‘American Horror Story’ Seasons Ranked, From Campy to Creepy (Photos)
As Ryan Murphy’s “Apocalypse” approaches, TheWrap looks back at FX anthology series’ seven previous installments
Jennifer Maas | September 12, 2018 @ 1:04 PM
Last Updated: September 12, 2018 @ 1:05 PM
The countdown to the end of the world has begun -- so naturally the TheWrap is going to spend our final few hours ranking the first seven seasons of "American Horror Story" from the most outlandish to the truly stomach- churning. And because the next installment in Ryan Murphy's FX anthology series, titled "Apocalypse," is a mashup between "Murder House" and "Coven," these listings should give you an idea of where Season 8 will fall when it debuts Wednesday. Click through the gallery to see our definitive rankings.
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7. "Hotel" - Season 5
Murphy brought Lady Gaga in to lead the fifth season, set at a hotel in California that is truly inhospitable to its living -- and dead -- guests, after franchise alum Jessica Lange exited the series at the end of "Freak Show." So, yeah, "Hotel" is -- and probably always will be -- the campiest of all the seasons, given the over-the-top headliner brought in to carry the narrative.
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6. "Coven" - Season 3
The third installment, a story of past and present witches in New Orleans, was Jessica Lange at her Jessica Lange-iest. The queen of Murphyland played the "Supreme" aka the head of the titular coven, who is fighting to remain in control as her body deteriorates. And she went toe to toe with newcomer Emma Roberts -- a cocky young witch looking to dethrone her elder -- which brought all the camp up to 11.
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5. "Cult" - Season 7
A season that centered around the 2016 presidential election was bound to be a little melodramatic, given the real-life events it had as a jumping-off point. Things get real dark -- but then Evan Peters (bumped up to lead alongside Sarah Paulson for the first time) rubs Cheetos all over his face and Billy Eichner makes his debut. So it oscillates wildly between horrifying and hilarious.
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4. "Roanoke" - Season 6
"Roanoke" was a unique season, a story-within-a-story that does the job of linking all the previous years together, therefore officially declaring a shared "AHS" universe. But because of the way the season was broken up, it jumped between horrific events in the past and more mundane incidents in the present. So "Roanoke" goes right here in the middle.
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3. "Freak Show" - Season 4
The camp of "Coven" disappeared come the fourth season, when Murphy brought things back to reality with his cast of freaks. It was a season filled with more internal fears, centered around characters with external features that set them apart from the rest of society. But it was also Lange's farewell installment, so she got to chew the scenery -- and sing more than one song -- as Elsa Mars, the flamboyantly costumed leader of the outcasts.
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1. "Murder House" - Season 1
The one that started it all ends this list as the creepiest of the creeps. The episodes follow the Harmon family as they move into the titular dwelling, completely unaware of all the bloodshed it's seen before them. "Murder House" ends with the whole clan dead, stuck inside their forever home -- with Michael Langdon aka the Antichrist (whom Connie Britton's character Vivien died giving birth to) alive and well, growing up right next door. Oh and...
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... come "Apocalypse," Michael is an adult, played by Cody Fern, and rocking a seriously extra 'do. And it's literally the. end. of. the world. So, yeah, at the moment we'd say the mashup of Season 1 and Season 3 is going to be a real coin-flip between camp and creep.
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