinking Marie Laveau's potion of immortality. Louis was lynched along with his daughters after Marie captured Delphine.
- Stevie Nicks plays herself and makes her first appearance on the show in the episode "The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks". She is Misty's idol, and when Misty first meets her, she faints. Nicks, who has been nicknamed the "White Witch", is an actual witch in the series, and an acquaintance of Fiona Goode. Nicks plays two songs on the piano during the episode: "Rhiannon" and "Has Anyone Ever Written Anything for You?". She also appears in the season finale "The Seven Wonders" and opens the episode with the Fleetwood Mac song "Seven Wonders", after which she wishes the girls good luck before they perform the Seven Wonders test.
- Millie (Grace Gummer) is a witch who attended the Academy in 1919 and organized the attack on the Axeman. She is observed as the leader of the girls. She reads out an excerpt from a letter that was infamously written by him in real life. She gives her fellow fearful sisters a speech about being not only powerful Salem descendants, but also suffragettes and that they will not be afraid of him in their own home. Millie has the power of teleportation and, with the use of Tarot cards, stabs the Axeman with her fellow Coven sisters.
- Nora Benson (Arabella Field) is Zoe's mother who knew of her family's genetic affliction to Salem, as her grandmother was also a witch.
- Winifred (Molly Conarro) is a witch who attended the Academy in 1919. She wears glasses and is well spoken. She asks Millie in relation to the Axeman's future attack if playing the Victrola would suffice. She also mentions that a jazz band would be more precious than the Hope Diamond on the night of his threatened attack on Tuesday night. She helps in killing the Axeman after he enters the Academy.
- Charlton "Charlie" Taylor (Kurt Krause) is the boyfriend of Zoe. He dies of an apparent brain aneurysm after having sex with Zoe for the first time.
- Bette and Dot Tattler (Sarah Paulson) also known as The Siamese Twins are conjoined sisters recruited by Elsa to join the freak show. They have dicephalic parapagus: their conjoined body consists of a single torso with one pair of arms, one pair of legs, but two distinct heads and necks. Bette is the left side and Dot is on the right (from their own perspective). Bette, the more innocent and friendly of the two, loves Hollywood glamour and movies and perceives their new life to be like show business, whereas Dot, the more cynical twin, distrusts everyone and remembers their old, sheltered life as one of safety. Bette becomes jealous when Dot's singing makes her a star at the freak show and is encouraged by Elsa to kill her, which she never does. A jealous Elsa attempts to get rid of them by selling them to Gloria Mott, but they are rescued by Jimmy. Upon returning to the freak show, they attempt to blackmail Elsa to get money for a surgical separation so they can each live out their dreams. After they are tricked into believing that they can be separated for free, they realize how much they love each other and decide not to go through with the risky operation. Dot then professes her love to a drunken Jimmy, with Bette insisting that she can "look the other way" so that her sister can be happy; they are heartbroken when he turns them down. Both twins later turn their affections toward magician Chester Creb until Dandy informs them of his criminal past. After Dandy massacres their friends, Bette marries him as a ruse so that they, Desiree and Jimmy can enact their revenge against him. In 1960, it is revealed that they are married to Jimmy and expecting a child with him. The performance of both twins is achieved using CGI to merge Paulson's dual performances together. According to showrunner Ryan Murphy, every scene Paulson has to shoot takes almost twelve hours, compared to a regular scene which Murphy says takes five.
