Every Character Who Died In American Horror Story’s Murder House
When “American Horror Story” first debuted back in 2011, it brought the horror anthology to television in a big, bold way. It had sex, it had scares, and it had death — so, so much death. What it didn’t have, though, was a sub-title. Though the following seasons each got one, that first season only retroactively came to be known as “Murder House,” after the bloody, haunted Los Angeles mansion in which it took place.
The show’s inaugural season first introduced us to the house when the Harmons — Ben (Dylan McDermott), Vivien (Connie Britton) and their daughter, Violet (Taissa Farmiga) — move in. Built in the ’20s by twisted surgeon Dr. Charles Montgomery (Matt Ross), the mansion feeds off of death and despair for the next 100 years, as dozens of victims fall prey to its evil, becoming ghosts trapped forever in its walls.
From the genre defining pilot episode of the show, to the confusing, meta season finale of its spinoff, “American Horror Stories,” (was that episode just a video game or not?) the Murder House has loomed large in the “American Horror Story” universe for a decade, with each appearance piling on to the body count. In fact, the house has racked up so many deaths, you practically need a spreadsheet just to keep track of them all. So we thought it might be a good (albeit macabre) idea to go through each of the characters who died in the Murder House, from its start to its (possible) end.
Dr. Montgomery's Nurse
The first death we know of occurred in 1926, not long after the house was built — though viewers don’t get to see it until a flashback in “Room 33,” an episode of the show’s fifth season, “American Horror Story: Hotel.” The immortal Countess Elizabeth (Lady Gaga) had become pregnant sometime around when she was turned into a vampire. She sought out Dr. Montgomery to get rid of her “problem,” since the doctor performed abortions as a money-making side gig.
Looking more like nine months pregnant than three weeks, something was clearly off, but money was money, so the abortion was happening. Dr. Montgomery successfully (or so he thought) did his bloody job, giving the remains to his nurse. The baby, though, wasn’t dead. It attacked and killed the nurse, drinking her blood. Rather than bat an eye, the good doctor proudly gave the infant vampire to his mother, who she named Bartholomew. The nurse was never seen again.
Nora and Charles Montgomery
In the first season episode “Halloween Part I,” Tate Langdon (Evan Peters) tells Violet the tragic tale of the house’s first owners. Sometime after the Countess’ visit, one of Dr. Montgomery’s patients told her boyfriend about her abortion. Enraged, the man kidnapped the Montgomerys’ baby son Thaddeus and dismembered him. Police recovered the pieces and, horrifyingly, returned them.
Charles was already addicted to ether at this point, fond of stitching animal parts together, and clearly half mad, so this pushed him over the edge. He rebuilt his dead son and brought him back to life, giving the result to his wife, Nora (Lily Rabe). Horrified after it bit her and drank her blood, she tried killing the baby dubbed the Infantata (Ben Woolf), but it wouldn’t die. Instead, she shot her husband in the head and killed herself.
Though Thaddeus is still in the house with the ghosts of his parents, Infantata isn’t a spirit. He died elsewhere and was brought back to some sort of twisted, Franken-vampire-baby unlife, mostly feeding off of bugs and animals.
After the Montgomerys died, another doctor moved into the Murder House and went to work: dentist David Curran (Joshua Malina). The house seemed pretty quiet until, according to a flashback in the first season episode “Spooky Little Girl,” it got to the year 1947. That was when a young Elizabeth Short (Mena Suvari) showed up looking for dental work. Dr. Curran agreed to help, put her under, then raped her. Except, he got a little too heavy-handed with the anesthesia and she died.
Though a rapist monster, Dr. Curran wasn’t accustomed to killing folks, so he panicked and dragged her into the basement. That’s where the mad ghost of Charles Montgomery appeared. He cut her in half for easy transportation and carved the infamous “Glasgow Smile” into her face. Curran then disposed of Short’s body, and soon after she was discovered, entering into Hollywood legend as the Black Dahlia.
