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Briarcliffe

Patients

    Lana 

Lana Winters

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/winters_lana_8196.jpg
Played By: Sarah Paulson
Appearances: Asylum | Roanoke

Lana Winters: You don't have any idea of what I'm capable of.
Sister Jude: Well, then, look at you, Ms. Lana Banana. Just remember if you look in the face of evil, evil's gonna look right back at you.

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.


  • The Bus Came Back: Appears in Roanoke's season finale to interview Lee Harris about her Roanoke experiences and then, Lana gets attacked by Lot Polk, the sole member of a surviving hillbilly Cannibal Clan. Needless to say, Lana takes it in stride.
  • Child by Rape: She becomes pregnant with a son conceived after being raped by Dr. Thredson. She tries to give herself an abortion in "The Coat Hanger", but it doesn't work. Later, she tries to get another abortion, but refuses to do so, not wanting any more death. In the episode "Madness Ends," Lana reveals that when the child was born, she tried but found herself unable to give her son the mothering he needed, prayed that he’ll be brought up by loving parents, and adopts him out. However, he ends up in foster care.
  • The Determinator: She's gone through hell, tangled with sadists and serial killers and still manages to survive to tell her story and become a household name.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Despite the awful things that happen to her, Lana perseveres and manages to survive, become the famous journalist she always wanted to be and is in a loving relationship.
  • Final Girl: She's the only primary character of the entire season who is still alive (or at least, know to be) at the end.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With Kit, after Thredson targets the both of them and they work together to bring him down. It lasts years into the future, and she even becomes godmother to his children.
  • From Bad to Worse: She escapes Briarcliff only to end up in the clutches of Dr. Thredson who turns out to be Bloody Face.
  • Hope Spot: Her determination seemingly pays off as Dr. Thredson takes an interest in her and smuggles her out of Briarcliff. Too bad he's Bloody Face. She escapes his basement... only to pick the car of a suicidal psycho who eats his gun at 50 MPH, and the resulting crash lands her back in Briarcliff. Then, she's not even safe in Briarcliff, as Thredson returns there. However, this all pays off in the end when Lana, fully released from the asylum, goes to Thredson's place and shoots him, claiming self-defense. One last (slightly more tame) Hope Spot occurs some time later, when Lana returns to Briarcliff for the last time and liberates Sister Jude. Except, as she reveals immediately after, that didn't actually happen. Jude was gone by the time she got there, having already been removed from Briarcliff by Kit.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Says this in Roanoke, when Lee brings the fact she killed her son.
  • Intrepid Reporter: She's determined to expose Briarcliff's dark secrets. This only gets her committed, but she remains determined. She later makes good on her original intent.
  • Iron Butt Monkey: Is committed against her will, her girlfriend is killed by Bloody Face, becomes Bloody Face's surrogate mother/rape victim, escapes him only to accept a ride from a suicidal psycho who eats his gun at 50 MPH, and lands right back in Briarcliff following the resulting car crash. It's only then that she starts to really fight back. But not once does she crack under the pressure, though she comes close to it during "Dark Cousin".
  • Jade-Colored Glasses: Has put these on by the end of the season.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: To Thredson, twice. In the latter, she kills him.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Leading to an attempt by Sister Jude to Cure Your Gays.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: She's Nellie Bly with terrible luck.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: She briefly visits her son while he is a child after feeling the need to find him again. When she does, she defends her son against those who are bullying him and tries to comfort him, though is emotionally unable to take him back. From this single encounter and after growing up in the foster system, in which he was treated poorly, he starts to deduce his true parentage, hoped his mother would come back for him but this all changes when he listens to a tape of his mother trying to abort him, which kicks off his Start of Darkness as the new Bloody Face.
  • Rape as Drama: She's raped by Thredson after he kidnaps her.
  • Offing the Offspring: After a tense confrontation with her son, she apologizes to him and then puts a bullet into his head.
  • Rich Bitch: Becomes this in "Continuum" after becoming a top selling author. Later redeems herself by bringing Briarcliff down.
  • She Knows Too Much: Threatened to expose Sister Jude's practices. Jude had her silenced by blackmailing her girlfriend, Wendy, into having her committed.
  • She Who Fights Monsters: Before Lana had left on the day she had the interview about the asylum, Sister Jude had a speech to her, regarding this and in hindsight becomes the foreshadowing of her Character Development throughout the season:
    Sister Jude: "If you look evil in the face, evil will look right back at you."
  • Talking the Monster to Death: Successfully causes Johnny to break down crying, giving her the opening to steal his gun and kill him.
  • Took a Level in Badass: She taunts a gagged Thredson with threats of aborting her baby and extorts a confession out of him. Takes another one by killing Thredson herself.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Post-timeskip in "Continuum" Lana has abandoned the idea of destroying Briarcliff once and for all so that she could cash in on her own story, going so far as to embellish certain aspects of it, and coldly dismisses Kit when she finds out that Sister Jude didn't really die. Though Kit's words seemingly affect her enough that she goes back to Briarcliff and finally destroys it for good, she later admits that she did it purely out of ambition.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Which is how Dr. Thredson lures her in. She later drops this trait entirely, in favor of going full-on determinator.
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    Kit 

Kit Walker

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/walker_kit_4091.jpg
"There is no God. Not one that would've created the things I saw."
Played By: Evan Peters

Kit Walker: I'm not crazy.
Grace: Too bad for you.

An inmate at Briarcliff Institute, who is believed to be the serial killer, "Bloody Face", accused of killing several women, including his wife Alma, but he insists that she has been abducted by aliens. Kit Walker and Alma kept their interracial marriage a secret, in fear that someone might hurt their families.


  • Alien Abduction: With his wife, Alma. Is returned, unlike Alma, after being implanted with a microchip. The aliens return for him before he dies.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Saves Lana in the nick of time from Dr. Thredson strangling her by knocking him out with a large, water type fire extinguisher.
  • Blackmail: On the receiving end of it from Dr. Thredson. Under threat of harm to Grace and their child, Thredson extorts the location of the confession from him.
  • Butt-Monkey: Gets abducted by aliens, losing his wife in the process, is accused of murders that he didn't commit and is trapped in an inhumane asylum for his supposed crimes, and that's only the start of his ordeal.
  • Cassandra Truth: Nobody believes that he and Alma were abducted, at least until Dr. Arden encounters the aliens himself.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Thredson calls Kit out on this while taking him to see Grace and their son after the aliens return them, and he saves Lana from Thredson twice.
  • The Determinator: Despite everything going wrong for him on a constant basis, he still manages to get out of Briarcliff, taking Grace with him, and goes on to live a (mostly) happy life with his family.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: And how. After all the hell he goes through, including the aliens, the asylum, and Alma and Grace dying, he finally finds happiness with his children, Sister Jude, and Allison, the woman he marries later on.
  • Enemy Mine: Willingly aligns with Dr. Arden in an attempt to bring the aliens back. It works, also bringing back Grace and Pepper in the process.
  • Fate Worse than Death: If you consider the aliens as evil.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With Lana, after Thredson targets the both of them and they work together to bring him down. Their friendship lasts beyond Briarcliff, as they seem to remain close afterwards.
  • Frameup: Framed for the Bloody Face murders by the real Bloody Face, Dr. Thredson.
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: In an interracial marriage in 1964.
  • Mr. Fixit: Was a mechanic.
  • Never Found the Body: When he's dying of cancer, he vanishes, according to Lana. The audience sees that the aliens took him again, and his children Thomas and Julia insist that there's no reason to mourn or hold a funeral.
  • Nice Guy: A kind, loving husband to Alma and Grace, a friend to Lana and caretaker to Sister Jude, and a very likely a good father to Thomas and Julia, given where they end up in life.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Sneaks back into Briarcliff to rescue Grace, which results in her being shot and killed.
  • Put on a Bus: Into space, with space aliens from space.
  • Secret Relationship: Secretly married to Alma. Wanted to reveal their relationship, but Alma's disappearance prevents that.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Literally. The aliens take him to space twice, and the second time, they keep him.

