List of American Horror Story: Freak Show characters
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American Horror Story: Freak Show is the fourth season of the FX horror anthology series American Horror Story. The season is set in 1952 Jupiter, Florida and centers around a freak show ran by aspiring German actress and singer Elsa Mars. The season’s theme, discrimination, is underlined by depictions of physical and mental abuse towards “freaks” and their struggle to survive economically.
Veteran cast members include Evan Peters, Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Angela Bassett, Emma Roberts, Kathy Bates, Denis O'Hare, and Frances Conroy, with Michael Chiklis and Finn Wittrock making their debuts. Special guest stars who made appearances include Celia Weston, Wes Bentley, Neil Patrick Harris, and Matt Bomer. Other returning cast members who made appearances in a limited capacity include Jamie Brewer, Gabourey Sidibe, Danny Huston, Lily Rabe, Grace Gummer, Ben Woolf, Mare Winningham, Naomi Grossman, and John Cromwell. This is the first season to not be strictly anthological, with Lily Rabe, Naomi Grossman, and John Cromwell (as a younger Dr. Arthur Arden) reprising their roles from American Horror Story: Asylum.
- 1 Cast members
- 2 Characters
- Sarah Paulson as Bette and Dot Tattler
- Evan Peters as Jimmy Darling
- Michael Chiklis as Dell Toledo
- Frances Conroy as Gloria Mott
- Denis O'Hare as Stanley
- Emma Roberts as Maggie Esmeralda
- Finn Wittrock as Dandy Mott
- Angela Bassett as Desiree Dupree
- Kathy Bates as Ethel Darling
- Jessica Lange as Elsa Mars
- Erika Ervin as Amazon Eve (recurring)
- Mat Fraser as Paul (recurring)
- Jyoti Amge as Ma Petite (recurring)
- Naomi Grossman as Pepper (recurring)
- Grace Gummer as Penny (recurring)
- Christopher Neiman as Salty (recurring)
- Drew Rin Varick as Toulouse (recurring)
- Celia Weston as Lillian Hemmings (special guest star)
- John Carroll Lynch as Twisty the Clown (recurring)
- Chrissy Metz as Barbara / "Ima Wiggles" (recurring)
- Major Dodson as Corey Bachman (recurring)
- Skyler Samuels as Bonnie Lipton (recurring)
- Patti LaBelle as Dora (recurring)
- Wes Bentley as Edward Mordrake (special guest star)
- Gabourey Sidibe1 as Regina Ross (special guest star)
- Danny Huston as Massimo Dolcefino (special guest star)
- P.J. Marshall as Jack Colquitt (recurring)
- Ben Woolf as Meep (recurring)
- Lee Tergesen as Vince (recurring)
- Malcolm-Jamal Warner as Angus T. Jefferson (recurring)
- Neil Patrick Harris as Chester Creb (special guest star)
- Jerry Leggio as Dr. Bonham (recurring)
- Jamie Brewer as Marjorie (recurring)
- Angela Sarafyan as Alice (recurring)
- Dalton E. Gray as Mike (recurring)
- Matt Bomer as Andy (special guest star)
- Lily Rabe as Sister Mary Eunice McKee (special guest star)
- Shauna Rappold as Lucy Creb (recurring)
- Kathy Deitch as Young Ethel Darling (recurring)
- Edward Gelhaus as Young Dell Toledo (recurring)
- Mare Winningham as Rita Gayheart (recurring)
- John Cromwell as Hans Grüper / Arthur Arden (recurring)
^1 Young Regina Ross is portrayed by Nya Auzenne
Bette and Dot Tattler
Bette and Dot Tattler (portrayed by Sarah Paulson) also known as The Siamese Sisters are conjoined sisters recruited by Elsa to join the freak show. They have dicephalic parapagus: their conjoined body consists of a single torso with one pair of arms, one pair of legs, but two distinct heads and necks. Bette is the left side and Dot is on the right (from their own perspective). Bette, the more innocent and friendly of the two, loves Hollywood glamor and movies and perceives their new life to be like show business, whereas Dot, the more cynical twin, distrusts everyone and remembers their old, sheltered life as one of safety. They are found at their farmhouse injured alongside their dead mother who Bette stabbed in revenge for sheltering them away from society thus causing Dot to stab both her sister and self. They are rushed to hospital and their discovery becomes controversial attracting Elsa who brings them back to the show. Bette becomes jealous when Dot's singing makes her a star at the freak show and is encouraged by Elsa to kill her, which she never does. A jealous Elsa attempts to get rid of them by selling them to Gloria Mott, but they are rescued by Jimmy. Upon returning to the freak show, they attempt to blackmail Elsa to get money for a surgical separation so they can each live out their dreams. After they are tricked into believing that they can be separated for free, they realize how much they