- Jimmy Darling (Evan Peters) also known as Lobster Boy is the son of Ethel and Dell, though, at first, he is unaware that Dell is his father. Born with severe syndactyly, he performs as the "Lobster Boy" in the freak show. He dreams of being able to leave the freak show and live a normal life. In "Monsters Among Us", he kills a policeman who tried to threaten the freaks and arrest Bette and Dot. He felt extremely guilty when Meep was arrested for the murder, breaking down when Meep's dead body was dumped at the freak show's camp. In "Edward Mordrake (Part 2)", Jimmy and Maggie come across Twisty and his captives and they help them escape. The two begin a relationship soon after and plan to run away together. In "Test of Strength", Jimmy tearfully reveals to Dell that he knows that Dell is his father, a revelation that ends up saving his life. After losing Ethel, he becomes unstable and later breaks up with Maggie. He becomes a drunk, and is later arrested for a mass murder committed by Dandy. Stanley, under the pretense of helping Jimmy buy a lawyer to prove his innocence, severs Jimmy's hands and sells them to the Museum of Morbid Curiosities. The amputation causes him to fall into a depression; when he learns the truth about Stanley and Maggie, his affection for her sours. They are unable to reconcile before Maggie is killed by Chester Creb. At the end of "Show Stoppers", Jimmy receives wooden prosthetics resembling his claw hands from Elsa's former lover, Massimo Dolcefino. After finding his friends massacred at the hands of Dandy, he, Desiree and Bette and Dot enact their revenge by drowning him in a water tank. In 1960, it is revealed that he has married Bette and Dot and is expecting a child with them.
- Dell Toledo (Michael Chiklis as adult Dell, Edward Gelhaus as young Dell) also known as The Strongman, is the father of Jimmy, ex-husband of Ethel, husband of Desiree and the strongman of the freak show. He and Desiree come to Elsa desperate for work after all the other traveling shows have closed. Dell is also on the run from the law due to his involvement in a series of disastrous events, including the murder of a man Desiree had an affair with. His marriage to Ethel ended when he tried to kill Jimmy after he was born. His relationship with Jimmy is heated. In "Massacres and Matinees", when Jimmy takes the carnies to a local diner, Dell beats him, claiming that they're giving the other customers a "free show". He later frames Meep for the murder of the policeman by planting the officer's badge in Meep's trailer. In "Pink Cupcakes" it is revealed that Dell has been seeing a hustler at a gay bar on the side. After finding out that Desiree isn't really a hermaphrodite and that she is planning to have her third breast removed so she can leave him and the freak show for good, Dell breaks the hands of her doctor so he can't perform the surgery. In "Test of Strength", he is blackmailed by Stanley to murder one of the freaks so Stanley can sell them to the Museum of Morbid Curiosities. Dell attempts to kill Amazon Eve, but is unsuccessful. He then murders Ma Petite by crushing her and snapping her spine. Afterwards, confused over his sexuality and guilty over the horrible things he has done, he attempts to hang himself, but is saved by Desiree. In "Magical Thinking", after confessing to Desiree that he murdered Ma Petite, he is shot in the head from behind by a vengeful Elsa.
- Gloria Mott (Frances Conroy), a wealthy society widow from Palm Beach. She is delusional and smothering when it comes to her son, Dandy, and will go to any lengths to placate him. She hires Twisty and later buys Dot and Bette to entertain Dandy after she fears he is bored. In "Blood Bath", Gloria visits a therapist, seeking help with her situation concerning Dandy. She later attempts to get Dandy to see a psychiatrist, pretending that the sessions are testing Dandy's intelligence. He sees through the facade and, as a result, Gloria is shot and killed by Dandy, after she professes she couldn't live without him if he killed himself. Later, Dandy attaches the head of one of his murder victims to his mother's corpse, making his own twisted version of Bette and Dot.
- Stanley (Denis O'Hare) is a con artist working with Maggie. He goes to the freak show under the guise of being a talent scout (named "Richard Spencer") in an attempt to murder or capture some of the performers to sell them to the Museum of Morbid Curiosities. He is enormously well-endowed and is gay. At the end of "Edward Mordrake (Part 2)", he arrives at the freak show, posing as a Hollywood talent agent, and introduces himself to Elsa. In "Test of Strength", he blackmails Dell to get him to murder the freaks. He later conspires with a jealous Elsa to kill the twins under the pretense of a separation surgery, so he can obtain their heads, although their plan ultimately fails. He later sells the severed head of Salty to the museum. He then visits a confused and hungover Jimmy at the jailhouse, where he successfully convinces Jimmy to have his hands amputated to get the money for a lawyer. In "Show Stoppers", after Maggie exposes his lies to the freaks, they savagely attack him and mutilate his body to resemble their late friend Meep. His fate is left undisclosed at the end of the season.