    Grace 

Grace Bertrand

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bertrand_grace_4815.jpg
"What you put out into the world comes back to you."
Played By: Lizzie Brocheré

A French-American inmate who claims (and seems to be) perfectly sane, despite having been committed for murdering her father and step-mother. She quickly befriends Kit, later forming a romantic attachment to him.


    Shelley 

Shelley

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/shelley_5245.jpg
"Hey, Sister. I have a cucumber in my room but not because I was hungry."
Played By: Chloë Sevigny

"Do you think I'm full of shame and regret for what I've done now, Sister? You could shave me bald as a cue-ball and I'd still be the hottest tamale in this joint!"

A defiant nymphomaniac committed to the asylum by her husband. She flirts with Kit and Dr. Arden, and gives sexual favours to Carl the orderly.


  • Advertised Extra: Appears in the show's marketing and promotion, but has the least amount of screen time. She is turned into a Rasper in episode 4 and dies in a Mercy Kill in episode 6.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Has both her legs amputated by Arden.
  • Attempted Rape
  • Beauty to Beast: Good God, does she get messed up.
  • Butt-Monkey
  • Character Death: She is strangled with rosary by Timothy.
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Double Standard: Part of her reason for being there. Her husband ran out on her many times during their marriage, yet she was caught with a pair of sailors and was almost immediately committed.
  • Fate Worse than Death: As Arden's guinea pig, she is turned into a Rasper. To protect Arden, Sister Eunice then drags her off and dumps her in the woods. She crawls on her hands and stumps all the way to a school yard.
  • Femme Fatale
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Distracts an orderly so that Lana, Grace, and Kit can get away. Unfortunately she runs into Arden before she can find them.
  • Mercy Kill: By Monsignor Howard.
  • Really Gets Around: So much that she was committed. Continues to do so afterward.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Cheats on her husband with two soldiers, resulting in her commitment.

    Pepper 

Pepper

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ahs_pepper.png
Played By: Naomi Grossman
Appearances: Asylum | Freak Show

A microcephalic patient incarcerated for murdering her sister's baby. It's later revealed that she is actually innocent, and that her brother-in-law was the real killer. Along with Sister Mary Eunice, she is one of the characters who returns in Season 4, American Horror Story: Freak Show, which is set twelve years prior to Asylum and includes Pepper among the supporting cast of characters.


  • Ambiguously Brown: Her billing in Freak Show claims that she hails "from Darkest Africa", a bit of Truth in Television about how microcephalic individuals were advertised in freak shows as being the "missing link" between apes and humans. However, when her family history is explored on-screen the actress playing her sister is Caucasian, suggesting that this was just Elsa's idea to add a touch of exoticism to her posters.
  • The Bus Came Back: Seems to escape from the asylum in Nor'Easter, only to reappear with Grace at the end of The Coathanger, now serving as a voice for the aliens.
  • Character Death: Dies in Briarcliff, of unknown causes.
  • Chastity Couple: The Freak Show episode "Orphans" reveals that she and Salty are married, though possibly not legally. Elsa describes them as "soul mates" and notes that it was "love at first sight" between them; however, it's implied that their relationship isn't sexual, though whether this is due to their childlike intellects or Elsa's insistence that they adopt rather than pass on their condition is unclear.
  • Children Are Innocent: In Freak Show, Edward Mordrake refuses to consider Pepper and Salty as potential victims of his curse, because of their childlike innocence.
  • A Day in the Limelight: In the tenth episode of Freak Show, "Orphans", Pepper's life story is told from the time she joins Elsa's freak show at the age of eighteen until her incarceration in the asylum some fifteen or twenty years later.
  • Dumbass No More: Thanks to alien intervention.
  • Frameup: Didn't actually murder anyone, as she's able to reveal later. It was her sister's husband.
  • The Grotesque
  • Kindhearted Simpleton: Double subverted. When we first meet Pepper, Lana is startled by her unusual appearance, but then we see Pepper offer her a flower and ask her to play with her. Sister Eunice then nonchalantly tells Lana that Pepper drowned her sister's baby and cut its ears off. Later we find out she was framed by her brother-in-law, because one look at the shape of her head was enough to get her committed.
  • Obliviously Evil: Eventually subverted. Didn't actually murder anyone.
  • Parental Substitute: In Freak Show she sees both Elsa and Desiree as substitute mothers at different times, is revealed to have been the foster mother of Ma Petite, and eventually becomes the primary carer for her nephew Lucas, for whose murder she is framed and sent to the asylum.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: See Obliviously Evil.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one to Dr. Arden.
  • Theme Twin Naming: Though they're not actually twins, she and her Freak Show partner are called Salty and Pepper.
  • Those Two Guys: With her partner and husband Salty in Freak Show, until his sudden but natural death prompts Elsa to send her back to her sister, ultimately triggering her story in Asylum.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Disappears during the movie night and is unaccounted for until "The Coat Hanger", where she reappears with Grace. She was abducted offscreen, and returns speaking much more intelligently than she did prior, suggesting that the aliens have made her their mouthpiece. After Grace and Kit leave, she keeps Jude company (calling her "Boss") until her own death.

    Mr. Spivey 

Mr. Spivey

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/spivey_7354.jpg
Played By: Mark Consuelos

Dr. Arden: Another mess to clean up, Mr. Spivey? You seem to have mistaken the broom closet for the playground where you used to expose yourself to innocent little boys and girls.
Mr. Spivey:: No, never the boys, Doc. I had my standards.

One of the inmates at Briarcliff, who is considered to have aggression issues and inappropriate feelings toward young girls.


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    Leigh 

Leigh Emerson

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/emerson_leigh_7189.jpg
Played By: Ian McShane

Leigh: Make it tight. I like it tight. Just ask Sister Chastity.
Sister Jude: I'll deal with Sister Chastity.
Leigh: You might start by picking a new name for her.

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.


  • Bad Santa: His whole schtick. Tied firmly into his Rape as Backstory.
  • Beard of Evil: Before he shaves.
  • Deadpan Snarker: It's Ian McShane, of course he has the best lines.
  • Dirty Old Man: His Noodle Incident with Sister Chastity.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Sure, he may be an evil serial killer who shouldn't be trusted at all but everytime he's on screen, he owns the scene and puts on a good show.
  • Had to Come to Prison to Be a Crook: As a young man he stole a loaf of bread; the ensuing torture of prison twisted him into a maniac.
  • Karma Houdini: He nearly kills Sister Jude and lies to the Briarcliff board of directors so that they would see him as sane. He tops it off by almost killing Monsignor Howard and escaping. It is later noted during "Continuum" that he went on another killing spree, killing seven nuns.
  • Large Ham: Both the actor and the character have a big slice of ham. Why else would he dress up as Santa Claus to kill his victims?
  • Laughably Evil: Ian McShane's hammy performance and hilarious quips make him a joy to watch.
  • Laughing Mad: He begins laughing crazily after seeing Mary Eunice kill Frank.
  • Not Quite Dead: Survives his neck stabbing from Jude.
  • Rape as Backstory: He was gang-raped as a young man by fellow prisoners.
  • Rape Leads to Insanity: He's in an asylum for a good reason.
  • Reformed Criminal: Presents himself as wanting redemption and convinces the Monsignor to baptize him, only to nearly drown him and crucify him before leaving to resume his murders outside the asylum.
  • Revenge Before Reason: On Sister Jude. He doesn't take the opportunity to escape, instead staying in the Asylum so he can exact revenge.
  • Sadistic Choice: Gave one to his victims.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: He was actually let out to take a previous year's Christmas photo, but that didn't go so well. It isn't until Sister Mary Eunice released him that he's out for good.
  • Serial Killer: His modus operandi was to murder an entire family, and later started targeting nuns.

    Anne 

Anne Frank/Charlotte Brown

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/brown_charlotte_2900.jpg
"...nobody was lucky in Auschwitz..."
Played By: Franka Potente

A woman who claims to be Holocaust victim and diarist Anne Frank.


