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The 22 Most Grotesque Things That Have Happened On 'American Horror Story'

Updated April 17, 2020 59.2k votes 6.7k voters 315.2k views22 items

List RulesVote up the times 'AHS' had you cringing with revulsion.

When Ryan Murphy created American Horror Story, he weaved a tangled web of co-mingling characters who are all more horrific than the next. The show, which is arguably one of the most shocking on television, is chock-full of some of the scariest horror movie tropes. With all the gross things that happen on American Horror Story, it seems like the writers' room is constantly trying to one-up themselves. That's kind of their M.O.

If you're looking for the most violent things to happen on American Horror Story, look no further. These are the most disturbing American Horror Story moments found on the show.

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  • 1

    The Addiction Demon In 'Hotel'

    The Addiction Demon In 'Hotel'
    Photo: FX

    Ryan Murphy warned viewers that a disturbing assault scene was going to happen in the premiere of Hotel. There's no way anyone could imagine just how grotesque that scene would actually be. At the time, Murphy regarded it as "the most disturbing scene we've ever done."

    The scene occurs in the Hotel Cortez right after Gabriel (Max Greenfield) checks into his room. Gabriel shoots up, and as soon as the high hits him, a creepy, wrinkly skinned demon pushes him onto the bed. The demon, dubbed "The Addiction Demon," wears a strap-on of pointed metal that looks like a drill bit.

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  • 2

    Lana Winters's Self-Given Abortion In 'Asylum'

    Lana Winters's Self-Given Abortion In 'Asylum'
    Photo: FX

    Lana's (Sarah Paulson) DIY abortion is a cringe-inducing scene. After finding out she's pregnant with Dr. Thredson's child, AKA Bloody Face, Lana Winters (Sarah Paulson) attempts to give herself an abortion the old-fashioned way - with a coat hanger.

    Her abortion is unsuccessful but also unspeakably bloody.

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  • 3

    Elsa Mars Losing Her Legs In 'Freak Show'

    Elsa Mars Losing Her Legs In 'Freak Show'
    Photo: FX

    One of the most powerfully disturbing moments in Freak Show is when the reason for Elsa Mars's (Jessica Lange) missing legs is revealed. In a flashback, viewers learn that Elsa was a dominatrix in Germany. She was drugged and tricked into filming a snuff film. Elsa's legs are sawed off completely and she's left to perish.

    The kicker is that her legs aren't sawed off by just anyone. Her precious stems are cut short by Hans Gruper (John Cromwell) seen previously in Season 2's mental asylum.

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  • 4

    Shelley Crawling Into The Playground In 'Asylum'

    Shelley Crawling Into The Playground In 'Asylum'
    Video: YouTube

    In one of American Horror Story's more visually grotesque moments, Season 2's Shelley (Chloe Sevigny) suffers cruelly at the hands of Dr. Arden (James Cromwell). After undergoing medical testing, Shelley is left at an elementary school where she crawls out into a playground full of children begging for help.

    Shelley's amputated body and rotting skin are gross enough without the added horror of being found by children.

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