- Maggie Esmerelda (Emma Roberts) is a con artist working with Stanley. She poses as a fortune teller with a crystal ball and infiltrates the freak show. In "Edward Mordrake (Part 2)", while Jimmy and Maggie are hiding due to the curfew, they come across Twisty and his captives and they help them escape. She later tries to placate Stanley by taking Ma Petite to a barn and preparing to drown her, but cannot make herself kill the innocent young woman. Maggie is later revealed to be in a relationship with Jimmy, pressuring him to escape the freak show (and Stanley, though she doesn't mention this) with her. After sinking into a state of depression after Jimmy's arrest, Maggie is confronted by a suspicious Desiree who believes that she had something to do with all the deaths that have occurred. After being yelled at by the twins, Maggie decides to tell Desiree the truth and the two women head to the Museum of Morbid Curiosities to confront Stanley, where she faints upon discovering Jimmy's severed claw hands. In "Show Stoppers", Maggie volunteers herself to be sawed in half by Chester Creb, believing that it would help redeem herself in the eyes of Jimmy and the others. Unbeknownst to her, the illusion is real, and she dies when her body is severed, while Chester descends into a psychotic episode.
- Dandy Mott (Finn Wittrock as adult Dandy, Brinon Kruithof and Julian Kruithof as 12-year-old and 8-year-old Dandy, respectively) is the spoiled and emotionally stunted son of Gloria and the main antagonist of the season. Being born of inbreeding between his mother and her second cousin, Dandy expresses antisocial behavior that borders on sadism as he secretly murdered neighborhood animals and was responsible for the disappearance of a boy in his childhood. Dandy expressed a sense of boredom with his upper class life and aspires to join the freak show as he feels like he identifies with them. But after being rejected, Dandy ends up meeting Twisty and helps the clown before his death. Following that, Dandy developed a god complex as he reaches an apathy and commits murders with his maid Dora the first. He also developed an obsession for Dot and Bette, the former correctly suspicious before he read her diary. Combined with Jimmy getting the twins to safety, Dandy loses his sanity as murdered his mother to bathe in her blood before later turning her corpse into a puppet with the head of another victim sewn onto it. He also gets his revenge on Jimmy by murdering the housewives that he was servicing in "Tupperware Party Massacre", enlisting a detective he hired to frame Jimmy. In "Show Stoppers", saving the twins from ending up victims of Chester Creb's act, Dandy buys the freak show from Else for the sum of $10,000. Dandy advertises himself as the headlining act (as a singer of Cole Porter standards), blaming the freaks for not selling tickets for his debut and methodically killing all the performers present for turning against him save the twins, whom he intended to marry, and Desiree. After being drugged, Dandy is chained by the surviving freaks in a water tank and deem him "the biggest freak of all"" before watching him slowly drown as the tank fills with water.
