List of American Horror Story: Asylum characters

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American Horror Story: Asylum is the second season of the FX horror anthology series American Horror Story. The season's theme is sanity and the relationship between science and religion, and follows the antics that occur at Briarcliff, a Catholic-based asylum for the criminally insane in 1964 northern Massachusetts. Wrongfully imprisoned inmates, including alleged Kit Walker, alleged nymphomaniac Shelley, and lesbian journalist Lana Winters, all scheme to escape while trying to make sense of mysterious extraterrestrial life. And a sadistic staff schemes to dethrone head nun, Sister Jude Martin. But things are not how they seem when an innocent nun and psychologist's dark secrets are uncovered.

The main cast includes veteran actors of the series Sarah Paulson, Jessica Lange, Evan Peters, Zachary Quinto, and Lily Rabe, with Lizzie Brocheré, James Cromwell, and Joseph Fiennes making their debut. Special guest stars include Ian MacShane and Chloë Sevigny. Other returning cast members who made brief appearances include Frances Conroy and Dylan McDermott.

Cast members[edit]

Main cast[edit]

Supporting cast[edit]

Characters[edit]

Main characters[edit]

Dr. Oliver Thredson[edit]

Dr. Oliver Thredson (portrayed by Zachary Quinto) is a psychiatrist at Briarcliff 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. Sister Jude, having already taken a disliking to him, demands him to leave within two weeks after he accidentally implies that he had planted an old newspaper article on the young girl Jude believes she killed, despite the fact that it had actually been planted by the possessed Mary Eunice. Lana begins to trust Thredson, and asks him to deliver a letter to her girlfriend Wendy. Thredson tells her that when he visited Wendy to deliver the letter, he found her house empty. He decides to help treat Lana's homosexuality through the use of aversion therapy, but abandons the treatment when he concludes that she is sane. Thredson records Kit confessing to the murders, even though he doesn't believe nor remember that he ever committed them. After resigning, Thredson sneaks Lana out of the asylum, leading her to believe that he intends to help her reveal the horrors committed there. After the two arrive at his house, Thredson reveals himself to be "Bloody Face", and informs Lana that he has killed her girlfriend Wendy. Thredson tells her that he was abandoned by his mother as a child and yearns for a "replacement", believing that she is "the one". He keeps her locked up in his basement where he rapes her. After a failed escape lands Lana back at Briarcliff, Thredson reappears to thwart her plans of exposing his true identity. He explains that no one would believe her due to her mental history, and that he has destroyed all the evidence that could link him to the murders. Lana wants to kill him, but Kit says they have to wait until they can prove that he is the killer, so that Kit can be cleared. They put him in an abandoned storage space where Lana visits him in "The Coat Hanger". She informs Thredson of her pregnancy, but threatens to abort it if he doesn't admit to killing the three women. After finishing his confession, Thredson discovers that Kit had taped the whole conversation. Lana later escapes with the tape. Mary Eunice frees Thredson, and she offers him a permanent position at the asylum. Thredson reveals that he intends to murder Lana after she has given birth, only keeping her alive until after she has breastfed the baby. Thredson makes a deal with Kit to help get him out in exchange for the tape. After arriving home, he finds Lana in his house with a gun and she tells him that the police have in fact been given the tape. He seems relieved that his "secret" is out, scoffing Lana by explaining that he'll end up with a life sentence instead of the death penalty as he is certifiably insane. But Lana shoots him in the head, saying prison is too good for him. For his performance, Quinto won the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Movie/Miniseries and was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie in 2013.

Monsignor Timothy Howard[edit]

Monsignor Timothy Howard (portrayed by Joseph Fiennes) is Sister Jude's superior and the object of her affections. The Monsignor and Jude set up the asylum together, and he intends to keep her by his side even when he achieves his aspirations of becoming a bishop of the diocese. He is aware of Dr. Arden's human experiments, having been told by Arden that they will aid humanity. However, he doesn't realize the extent of the experiments until, in the episode "The Origins of Monstrosity", he visits the severely mutated Shelley in a hospital. In order to put her out of her misery and preserve the asylum's secrets, he performs a mercy killing, strangling Shelley with his rosary while performing last rites. When Monsignor Timothy confronts Arden, Arden silences him by reminding him that he has allowed the mutations to happen and if he goes to the police, he will be held accountable as an accomplice. When Mary Eunice frames Jude for Frank's murder, the Monsignor admits her as a patient in the asylum. He baptizes Leigh Emerson, in order to redeem his crimes. In the baptismal pool, Leigh grabs the Monsignor's head and forces it underwater until he loses consciousness, before nailing him to a crucifix. As he is close to death, Shachath appears to the Monsignor and informs him that the Devil is residing at the asylum and that it is his duty to cast it out. Sister Mary Eunice nurses him back to health, only to rape him when he attempts to exorcize her. The Monsignor visits Jude to ask for advice, and she tells him to kill Mary Eunice. Mary Eunice tries to convince the Monsignor to work with her to gain control of the Vatican and offers him the position of Pope, to which he declines. She then corners the Monsignor on the stairway, before the real Mary Eunice breaks through and lets go of him, begging him for death. The Monsignor quickly pushes her off the stairway, before the Devil can regain control of her body, killing her. After Lana's release from the asylum, he lies to her and the police, telling them that Jude has committed suicide when in reality she is still alive. Monsignor Timothy is later promoted to the position of Cardinal of New York and promises Jude that he will bring her with him, but never comes back for her. In "Madness Ends", it is revealed that during his days as Cardinal, Lana conducted an exposé which documented Arden's human experiments and the Cardinal's awareness of them. Lana approached Timothy with a camera crew, asking him about his awareness of the experiments. On camera, he denied the allegations before speeding off in his car. It is revealed that he committed suicide later that day by slitting his wrists in a bathtub.