Maria and Gladys
With only three ghosts and an undead baby in the house, the Murder House was still relatively quiet for another couple decades or so. In its next incarnation, it became a sorority house for nursing students. Then, viewers learn in the “Home Invasion” episode, evil came knocking in the form of serial killer R. Franklin (Jamie Harris) in 1968.
He claimed be injured and in need of help, but once in the house, nursing students Maria (Rosa Salazar) and Gladys (Celia Finklestein) realized he didn’t have a scratch. He knocked Maria unconscious, then drowned Gladys in the bathtub. When he returned to the tied up Maria, he taunted her, as well as her religion. Just when she thought her prayers were answered, however, Franklin stabbed her repeatedly in the back. He made it out alive, but his two victims would remain trapped in the horrific house forever.
Twins Bryan and Troy
“American Horror Story” begins its pilot episode in the year 1978, when twin brothers and hellions Bryan and Troy (Kai and Bodhi Shultz) break into the now-abandoned house to vandalize it — you know, typical little kid stuff. A young Addy Langdon (Jamie Brewer) told them they would die in the house, but the boys just shook it off, sneering that “We’ve got bats!”
As they tear through the abandoned house, smashing things and throwing their bang snaps, they found the gruesome remains of Dr. Montgomery’s twisted practice still lingering in the basement. The basement, though, was the Infantata’s domain, and at this point it was very hungry — and two boys were far easier pickings than any of the adults that had made their home in the Murder House. Infantata killed the kids, ate them, and bumped the house’s death toll at this point up to eight.
Hugo Langdon and Moira O'Hara
Sometime after the twins’ death, Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange) moved into the house with her husband Hugo and their kids: Addy, Beauregard (Sam Kinsey), Tate, and Rose (Raina Matheson). It was Constance’s dream house, but living there was a nightmare. She made the mistake of hiring a maid, Moira O’Hara (Alexandra Breckenridge), and it’s made clear in the first season episode “Murder House” that Hugo cheated on Constance with Moira. He got drunk in 1983 and tried to do it again, but Moira rebuffed him, so he tried raping her in the master bedroom. Then, Constance appeared.
She sauntered into the room with a gun and fired a warning to get Hugo off Moira. But Constance wasn’t there to save their maid. She shot Moira in her eye, then turned to Hugo, told him he’d broken her heart “for the last time,” and shot him three times in the chest. She later disposed of their bodies, told everyone Hugo had run off, and spent the rest of her time on Earth doing her best to torment Moira’s ghost. Afterwards, Moira’s ghost ends up being a litmus test of sorts to the living. Those who see her as a caring person see an older woman (Frances Conroy). But those who just objectify women — like Ben — see her as young, seductive, and dangerous.
Throughout the first season of “American Horror Story” Constance mentions her four children. Viewers meet three of them — Addy, Beau, and Tate — over the season, but the fourth is a mystery until the eighth season, “American Horror Story: Apocalypse.” Witches Madison Montgomery (Emma Roberts) and Behold Chablis (Billy Porter) are desperate to learn about their next Supreme, Michael Langdon (Cody Fern). So in the eighth season episode “Return to Murder House,” they visit the Los Angeles haunt and talk to Michael’s grandmother Constance. By 2017, she’s hanging out with her heretofore unseen daughter, Rose.
Rose, it seems, died as a young child at some point while the Langdons lived in the house. She is shown without eyes, and no explanation as to how she died, so it’s unclear if they were gouged out or she was born that way. Nor is it clear when she died, but she’s not around by the Langdons’ return to the house in the ’90s, so it had to be sometime during their first stay in the early ’80s.
Lorraine, Margaret, and Angela Harvey
With Hugo gone, Constance fell on hard times and had to abandon the house, after which the Harvey family — Larry (Denis O’Hare), Lorraine (Rebecca Wissocky), and their daughters Margaret (Shyloh Oostwald) and Angela (Katelyn Rodriguez) — moved in. Constance, though, wanted it back, so she seduced Larry and destroyed his family.