- Desiree Dupree (Angela Bassett) also known as The Three Breasted Woman is an intersexed person who identifies as female and has a third breast. She is married to Dell and struggles for work after other traveling shows closed down. Before arriving at Elsa's freak show, she had sex with a man and Dell killed him out of jealousy. In "Pink Cupcakes", it is revealed that she is 100% female and that her supposed penis is nothing more than an enlarged clitoris. It is also revealed that she suffered a miscarriage. Realizing that she has a chance to be truly happy, Desiree moves in with Ethel and plans on divorcing Dell and starting over. She becomes good friends with Maggie and several other women from the troupe. Despite despising Dell, she saves him from his suicide attempt and comforts him. When Maggie confesses the truth about her and Stanley working together, stopping just as she is about to reveal their intent to murder the freaks, Desiree becomes suspicious and warns her that if she finds out that Maggie and Stanley are responsible for the deaths of the other freaks, Desiree would surely kill her. After Maggie later confesses her and Stanley's true intentions, Desiree sees her remorse and attempts to help her save the remaining freaks from Stanley. In "Show Stoppers", she murders the curator of the Museum of Morbid Curiosities, Lillian Hemmings, and later wraps her head in a gift box and gives it to Stanley, before the other freaks mutilate him. She then leads the charge against Elsa when the other freaks realize that she murdered Ethel. She survives Dandy's murderous rampage by hiding in her caravan; she then teams up with Jimmy and Bette and Dot in order to exact her revenge, which involves drugging him, chaining him inside a water tank, and watching him drown. In 1960, it is revealed that she has married a former lover of hers and is the mother of two children.
- Ethel Darling (Kathy Bates as adult Ethel, Kathy Deitch as young Ethel) is a bearded lady, the mother of Jimmy, and the ex-wife of Dell. In the 1920s and 30s, she was a popular vaudeville star before marrying Dell, who convinced her seek more upscale venues. These higher-paying audiences rejected her, ruining her reputation and career. She left Dell after he attempted to kill Jimmy as an infant. She then battled alcohol addiction and was rescued from a drunk tank by Elsa. She then served as Elsa's second in command at the freak show. In "Edward Mordrake (Part 1)", she is diagnosed with Cirrhosis of the liver and is given a prognosis of six months to a year. In "Blood Bath", she is killed by Elsa, sustaining a fatal stab wound to the eye following a major confrontation about Elsa's loyalty to the freaks. The rest of the freaks believe that she was decapitated in a car accident that was, in reality, staged by Elsa and Stanley. She later appears as a hallucination to both Jimmy and Dell. In "Curtain Call", she appears with the other dead freaks in Elsa's afterlife and appears to forgive Elsa for her sins.
- Elsa Mars (Jessica Lange) is a German expatriate who manages one of the last remaining freak shows in Jupiter, Florida in 1952. For 20 years, she rescued her performers from the streets or being shipped away to asylums and became their legal guardian. Prior to coming to America after World War II, Elsa was a dominatrix at a brothel in Berlin before she was drugged for a snuff film where she was mutilated into a bilateral below-the-knee amputee when her legs were cut off by Hans Grüper with a chainsaw. Elsa later received prosthetic legs made by Massimo Dolcefino, working as a cabaret performer and chanteuse in Germany. After immigrating to America, she begins singing at a carnival. She realizes how badly the freaks are treated, and decides to start her own "family" of freaks. She later becomes crazed with jealousy and anger, killing Ethel and seriously injuring Paul, her secret lover. After Salty dies, Elsa returns Pepper to her sister, and then sells the freak show to the traveling salesman and amateur magician, Chester Creb, in preparation for her Hollywood future – not realizing that he is mentally ill and hiding a criminal past. When Maggie and Desiree bring her the preserved corpse of Ma Petite, she executes Dell for his crimes against the freak show before turning the freaks on Stanley. Elsa later flees when Bette and Dot tell her the other freaks are plotting to kill her to atone for Ethel's murder, selling the freak show to Dandy in order to procure $10,000 for her getaway. When she arrives in Hollywood, she is unable to meet with the president of a TV company until an altercation with his receptionist, leading her to meet Michael Beck, the company's junior vice-president of casting. The two eventually marry and Elsa's variety show becomes a huge success. In 1960, however, the marriage falls apart as both Elsa and Michael cheat on one another and Michael learns about the truth of her amputated legs – something which Hedda Hopper also learns, effectively ruining Elsa's career. Elsa also learns that her old lover, Massimo Dolcefino, is terminally ill with cancer and that the freaks are all dead. She decides to commit suicide by intentionally performing on Halloween to summon Edward Mordrake to claim her. While Mordrake does kills her, Elsa ends up being sent to her own afterlife: a reincarnation of her freak show where she is reunited with the other dead freaks and is able to perform to the full house she always dreamed of.