love each other and decide not to go through with the risky operation. Dot then professes her love to a drunken Jimmy, with Bette insisting that she can "look the other way" so that her sister can be happy; they are heartbroken when he turns them down. Both twins later turn their affections toward magician Chester Creb until Dandy informs them of his criminal past. After Dandy massacres their friends, Bette marries him as a ruse so that they, Desiree, and Jimmy can enact their revenge against him. In 1960, it is revealed that they are married to Jimmy and expecting a child with him. For her performance, Paulson won the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Movie/Miniseries, the Fangoria Chainsaw Award for Best TV Actress, the Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film, and was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie. The performance of both twins was achieved using CGI to merge Paulson's dual performances together. According to showrunner Ryan Murphy, every scene Paulson had to shoot took almost twelve hours, compared to a regular scene which Murphy says takes five.
Jimmy Darling (portrayed by Evan Peters) also known as Lobster Boy is the son of Ethel and Dell, though, at first, he is unaware that Dell is his father. Born with severe syndactyly, he performs as the "Lobster Boy" in the freak show. He dreams of being able to leave the freak show and live a normal life. In "Monsters Among Us", he kills a policeman who tried to threaten the freaks and arrest Bette and Dot. He felt extremely guilty when Meep was arrested for the murder, breaking down when Meep's dead body was dumped at the freak show's camp. In "Edward Mordrake (Part 2)", Jimmy and Maggie come across Twisty and his captives and they help them escape. The two begin a relationship soon after and plan to run away together. In "Test of Strength", Jimmy tearfully reveals to Dell that he knows that Dell is his father, a revelation that ends up saving his life. After losing Ethel, he becomes unstable and later breaks up with Maggie. He becomes a drunk, and is later arrested for a mass murder committed by Dandy. Stanley, under the pretense of helping Jimmy buy a lawyer to prove his innocence, severs Jimmy's hands and sells them to the Museum of Morbid Curiosities. The amputation causes him to fall into a depression; when he learns the truth about Stanley and Maggie, his affection for her sours. They are unable to reconcile before Maggie is killed by Chester Creb. At the end of "Show Stoppers", Jimmy receives wooden prosthetics resembling his claw hands from Elsa's former lover, Massimo Dolcefino. After finding his friends massacred at the hands of Dandy, he, Desiree and Bette and Dot enact their revenge by drowning him in a water tank. In 1960, it is revealed that he has married Bette and Dot and is expecting a child with them.
Dell Toledo (portrayed by Michael Chiklis as adult Dell, Edward Gelhaus as young Dell) also known as The Strongman, is the father of Jimmy, ex-husband of Ethel, husband of Desiree and the strongman of the freak show. He and Desiree come to Elsa desperate for work after all the other traveling shows have closed. Dell is also on the run from the law due to his involvement in a series of disastrous events, including the murder of a man Desiree had an affair with. His marriage to Ethel ended when he tried to kill Jimmy after he was born. His relationship with Jimmy is heated. In "Massacres and Matinees", when Jimmy takes the carnies to a local diner, Dell beats him, claiming that they're giving the other customers a "free show". He later frames Meep for the murder of the policeman by planting the officer's badge in Meep's trailer. In "Pink Cupcakes" it is revealed that Dell has been seeing a hustler at a gay bar on the side. After finding out that Desiree isn't really a hermaphrodite and that she is planning to have her third breast removed so she can leave him and the freak show for good, Dell breaks the hands of her doctor so he can't perform the surgery. In "Test of Strength", he is blackmailed by Stanley to murder one of the freaks so Stanley can sell them to the Museum of Morbid Curiosities. Dell attempts to kill Amazon Eve, but is unsuccessful. He then murders Ma Petite by smothering her. Afterwards, confused over his sexuality and guilty over the horrible things he has done, he attempts to hang himself, but is saved by Desiree. In "Magical Thinking", after confessing to Desiree that he murdered Ma Petite, he is shot in the head from behind by a vengeful Elsa.