  • Cassandra Truth: She actually was right about Dr. Arden.
  • Chekhov's Skill: She mentions spending time as a pick-pocket in Germany, this comes in handy later when she steals a detective's gun to confront Dr. Arden. Subverted though, as she was never a pick-pocket in Germany.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Naturally, being in Auschwitz. Except she actually wasn't. She still qualifies for the trope, but significantly less so.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Arden has her lobotomized, although she doesn’t seem particularly unhappy after.
  • Historical Domain Character: That Anne Frank, or so she claims. She isn't. She's a housewife with severe post-partum psychosis who became obsessed with Anne Frank.
  • Meaningful Name: Charlotte Brown's nickname would be Charlie Brown. Charlotte's luck is about the same, too.
  • Napoleon Delusion: The entire reason she's in the asylum is because she thinks she's Anne Frank. And she isn't.
  • Sanity Slippage: Turns out, she's not the historical Anne Frank.
  • She Knows Too Much: Arden pushes to lobotomize her because she can correctly identify him as Hans Gruper; she even has a photo of a young Arden next to Hitler.
  • Stepford Smiler: Becomes this after her lobotomy, although she may be pretending.

    The Mexican 

The Mexican

Played By: Gloria Laino

An elderly Hispanic inmate at Briarcliff who is likely suffering some form of dementia. She spends her free time at the asylum dancing to the song, "Dominique", that is played in the common room.


  • Character Death: She's murdered by the possessed Mary Eunice.
  • The Cloudcuckoolander Was Right: Realizes that Sister Mary Eunice is possessed by the Devil along time before anyone else does.
  • No Name Given: Other characters refer to her only as 'The Mexican'.
  • She Knows Too Much: The Mexican detects that Mary Eunice is possessed, and is killed just in case someone takes her seriously.

    Daniel 

Daniel

Played By: Casey Wyman

A deaf and possibly mute patient in Briarcliff. He was brought to Lana by Dr. Thredson to "cure" her lesbianism.


  • Fan Disservice: He's a good-looking young man, and Thredson intends for his appearance to 'cure' Lana's lesbianism. However he seems borderline comatose in terms of personality, coming across as a blank slate and the entire ordeal comes across as deeply uncomfortable and violating.
  • The Quiet One: Daniel has no dialogue whatsoever, and is possibly mute.

    Rudy 

Rudy

Played By: John Lee Ames

A patient at Briarcliff Manor. Sister Jude's caning has intensified his already compulsive masturbation.


  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Suffers from compulsive masturbation. Sister Jude claims she's had 'great success' with curbing his compulsion. She hasn't.
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    Miles 

Miles

Played By: Tongayi Chirisa

An alcoholic man suffering from auditory hallucinations.


  • The Alcoholic: Alluded to.
  • Character Death: Slices open his hands and later picks out the stitches.
  • Driven to Suicide: By the voices in his head.
  • Hearing Voices: He hears highly critical voices in his head, urging him to kill himself.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Killed in his first appearance to give Shachath an introduction (though she was seen in the cold open about to take [[spoiler:Grace before this.]]

    Jed 

Jed Potter

Played By: Devon Graye

A 17 year-old boy admitted to Briarcliff Manor 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.


    Martha 

Martha

An insane patient who bangs her head on the wall most days.

Staff

    Sister Jude 

Judy Martin/Betty Drake

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/martin_judith_281.jpg
"Mental illness is the fashionable explanation for sin."
Played By: Jessica Lange

Kit Walker: They weren't human, they were monsters.
Sister Jude: All monsters are human.

A stern nun, informally referred to as "Judy Martin", with a dark past, who oversees the doctors and patients at the Briarcliff Institute. Though she initially appears to be strict with the patients at Briarcliff, she is later shown to be caring and vulnerable.


  • The Alcoholic: Before she was a nun, Sister Jude greatly enjoyed the bottle.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Jude certainly seems very mean and immoral, but compared to her rival Dr. Arden she's a saint..
  • Anti-Hero
  • The Atoner: Unknown to anyone, Jude had become a nun because she thought she killed a young girl one night after getting drunk. However, Jude later discovers that the girl survived and becomes a little more heroic in nature, eventually telling Mother Superior Claudia what she did to Lana.
  • Bittersweet Ending: She's taken out of Briarcliff by Kit and restored to sanity with the help of Kit's children. She is finally happy after everything that has been done to her...only for illness to strike six months later. However, her death is peaceful.
  • Break the Haughty: Jude is broken by the numerous going-ons at the asylum, eventually culminating in her winding up in Briarcliff as a patient...treated very much the way she treated her own patients.
  • Character Death: Dies of an illness.
  • Cure Your Gays: She tries to do this to Lana.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: She slept around with lots of guys when she was younger and was an alcoholic mess. One night, while she was driving home drunk after she was turned down, she ran over a little girl.
  • Death Faked for You: By the Monsignor, though it was not one that she wanted.
  • Driven to Madness: What the possessed Sister Mary Eunice is trying to do to her. It works, Jude is incarcerated and is so fried from medication and electroshock that she cannot tell what is real anymore.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Unfortunately, it only lasts six months before she passes on.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Jude might be willing to use intimidation and blackmail, but she's completely in opposition to Dr. Arden's "experiments." More so when she has evidence of his Nazi background.
  • Expy: Sister Jude is basically Nurse Ratched, until she's incarcerated, when she becomes Randle McMurphy.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Part of her arc with the Angel of Death is coming to grips with her life and being able to move on peacefully.
  • Frameup: Framed for Frank's murder.
  • The Fundamentalist
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Prior to becoming a nun.
  • Heel–Face Turn: After learning the girl she hit all those years ago survived, then getting betrayed by Arden and locked up in Briarcliff. She smashes that "Dominique" record to get the point across.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: From the feared and respected head of Briarcliff to an insane patient in Briarcliff.
  • Hypocrite: Shaves Shelley's head for her sexual urges, but harbours lustful feelings toward Monsignor Howard and wears skimpy red negligee under her habit. Also she may have had a cucumber in her room to masturbate with, but Satan in Mary’s body may have planted that on her as well.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: After her Heel–Face Turn.
  • Kick the Dog: Plenty, beginning with securing Lana's commitment through blackmail, then forcing her into electroshock therapy.
  • Knight In Sour Armor: After Heel Realization.
  • Knight Templar
  • Lady in Red
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Winds up as a patient in the asylum she ruled with an iron fist. And quite a few people are happy to see it. But she got way more bad things than she deserved though because she suffered more than any of her patients
  • Mama Bear: Towards Sister Eunice. Became a literal one towards Kit's children after being released into Kit's care.
  • Motor Mouth: Sister Jude could really talk up a storm if she needed to, talking a bit more faster then the other characters, including Sister Eunice. She stops after being committed to Briarcliff, because of shock therapy.
  • Nun Too Holy
  • Off the Wagon: During Nor'Easter.
  • Really Gets Around: In her younger days.
  • Sanity Slippage: After being forcibly committed to Briarcliff, she slowly loses her mind. As of "Continuum", she truly loses any semblance of sanity. However, at the end of the season, even after a relapse of believing she was back at Briarcliff and her old job, the two children of Kit Walker did something to her and her sanity was restored.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: After spending the entire season being driven crazy and constantly reminded of a hit and run accident she was in before she became a nun, Sister Jude finds out the little girl she ran over is alive.
  • Trauma Conga Line: She's attacked and nearly raped and killed by Leigh Emmerson, framed for Frank's murder, committed to Briarcliff, subjected to shock therapy, and slowly loses her mind as a result. She is eventually saved though.

    Sister Mary Eunice 

Sister Mary Eunice McKee

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mckey_mary-eunice_9763.jpg
"I'm so weak and stupid sister! Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!"
Played By: Lily Rabe
Appearances: Asylum | Freak Show

"You're too good to me, Sister."

A young nun who works at Briarcliff Institute under Sister Jude, who favors her, believing her naivety to be an indication of her "purity." She seeks to please everyone, which proves difficult in the asylum. However, she is later possessed by the Devil, and her innocent personality vanishes as the spirit takes hold of her.


