Every American Horror Story Season Ranked, From Worst to Best

Parts 1 and 2 of American Horror Story Season 10 are now available to stream in their entirety on Hulu. This season was met with mixed reviews, receiving initial critical acclaim before falling flat, leaving fans disappointed on social media. The last few seasons of AHS have generated buzz from long-time fans and critics alike who seem to have mixed feelings about the direction the long running series has taken throughout the last decade. With all 10 seasons now streaming, this is the perfect time to bing watch your favorite, whether you’re stuck at home recovering from a procedure at Northwest Surgery Center or just looking for something to watch on a lazy summer day. 

With production underway for Season 11, it’s time to take a look back at the past 10 years of horror from writer, director, and producer Ryan Murphy with a ranking of each season, from worst to best. 

10. 1984, Season 9

By far the worst season of the show so far was AHS: 1984. The season paid omage to classic slasher films with a plotline that was reminiscent of Friday the 13th. 1984 was lacking in many of the shows’ original cast members such as Evan Peters and Sarah Paulson, which is perhaps what made it so terrible. 

9. Double Feature, Season 10

This season was different than all others before it as it was a “double feature,” essentially telling 2 stories in 1 season featuring different characters played by the same actors. The return of Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters was highly anticipated by fans, and although they were responsible for the shows’ best moments, the plot ultimately fell flat. 

8. Apocalypse, Season 8

Season 8 was fun and interactive, with a bit of fan service as it was essentially a crossover between Season 1 (Murder House) and Season 3 (Coven). The introduction of new recurring cast members like Cody Fern was exciting, but ultimately this season just wasn’t scary enough, and much of the dialogue felt more cringeworthy than important. 

7. Roanoke, Season 6

This season follows a couple moving into a haunted house in North Carolina, who recount their experiences with the Roanoke ghosts to a documentary crew before their chilling story is later turned into a reenactment film. While the acting in this season is great, the plot is just too similar to Season 1 – this show didn’t need another haunted house story. Roanoke isn’t totally unenjoyable, but it takes practically no risks and is seriously lacking in the raunchy, cutting edge content that launched the show to success in the first place.

6. Cult, Season 7

If you can get past the plot that, at times, feels more like a cringeworthy attempt to be socially relevant than an actual political statement, Cult has some pretty scary scenes. Some of this season was hard to get through, but overall it was eerie enough to rank higher than some other seasons on this list – plus, there were some pretty good plot twists. 

5. Freak Show, Season 4

One of the most iconic seasons, Freak Show was the end of Jessica Lange’s starring roles in the anthology series. This series follows a travelling circus in the 1950’s and was met with a great deal of criticism for its misrepresentation of individuals with physical disabilities. Despite its controversy, it is a pretty scary season with some great acting. 

4. Asylum, Season 2

Asylum is perhaps the most disturbing of every AHS season – and if you are familiar with the show, you know that says a lot. This season is AHS at its peak – unexpected scares with excellent acting from the original cast that popularized the series in the first place. 

3. Coven, Season 3

Set in present day New Orleans, this season has everything – witchcraft, voodoo, romance, Sarah Paulson’s best performance, and even a cameo from Stevie Nicks. This season isn’t overtly scary, but what it lacks in the horror department it more than makes up for in the outstanding acting and riveting plotline that keeps you hooked until the very end. 

2. Hotel, Season 5

Hotel received mixed reviews from critics and fans alike, but it has definitely become a fan favorite over time. Lady Gaga stars as The Countess, a vampire who lives in the glamorous yet haunted Cortez Hotel. This series is one of the scariest, in my opinion, and features the best lineup of cast members the show has seen. Not to mention, the season’s music selection is the perfect soundtrack for Halloween.

1. Murder House, Season 1

While this likely comes as no surprise to fans of the show, I would consider Season 1 to be AHS’s peak. With the most genuinely terrifying scares of the entire series, Murder House is one of the best season premeiers that has ever hit cable television. If only Apocalypse hadn’t been released 8 years later to unravel the plot that Murder House tied up so nicely.

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