Gloria Mott (portrayed by Frances Conroy), a wealthy society widow from Palm Beach. She is delusional and smothering when it comes to her son, Dandy, and will go to any lengths to placate him. She hires Twisty and later buys Dot and Bette to entertain Dandy after she fears he is bored. In "Blood Bath", Gloria visits a therapist, seeking help with her situation concerning Dandy. She later attempts to get Dandy to see a psychiatrist, pretending that the sessions are testing Dandy's intelligence. He sees through the facade and, as a result, Gloria is shot and killed by Dandy, after she professes she couldn't live without him if he killed himself. Later, Dandy attaches the head of one of his murder victims to his mother's corpse, making his own twisted version of Bette and Dot.
Stanley (portrayed by Denis O'Hare) is a con artist working with Maggie. He goes to the freak show under the guise of being a talent scout (named "Richard Spencer") in an attempt to murder or capture some of the performers to sell them to the Museum of Morbid Curiosities. He is enormously well-endowed and is gay. At the end of "Edward Mordrake (Part 2)", he arrives at the freak show, posing as a Hollywood talent agent, and introduces himself to Elsa. In "Test of Strength", he blackmails Dell to get him to murder the freaks. He later conspires with a jealous Elsa to kill the twins under the pretense of a separation surgery, so he can obtain their heads, although their plan ultimately fails. He later sells the severed head of Salty to the museum. He then visits a confused and hungover Jimmy at the jailhouse, where he successfully convinces Jimmy to have his hands amputated to get the money for a lawyer. In "Show Stoppers", after Maggie exposes his lies to the freaks, they savagely attack him and mutilate his body to resemble their late friend Meep. His fate is left undisclosed at the end of the season. For his performance, O'Hare was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie.
Maggie Esmerelda (portrayed by Emma Roberts) is a con artist working with Stanley. She poses as a fortune teller with a crystal ball and infiltrates the freak show. In "Edward Mordrake (Part 2)", while Jimmy and Maggie are hiding due to the curfew, they come across Twisty and his captives and they help them escape. She later tries to placate Stanley by taking Ma Petite to a barn and preparing to drown her, but cannot make herself kill the innocent young woman. Maggie is later revealed to be in a relationship with Jimmy, pressuring him to escape the freak show (and Stanley, though she doesn't mention this) with her. After sinking into a state of depression after Jimmy's arrest, Maggie is confronted by a suspicious Desiree who believes that she had something to do with all the deaths that have occurred. After being yelled at by the twins, Maggie decides to tell Desiree the truth and the two women head to the Museum of Morbid Curiosities to confront Stanley, where she faints upon discovering Jimmy's severed claw hands. In "Show Stoppers", Maggie volunteers herself to be sawed in half by Chester Creb, believing that it would help redeem herself in the eyes of Jimmy and the others. Unbeknownst to her, the illusion is real, and she dies when her body is severed, while Chester descends into a psychotic episode.