  • And I Must Scream: She's still conscious while the Devil possesses her.
  • Break the Cutie
  • Butt-Monkey: Pre-possession.
  • The Cameo: Lily Rabe reprises the role of Sister Mary Eunice in episode ten of Freak Show. Her scenes take place in 1962, two years before the events of Asylum, and reveal that she is responsible for Pepper's incarceration in the asylum, disliking Pepper until she learns Pepper is a good person and thinks she’s seeking redemption, and later takes her on as a "special project".
  • Character Death: Tells Monsignor Howard to throw her off the staircase, which he does.
  • The Cutie: Pre-possession.
  • Disney Villain Death
  • Dumb Blonde: Subverted after being possessed by the Devil, where she becomes very smart and manipulative. She was naive before though not really “stupid”.
  • Driven to Suicide: Her death was what we call an "assisted suicide." If you're old enough to be surfing the American Horror Story boards freely, you likely know what that is. While there is some debate, Rabe herself has confirmed that it was, indeed, a form of killing herself. She also said that, had Sister Eunice lived, she likely would've killed herself, anyhow - there just really wasn't any other way after what had happened.
  • Dying as Yourself
  • Face Death with Dignity
  • Fighting from the Inside: Some part of the real Sister Mary Eunice still exists post-possession, as evidenced by her encounter with the Dark Angel.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: She breaks the demon's control long enough to allow Monsignor Howard to kill her.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Thought the be the reason the demon chose her as its next vessel. By using her purity as a shield, it could freely move on hallowed ground.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: Was this originally. Her possessed form is a lot more confident.
  • Morality Pet: Was this to Sister Jude and Dr. Arden.
  • Number Two: To Sister Jude.
  • Secret Keeper: For Dr. Arden. Knows about the existence of the Raspers, though she does not know what they are.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Following her Demonic Possession. Takes to driving Sister Jude mad, but it wasn’t her doing any of tha,t it was the Satan in her.

    Dr. Thredson 

Dr. Oliver Thredson

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/thredson_oliver_997.jpg
"How can I help?"
Played By: Zachary Quinto

A psychiatrist at Briarcliff Institute 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.


  • Big Good: Seems to be the only person trying to help the patients. It's then subverted in the worst way.
  • Character Death: Shot in the head by Lana.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Top billed, but isn't the main character on the series, as Lana, Kit, and Sister Jude are considered to be the main characters. He was the de facto Big Bad though.
  • Megane
  • Nice Guy: Sweet, kind, and polite especially when compared to Sister Jude. Subverted in the worst possible way.
  • Only Sane Man: The only staff member of Briarcliff with a decent moral compass. Subverted when he turns out to be an insane Serial Killer.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: When compared to Sister Jude; Thredson objects to several of the practices at Briarcliff. However, Deliberate Values Dissonance is very much in play.
    Dr. Thredson: Your facility still uses electroshock therapy to cure homosexuality, it's barbaric! Behavioral modification is the current standard!
    • Although, it should be noted that Dr. Thredson tells Lana that he doesn't believe that her homosexuality makes her in any way ill or a danger to society, a pretty progressive statement for the time period. It's possible that Thredson has no issues with gay people but simply performs conversion therapy because it's expected of him.
  • Stoic Spectacles: He's always very calm and professional.

    Monsignor Howard 

Monsignor Timothy Howard

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/howard_timothy_2335.jpg
"Times may have changed, doctor, but the nature of evil has not."
Played By: Joseph Fiennes

"The tonic for a diseased mind lies in the 3 P's: productivity, prayer, and purification."

Sister Jude’s superior and the object of her affections. He and Dr. Arden are working together to keep the secrets of Briarcliff hidden, the Monsignor will do anything to protect the asylum.


  • Advertised Extra: Second-billed, yet his appearances in each episode are the briefest and he doesn't even appear in three of the episodes. Somewhat justified, as he's a Monsignor who doesn't work at Briarcliff in a direct capacity and only turns up when there's an issue that needs addressed. His role is gradually expanded as conditions as Briarcliff deteriorate.
  • Anti-Villain
  • Ambition Is Evil: Howard is always thinking of his career progression first and foremost, which is why he allowed Arden to perform his experiments and why he covered up so many of the horrible things in Briarcliff. He does eventually become a Cardinal in New York.
  • Big-Bad Ensemble: With Thredson, Arden and Mary Eunice dead, he seems to step in as a final antagonist. However, it's subsequently averted. After he locks up Jude, he becomes a cardinal and washes his hands of Briarcliff, spending most of the show's final act off-screen; he kills himself out of guilt after Lana's Briarcliff documentary airs. The real Final Boss is Johnny - or Briarcliff itself, depending on how you look at things.
  • Bath Suicide: After Lana brings down Briarcliff and threatens to expose him, he slashes his own wrists in a bathtub.
  • Broken Pedestal: Sister Jude views him as infallible, but gradually comes to view him as the weak, opportunistic human he truly is.
  • Character Death: Slashes his wrists in his tub out of guilt.
  • Consummate Liar: Howard is constantly lying to everyone in one way or another, just by virtue of how many secrets he's keeping.
  • Driven to Suicide: After Lana brings down Briarcliff and threatens to expose him, he slashes his own wrists in a bathtub.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: An interesting case. While not technically an outright villain, the Monsignor had always been shady. However, as of "Spilt Milk", with Dr. Arden, the possessed Sister Mary Eunice, and Dr. Thredson dead, and with Sister Jude kept away from general public since she knows his secrets and was "dead" to anyone else, he becomes the head of Briarcliff with no one else to stop him. It's later revealed after the time-skip that he's been promoted to a cardinal shortly after the Church signed Briarcliff over to the state.
  • Idiot Ball: Trusting Leigh. It nearly gets him killed.
  • I Gave My Word: In "Continuum", he tells Jude that he would be getting her out of the asylum before heading to New York to start as Cardinal. Jude, after spending two and a half years (which seemed like days to her), figures out he lied.
  • Improbable Weapon User: His rosary beads, which he uses to strangle Shelley and smash Dr. Arden's record player.
  • Mercy Kill: To Shelley, later to Sister Eunice.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Once he sees what happened to Shelley and kills her to end her pain and suffering, he realizes he never should have allowed Arden to perform his experiments. However, the guilt isn't enough to silence his own ambition and sense of self-preservation, so he fires Sister Jude instead of Arden. This happens again when he realizes that Sister Jude was right all along about Sister Eunice being possessed.
  • Not Quite Dead: Though Leigh attempts to drown and then crucifies him, he survives.
  • Pet the Dog: Even though Kit was blackmailing him into doing so, the Monsignor allowed him to get Grace (since Dr. Arden did sign a paper that Grace declared to be legally dead) to leave and allows them to start their family.
  • Rape as Drama: On the receiving end of it from Sister Eunice.
  • Sexy Priest: At least in Sister Jude's view. Until "Spilt Milk", that is.
  • Sinister Minister: He's blinded by his ambition and is motivated by self-interest to an extent, but he doesn't want to hurt anyone and is shocked at Dr. Arden's experiments. It isn't until "Spilt Milk" when this trope starts to really come into play.
  • Took a Level in Badass: He's the one who ends Mary Eunice's reign of terror.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In "Spilt Milk".
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Possibly some kind of Irish, as the character's last name was originally going to be O'Hara.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Before and after becoming Monsignor, and it really does him no favours. First he forms an alliance with Dr. Arden, and later he is nearly killed when he naively trusts that Leigh has repented.

    Dr. Arden 

Dr. Arthur Arden/Hans Grüper

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gruper_hans_1983.jpg
"I'm not a monster. I'm a visionary!"
Played By: James Cromwell, John Cromwell
Appearances: Asylum | Freak Show

Kit Walker: I thought Sister Jude ran this place.
Arthur Arden: So does she.

The mysterious and shady head of Briarcliff's Medical Wing.