Lana Winters[edit]

Lana Winters (portrayed by Sarah Paulson) is an ambitious journalist who has a committed relationship with her girlfriend Wendy though they keep their relationship a secret from most people. Under false pretenses, Lana comes to Briarcliff to interview the killer "Bloody Face", whom she believes is Kit Walker. But she is caught in the asylum after hours with Sister Jude, who took an immediate disliking to her, having Wendy commit Lana to the asylum for her homosexuality. Whilst in the asylum, Lana is subjected to a barbaric form of aversion therapy. In the episode "I Am Anne Frank (Part 2)", Dr. Thredson helps Lana escape Briarcliff and holds her captive after revealing himself to be "Bloody Face". He explains that he intends to keep her alive to be the mother he never had as a child and later rapes her. Lana escapes Thredson's lair, only to end up back at the asylum after a car accident. Thredson finds her there, now intent on killing her, but Kit is able to knock him out. Lana wishes to kill him, but Kit needs him to stay alive in order to prove that he is not the killer. Lana learns that she is pregnant from the rape and uses this to get Thredson to confess to being the serial killer, while Kit secretly records him. She attempts to abort the baby, but is unsuccessful. She is able to take the tape and escapes the asylum with the help of the Mother Superior, from the urging of Sister Jude. She promises Jude she will someday return the favor by getting Jude released and shutting down the asylum. Lana waits with a gun at Thredson's house, telling him she has turned the tape over to the police, before personally killing him. She later gives birth to the baby and puts him up for adoption. In 1968, she publishes a book about Thredson and her experiences in the asylum, Maniac: One Woman's Story of Survival, which thrusts her into the spotlight and tops The New York Times bestseller list. Kit, who has since been freed from the asylum after Thredson's conviction and death, reminds her of the promise made to Jude that she would get the asylum shut down. Lana initially refuses to help, but uses her status a well known journalist to shut down the asylum in 1971 with a documentary called Briarcliff Exposed. In 2013, Lana is 75 years old and publicly open about her sexuality, and has a new girlfriend. She takes part in an interview, retelling her experiences, and reveals that she had lied about her son dying during birth and that he is still alive. After the interview, Lana is confronted by her murderous son Johnny, whom she knew was posed a member of the TV crew and became the modern-day "Bloody Face". Johnny attempts to kill Lana, in revenge for her attempting to abort him, abandoning him at birth and for not loving his father, whom Johnny idolizes. She ultimately convinces him that he is not like his murderous father and then uses his own gun to kill him, blaming herself for her son's murders. She returns in the sixth season, Roanoke, coming out of retirement in 2016 to interview Lee Harris in her show The Lana Winters Special about her experiences at the Roanoke house. Lee uses Lana's past killing to try and justify her own murders but the conversation is interrupted by Lot Polk who knocks Lana unconscious while attempting to kill Lee for her role in his family's deaths. After a hiatus to recover from her injuries, Lana admits in an interview that she felt a connection with Lee due to their similar determination in their respective plights. She was mentioned in Cult, she becomes aware of Ally Mayfair-Richards, a woman from Michigan with details on how she managed to escape a sadistic clown cult run by Kai Anderson, a local councilman. She requests an interview with Ally in her show The Lana Winters Special, but is refused the opportunity. For her performance, Paulson won the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Movie/Miniseries, and was nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Actress on Television, and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie in 2013.

Kit Walker[edit]

