Though each season of American Horror Story tells a different story and adds new characters, plot twists, and things to keep us guessing, one thing is always constant: there will be moments that are bloody, disturbing, and downright terrifying. From Vivien voluntarily eating brains to basically any scene with Twisty the clown, there are no shortage of scenes to make you wince and cover your eyes in horror. Here are the craziest moments from American Horror Story… so far. It should go without saying that this is NSFW. Possibly also NSFL (that’s not safe for life). Spoilers if you haven’t watched Hotel!
21. Zoe’s Unusual Powers – Coven
Before Zoe realized that she was a witch with a quite… unfortunate power, she inadvertently killed her poor boyfriend Charlie when they attempted to have sex for the first time. But once she realized her powers had other uses, all bets were off. Sorry, frat boys!
20. A very bloody honeymoon – Asylum
For some inexplicable reason, Adam Levine’s idea of a great honeymoon is to take his new bride on a tour of the (likely very haunted) remains of the Briarcliff asylum in present day. While touring the grounds (LOL), they meet Bloody Face, who whacks Adam’s arm off after an act of honeymoon passion between the newlyweds. Ain’t love grand?
19. Vivien eats brains… willingly – Murder House
When housekeeper Moira suggests that Vivien chow down on brains for the benefit of her unborn child, she actually does it. Yum?
18. Elsa’s snuff film past – Freak Show
We learn that Elsa has a truly horrifying past which led to the loss of the bottoms of her legs — she was the star of a German dominatrix sex club in which patrons were subjected to some pretty sick stuff, including sitting on a spiked toilet (agh!) — but the worst of it is that Elsa was drugged and had her legs cut off, which was caught on film. Oh my.
17. Penny the candy striper’s new look – Freak Show
Poor Penny — she was kidnapped and forced into a drug-induced orgy, then her own father had her face completely covered in lizard tattoos and her tongue slit in half. This still gives nightmares.
16. Lana’s self-induced abortion – Asylum
When Lana determines that she’s pregnant with a serial killer/rapist’s baby while stuck in an asylum where murder is a normal occurrence, she attempts to give herself an abortion with a coat-hanger. The results are incredibly bloody and disastrous. Nope, nope, nope.
15. Santa’s slay – Asylum
This Santa isn’t exactly bringing gifts and good cheer. Instead, he likes tying up families with their own Christmas decorations, biting off faces and brutally raping people. I’ll sum it up in one line: “You know the difference between that Santa Claus and me? He only comes once a year.” Shudder.
14. Cordelia’s eyes – Coven
Poor Cordelia. First she gets blinded with acid, then gets new eyes. But this story doesn’t have a happy ending. While blind, she developed a clairvoyant-type ability to “see” the future, but loses it with her new eyes. She ends up gouging her eyes out with garden sheers. Sorry if you were reading this while eating lunch.
13. Mommy dearest – Coven
After getting killed and brought back to life with the body parts of his frat brothers, Kyle’s had a pretty rough go. Then we learn that his mom has been sexually assaulting him, and she does it again with his newly-undead body. She knew right away that his parts weren’t his… Just, no.
12. Holden and the family dog – Hotel
When Alex reunites with her missing son, Holden, she quickly realizes something is very wrong with him. She brings him home and walks in to find that he’s killed the family dog and is drinking it’s blood. There just aren’t words.
11. The school massacre – Murder House
In a world post-Columbine and Sandy Hook, watching acts of violence in a school is unbearably uncomfortable, and Tate’s high school massacre is no exception. Wearing skeleton makeup, he kills 15 people before escaping. It’s very hard to watch.
10. Children of the Corn – Hotel
Similar to Tate’s high school massacre comes the deeply unsettling image of a boy murdering his parents to drink their blood, then heading to school to inflict the same pain on the faculty. It’s a seriously bloody scene made worse by the aftershock and the images of parents, police, and the media showing up to the school to find out if their children are safe. Too soon?
9. Moira the Maid – Murder House
Moira the housekeeper doesn’t want the Harmons to sell the Murder House, so she brings real-estate agent Joe Escandarian down to the basement — he thinks he’s about to get lucky, but nope. Then he’s strangled to death by Larry and neighbor Constance. Love bites.
8. The Minotaur – Coven
Yeah, it’s exactly what it sounds like, and yeah, it’s bizarre. Can’t unsee.
7. The fire poker did its job – Murder House
While dressed as the Rubber Man, Tate murders the former owners of the house, Chad and Patrick, by drowning Chad in an apple-bobbing bin (oh, just your average Halloween trickery) and beating Patrick nearly to death before assaulting him with a fireplace poker, hook and all. Yep, this show goes there.
6. Rubber Man strikes again – Murder House
In one of the earliest “WTF” scenes of the series, Vivien has sex with the Rubber Man thinking it’s her husband dressed up in a latex/leather BDSM outfit. It’s actually Tate, who’s a ghost, who impregnates her with a half-ghost, half-human baby. That’s the moment we knew AHS wasn’t going to be your standard, happy family TV show.
5. The Ten Commandments murders – Hotel
Hotel started with a bang — literally. We learn that there’s someone on the loose picking up where the original Ten Commandments killer left off — and his first order of duty is “Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery.” He kills two married lovers while in the throes of passion, removing the man’s tongue and eyes in the process. Oh, and they’re still affixed to one another. The murders get more gruesome from there.
4. Bloody orgy – Hotel
In case there was any doubt, this show is insane. This is pretty self-explanatory. There’s an orgy, and it’s very, very bloody. You’ve been warned.
3. Any scene with Twisty – Freak Show
Twisty the clown is far and away the most terrifying, nightmare-inducing villain in the series. He’s got a sad backstory and a penchant for violence, and if you didn’t already have a clown phobia, you will now. You’re welcome.
2. The Addiction Demon – Hotel
A drug-addled Gabriel is viciously raped during a bender with a strap-on drill bit dildo by “the addiction demon.” Once you’ve seen this happen, you will never unsee it. And for that, I am truly sorry.
1. Shelley goes to play – Asylum
Poor Shelley. She’s a nymphomaniac locked up at Briarcliff, especially loathed by Dr. Arden. He attempts to rape her after he finds her trying to escape, and she laughs at his small penis. He then knocks her out and amputates both of her legs. Mary Eunice dumps her at a local elementary school, where she’s found by some poor, unwitting children. Chloe Sevigny had to be in the makeup chair for four hours — so she looks especially gruesome. And now I’d like some bleach for my brain.