  • Alas, Poor Villain: His death is oddly moving, as he's Driven to Suicide following a Villainous Breakdown.
  • Alliterative Name: Arthur Arden. It's averted, however, his real name is Hans Grüper.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Arden has it very bad for the much younger, innocent Sister Mary Eunice. She's the Madonna in his Madonna–Whore Complex. He can never have her because she’s a nun though.
  • Bald of Evil: He's very bald.
  • Beard of Evil: A little Van Dyke.
  • Big-Bad Ensemble: He's one of many vying for the title.
  • The Cameo: Appears briefly in episode twelve of "Freak Show" (played by John Cromwell, James Cromwell's son), where it's revealed he was one of the people involved in cutting off Elsa's legs. He also tortured Massimo and electrocuted his crotch.
  • Character Death: Burns himself alive in a crematorium after Sister Mary Eunice dies.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He has some darkly wonderful lines.
    Arden: These are the incurables. Those whose tuberculosis was too far advanced for any of the new miracle drugs to have an effect.
    Howard: God bless them.
    Arden: Well, He hasn't yet.
  • Deadly Doctor: Arden is an extremely dangerous man.
  • Dirty Old Man: He has some very twisted sexual hang-ups. He tries to get a prostitute to dress up as Sister Mary Eunice, has a collection of BDSM photographs possibly taken by himself and is at least an attempted rapist.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Commits suicide in "The Name Game".
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Upon Spivey for spying on Sister Mary Eunice washing herself. He turns him into a Rasper.
  • Driven to Suicide: Having lost the woman he loved and self-belief shattered, Arden sees no reason to continue living and willingly cremates himself along with Sister Eunice's body.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Against Sister Jude, who's A Lighter Shade of Grey compared to him.
  • Evilutionary Biologist
  • Faux Affably Evil
  • For Science!
  • Heel Realization: Prompted by witnessing Sister Eunice raping Monsignor Howard. He later breaks down completely and delivers a mercy killing to several Raspers, declaring the experiments over.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: Arden was a powerful man in the asylum, enjoying protection from the Monsignor and being given free reign to pursue all his sick, twisted experiments to his heart's delight. He ends up as a pitiful old man whose ambitions die out completely, and eventually result in his suicide. Even before the asylum, he was a well-respected Nazi Scientist who seemed to enjoy his time in Germany before being forced to flee.
  • Hypocrite: He despises Shelley and Spivey for their lustful impulses, but he's a million times worse than either of them in that regard.
  • Karmic Death: Arden, formerly a scientist in Auschwitz, burns himself alive in a crematorium.
  • Kill It with Fire: How he kills himself.
  • Large and in Charge: Played by the 6 ft 7 in James Cromwell. The occasional Hitler Cam shot makes him look even bigger.
  • The Loins Sleep Tonight: Unfortunately for Shelley.
  • Lust: Attracted to Sister Eunice. See Madonna–Whore Complex below.
  • Madonna–Whore Complex: Views Sister Eunice as his Madonna (prizing her purity above all) and every other woman as a whore. When Sister Eunice is possessed and starts coming onto him, he loses it completely. He loses it again after he walks in on her raping Monsignor Howard. In the season's third episode, he literally screams "WHORE!" several times at a statue of the Virgin Mary, a.k.a. the Madonna.
  • Mad Doctor: Arden might seem sane, logical and level-headed but he's really batshit insane, particularly when it comes to his personal life.
  • Mad Scientist: Uses the asylum patients as guinea pigs. His experiments created the Raspers.
  • Mercy Kill: As an act of mercy he kills all his Raspers, ending his experiment.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Well, it was presumably awarded to him in Nazi Germany.
  • Never Found the Body: As he cremated himself along with Sister Eunice's body, nobody actually knows that he's dead and he's referred to as having disappeared.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: And not the good kind of "celebrity" either. He's based on Nazi scientist Josef Mengele, who also performed vile experiments on his charges, such as amputation and brain surgery. Like Arden, he didn't use anesthetic, and like Arden, he lived out the rest of his life in hiding after the war.
  • Pet the Dog: A few weak, somewhat self-serving moments might count.
    • He offers sister Mary Eunice a candy Apple.
    • He saves Grace's life post-alien abduction, though it was mainly so that he wouldn't be blamed for what happened to her.
    • He also gives Sister Mary Eunice a pair of ruby earrings he took from a prisoner in a concentration camp, hoping she'll be at least a little horrified at their backstory and thus give Arden some hope that the girl is still fighting the demon from the inside. He's notably upset when she doesn't react.
    • He helps bring back Grace from the aliens, though he declines to tell Kit.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: He gets a well-deserved one from Pepper of all people.
    "Stupid man. You think they'd allow you to continue your barbaric practice? She's protected. Your X-rays won't penetrate her body. You'll see nothing. Oh, but they've been watching you. You think you're like them, with your clumsy experiments. But they laugh at you, Dr. Arden. They make jokes. Here's a good one. Knock, knock. Who's there? Arden. Arden who? Arden you the quack who'd make a better duck?"
  • Red Herring: There's a fair bit of time spent making the viewer think he's Bloody Face, but he isn't. Not that he isn't awful in every other way.
  • Sex Is Evil, and I Am Horny
  • Teeny Weenie: It's implied by Shelley that he has either a smaller-than-average penis or it's in some way deformed.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: Charlotte Brown is right: he's a Nazi Scientist named Hans Gruper.
  • Torture Technician: It isn't exactly his intended goal, but his experiments are performed without anesthetic and amount to torture.
  • Villainous Breakdown: After realizing just how impotent he is in the face of the aliens, as well as just how evil Sister Mary Eunice is, Dr. Arden completely loses it. He kills all of his Raspers, succumbs to despair and eventually burns himself alive.
  • Wicked Cultured: Arden is a very well-read man, with an understanding of Latin and an appreciation for classical music.

    Frank 

Frank McCann

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mccann_frank_3120.jpg
Played By: Fredric Lehne

A former police officer and now the head guard at Briarcliff. Seemingly thuggish, he is something of a confidant for Sister Jude.


  • Character Death: The possessed Mary Eunice slashes his throat with a Christmas decoration.
  • The Dragon: Acts like one for Sister Jude, and is more efficient than Mary Eunice is.
  • He Knows Too Much: The reason Sister Mary Eunice kills him.
  • Hidden Depths: At first he appears to just be Sister Jude's right hand thug, but it later emerges that he genuinely admires Jude and is very forward-thinking for his time when it comes to women in power. He also feels awful after shooting Grace.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He may be a Jerkass, but he more or less allowed inmates to use the bathroom during Movie Night that was during a Nor'easter and consoled Sister Jude in her problems. He also takes pretty good care of the inmates when the chips are down, and is wracked with guilt over killing Grace. He also very polite when talking to Miles, an African-American inmate, especially considering the time period.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Regrets accidentally killing Grace enough to try to persuade Arden to call the police and inform them about everything. Sister Mary Eunice puts an end to that.
  • Officer O'Hara: Arden refers to him as a former Irish cop.
  • Only Sane Man: He's mostly sensible, lamenting that Sister Jude gets fired when he considers her much more efficient than her successors.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: He's a good man, he just works in the asylum and it isn't his job to consider who's sane or not.

    Carl 

Carl

Played By: Mark Englehardt

A veteran of World War II and now an orderly at Briarcliff. He enjoys sexual favours from Shelley.


  • Bit Part Bad Guy: He's just barely a recurring character.
  • The Brute: For whoever's running the Asylum at the time.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Shelley is able to distract him to allow Lana and Kit time to escape.
  • Orderlies Are Creeps: He receives blowjobs on the regular from patient Shelley, although it's consensual.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: He's just doing his job, and isn't overly cruel. The only corrupt part of him is his sexual relationship with Shelley, which is consensual.
  • The Stoic: Rarely shows emotion.

    Dr. Crump 

Dr. Miranda Crump

Played By: Robin Bartlett

The new head of Briarcliff when it was acquired by the government after the Monsignor was promoted to a Cardinal.


  • Jerkass: Possibly. It seems like Crump doesn’t care about her patients, dismissing their concerns casually. She may just be trying to be nice though. She’s also still a much better person than most other staff members regardless.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: Not that Briarcliff was run by saints beforehand, but she is utterly apathetic to the needs of the patients.

    Sister Felicity 

Sister Felicity

A nun who works at Briarcliff.

    Sally 

Sally Starns

A former nurse at Briarcliff.

    Sean 

Sean

An orderly at Briarcliff whose nose was bitten off by Leigh.

Others

Bloody Face

    Bloody Face I 

Bloody Face (1964)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bloody_face_8710.jpg
"I can either cut your throat or I can strangle you. I don't believe in guns."
Played By: Zachary Quinto

An infamous Serial Killer who skins his victims.