Kit Walker (portrayed by Evan Peters) is an inmate at Briarcliff who is believed to be the serial killer, "Bloody Face", accused of killing several women, including his wife Alma. Kit and Alma keep their interracial marriage a secret, in fear that someone might hurt their families. In the first episode, "Welcome to Briarcliff", Kit hears noises from outside and goes to investigate. When he enters the house, he is pinned against the ceiling by grey humanoids. When Alma goes missing, Kit is accused of her murder as well as the murder of several other women, committed by the serial killer "Bloody Face". At the asylum, Kit is subjected to sadistic experiments from Dr. Arden, including one that leads Arden to discover a microchip implanted in his neck. He develops a relationship with fellow inmate Grace, and the two have sex. In the episode "I Am Anne Frank (Part 2)", he is tricked by Dr. Thredson into a taped confession of the murders, after which it is revealed that Thredson himself is the killer. Kit is arrested after Thredson hands the tape to the police. Kit escapes custody and returns to the asylum to save Grace, who is accidentally shot by Frank after she jumps in front of a bullet to save him. Grace dies from the shot, but unbeknownst to Kit, her body is abducted by the aliens. Kit keeps Thredson alive in order to clear his name. Grace is returned by the aliens, almost in labor with Kit's baby. Arden revives Kit, and it is later shown that Grace has had his baby. Grace claims to have seen his presumed-dead wife Alma, telling him that she believes Alma has died while with the aliens. Kit proposes to Grace, who accepts. He, Grace and the baby are separated, and when he is released, he convinces the Monsignor to let Grace and his baby come with him as Grace is thought to have been killed. Kit threatens to tell of the asylum's mistreatments if Grace and the baby are not allowed to come with him, after which the Monsignor lets her go. He and his new family return home, only to find Alma there with her own baby, of which Kit is the father. By 1967, Kit, Grace and Alma are living in a polyamorous relationship, with their two children, Thomas (Grace's child) and Julia (Alma's child). Though its short lived due to Alma not entirely comfortable sharing her husband and Grace's obsession with the aliens that abducted them. Whereas Alma is clearly traumatized from the events, neither one helps as both believe the other is right. Still clearly traumatized and frightened by Grace encouraging their abductors return, Alma kills Grace with an axe in an insane rage and is sent to the asylum, before dying there shortly after. During Kit's visits to the asylum to see Alma, he connects with Jude. Kit tells Lana that she needs to help Jude get out, to which she declines. Jude is later released from the asylum and into the care of Kit, who sees her through her detox of pain medication. Jude relapses back into insanity, but Thomas and Julia take her into the woods, after which she comes back inexplicably healed. Jude bonds with Kit and the children, before dying six months later, leaving the family devastated. In "Madness Ends", Lana reveals in the interview that she is the godmother to Thomas and Julia, who both grew up to be successful, and that Kit married a woman named Allison. At age 40, Kit developed pancreatic cancer and seemingly disappeared without a trace. In reality, Kit was re-abducted by the aliens, leaving his fate unknown. For his performance, Peters was nominated for the Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film.

Sister Mary Eunice McKee[edit]

Sister Mary Eunice McKee (portrayed by Lily Rabe) is a young nun who works at Briarcliff under Sister Jude who favors her, believing her naivety to be an indication of her "purity". She seeks to please everyone, which proves to be a difficult task in the Briarcliff setting. Mary Eunice puts much trust in Dr. Arden, who regularly asks her to deliver buckets of meat to the creatures in the woods, which Arden tells her little about. However, after Jed's exorcism she becomes possessed by the Devil, and her innocent personality quickly disintegrates as the spirit takes control of her, causing her to become sly and manipulative. Mary Eunice kills a patient, feeding her corpse to Arden's creatures. She begins to formulate a plan to gain control of the Vatican. When Jude is removed as head of the asylum, Mary Eunice quickly takes her place. When speaking to the Shachath, the real Mary Eunice manages to break free from the Devil's reign and begs for death, before the Devil quickly regains control and silences her. After Jude hires a Nazi hunter to find out whether Dr. Arden is a former Nazi scientist, she kills the inspector and keeps some of the evidence to blackmail Arden with. Jude, realizing that Mary Eunice has been possessed, intends to kill her, before Mary Eunice locks her in a cell with Leigh Emerson. She frames Jude for the murder of Frank, and admits her into the asylum as a result. Knowing that he is "Bloody Face", she hires Dr. Thredson as a full-time psychologist at the asylum. After Monsignor Timothy is crucified by Leigh, he is visited by the Shachath who warns him that the Devil is living at the asylum in one of the nuns. Mary Eunice nurses the Monsignor back to health, and he attempts an exorcism, which does not work. She then rapes him, before trying to convince him to work with her to gain control of the Vatican, with him as Pope, to which he declines. Mary Eunice corners the Monsignor on the stairway, before the real, innocent Mary Eunice breaks through from the Devil's reign and releases him, begging for death. The Monsignor immediately pushes her off the stairway, before the Devil can regain control of her body. The visiting Shachath, Angel of Death comes to claim both her and the evil spirit. For her performance, Rabe was nominated for the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Movie/Miniseries. The character makes a brief recurrence during the season four episode "Orphans".

Grace Bertrand[edit]

Grace Bertrand (portrayed by Lizzie Brocheré) is an inmate at Briarcliff who is accused of murdering her family. She is assumed to be an immigrant from France due to her accent and knowledge of the French language. Grace quickly befriends the supposed serial killer, Kit Walker, and the two unsuccessfully attempt to escape together on numerous occasions. Grace tells Kit that she was framed for murdering her father and stepmother after she saw a man kill them. Frank catches Grace and Kit having sex, and they are punished by Sister Jude, who canes Kit 40 times and orders for the two of them to be sterilized. Kit reads Grace's file and accuses her of lying about killing her father and stepmother, after which Grace admits that she killed them after years of molestation from her father, which her stepmother did nothing about. Mary Eunice informs them that Sister Jude changed her mind and that Kit is no longer to be sterilized, but Grace still has to go through with the procedure. Grace is taken by the aliens, who impregnate her before she is sterilized. After she is returned, Kit sees Grace bleeding and assumes she has been sterilized, but Grace is too weak to call out to him. She is shot and killed by Frank after jumping in front of a bullet to save Kit, who has escaped from police custody to return for her. Dr. Arden takes her body outside to be fed to the Raspers and she is abducted by the aliens. She is not seen again until they bring her back, alive and ready to give birth. Grace gives birth to the baby, whom she names Thomas, and is able to briefly visit Kit, telling him that she has seen his presumed-dead wife Alma with the aliens. She tells him that she believes Alma has died while with the aliens and Kit proposes to her. She, Kit and the baby are separated, and, when Kit is released after being cleared of the murders, he convinces the Monsignor to let Grace and the baby come with him as Grace is listed as being dead from the shooting. Grace and the new family go to Kit's home, only to find Alma there with her own baby. Grace welcomes the idea of the aliens returning for them one day and intends to tell their children, while Alma is fearful of it. Alma kills Grace with an axe in a moment of madness.