Dandy Mott (portrayed by Finn Wittrock as adult Dandy, Brinon Kruithof and Julian Kruithof as 12-year-old and 8-year-old Dandy, respectively) is the spoiled, psychopathic son of Gloria. Being born of inbreeding between his mother and her second cousin, his family said to have exhibited madness since the time of his ancestor Edward Phillippe Mott, Dandy expresses antisocial behavior that borders on sadism as he secretly murdered neighborhood animals and was responsible for the disappearance of a boy in his childhood. Dandy expressed a sense of boredom with his upper class life and aspires to join the freak show as he feels like he identifies with them. But after being rejected, Dandy ends up meeting Twisty and helps the clown before his death. Following that, Dandy developed a god complex as he reaches an apathy and commits murders, with his maid Dora being the first victim. He also developed an obsession for Dot and Bette, the former correctly suspicious before he read her diary. Combined with Jimmy getting the twins to safety, Dandy loses his sanity as he murdered his mother to bathe in her blood before later turning her corpse into a puppet with the head of another victim sewn onto it. He also gets his revenge on Jimmy by murdering the housewives that he was servicing in "Tupperware Party Massacre", enlisting a detective he hired to frame Jimmy. In "Show Stoppers", saving the twins from ending up victims of Chester Creb's act, Dandy buys the freak show from Else for the sum of $10,000. Dandy advertises himself as the headlining act (as a singer of Cole Porter standards), blaming the freaks for not selling tickets for his debut and methodically killing all the performers present for turning against him save the twins, whom he intended to marry, Jimmy who was not at the camp, and Desiree who was able to escape. After being drugged, Dandy is chained by the surviving freaks in a water tank and deem him "the biggest freak of all" before watching him slowly drown as the tank fills with water. For his performance, Wittrock was nominated for the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Movie/Miniseries, the Fangoria Chainsaw Award for Best TV Supporting Actor, and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie.
Desiree Dupree (portrayed by Angela Bassett) also known as The Three Breasted Woman is a woman born with an oversized clitoris, mistaken by herself and her family for a male until puberty reveals the growth of not only two, but a third breast. She is married to Dell and struggles for work after other traveling shows closed down. Before arriving at Elsa's freak show, she had sex with a man and Dell killed him out of jealousy. In "Pink Cupcakes", it is revealed that she is 100% female and that her supposed penis is nothing more than an enlarged clitoris caused by a hormone imbalance. It is also revealed that she suffered a miscarriage. Realizing that she has a chance to be truly happy, Desiree moves in with Ethel and plans on divorcing Dell and starting over. She becomes good friends with Maggie and several other women from the troupe. Despite despising Dell, she saves him from his suicide attempt and comforts him. When Maggie confesses the truth about her and Stanley working together, stopping just as she is about to reveal their intent to murder the freaks, Desiree becomes suspicious and warns her that if she finds out that Maggie and Stanley are responsible for the deaths of the other freaks, Desiree would surely kill her. After Maggie later confesses her and Stanley's true intentions, Desiree sees her remorse and attempts to help her save the remaining freaks from Stanley. In "Show Stoppers", she murders the curator of the Museum of Morbid Curiosities, Lillian Hemmings, and later wraps her head in a gift box and gives it to Stanley, before the other freaks mutilate him. She then leads the charge against Elsa when the other freaks realize that she murdered Ethel. She survives Dandy's murderous rampage by hiding in her caravan; she then teams up with Jimmy and Bette and Dot in order to exact her revenge, which involves drugging him, chaining him inside a water tank, and watching him drown. In 1960, it is revealed that she has married a former lover of hers and is the mother of two children. For her performance, Bassett was nominated for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie.
Ethel Darling (portrayed by Kathy Bates as adult Ethel, Kathy Deitch as young Ethel) is a bearded lady, the mother of Jimmy, and the ex-wife of Dell. In the 1920s and 30s, she was a popular vaudeville star before marrying Dell, who convinced her to seek more upscale venues. These higher-paying audiences rejected her, ruining her reputation and career. She left Dell after he attempted to kill Jimmy as an infant. She then battled alcohol addiction and was rescued from a drunk tank by Elsa. She then served as Elsa's second in command at the freak show. In "Edward Mordrake (Part 1)", she is diagnosed with Cirrhosis of the liver and is given a prognosis of six months to a year. In "Blood Bath", she is killed by Elsa, sustaining a fatal stab wound to the eye following a major confrontation about Elsa's loyalty to the freaks. The rest of the freaks believe that she was decapitated in a car accident that was, in reality, staged by Elsa and Stanley. She later appears as a hallucination to both Jimmy and Dell. In "Curtain Call", she appears with the other dead freaks in Elsa's afterlife and appears to forgive Elsa for her sins. For her performance, Bates was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie.