In “Open House,” the still living, but horribly maimed Larry tells Ben his tale of woe. In 1993, he cruelly told Lorraine that she and their daughters should move in with her mother in Ohio so Constance could move in with her brood. Lorraine took it in, but was devastated enough to lock her and her daughters in their room, and then set it on fire. The house was fine, but the three burned to a grisly death. Their singed ghosts never quite forgave Larry, but they do finally convince him to repent for his actions.
By the time Larry moved the surviving Langdons back into the house, he was pretty much devoted to Constance, body and soul. Constance’s oldest son Beau, however, was a bit of a problem. Though sweet and gentle, Beau had a childlike mind and suffered from a bone disease called craniodiaphyseal dysplasia, giving him a frightening appearance. Constance kept him chained in the attic in some twisted act of “love,” but when Child Protective Services threatened to take him away, Constance wouldn’t let them. “Open House” flashed back to 1994, when she manipulated Larry to make sure no one ever took Beau away from her.
The devoted man agreed, went up to the attic, put the imprisoned Beau to sleep, and smothered him with a pillow. Constance told everyone he died of natural causes due to his breathing problems, but no, she had her son murdered. Rather than showing true love and letting him leave, she condemned him to an eternity trapped in the house. Despite his frightening appearance, though, Beau is one of the most gentle ghosts in the house.
Of all those to come under the influence of the house — living or dead — few succumbed so totally to its evil as Constance’s sociopathic teenager, Tate. The depths of his psychosis isn’t fully revealed until flashbacks to 1994 in the episodes “Piggy Piggy” and “Smoldering Children.” Shortly after Beau’s death, Tate dove headfirst off the deep end.
He woke one morning with a plan, snorted some coke and grabbed the stash of guns under his bed. Tate first paid Larry a visit at work, where he doused the man in gasoline and set him on fire. He then went to school and murdered 15 classmates with a shotgun in one of the series’ most disturbing moments. He returned home, but didn’t survive long. S.W.A.T. followed and gunned him down in his room.
In death, Tate became even more sociopathic, though he doesn’t remember his crimes or his death until most of the way through Season 1. Still, he adds to the house’s body count, and seems to start a trend of ghosts joining in the bloody mayhem.
Patrick and Chad Warwick
Boyfriends Patrick (Teddy Sears) and Chad (Zachary Quinto) owned the Murder House just before the Harmons. They planned on restoring and flipping the property that had been abandoned since Tate’s crimes. Then the housing market collapsed, and they got stuck with an oversized home stuffed full of ghosts.
Over time, their relationship deteriorated and Patrick began an online relationship with another man on a BDSM website. Desperate to keep Patrick around, Chad bought a rubber suit to try to join him in his BDSM community. Patrick wasn’t interested, later claiming he was about to leave Chad for his online lover. He never got the chance, though, as Tate offed them in a 2010 flashback seen in the episode “Rubber Man.”
Tate donned the rubber suit, becoming the titular Rubber Man, and killed both men just before their Halloween party. First, he snapped Chad’s neck while drowning him in the apple bobbing barrel. Then Tate beat Patrick with a fire poker before killing him by doing something far, far worse with it. Chad somehow survived until Tate staged a murder-suicide, first shooting Patrick, then wrapping the helpless Chad’s hand around the gun and forcing him to shoot himself.
Fiona and Dallas
2011 was a landmark year for the Murder House, mostly (as viewers learn in “Apocalypse”) because that’s when Satan himself stepped in to play. The Harmons move into the house to start fresh after Ben’s philandering nearly tears the family apart. But the fresh start turns into a nightmare right from the start.
In the second episode, “Home Invasion,” a trio of twisted R. Franklin stans — Bianca (Mageina Tovah), Fiona (Azura Skye), and Dallas (Kyle Davis) — break into the house to recreate the serial killer’s nurse murders. They tie up Vivien and Violet Harmon, and plan Maria and Gladys’ murder re-creation down to the tiniest detail.