Dr. Arthur Arden[edit]

Dr. Arthur Arden (portrayed by James Cromwell as an adult, John Cromwell as an adolescent) is the chief physician at Briarcliff who is actually a Nazi war criminal named Hans Grüper who appears to have a history of violence towards women and a bondage fetish, Elsa Mars being among his victims. Escaping to America under a new identity, Arden was among Briarcliff's first staff members and performed sadistic experiments on patients who have no family for what he insists is beneficial to the human race to survive a nuclear attack. While Arden claiming they died of natural causes, the Monsignor knowing the truth, he secretly placed the horrifically mutilated patients in the woods surrounding the institution. The experimented people end up becoming inhuman creatures called "Raspers" that Arden feeds with raw meat which Sister Mary Eunice usually delivers. Arden becomes infatuated with Mary Eunice, and remains loyal to her even during her possession. He and Sister Jude often clash, as he is regularly fighting for the power she has over the asylum and dismisses her faith. Arden takes a particular interest in Kit after finding a microchip implanted in his body. He attempts to rape Shelley before he amputated her legs and mutilated when she laughed at the size of his penis to the Monsignor's disgust. A patient who believes she is Anne Frank, revealed to be a woman called Charlotte Brown, reveals Arden's true name and Sister Jude hires Sam Goodman to uncover the truth. However, Mary Eunice kills the inspector but keeps some of the evidence to use to blackmail Arden. Together, Arden, Mary Eunice and Leigh frame Jude for the murder of Frank. He performs an experiment with Kit after he believes aliens have taken Grace's body, killing Kit temporarily in order to make the aliens return to save him. The experiment succeeds, and the aliens return with a Pepper and a now-pregnant Grace, the former of which has been given significantly more intelligence. Pepper tells Arden he and his scientific experiments are a joke to the aliens. He later walks with Mary Eunice to feed the Raspers and shoots them all, before attempting suicide by turning the gun on himself. Mary Eunice is unmoved, describing him as "pitiful". When the Monsignor later kills her, Arden insists that she should be cremated. Alone with her body at the furnace, he starts the fire inside, climbs on top of her body, and starts the conveyor to immolate himself. For his performance, Cromwell was nominated for the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Movie/Miniseries and won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie in 2013. James Cromwell's son, John Cromwell, portrayed the character in flashbacks as Young Arden. Young Arden also makes a brief appearance as Hans Grüper in season four, during one of Elsa and Massimo Dolcefino's flashbacks in the episode "Show Stoppers".

Sister Jude Martin[edit]

Sister Jude Martin (portrayed by Jessica Lange) informally referred to as "Judy Martin", is a stern nun with a dark past, who oversees the doctors and patients at Briarcliff. Though she initially appears to be strict with the patients, she is later shown to be caring and vulnerable. She harbors sexual feelings towards Monsignor Timothy Howard, and has fantasies that they will one day be together, whilst despising Dr. Arden for his power over the asylum and his lack of faith in Christianity. In the episode "Tricks and Treats", it is revealed that she was once a philandering nightclub singer who unintentionally killed a young girl in a drunk driving accident in 1949. It is later revealed that Sister Jude became a nun because of the car accident. Unbeknownst to Jude, Mary Eunice begins taunting her about the hit-and-run. After "Anne Frank" declares Dr. Arden to be a Nazi concentration camp doctor, Jude grows suspicious and hires Sam Goodman, an investigator of Nazis. Arden manipulates the Monsignor into firing Jude from her position as the head of Briarcliff. She goes to deliver a copy of Arden's fingerprints to Sam Goodman, who has confirmed her suspicions, only to find him stabbed and dying. Jude realizes Mary Eunice killed him and is possessed by the Devil from Jed's exorcism. She intends to commit suicide, but plans to visit the family of the girl she thought she killed in the hit-and-run. Jude discovers the girl is actually alive and survived the accident. Sister Jude then believes that God has had a plan for her all along, and she decides that it is her duty to put an end to all the inhumane treatments being used at Briarcliff. She returns to the asylum to right all the wrongs she's made, but quickly finds herself committed to Briarcliff after being framed for murdering Frank, the security guard. When Mother Superior Claudia visits her in the common room, Jude requests for her to help Lana get out of the asylum as she regrets admitting her in the first place. Before Lana successfully escapes, she promises Jude that she will return the favor and get Jude released as well. However, when Lana returns less than a year later, she is told by Monsignor Howard that Jude had committed suicide, even though she is actually being held in solitary confinement. Some years later, Kit Walker sees Jude and visits Lana to insist that she keep her word about getting her out, but Lana believes that Jude deserves to be kept in the asylum after all the suffering she's caused. Jude is given the alias "Betty Drake" in order to hide her identity to ensure she is not discovered and freed from the asylum. The Monsignor reveals to Jude that he is being promoted to the position of Cardinal of New York, and promises to release Jude as soon as possible, however he never comes back for her. Jude gradually falls deeper into insanity, not realizing two years have passed since the Monsignor left the asylum and handed it over to the state of Massachusetts. In Lana's interview in 2013, she reveals that she tried to find Jude during the filming of her documentary, Briarcliff Exposed, but that she was already gone. It is revealed that Jude had been released from the asylum and taken into the care of Kit, who frequently visited her following Alma's death. Kit helped Jude through the detox of medication given to her while she was at Briarcliff. She seemed to get better, before having a violent episode of insanity. Thomas and Julia took Jude into the woods, where she came back inexplicably healed. Jude taught swing dancing to Kit and the children, while giving the latter life lessons. Lana reveals that Jude died six months later, succumbing to Shachath's kiss. For her performance, Lange was nominated for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series, the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress on Television, the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film, the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Movie/Miniseries, and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie in 2013.