- Twisty the Clown (John Carroll Lynch) is the main antagonist of the first quarter of the season. Twisty originally was a slow-witted but gentle clown at a freak show in 1943. Jealous of his popularity, the freaks of the carnival spread rumors that he molested children and drove him away. With nowhere else to go, he returned home to Jupiter, Florida, only to find that his mother had passed away. After failing to support himself by selling toys made of junk to a local toy store, Twisty attempted suicide by putting a shotgun in his mouth. However, the attempt failed – only succeeding in mutilating his lower jaw – and he later begins to wear a grinning mask over the lower part of his face. Twisty then tried to perform as a clown at Elsa's freak show, but was turned away by them. This causes Twisty, from his warped perspective that the children forgot to love him, to create his own audience: abducting Corey Bachman and murdering his "mean" parents, after kidnapping Bonnie Lipton to serve as his audience's babysitter. Twisty was hired by Gloria to entertain Dandy, who became his accomplice. Twisty and Dandy then held a magic show on Halloween, before Jimmy knocks Dandy unconscious and Maggie gets Corey and Bonnie to safety. Twisty then knocks out Jimmy before encountering Edward Mordrake, who was attracted by the noise of the clown's performance. Mordrake then has Twisty tell him his story. But as Twisty considers himself a "good clown", Mordrake deems the clown suitable and kills him. Now a ghost with his injuries healed, Twisty is welcomed in Mordrake's "coterie". When Elsa summons Mordrake in 1960, Twisty appears alongside the other freaks and comforts Elsa in her last moments. According to director Ryan Murphy, Lynch was so terrifying as this character that "half the time, almost a third of the crew left the set when they shot his scenes because they were afraid of him."
- Bonnie Lipton (Skyler Samuels) is a young girl who is kidnapped by Twisty, after Twisty murders her boyfriend Troy. She attacks Twisty and attempts to escape with Corey, but is dragged back to him by Dandy. She escapes Twisty with the help of Jimmy and Maggie in "Edward Mordrake (Part 2)".
- Regina Ross (Gabourey Sidibe as older Regina, Nya Auzenne as young Regina) is a wealthy socialite and art school graduate from New York, who returns home to Jupiter when her mother Dora goes MIA. In "Pink Cupcakes", she calls Gloria concerning her mother and why she hasn't been returning her calls. The conversation turns strange and Regina feels uncomfortable and hangs up, wary of what happened. She turns up at the Mott Manor in "Blood Bath", very suspicious of where her mother is. She threatens to call the police if she doesn't see her mother soon. In "Tupperware Party Massacre", Dandy admits to the murder of Dora and lets Regina escape unharmed, despite her refusal to take a blood bath with him. Upon returning with police detective Jack Colquitt, Dandy admits to the murders and boasts about his family's wealth, buying off Colquitt for a million dollars. Regina is killed when Dandy orders Colquitt to shoot and bury her.
- Dora (Patti LaBelle) is a local townswoman who begins to discover secrets about Dandy. She is the mother of Regina and the put-upon maid to Gloria Mott. In "Massacres and Matinees", she reveals to Gloria that she found dissected animal parts behind the shed, implying they belong to Dandy. She dislikes Dandy's spoiled attitude and didn't get scared of him when he tried to kill her. In "Edward Mordrake (Part 2)", she dies when Dandy slashes her throat.