What they didn’t plan for, however, was angry ghosts. With Tate’s help, Violet lures Fiona down into the basement. When they arrive, Violet runs off and Gladys rises from the tub in which she died. Shortly after, Dallas finds Fiona’s body in the basement with her throat cut. He also finds Gladys and Maria, waiting to slit his throat as well, and likely ticked at having their deaths fetishized. Upstairs, Tate takes an axe to Bianca’s stomach, though she escapes the house and its influence before dying. When she’s found, the police assume her friends turned on her and tried recreating the Black Dahlia murder.
Vivien and Violet are alone during the home invasion because Ben, like so many of the Murder House’s owners, is a cad. He’d jetted off to Boston to support Hayden (Kate Mara), the student he’d been having an affair with and had gotten pregnant, as she got an abortion. But when he realizes his family is in trouble, he rushes back to Los Angeles.
Hayden goes into jealous mode as she flies out to L.A. after him. She didn’t go through with the abortion, she informs him in “Murder House.” Ben would support her and their child, or she’d tell Vivien what he’d done. She never has the child, though, as Larry shows up and smacks her in the head with a shovel.
Though horrified as Larry beats her to death in front of him, Ben lets the burned man bury Hayden in the back — right next to Moira’s body. Ben then covers the growing grave with a new gazebo and pretends none of it ever happened — until Hayden’s ghost returns to taunt him and Vivien.
In between tormenting Ben and Vivien, Hayden begins an affair with Constance’s younger lover, Travis (Michael Graziadei). In “Spooky Little Girl,” she wants to see if she can still sleep with the living, while he wants revenge against Constance, who’d been ticking him off. But when he goes back for seconds after another fight with Constance, he says all the wrong things. First, he tries leaving to make up with Constance without bothering to satisfy Hayden. He then follows that by pushing aside Hayden’s advances and declaring his love for Constance.
This time, the unstable Hayden channels her jealousy into murder. She brutally stabs Travis, but realizes that having a body lying around could put a damper on her plans to score Ben. Dr. Montgomery agrees to help, so he slices Travis up just like he did Elizabeth Short. Then Hayden convinces Larry — who feels bad for having shoveled her to death — to dispose of the body. Once discovered, the media dub an oddly delighted Travis the “Boy Dahlia.”
Though the first of the Harmons to meet her demise, it takes a little time for viewers — and Violet herself — to realize what happened. From the moment she moves in, Violet is drawn to the tortured Tate, who she thought was just another of her father’s patients.
In the episode “Piggy Piggy,” after learning from Constance that Tate is her son, a shocked Violet does some online research. She finds out about Tate’s school shooting — over 16 years ago. Constance and medium Billie Dean Howard (Sarah Paulson) calmly tell Violet to get with the program. Tate is a murderous ghost who doesn’t know he’s dead. Constance had hoped his sessions with Ben would help him come to terms with the obvious, but so far, no luck.
Horrified, Violet tries overdosing on sleeping pills, only for Tate to find her and revive her in the shower; or, so everyone thinks. Four episodes later in “Smoldering Children,” Tate finally shows Violet her body, stuffed into a crawl space. She did die from the pills, but was so traumatized by the act that her spirit forgot.
By the time Tate reveals Violet’s body, it had begun causing big problems in the house. Blowflies had invaded the home, so Ben called in an exterminator in the episode entitled “Smoldering Children.”
That poor exterminator is named Phil Critter (W. Earl Brown), and as we now know, he will never leave the house again. Blowflies just love rotting meat, so it doesn’t take Phil long to find out where they are coming from: Violet’s decomposing body, located under the house.
With the thought that if one body was fine, two would be better, Tate grabs hold of the exterminator’s spray, jams it into his mouth and pumps the man full of toxic pesticides. No one would be blabbing about Violet’s death. Though it seems kind of pointless because just after all this happened, Tate told Violet anyway. Oh well, what was one more restless spirit in a house like this?