Supporting characters[edit]

  • Shelley (portrayed by Chloë Sevigny) is one of the inmates at Briarcliff, who has been diagnosed as a nymphomaniac. It is revealed that she married a bass player, who expected her to be a doting housewife while he openly cheated on her with multiple women. In revenge, Shelley had sex with two Navy sailors, and when her husband found out, he had her admitted to the asylum for alleged nymphomania. Shelley is despised by Arden, who deems her a "whore". In the episode "Nor'easter", Dr. Arden tries to rape Shelley in his office, but she laughs when he ejaculates too early and mocks the size of his penis, but soon finds herself unconscious when Dr. Arden knocks her out. When she wakes up, she realizes that both of her legs have been amputated. Dr. Arden continues his experiments on her over the course of several weeks while everyone believes that she has escaped. In the episode "I Am Anne Frank (Part 1)", she is discovered by "Anne Frank", prompting the possessed Sister Mary Eunice to take her out of the asylum and dump her in a playground. She is discovered by a group of frightened school children. Believing that her deformed appearance is the result of tuberculosis, she is confined to a hospital bed. Monsignor Howard chokes her with a rosary after performing last rites, both to end her suffering and preserve the asylum's secrets.
  • Frank McCann (portrayed by Fredric Lehne) is the Head of Security at Briarcliff. He is a calm, middle-aged man who is fond of Sister Jude and distrusts both Dr. Arden and Monsignor Howard. Frank tries to shoot Kit when he appears to attack, but accidentally shoots Grace when she jumps in front of the bullet. He is pushed off a ladder and attacked by Leigh, but Frank manages to subdue him. Frank informs Arden that he intends to report the accidental shooting to the police, and Arden informs Mary Eunice who insists she will take care of it. After locking Leigh up in a cell, Mary Eunice asks Frank if Leigh has given him any trouble, before slitting his throat. Mary Eunice then frames Jude for his death.
  • Spivey (portrayed by Mark Consuelos) is one of the inmates at Briarcliff, who is considered to have aggression issues and inappropriate feelings toward young girls, possibly being a pedophile. He attacks Kit Walker on his first day in the asylum. Dr. Arden catches him spying on Sister Mary Eunice bathing while masturbating, although Spivey insists Mary Eunice invited him to watch her. Arden takes him away, and uses him to experiment on, showing him to the Monsignor as an example of "the next step in evolution". After Arden is told by Pepper that his experiments are laughable, he shoots Spivey and the other Raspers, putting an end to his work.
  • Leo Morrison (portrayed by Adam Levine) is the newlywed husband of Teresa and a photographer. As part of their honeymoon, set in the present day, the couple take a tour around various haunted locations in the country, with their final destination being the abandoned Briarcliff Manor. The couple have sex in various locations on the property, but then hear noises and go to investigate. Leo puts his iPhone through the slot of a door to investigate what's on the other side, but ends up having his arm hacked off. "Bloody Face" then stabs him several times. When "Bloody Face" tries to kill Teresa, Leo attempts to save her by stabbing "Bloody Face" in the chest, and Teresa finishes killing him. The pair attempt to escape, only to find two more "Bloody Faces" chasing them. Devon, one of the impostors, shoots them both, killing Leo. It is revealed that the "Bloody Face" Leo and Teresa killed was also an impostor named Joey. In the season finale, it is revealed that Johnny Morgan was responsible for severing his arm.
  • Teresa Morrison (portrayed by Jenna Dewan Tatum) is the newlywed wife of Leo. In the present day, she and Leo celebrate their honeymoon by visiting multiple reportedly haunted locations. After they hear noises and go to investigate, Teresa persuades Leo to put his phone through the slot on the door to take a photo of whats on the other side, resulting in his arm being severed. She runs through an underground tunnel, only to run into "Bloody Face". She escapes but is shot by two teenagers dressed as "Bloody Face". Police later arrive at the asylum to find her missing, as she is seen being restrained by the real "Bloody Face", Johnny Morgan. She was skinned alive by him, which he reveals to a therapist when talking about skinning animals and women.
  • Pepper (portrayed by Naomi Grossman) is microcephalic and one of the inmates at Briarcliff, who is the first to appear in multiple seasons of the series. As revealed in the show's fourth season, Freak Show, Pepper was placed in an orphanage by her older sister Rita before she was found by Elsa Mars. Made into the first performer in Elsa's sideshow while receiving an education, Pepper came to see Elsa as a mother figure as she helped her gain a "husband" in another pinhead named Salty and Ma Petite as her baby. But after Salty and Ma Petite die, Elsa decides it would be best for Pepper to leave the freak show and live with her sister, who was uncomfortable with the idea at first. A few years after the events of Freak Show, despite helping around the house, Pepper ended up becoming an inmate at Briarcliff after being claimed to have drowned Rita's baby boy and cut