  • Ax-Crazy
  • Big-Bad Ensemble: With the possessed Sister Mary Eunice and Dr. Arden, until Mary Eunice is killed and Dr. Arden commits suicide by cremating himself with her body.
  • Blackmail: Blackmails Kit into telling him where the confession is, but is then blackmailed by Lana into not killing her or anyone else under threat of the confession getting to the police.
  • Boom, Headshot!: How Lana finally does him in.
  • Creepy Crossdresser: Blink and you'll miss it, but that's a nightie between the Bloody Face coat and denim shirt.
  • Creepy Monotone
  • Dark and Troubled Past: He was abandoned by his mother and ended up in a strict orphanage that used corporal punishment. He subsequently developed a psychosis, especially after seeing a cadaver in medical school, that set him on the path to become Bloody Face.
  • Dead Person Conversation: With Lana in 'Continuum'. Ms. Wendy Peyser also does this at the same time. And with Johnny in 'Madness Ends.' Although, that might because Johnny was already strung out on crack, but it seems like it is really Bloody Face because Johnny has only heard his voice in the recording and probably seen his face on the internet.
  • Deadly Doctor: Set up Kit as his patsy under the pretense of treating him, and Lana is now his latest prey. As Bloody Face, he skins and kills his victims with surgical precision. Word of God says that he honestly believed in his job as a doctor, but he's so batshit crazy that he dissociates his day job from Bloody Face.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Dies shortly after The Devil and Dr. Arthur Arden within the first 20 minutes of "Spilt Milk".
  • Doesn't Like Guns: "I'm going to give you the choice between slitting your throat and strangulation; I don't believe in guns." It turns out later, he did believe in guns and had one just to shoot Lana.
  • Evil All Along: Obviously, Bloody Face was known to be a psychotic serial killer, but his everyday identity of Dr Thredson didn't seem evil in the slightest.
  • Faux Affably Evil: In a Sylar sorta way. If anything, the man could be joking around with you or cooking you something, then would then will try and kill you.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: An inversion. He wears glasses purely for show as being Dr. Thredson. As Bloody Face, not so much.
  • Genuine Human Hide: Makes lampshades from the skin of his Bloody Face slayings, ala Ed Gein.
  • I Love the Dead: A cadaver in medical school, and then Wendy's corpse, and probably dozens more.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Manipulates Lana into trusting him and Kit into becoming his patsy.
  • Moral Myopia
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: His "hobby" of making furniture from human skin and bowls from human skulls is a direct reference to Ed Gein. He and Gein both have mommy issues as well.
  • Out-Gambitted: Successfully extracts the location of the confession from Kit, but he did not count on Lana moving the tape before he could get to it.
  • Parental Abandonment: Becomes Generation Xerox as Lana successfully kills him.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: His yearning for a mother which culminates in him trying to breast-feed from Lana.
  • Psycho Psychologist: Under his "day job" as a psychiatrist, he sets Kit up as his patsy and ensnared Lana as his latest prey. Not only that, Thredson really loves to use his psychiatrist skills to watch the people he's gonna kill, judging their reactions and whatnot.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Especially as he politely tells Lana what he's going to do with her.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil
  • Serial Killer: Better known as Bloody Face, at least in 1964. It becomes public knowledge by the time his son is an adult and carrying on his legacy.
  • Smug Snake: Downplayed. While he's not nearly as arrogant as Dr. Arden or Sister Jude, he shows signs of this at times. Especially before Lana shoots him.
  • They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: Which makes him being Bloody Face even more unnerving. Prior to the reveal, he was easily the most normal of the cast.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Starts to lose his shit in "The Origins of Monstrosity" once Kit calls him out in being a liar and after finding out Lana tried to escape. Luckily, Lana talked him down by acting as "Mom" to him.
  • Walking Spoiler: Take a guess?
  • Wham Line: "You're the person to tell my story."
  • Would Hit a Girl: All of Bloodyface's victims are women, which he would usually abduct by bludgeoning them or knocking them out cold. He also goes to punch Lana in the face before remembering she's carrying his child.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Is terrified by the thought of a child growing up in an orphanage, and tells Lana that she's a monster for attempting to abort their child because she's harming an innocent child. Subverted when he tries to murder her along with his unborn child later.

    Bloody Face II 

Bloody Face (2012)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bloodyfacemodern.png
Played By: Dylan McDermott

The modern-day Bloody Face.


  • Ax-Crazy: He can keep his cool... until he talks about his mother, Lana Winters, which makes him completely lose his shit.
  • Big Bad: Of the Present Day storyline.
  • Beard of Evil
  • Boom, Headshot!
  • Child by Rape: The son of the original Bloody Face, Oliver Thredson whom had raped his captive, Lana Winters.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Repeatably smokes crack and other drugs, and is the only thing that keeps him check given how he is able to keep his cool, even when talking about his mom.
  • Generation Xerox: Has mommy issues just as bad as his father, and also grew up in the system. He also wants to go to medical school in an attempt to emulate his father's surgical skills and carry on the Thredson legacy. In fact, he even dies in the exact same way Thredson did, with a bullet to his head from Lana.
  • Hearing Voices
  • Heel Realization: As he comes to genuinely regret what he's done, his mother Lana comforts him and kills him.
    Lana: It’s not just him that’s in you. I’m a part of you too.
    Johnny: I’ve hurt people.
    Lana: It’s not your fault, baby. It’s mine.
  • Icy Blue Eyes
  • I Have Many Names: Usually goes by Johnny Morgan. His real name is Johnny Thredson though.
  • In the Blood: He was killing animals long before he knew his true parentage.
  • Jack the Ripoff: Averted. He doesn't take kindly to any of the Bloody Face copycats. Of course, this is added irony when he is the son of the original Bloody Face, and he is re-starting the murders thus making himself a copycat.
  • Kubrick Stare
  • Legacy Character: The son of Lana and Thredson.
  • Parental Abandonment: He grew up in the foster system and disowned by his foster family. Thredson is long dead by the time he discovers his paternity and Lana abandoned him to the system.
  • Present Day
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: He's on a quest to track down and kill his mother, so that in his mind, he's finishing off his father's final victim. He kills a psychologist and it's assumed he also killed her next client, a lactating prostitute, and a bookseller with the last copy of Lana's book along the way. His quest leads to failure, however.
  • Serial Killer
  • Sucksessor: How the modern one views himself in comparison to the original Bloody Face. The modern one is a far cry from the original, and is frustrated at being unable to properly skin someone alive.
  • Tattooed Crook: It is hard to notice, but he has a couple of tattoos along both of his arm.
  • Walking Spoiler
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds

1964

    Alma 

Alma Walker

Played By: Britne Oldford

Kit's wife. They are secretly married as he is white and she is black. She is believed to have been killed by Kit when she tires of hiding their marriage, but Kit staunchly affirms that she has been abducted by aliens.


  • Alien Abduction: Along with her husband, Kit. Is not returned, unlike Kit, until "Spilt Milk".
  • Character Death: Dies of heart failure at Briarcliff.
  • Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong: If what Grace saw can be believed, though Arden believes that the aliens have been practicing eugenics.
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: Alma and Kit face prejudice for their relationship. Kit is taunted by bullies at work about it.
  • Missing Mom: To Julia, her daughter with Kit
  • Not Quite Dead: Though she's believed dead initially, then believed dead again by Grace, she's proved alive in "Spilt Milk".
  • Sanity Slippage: After returning, she grows increasingly paranoid (which might be reasonable, since Grace wanted to bring the aliens back) and eventually kills Grace with an axe. This gets her committed, and she remains at Briarcliff until her death.
  • Secret Relationship: Secretly married to Kit.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: After being abducted by aliens, assumed dead, then unexpectedly returned with a child, she murders Grace, is committed to Briarcliff, and dies inexplicably.

    Mother Claudia 

Mother Superior Claudia

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/claudia_6412.jpg
Played By: Barbara Tarbuck

Sister Jude's superior, and serves as her friend and mentor.