Vivien and Jeffrey Harmon
Over the course of the first season of “American Horror Story,” the Harmons deal not just with moving into an unbelievably malevolent haunted house, but also an impending birth. In the pilot, Vivien becomes pregnant with twins — one conceived by her husband, Ben, the other by Tate when he rapes her in his Rubber Man suit while pretending to be Ben.
Though the Harmons try escaping the house throughout the season, they don’t make it out before Vivien gives birth. In the aptly named episode “Birth,” she goes into labor in the car as they’re leaving, so Constance ushers her back inside to have her children. The power goes out, cell reception dies, and the ghostly doctor Dr. Mongtomery delivers Vivien’s children by candlelight, with assists from dead nursing students Gladys and Maria.
Vivien doesn’t survive the childbirth, bleeding out in the living room. Neither does Ben’s child, as Tate’s baby had been stealing all the nutrients for itself. In the end, though the Harmons believe the baby had been stillborn, he had, in fact, taken a breath before dying, meaning his infant soul becomes trapped in the house. Though he never got a name in life, in death Vivien calls him Jeffrey.
In the end, Ben is the only living being left in the house. Though half-mad, he pushes on, allowing Constance to care for the surviving baby while he gets Vivien’s affairs in order. He eventually reclaims his son in the season finale, “Afterbirth,” ignoring Constance’s warning about bringing the tot back into the Murder House.
Despondent, he prepares to take his own life in the house, but Vivien and Violet appear and convince him to move on, raise the baby, and live. But by then it’s too late. Fiona, Dallas, and Hayden grab him as he’s leaving. They loop a rope around his neck, string him up to the chandelier in the front hall and hang him.
Hayden takes the baby for herself, but Travis strikes back at his murderer, snatches the infant from her and hands baby Langdon back over to Constance. The killing seems, for a time, to have finally come to an end, as the more benevolent spirits work to scare the next family who moves away before they, too, can die. But, it doesn’t last.
After that one flashback in “Hotel,” the house isn’t seen again until the eighth season, “Apocalypse.” Unsurprisingly, a place called the Murder House is tied to the end of the world. When Madison and Behold buy the property for the Coven, the realtor reveals that there have been a jaw-dropping 37 deaths on the property. Apparently not all of them made it onto camera.
In that episode, “Return to Murder House,” Constance explains that Michael Langdon, the child of a human and a ghost, is, indeed, the Anti-Christ. Satan pushed into the world through the house, possessing Tate’s spirit and using him to father an unholy son. Though Constance tried raising what she thought would finally, finally be her perfect child, Michael’s monstrous nature wore her down. Also, the aging into a teenager after just seven years was more than a bit unnerving.
The murdered priest was the last straw, so she returned to the Murder House to take her own life. There, she was reunited with her children, Beau, Rose, and Tate for all eternity. This timeline, though, is magically destroyed in the Season 8 finale. The Coven sends their most powerful member, Mallory (Billie Lourd), back in time, killing Michael before he can destroy the world, and leaving a relieved Constance alive.
Grace, Elizabeth, and a sacrificed woman
After Constance kills herself, Michael is left alone and scared. Ben decides to help the now-teen out, so he moves into the Murder House. Ben explains to Madison and Behold that though he knew Michael wasn’t his son, he saw Michael’s distress over losing Constance as a way to take back the son that had been robbed from him. It soon became obvious, though, that Michael’s evil was beyond help.
Eventually, a new couple moved in: Grace and Elizabeth. They didn’t even make it past unpacking before Michael killed them, but their spirits didn’t stick around. In a particularly chilling moment, Michael exerted his growing power and incinerated their ghosts, wiping them from existence.
Now afraid of Michael, Ben ended the sessions and stopped appearing for him, leaving him ripe for influence when three Satanists showed up at the Murder House. They sacrificed a nameless woman to their Anti-Christ, and finally won Michael over to evil. At least, that’s what happened before Mallory undid the timeline.