- Paul (Mat Fraser) also known as Paul The Illustrated Seal is a performer in the freak show, who was born with phocomelia of both arms. In "Edward Mordrake (Part 2)", he tells Mordrake that he immigrated to the United States from Britain to be in show business. However, he arrived during the Great Depression. In an act of despair, he then decided to tattoo his whole body except his face, because he believed that it would have been considered handsome and loveable if it wasn't on a freak. It is revealed that he is not only Elsa's secret lover, but that of Penny too, his true love. He confronts Elsa in "Bullseye" about the recent disappearance of Bette and Dot, and she in turn snaps at him for his relationship with Penny. She later becomes angry about a public confrontation with the rest of the troupe and demands one of them place themselves on the spinning wheel, to prove their trust of her. Paul volunteers and it is assumed she purposely threw the last knife into his gut, injuring him badly, leaving him bed ridden. He is then shocked and guilt-stricken later on in "Test of Strength" over Penny's mutilation. In "Curtain Call", after trying to stand up to Dandy, he is the first freak to be shot and killed during Dandy's massacre. He and the other freaks appear when Elsa joins the freak show in the afterlife, where he and Penny have gotten married.
- Eve (Erika Ervin) also known as Amazon Eve is a performer in the freak show. She is abnormally large. She is seen as the piano player of the show and is also instrumental with protecting the troupe, along with Jimmy and Paul. In "Bullseye", she becomes concerned over Ma Petite's disappearance until Maggie turns up with her, healthy and alive. Initially, Eve is somewhat quiet and even-tempered, but in "Test of Strength", Dell attempts to murder her in her caravan. Afraid that he is attempting to rape her, Eve defends herself by savagely beating him and throws him out. She goes to Ethel where she cares for her bruised hand. She and the other women of the freak show then plot to kill Dell once and for all. In "Curtain Call", she is the last freak to be killed by Dandy after she tries to overpower him in Desiree's caravan. She and the other freaks appear when Elsa joins the freak show in the afterlife.
- Mahadevi Patel (Jyoti Amge) also known as Ma Petite, is a performer in the freak show, who also serves as Elsa's assistant. She is seen playing a miniature violin of sorts and also serves as Elsa's manicurist and "cuddle" toy in the later hours. She was born with achondroplasia which results in an extremely short stature, and is thus deemed the world's shortest woman. Seen as the baby of the troupe, Ma Petite's sweet nature and naive innocence leads her to trust almost everyone, with ultimately tragic consequences. Maggie lures her away one night attempts to murder her in "Bullseye" for Stanley, but can't force herself to go through with it. In "Test of Strength", Dell, under the pretense of gifting her with a new dress, hugs her and then squeezes until her spine snaps and she dies. He gives her body to Stanley and it is later seen being presented by Lillian in her Museum of Morbid Curiosities in a jar of formaldehyde, where her birth name is revealed. The carnies later find her bloody dress in an area full of unidentified bones, and believe that she has been eaten by a wild animal. She later appears to Dell in a hallucination before he attempts suicide by hanging. She and the other freaks appear when Elsa joins the freak show in the afterlife, where Ma Petite once again helps Elsa to get ready for her performance.
- Lillian Hemmings (Celia Weston) is the curator of the Museum of Morbid Curiosities; she collects and buys strange artifacts for her museum. She catches Stanley and Maggie's fraudulence but says if she is offered something of real worth from a freak show, she will pay big money. Stanley regularly imagines scenarios with her presenting him with money and acclaim for his finds. In "Test of Strength", she unveils her new exhibit to various wealthy people of Ma Petite's dead body (presented as Mahadevi Patel, the world's smallest woman), floating in a jar of what is assumed to be formaldehyde. In "Orphans", she is seen revealing Jimmy's claw hands. In "Show Stoppers", it is revealed that she was murdered by Desiree shortly after Maggie's fainting spell; her decapitated and preserved head is given to Stanley before the freaks attack and mutilate him.