off his ears. She gives Lana a rose which pricks her when she arrives at the asylum for the first time, and Mary Eunice reveals to her the reason Pepper is in the asylum. She goes to the bathroom during the movie night in "Nor'easter" and doesn't return, causing Sister Jude to suspect her to be one of the escapees. In reality, she was abducted by the aliens. In the episode "The Coat Hanger", she and a recovered Grace are found by Dr. Arthur Arden after his attempt of summoning the extraterrestrials, with Pepper having been given a newfound intelligence. She delivers Grace's baby shortly afterwards. Pepper later reveals her innocence and that Rita's husband murdered the baby because of the child's deformed appearance, the couple using her as a scapegoat due to her mental condition. Pepper tells Arden that his experiments are considered a joke by the aliens, which leads him into a depression. After Jude's admission into the asylum, she and Pepper become allies and close friends. Pepper is said to have died in 1966, but lives on in Sister Jude's hallucinations.
  • Alma Walker (portrayed by Britne Oldford) is Kit's wife. They are secretly married as he is white and she is black. She is believed to have been killed by Kit after becoming tired of hiding their marriage, but Kit staunchly affirms that she has been abducted by aliens. After Grace is abducted, she sees Alma with the aliens. However, when Grace returns after her abduction, she tells Kit that she believes Alma has been accidentally killed by the aliens. When they are released, they discover that Alma is alive, and has a newborn girl fathered by Kit, which the aliens impregnated her with. Alma is frightened of the idea of the aliens returning to re-abduct them, while Grace welcomes it. Alma kills Grace with an axe in a moment of madness and she is committed to the asylum. Kit is later told she died from heart failure.
  • Wendy Peyser (portrayed by Clea DuVall) is Lana's girlfriend, and a third grade school teacher. Wendy encourages Lana to pursue her idea of getting into the asylum to interview "Bloody Face". After taking a disliking to Lana, Sister Jude threatens to expose their relationship and blackmails Wendy into signing Lana into custody. She quickly regrets her decision, and encounters "Bloody Face" when he breaks into her house the night before she plans to take Lana out of the asylum. She pleads for her life, saying that the children she teaches will be traumatized by her death. In the episode "I Am Anne Frank (Part 2)", it is confirmed that she was in fact killed by "Bloody Face" when Dr. Thredson shows Lana her preserved body. When Lana later asks Thredson what he did with her remains, he explains that he had sexual intercourse with her corpse, before scattering her body parts in several places. After her release, Lana is able to find some of Wendy's remains to be put into a mortuary crypt. She appears in Lana's hallucination at her book reading of Maniac, angered at her for lying about their relationship and only referring to her as a "roommate" in the memoir.
  • Mother Superior Claudia (portrayed by Barbara Tarbuck) is Sister Jude's superior, and possibly the abbess of Briarcliff Manor, who serves as her friend and mentor. In the episode "Unholy Night", she promises to do her best to help Sister Jude return to her job at Briarcliff and informs her that Dr. Arden is waiting for her in the chapel. She testifies on Sister Jude's mental health in "The Coat Hanger". After a prompt from a delirious Sister Jude, she later attempts to help Lana escape from the asylum and expose the asylum's mistreatments by giving her some files, wishing the place be destroyed. She sets up an escape for Lana, calling a taxi to the asylum to pick her up.
  • Charlotte Brown (portrayed by Franka Potente) is a woman who claims to be Holocaust victim and diarist Anne Frank. She claims to hold a secret about Dr. Arden's past, insisting that he is a cruel Auschwitz doctor named Hans Grüper. She corners Arden, holding a gun stolen from a visiting homicide detective, and shoots him in the thigh before opening a door to discover the legless and severely mutilated Shelley. She holds Arden at gunpoint and demands to speak with Sister Jude but is subdued by Frank the security guard. Her husband later visits the asylum, telling Jude of her descent into madness, her obsession with the Holocaust and her delusion of believing she is Anne Frank. Sister Jude, in order to protect her from Arden's retaliation, arranges to discharge her into her husband's care. However, after she attempts to suffocate their infant son, her husband returns her to the asylum where Dr. Arden recommends a transorbital lobotomy. She is again sent home to her family and appears to be doing well. On her wall, with various other Holocaust photos and clippings, is a picture of Adolf Hitler and a young Nazi with an incredible likeness to Arden.
  • Sam Goodman (portrayed by Mark Margolis) is an Israeli hunter of Nazi war criminals whom Sister Jude contacts when she begins to believe that asylum doctor Arthur Arden is a former concentration camp doctor. He later contacts her to confirm her suspicions, but needs Arden's fingerprints as proof. Once Jude has successfully got a copy of Arden's fingerprints, she goes to deliver them only to discover that he has been killed. In his dying moments, he tells her that he was killed by one of her nuns.