  • Cool Old Lady: She's supportive and kind, but no fool and has plenty of strength.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Derails her career to right Sister Jude's wronging of an inmate.
  • The Mentor: She was this to Jude when she was a fledgling nun.
  • Only Sane Woman: She's the only member of the Clergy seen in the show that isn't either a craven opportunist, a self-loathing psychological mess or possessed by the freakin' devil.
  • Put on a Bus: To Puerto Rico after she got Lana out of Briarcliff.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: By the Archdiocese.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: She's the only one who believes Sister Jude and helps Lana get out of Briarcliff.

    Wendy 

Wendy Peyser

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/peyser_wendy_2306.jpg
Played By: Clea Duvall

Lana's girlfriend, and a third grade school teacher. Sister Jude threatens to expose their relationship and blackmails Wendy into signing Lana into her custody.


  • Advertised Extra: Clea Duvall was included on promotional materials, but Wendy dies soon into the season.
  • Blackmail: On the receiving end of it from Sister Jude, to force her to commit her girlfriend Lana. If she doesn't go through with it, then Sister Jude will out her as a lesbian, which would cost her her job as a schoolteacher.
  • Character Death: Stabbed by Bloodyface.
  • Dead Person Conversation: With Lana in 'Continuum'. Lana hallucinates Wendy accusing her of downplaying their relationship in her fame-making book. Dr. Oliver “Bloody Face” Thredson also does this.
  • Hope Spot: Comes to regret committing Lana and plans to recant it the next day. Unfortunately for her and Lana, she left the window open and Bloody Face ended that idea.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: After having Lana committed, she breaks down in front of her friends.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Gets hit with this almost immediately after committing Lana.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Used to blackmail her when Lana is committed.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: Her body was kept in a freezer. Thredson dug it out in preparation for Lana's arrival.
  • Think of the Children!: Her last words before Bloody Face killed her were "I'm a school teacher. The children, they won't understand." Whether she was saying this because she was genuinely worried about how they would react to her death or to get sympathy from Bloody Face, we will never know.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: She only appeared briefly before being killed by Thredson. Her body turns up from time to time to have further abuse inflicted upon it.

    Missy 

Missy Stone

Played By: Chelsey Valentine & Kristin Slaysman

A child struck by Sister Jude's car in her secular past.


  • Not Quite Dead: Jude finds out that she didn't die when Jude's car hit her, just left her injured. Missy survived and grew up.
  • Posthumous Character: Sister Jude accidentally killed her before she became a nun. Later averted when it turns out she survived.

    Sam 

Sam Goodman

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/goodman_sam_7778.jpg
Played By: Mark Margolis

An Israeli hunter of Nazi war criminals put in contact with Sister Jude when she believes accusations that asylum doctor Arthur Arden is a former concentration-camp doctor.


  • Badass Israeli: He's an Israeli who hunts Nazi war criminals.
  • Character Death: A possessed Mary Eunice slashes his throat with a mirror shard, killing him.
  • Cool Old Guy: Anybody who spends their twilight years hunting down Nazis is pretty damn cool.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: He is a survivor of the Holocaust, after all.
    Sister Jude: Did you lose someone?
    Sam Goodman: Everyone.
  • Mr. Exposition: Sam explains to Sister Jude the specifics of Operation Paperclip, which relocated valuable Nazi assets into the United States..
  • Nazi Hunter: His official profession. Jude hires him to hunt down Arden.
  • Slashed Throat: By the possessed Mary Eunice.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: He appears only briefly before being murdered.
  • The World's Expert on Getting Killed: Jude hires him to help take down Arden, and it's clear he's hunted Nazis successfully before, but Sam gets his throat cut off-screen by a possessed Mary Eunice before he can do anything to accomplish his goal.

    Billy 

Billy Marshall

Played By: Joe Egender

A 'friend' of Kit Walker who threatened Kit in the beginning. Kit thought the alien abduction was actually Billy taunting him.


  • The Bully: He likes to turn up with his friends at Kit's garage to harass him.
  • Jerkass: Billy hangs around to taunt and threaten Kit and is generally a racist dick.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: He bullies Kit due to his interracial marriage.

    Father Malachi 

Father Malachi

Played By: John Aylward

A paraplegic priest who comes to Briarcliff Manor to aid in the exorcism of Jed Potter.


  • Character Death: Possibly. He [might] have been killed by the Devil during the exorcism.
  • Deadpan Snarker: An Irish priest who shares no qualms with quipping against a demonic entity.
  • Handicapped Badass: One of the few characters who manages to stay their ground with the Devil, who wasn't even at its full untapped power.

    Jenny 

Jenny Reynolds

Played By: Nikki Hahn

A young girl whose mother, suspecting her daughter is a murderer, has abandoned her to the care of the asylum.


  • Ax-Crazy: Considering her penchant for killing people, and the reason why she does, then let's just say that her mother was right to lock her up.
  • Creepy Child: She's deeply unnerving, like Wednesday Adams Up to Eleven. Even her mother is scared of her.
  • Creepy Monotone: She speaks in a flat, even tone.
  • Enfante Terrible: Despite being a little girl, she's already begun killing.
  • For the Evulz: Jenny has no reason to kill other than her own amusement.
  • Serial Killer: She's only a child, but she's already racked up a body count.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Eventually Jenny kills her own mother.
  • The Sociopath: Jenny is expressionless and speaks in a bored, uninterested tone. It's very clear she doesn't feel much of anything beyond the desire to kill.
  • The Stoic: Goes hand-in-hand with being an unfeeling sociopath.

    Thomas 

Thomas Walker

Kit and Grace's son, and Alma's adoptive son.

    Julia 

Julia Walker

Alma and Kit's daughter, and Grace's adoptive daughter.

    Jim 

Jim Brown

Charlotte's husband.

    David 

David Brown

Charlotte's infant son.

    Mr. Lancaster 

Mr. Lancaster

Susie's father, who was murdered by Leigh.

    Rhonda 

Rhonda Lancaster

Susie's mother, who was murdered by Leigh.

    Susie 

Susie Lancaster

A little girl whose parents were murdered by Leigh.

    "Fake Santa" 

"Fake Santa"

A mall santa who was murdered by Leigh Emerson.

    Cynthia 

Cynthia Potter

Played by: Robin Weigert
Jed's mother.

    Mr. Potter 

Mr. Potter

Played by: Andrew Rothenberg
Jed's father, a farmer.

    "Prostitute" 

"Prostitute"

Played by: Jenny Wade
A prostitute who Dr. Arden hires.

    Detective Byers 

Detective Byers

A detective.

    Detective Connors 

Detective Connors

A detective.

Otherworldly Forces

    The Devil 

Satan

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dark_cousin_2388.jpg
"You're mine now. Body and soul."
Played By: Devon Graye, Lily Rabe

A demonic spirit that claims alternately to be a corrupted version of the true Sister Mary Eunice and the Devil himself. It first arrives at Briarcliff in possession of a boy named Jed and flees into the nun's body upon being cast out by an exorcist. Sadistic and chaotic, it runs amok and wreaks havoc throughout the asylum.