- Penny (Grace Gummer) is a candy striper at the local hospital. In the first episode, she is drugged and kidnapped by Elsa and taken back with her to the freak show. She is blackmailed by Elsa into staying at the camp because Elsa filmed her in a drug-fueled orgy with the freaks. It is later revealed she is in a relationship with Paul, but her father begins to abuse her over the affair. In "Test of Strength", she attempts to move out but before she can do so, her father Vince hires a man to mutilate her face – tattooing her with scales, giving her a forked tongue, and shaving half her hair off while she is unconscious. She is accepted by the freak show and takes the name The Astounding Lizard Girl. In "Blood Bath", she and the women of the freak show kidnap her father and feather and tar him for what he did, but she spares his life after being persuaded by Maggie. In "Curtain Call", she is shot and killed during Dandy's massacre. She and the other freaks appear when Elsa joins the freak show in the afterlife, where she and Paul have gotten married.
- Edward Mordrake (Wes Bentley) was in life a 19th-century nobleman who suffered a form of diprosopus, with the second face on the back of his head whispering depraved and evil things to him. Mordrake's attempts to kill his second face drove him mad and his family committed him to an asylum, only for him to escape and join a sideshow. But Mordrake loses his sanity again on one Halloween night, murdering his own troupe and then hanged himself. Despite his death, explaining that he is unable to resist the whims of his other face while expressing regret to his victims, Mordrake's tormenting spirit is said to appear before sideshow performers should they perform on Halloween to add them to his collection. The character appeared in a two-part Halloween episode, having each of the freaks provide them their life story which his second face judge them as it can tell when people lie and knows a person's darkest secrets. Mordrake was about to claim Elsa Mars when he was attracted to Twisty, adding the clown to his collection upon hearing his story. Mordrake later appears before a suicidal Elsa in the season finale when she intentionally summons him while performing on her variety show.
- Andy (Matt Bomer) is a hustler working in a gay bar. One of his many clients is Dell, with whom he had been having an affair. He is paid by Dandy to come to Twisty's abandoned bus, where Dandy stabs him viciously multiple times, and even after having his arm removed by Dandy, he remained alive. Dandy is later seen dissolving Andy's severed limbs in acid.
- Corey Bachman (Major Dodson) is a young boy who is kidnapped by Twisty, after Twisty murders his parents. He is later able to run away after Bonnie attacks Twisty, but is caught again when Twisty chases after him. In "Edward Mordrake (Part 2)", he escapes Twisty with the help of Jimmy and Maggie.
- Meep (Ben Woolf) is a Geek performer in the freak show with pituitary dwarfism. He was framed for murder of the police officer by Dell and arrested, killed by prisoners in a shared cell with his corpse later dumped near the freak show. Meep appears when Elsa joins the freak show in the afterlife.
- Toulouse (Drew Rin Varick) is a performer in the freak show. Toulouse is an ex-convict that was saved from working on a chain gang when Elsa bribed a guard for his release. He has since served as one of several "little people" employed with the troupe. Like most of his fellows, he plays many roles – from cook, to stagehand, to performer. In "Curtain Call", he is shot and killed during Dandy's massacre. He and the other freaks appear when Elsa joins the freak show in the afterlife.
- Legless Suzi (Rose Siggins) is a performer in the freak show with sacral agenesis. As her name suggests, she has no legs, because they were amputated shortly after birth. In the past, she killed one of her fellow beggars over jealousy. She helps Penny get revenge on her father, Vince, by breaking into his house and tarring and feathering him. In "Curtain Call", she is shot and killed during Dandy's massacre. She and the other freaks appear when Elsa joins the freak show in the afterlife.
- Salty (Christopher Neiman) is a microcephalic performer in the freak show, having been brought as a companion to Pepper with Elsa marrying them. Salty eventually died of what is assumed to be a stroke in his sleep, his head is then cut off by Stanley.