With the “Apocalypse” deaths undone at the end of Season 8, and the Coven’s purchase having never happened, the Murder House was free once more to claim new victims. Those victims begin showing up in the show’s 2021 spinoff, “American Horror Stories.” In this new timeline, sometime between the Harmons’ story in 2011 and the modern day of 2021, 16 year-old Ruby McDaniel made her way to the empty house after learning her parents had sold her to an abusive creep when she was six.
She tells Scarlett Winslow (Sierra McCormick) in “Rubber (wo)Man Part Two” that she killed herself thinking that her death would make it onto the news. Instead the realtor found her body and buried it in the backyard with all the others. Though she seems to mellow a bit after meeting Scarlett, by the time the Winslow family has moved in, her ghost has become one of the most sadistic, angry spirits in the house. She kills the living and dead alike, happily tormenting everyone around her.
In “Rubber (wo)Man Part One,” troubled teenager Scarlett moves in with her dads, Troy (Gavin Creel) and Michael Winslow (Matt Bomer). She’s sullen, disconnected and has a fascination with violence and hardcore S&M porn. Then she finds the Rubber Man suit, and when she puts it on, something seems to possess her, making her attack her dads with a knife. The overwhelmed parents convene some family therapy, conveniently provided by a doctor who makes house calls: Andi Grant (Merrin Dungey).
Dr. Grant only makes it through one session, however. She’s left to show herself out, lured to the basement by creepy twins Bryan and Troy, and slashed by the Rubber Man. The show never reveals who’s in the suit, but it doesn’t matter; the doctor dies. Death, though, doesn’t slow her down. She continues her sessions with the Winslows as if nothing happened, and even teases a book collaboration with Ben.
Maya, Erin, Rowena, and Nicole
Scarlett, as one might expect from a moody LGTBQ teen, has trouble fitting in at school. She has few friends and keeps her guard up — that is, until she’s convinced to drop it by popular girl Maya (Paris Jackson). Maya pretends to be a lesbian as well, inviting Scarlett to party with her sycophantic friends Erin (Selena Sloan), Rowena (Ashley Martin Carter), and Nicole (Valerie Loo). While there, she lures Scarlett into confessing her darkest BDSM fantasies, live streaming it to everyone at school.
Scarlett runs home, shattered — but by then, the house’s evil has a hold on her. She calls Maya and threatens to kill herself and leave a note blaming her popular clique unless the four come to the Murder House right now. Shaken, the girls do as they are told. There, Scarlett summons them to the basement where they’re terrified by the twins, attacked by Infantata, and slaughtered by Scarlett, now fully embracing her Rubber Woman persona.
Adam and Martin
The Winslows move into Murder House with the all-too-familiar intention of fixing it up and making a little money off it. In Troy and Michael’s case, they plan to turn it into a cute, haunted bed and breakfast. After trying to do some work themselves, in “Rubber (wo)Man Part Two,” they hire contractor Adam (Aaron Tveit) to help them out on the cheap — thanks to Troy’s cheating with him. Eventually, though, Adam and one of his builders, Martin (Abraham Luna) tear open the wall where Scarlett stuffed the murdered teens.
The utterly unscrupulous Adam smashes Martin’s head in with a hammer, right in front of a shocked Michael and Troy. He figures they killed the girls, so he wants to use the knowledge to get in on the B&B and force them both into more sex. Michael tries throwing him out, but only makes it to the front door where the Rubber Man kills the amoral contractor before he can leave the house.
Troy and Michael Winslow
Once Scarlett fully embraces her darkness, she becomes more receptive to the house’s supernatural forces. She meets Ruby when the two of them join together to torture and kill Gladys’ ghost. It’s a match made in hell, and the teens fall in love. But falling in love with an unstable ghost teen is tricky. While Ruby promises not to kill Scarlett, that doesn’t stop her from killing Scarlett’s dads. None of them realize it, though, until they try fleeing the house after watching the Rubber Man kill Adam.
Ruby figures that with them trapped in the house, Scarlett would always stick around, whether she is living or dead. But as it turns out, she does not. By the end of “Rubber (wo)Man Part Two,” she has decided to venture out into the world and explore things for herself. But, at least she still comes back to visit.