  • Ambiguous Situation: Within the grandscale of the American Horror Story universe, this might be same entity that birthed Michael Langdon or something else entirely. It is possible this entity is the same one alluded as being The Devil from Murder House and Apocalypse.
  • Ax-Crazy
  • Berserk Button: Whenever someone says the real Sister Mary Eunice remains pure and untainted in the face of the demon's influence, it goes bat-shit.
  • Big-Bad Ensemble: After taking control of Briarcliff, competing with Bloody Face.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing
  • Blackmail: Employs this against Dr. Arden in case he decides to betray it.
  • Break the Cutie: Does this to Jed and Mary.
  • The Chessmaster: Successfully manipulates Jude, Arden, Monsignor Howard and the investigative board.
  • The Corrupter: Thinks he is doing this to Mary. It doesn’t work. Also makes people think this happened to Jed.
  • Cute and Psycho: The Devil sure knows how to use Sister Mary Eunice's pure soul to its advantage and act all innocent, but it's always cruel and probably planning your death at any given moment.
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Demonic Possession: Obviously.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: After possessing Sister Mary Eunice, it doesn't even bother to maintain any sort of low profile whatsoever, wearing lipstick in front of Sister Jude, making blatant sexual advances on Arden and telling everyone how awesome it is when the Christians are eaten at the end of The Sign of the Cross.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Is killed in "The Name Game".
  • Fallen Angel: According to Shachath.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Once in Sister Mary Eunice's body, the Devil doesn't scare people with facial distortions and seizures like it did in possession of Jed. Instead, it charms and manipulates its way to bringing about the chaos it desires.
  • Flaming Devil: A possible interpretation, assuming this version of the Devil identifies as male. It makes sexual advances on both Arden and the Monsignor, and seems very comfortable in Sister Mary Eunice's skin even in private.
  • For the Evulz: Especially at first. Later, it seems to want to ride Timothy Howard's success train to the highest levels of the Church.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: The Devil really makes sure that Sister Mary Eunice becomes an embodiment of evil.
  • The Hedonist: Only seems to have respect for people who shun moral constraints and give into their baser urges.
  • Hot as Hell: Ostensibly invoked to emphasize Satan's association with seduction and temptation.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Whenever it shows up, there's bound to be badder shit to come.
  • The Man Behind the Man: After Starscreaming Dr. Arden as well, it makes overtures to Monsignor Howard to become this to him.
  • Mind over Matter
  • Morality Pet: It uses Mary Eunice's status as this to manipulate Jude and Arden.
  • Naughty Nun: Takes on a decidedly sexual bent after possessing Sister Mary Eunice.
  • Psychic Powers
  • Rape as Drama: To Monsignor Howard.
  • The Starscream: Outright plots to oust Sister Jude and install itself as Dr. Arden's second-in-command.
  • Telepathy
  • Villains Blend in Better: Subverted. The Devil didn't blend in at all and just looked like a sadistic jerkass to everyone else.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Surprisingly, it seems to be very happy to sit and watch a movie with the inmates (albeit one about Christians being burnt) during a nor'easter when it could have easily caused some serious damage around the asylum instead. Ironically enough, it also seems pretty stoked about setting up a Christmas party and watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

    Shachath the Dark Angel 

Shachath the Dark Angel

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/shachath_8938.jpg
"Guard your thoughts, use your rosary. Each bead is His name."
Played By: Frances Conroy

The angel of death, who visits the Asylum when people call her. She appears to the dying and 'takes' them away with a Kiss of Death.


  • Blue and Orange Morality: She operates on a level above humanity.
  • Color Motifs: She's always clad in black funeral garb due to her profession.
  • Creepy Good: With her dark clothing and massive wings, she can certainly come across as very unsettling. However, she's only granting a peaceful death that can't be avoided, and never kills anyone outright, she just guides them into death.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: She appears as a gentle, calming influence, helping those in need to cross over peacefully with a Kiss of Death.
  • Don't Fear the Reaper: She's a true angel, and takes the lives of others with a kiss.
  • The Dreaded: To the demon AKA The Devil possessing Sister Mary Eunice. Which says a lot.
  • Evil Is Hammy: At least in "Continuum". But is wasn’t actually her, Jude just saw a prisoner as her because Jude was completely insane by that point.
  • Invisible to Normals: Is normally only seen by those who subconsciously sing to her (usually only those who wish to or are about to die). Other spiritual beings, such as the demon possessing Sister Mary Eunice, can also see her.
  • Mercy Kill: Via a kiss. Delivers her kiss to Miles (the patient who'd tried to commit suicide), to Grace, to Sister Eunice/the demon inhabiting her, and to Sister Jude.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Shachath comes from a Semitic root that means slaughter, decay and corruption.
  • You Look Familiar: In "Continuum" when prisoners are transferred to Briarcliff, the one who bunks with Jude looks exactly like Shachath. It's never really specified whether this is a delusion or some form of Mind Rape by the angel herself. Probably the former, seeing that Jude had clearly gone insane and that the angel had no reasons to Mind Rape her.

    The Aliens 

Aliens

An enigmatic alien species that abducts humans for unknown experiments. Their presence is usually preceded by a bright, blinding light and deafening radio noise.


  • Alien Abduction: Well... yeah.
  • Ambiguously Evil: Their motives are unknown. Grace was convinced that they were brilliant, while Alma was utterly terrified of them returning. So terrified, that she violently murdered Grace to stop her from bringing them back. Even at the end of the season, their motives are never revealed. The children they helped create become very successful, however, and they return for Kit before he dies.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Pepper tells Arden that he can barely comprehend their motivations.
  • Cthulhumanoid: From what glimpses we get at the one that abducts Kit, we can see that it has face-tentacles.
  • Brown Note: The penetrating radio noise that heralds the alien arrival.
  • Divine Intervention: The aliens will not allow humans to interfere with their experiments.
  • Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong: They impregnate Alma and Grace. 'How' is not entirely known.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Maybe. Their motives can barely be guessed at.
  • The Greys: Grey skin, black eyes and no clothes.
  • Light Is Not Good: Alien encounters are always extremely well-lit. However is isn’t really this because they do good things that are torturous to people.

Present Day

    Teresa 

Teresa Morrison

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/morrison_theresa_2585.jpg
Played By: Jenna Dewan Tatum

A newlywed couple touring 'most haunted' locations in America.


  • Character Death: Teresa meets a grisly end when Johnny Thredson clumsily tries to flay her.
  • Death by Irony: A horror movie buff getting murdered in gore-tastic fashion by a slasher villain? That probably counts.
  • Death by Sex: She and her husband are pretty horny, since they're a pair of young attractive newly weds.
  • Flaying Alive: At least, Bloody Face tried to do this to her.
  • Happily Married: To Leo.
  • Heroic BSoD: And with good reason, after Leo is horribly injured, all the routes out of the asylum are suddenly blocked and Bloody Face starts chasing them.
  • Hope Spot: She almost escapes Bloody Face, only to be stopped by the copycats.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Teresa has a foul mouth and gets down to her bra and panties for a moment.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: A self-proclaimed "horror freak" who wants to have sex in the death chute of Briarcliff.
  • Mauve Shirt
  • Perpetual Smiler: For the first four or five minutes of the series, before Bloody Face attacking effectively ends that.
  • Present Day
  • Violently Protective Wife: Shows shades of this. While despite his injuries Leo does more to protect her then vice versa, she fights back to protect him as well.
  • Worst Aid: Subverted as she does a good job using a homemade tourniquet to keep Leo from bleeding to death.

    Leo 

Leo Morrison

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/morrison_leonard_7615.jpg
Played By: Adam Levine

One half of a newlywed couple touring 'most haunted' locations in America.


  • Character Death: Leo is killed by twin Bloody Face copycats after his arm is torn off by the present day Bloody Face.
  • Coitus Interruptus: Three times in quick succession! First when he's kissing Teresa and pulling her closer on the stairway but she decides it's not the right place and wants to keep exploring. Then, when they're actually having sex, about ten seconds in she hears a noise she wants to investigate right away and makes a chagrined Leo (who has her promise they'll come back there) stop and follow the sound. Finally, once they reach the room, Teresa is performing oral sex on him when he sticks his arm through with a camera/flashlight, only to break off once he gets attacked.
  • Death by Sex: The reason he puts his arm through a door is because Teresa promised him anal, and then starts giving him oral.
  • Dead Star Walking: Adam Levine was advertised heavily, he was featured in promotional photos and with the main cast, but he dies very quickly and never interacts with any of the main cast.
  • Happily Married: To Teresa.
  • Hope Spot: Survives having his arm torn off and being stabbed multiple times to rescue Teresa from Bloody Face. The two of them then walk right into the copycats, who shoot them.
  • Made of Iron: The guy gets his arm ripped off, repeatedly stabbed, and still has the energy to attack Bloody Face.
  • Mauve Shirt
  • Present Day

    Johnny 

Johnny Morgan

Bloody Face II
Played By:Dylan McDermott
Lana and Dr. Thredson's son.

    Devon 

Devon

A Bloodyface copycat.

    Cooper 

Cooper

A Bloodyface copycat.

    Marion 

Marion

Lana's new girlfriend after Wendy dies.
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