- Barbara (Chrissy Metz), also known as Ima Wiggles the Fat Lady, is Elsa's new star attraction for the freak show, found in "Blood Bath". She is extremely overweight. When Jimmy's mother dies and after he pushes Maggie away, he finds comfort in Ima, eventually having sex with her. In "Curtain Call", she is shot and killed during Dandy's massacre, later appearing in Elsa's vision of the afterlife.
- Waitress Carol (Mariana Vicente) is a waitress at a local diner and is seen flirting in the first episode with Jimmy. Once he (along with his troupe) returns in "Massacres and Matinees", she is no longer friendly towards him and asks Paul to stop eating someone's leftover food.
- Vince (Lee Tergesen) is Penny's abusive father who works as a well respected electrician. In "Test of Strength", he hires a man to mutilate Penny after finding out about her relationship with Paul, a freak. In "Blood Bath", he is captured by Desiree, Penny, Eve and Legless Suzi and covered in hot tar and feathered while in Dell's trailer. Maggie shows up and talks the women out of going through with the killing, with Penny threatening her father to never come back. It is unknown if he succumbed to his injuries.
- Dr. Bonham (Jerry Leggio) is Ethel's doctor who diagnoses her with Cirrhosis of the liver in "Edward Mordrake (Part 1)". In "Pink Cupcakes" he offers to perform surgery on Desiree to make her normal, but Dell breaks his hands while threatening to do the same to the doctor's grandchildren should he come near any of the performers again. Ethel and Desiree are later told by Bonham's daughter that he killed himself.
- Rita Gayheart (Mare Winningham) is Pepper's older sister who is malicious and alcoholic yet classy. Rita sent Pepper away in the orphanage when she wanted to marry and have children. But apparently sterile, Rita is forced to take Pepper back as she helped around the house. But after the sudden birth of her son Lucas, who was born deformed, Rita allow her husband kills their child and have Pepper be sent to Briarcliff.
- Chester Creb (Neil Patrick Harris) is a stage magician who happens to be a traveling salesman and haunted by his ventriloquist dummy Marjorie, who speaks only to him. As it was revealed, Chester was a soldier in World War II who returned home with metal plate put into his head. The head injury causes Chester to have hallucinations of Marjorie being alive while murdering his wife and her lover in a fit of rage. When he arrives at the freak show's camp, he becomes enamored with Bette and Dot. He attempts to purchase the show from Elsa when she reveals she's leaving for Hollywood. During preparation for his first performance as the show owner, he inadvertently murdered Maggie by sawing her in half while practicing his act. This causes Chester to snap and he "kills" Marjorie and goes to the police station to be arrested.
- Marjorie (voiced and performed by Jamie Brewer) is Chester's ventriloquist dummy who appears to Chester as a living person, taunting him and persuading him to commit acts of violence.
- Lucy Creb (Shauna Rappold) and Alice (Angela Sarafyan): Lucy is Chester's wife and Alice is Lucy's lover. The two women fall in love while their husbands are away at war. When Chester returns, the three are involved in a polyamorous relationship. Alice and Lucy are killed by Chester, who believes that Marjorie actually committed the murders.
- Massimo Dolcefino (Danny Huston) a carpenter who crafted Elsa's wooden legs before went after each of the men responsible for her amputation. However, Dolcefino ends up being captured by Hans Grüper, the Nazi who had cut off Elsa's legs, and was castrated during his torture for most of the World War. Dolcefino was also the one responsible for crafting a new set of hands for Jimmy, later dying of lung cancer in the series epilogue.
- Angus T. Jefferson (Malcolm-Jamal Warner), an acquaintance of Desiree. In the season finale, it is shown that he and Desiree were married and had children together.
- Jack Colquitt (P.J. Marshall) is a police detective who is bought by Dandy when he offers him one million dollars to help cover up his murders, murdering Regina Ross and framing Jimmy for Dandy's murder of the housewives. Colquitt also uncovers information about Chester when Dandy finds out he is getting closer to Bette and Dot. It is unknown if Colquitt was exposed for working with Dandy.
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