  • Shachath: The Angel of Death (portrayed by Frances Conroy) is the personification of death, similar to the Grim Reaper. She is clothed completely in black 1940s style clothing, including a veil. She appears to those on the verge of death, and if they accept death, she kisses them on the lips to end their life; this is referred to as "the kiss of death". She appears over the course of Episode 7; being summoned by Miles, and appearing to an inmate who has attempted suicide, as well as Sam Goodman. Later in the episode, she appears to Lana and Sister Jude, who both refuse to accept death. Finally, she appears to Grace, who accepts her. When she encounters the possessed Sister Mary Eunice, she identifies the possessing being as "fallen" and asserts that they are cousins. After Monsignor Howard is crucified by Leigh, Shachath appears to him to warn him of the Devil's presence in the asylum. When the Monsignor kills Mary Eunice, she appears to take the spirits of both the real Mary Eunice and the Devil possessing her. After the asylum is sold to the state of Massachusetts and used to house prisoners, Jude suffers from a longtime hallucination that Shachath is her cellmate. In the season finale, Shachath appears to Jude to finally give her the kiss of death, six months after being taken into the care of Kit Walker.
  • Leigh Emerson (portrayed by Ian McShane) is 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. He was sent to Briarcliff in December 1963, and he attacked one of the orderlies by biting him. He was then put into solitary confinement, and remained there until released in December 1964 by a possessed Mary Eunice, who sends him after Jude in her office. He attempts to attack and rape Jude, but she stabs him with a letter opener. He survives the attack and insists Jude attacked him, and then pretends to have a desire to turn his life around, "forgiving" Jude and asking for a baptism from the Monsignor. During the baptism, Leigh grabs the Monsignor's head and holds it under the water in the font, until he is unconscious, before nailing him to a crucifix.[16] Leigh manages to escape the asylum after the struggle. Lana later mentions to Kit that she heard that Leigh killed seven nuns after his asylum escape and was a wanted criminal in five states. Lana reveals that she pondered writing a book about him, called Santa and the Seven Nuns. His fate is largely unknown.
  • Missy Stone (portrayed by Chelsey Valentine as a child, Kristin Slaysman as an adult) is a child, struck by Sister Jude's car in her secular past, whom she presumes to be dead. She appears to Jude during the exorcism of Jed Potter and accuses her of never getting out of the car. She is reported in a 1949 newspaper article which is delivered to Jude by the possessed Mary Eunice as "missing". During the storm she again plagues Jude with accusations, this time by phone, and her shattered glasses are discovered upon the nun's desk, although this is possibly a delusion as a result of Jude's guilt. When Jude goes to the Stone household to confess to the hit-and-run, she learns, to her shock, that Missy is alive and well with a child of her own. Missy survived the hit-and-run with a few broken bones, and her father vowed to get revenge, before her parents agreed it would be best to let the culprit deal with the torment for the rest of their life.
  • Johnny Morgan (portrayed by Dylan McDermott) is the biological son of Lana Winters and Dr. Oliver Thredson. He was conceived when Thredson raped Lana multiple times while she was being held captive in his basement. Once Lana is informed that she is pregnant, she tries to abort the baby using a coat hanger. She later finds out from Sister Mary Eunice that her attempt was unsuccessful, and that the child will be a boy. Johnny first appears in the episode "The Coat Hanger", where he explains to a therapist why he has homicidal tendencies. Johnny grew up in foster homes, and began to skin dead animals as a child. He developed a desire to hurt and skin women as an adolescent and was sent to prison for armed robbery; while there, he tracked down his family heritage through the internet. He identifies with his father, and decides to carry out his legacy by killing multiple women, including Teresa, as "Bloody Face".[17] He discovers that Lana, his supposed biological mother, had written a book about his father and seeks out a copy. He reads that she was pregnant, although she claimed the baby died at birth. He plans on proving to her that he is alive by killing her as revenge for attempting to abort him and never loving his father. Johnny tracks her down and poses as a member of the crew during an interview with Lana in the year 2013. After the interview, when the real crew have left, Lana calls him out of hiding, aware of his presence and who he was after seeing pictures of him in a police investigation. Johnny tells her that his hatred for her began when he purchased Thredson's taped confession to her online, and heard the part in which Lana threatens to abort the baby, to which Thredson is devastated. He puts a gun to her head, but she manages to convince him that he is not evil like his father. He lowers the gun, which she takes from him before shooting him in the head herself. He was mentioned in the finale of Roanoke, when Lee Harris talks about Lana killing her son, "Bloody Face".

Minor characters[edit]

  • Billy (portrayed by Joe Egender) is a friend of Kit Walker who threatens Kit in the first episode. Kit initially thinks the alien abduction is Billy taunting him.
  • Carl (portrayed by Mark Englehardt) is an orderly who fought in Korea. He is fond of sexual favors from Shelley.
  • Jed Potter (portrayed by Devon Graye) is a 17-year-old boy admitted to Briarcliff 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. The spirit taunts the staff at Briarcliff, and uses Jed's innocence to manipulate them. He dies during the exorcism.
  • Father Malachi (portrayed by John Aylward) is a paraplegic priest who comes to Briarcliff to aid in the exorcism of Jed Potter.
  • The Prostitute (portrayed by Jenny Wade) is invited to Dr. Arden's home for dinner, music and wine (she refuses the latter) followed by some nun-inspired roleplay. Arden is disgusted by her vulgar language, and forces her to try on a nun's habit. She grows suspicious and discovers his collection of Third Reichmedals and photographs of women in bondage. Arden walks in on her snooping and attempts to rape her, but she manages to escape and reports Arden to the police.
  • Devon (portrayed by Parker Croft) and Cooper (Blake Sheldon) are twin brothers who pretend to be a modern-day "Bloody Face". They are killed by the real "Bloody Face", Johnny Morgan.
  • The Mexican (portrayed by Gloria Laino) is an elderly Hispanic inmate at Briarcliff who is likely suffering from some form of dementia. She spends her free time at the asylum dancing to the song, "Dominique", that is constantly played in the common room. She is the first to realize that Sister Mary Eunice is possessed, and begins to harass her, calling her Satan. Mary Eunice then visits the Mexican's cell and corners her, forcing her to kneel in prayer before killing her in "Nor'easter" and giving her body to the Raspers.
  • Daniel (portrayed by Casey Wyman) is a deaf and mute patient at Briarcliff. He is brought to Lana by Dr. Thredson in an attempt to "cure" her lesbianism.
  • Rudy (portrayed by John Lee Ames) is a patient at Briarcliff. He suffers from compulsive masturbation, which Sister Jude's caning only intensifies.
  • Martha is a patient at Briarcliff who spends most of her time banging her head against the wall.
  • Jim Brown (portrayed by David Chisum) is the husband of Charlotte Brown. He originally wants Charlotte back home in order to take care of their son, David. However, he soon realizes that Charlotte is more obsessed with the Holocaust than he initially thought. He later gives Dr. Arden permission to perform a lobotomy on Charlotte.
  • Jenny Reynolds (portrayed by Nikki Hahn) is a young girl whose mother, suspecting her daughter has murdered her playmate, abandons her to the care of the asylum. When questioned by the police, she gives a description of a man in a brown coat. After being given advice from the possessed Sister Mary Eunice, she presumably kills her entire family when her mother comes back to pick her up. She is questioned again for the murders of her family members, and gives the same description as she did when her friend was murdered. Jenny's fate is unknown.
  • Miles (portrayed by Tongayi Chirisa) is an alcoholic and patient at Briarcliff who suffers from auditory hallucinations. The voices in his head taunt him, mostly telling him to kill himself. He eventually succumbs to the voices by cutting open his wrists with a bread slicer and summoning the Angel of Death, who takes his soul.
  • The Lancasters (portrayed by Chris McGarry, Lara Harris, and Tehya Scarth) are Mr. Lancaster, Rhonda Lancaster and Susie Lancaster, whose house Leigh Emerson, disguised as Santa Claus, broke into before he was committed into Briarcliff. The family were tied up, before being murdered by Leigh some nights before Christmas.
  • Dr. Gardener (portrayed by Brooke Smith) is a psychiatrist to whom Johnny Morgan goes to seek treatment. She is murdered by Johnny after he reveals to her that he is the son of "Bloody Face".
  • Pandora (portrayed by Jill Marie Jones) is a prostitute who has just given birth to a baby, and hence is lactating. Johnny Morgan hires her in order to suckle on her breasts. When he begins to talk about his mother, Lana, he becomes extremely angry and attacks Pandora, presumably killing her.
  • Dr. Miranda Crump (portrayed by Robin Bartlett) is the new head of Briarcliff after it is acquired by the state of Massachusetts when Monsignor Howard is promoted to the position of Cardinal of New York. Jude goes to her office after attacking her roommate, whom appears as the Angel of Death in her hallucinations. Jude is shocked when Dr. Crump informs her that the Monsignor was promoted over two and a half years ago and that Pepper is dead. Dr. Crump orders for an increase in her medication.
  • April (portrayed by Camille Chen) is a reporter who interviews Lana Winters in the year 2013, as Lana is being honored in the Kennedy Center. Lana recalls her story at Briarcliff to April, and reveals to her that she lied about her son dying after birth.
  • Marion (portrayed by Joan Severance) is Lana's girlfriend in 2013. The two are in an openly lesbian relationship.