Elsa Mars (portrayed by Jessica Lange) is a German expatriate who manages one of the last remaining freak shows in Jupiter, Florida in 1952. For 20 years, she rescued her performers from the streets or being shipped away to asylums and became their legal guardian. Prior to coming to America after World War II, Elsa was a dominatrix at a brothel in Berlin before she was drugged for a snuff film where she was mutilated into a bilateral below-the-knee amputee when her legs were cut off by Hans Grüper with a chainsaw. Elsa later received prosthetic legs made by Massimo Dolcefino, working as a cabaret performer and chanteuse in Germany. After immigrating to America, she begins singing at a carnival. She realizes how badly the freaks are treated, and decides to start her own "family" of freaks. She later becomes crazed with jealousy and anger, killing Ethel and seriously injuring Paul, her secret lover. After Salty dies, Elsa returns Pepper to her sister, and then sells the freak show to the traveling salesman and amateur magician, Chester Creb, in preparation for her Hollywood future – not realizing that he is mentally ill and hiding a criminal past. When Maggie and Desiree bring her the preserved corpse of Ma Petite, she executes Dell for his crimes against the freak show before turning the freaks on Stanley. Elsa later flees when Bette and Dot tell her the other freaks are plotting to kill her to atone for Ethel's murder, selling the freak show to Dandy in order to procure $10,000 for her getaway. When she arrives in Hollywood, she is unable to meet with the president of a TV company until an altercation with his receptionist, leading her to meet Michael Beck, the company's junior vice-president of casting. The two eventually marry and Elsa's variety show becomes a huge success. In 1960, however, the marriage falls apart as both Elsa and Michael cheat on one another and Michael learns about the truth of her amputated legs – something which Hedda Hopper also learns, effectively ruining Elsa's career. Elsa also learns that her old lover, Massimo Dolcefino, is terminally ill with cancer and that the freaks are all dead. She decides to commit suicide by intentionally performing on Halloween to summon Edward Mordrake to claim her. While Mordrake does kills her, Elsa ends up being sent to her own afterlife: a reincarnation of her freak show where she is reunited with the other dead freaks and is able to perform to the full house she always dreamed of. For her performance, Lange was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film, the People's Choice Award for Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actress, the Dorian Award for TV Musical Performance of the Year, the Saturn Award for Best Actress on Television, 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.
- Twisty the Clown (portrayed by John Carroll Lynch) originally was a slow-witted but gentle clown at a freak show in 1943. Jealous of his popularity, the freaks of the carnival spread rumors that he was a child molester and drove him away. With nowhere else to go, he returned home to Jupiter, Florida, only to find that his mother had died. After failing to support himself by selling toys made of junk to a local toy store, Twisty attempted suicide by putting a shotgun in his mouth. However, the attempt failed – he succeeded only in mutilating his lower jaw – and he later began to wear a grinning mask over the lower part of his face. Twisty then tried to perform as a clown at Elsa's freak show, but was turned away. Twisty then snapped and went on a killing spree, abducting children to be his audience, while murdering their "mean" parents. He kidnaps Corey Bachman and murders his parents, after kidnapping Bonnie Lipton to serve as his audience's babysitter. Gloria hires Twisty to entertain Dandy, who becomes his accomplice. Twisty and Dandy hold a magic show on Halloween, before Jimmy knocks Dandy unconscious and Maggie gets Corey and Bonnie to safety. Twisty then knocks Jimmy out before encountering Edward Mordrake, who was attracted by the noise of the clown's performance. Twisty tells Mordrake his story, and Mordrake deems the clown suitable to be in his entourage of damned souls and kills him. When Elsa summons Mordrake in 1962, Twisty appears alongside the other freaks and comforts her in her last moments. According to director Ryan Murphy, Lynch was so terrifying as this character that "half the time, almost a third of the crew left the set when they shot his scenes because they were afraid of him." In Cult, a comic book detailing a fictionalized version of Twisty is owned by Oz Mayfair-Richards.
- Bonnie Lipton (portrayed by Skyler Samuels) is a young girl who is kidnapped by Twisty, after Twisty murders her boyfriend Troy. She attacks Twisty and attempts to escape with Corey, but is dragged back to him by Dandy. She escapes Twisty with the help of Jimmy and Maggie in "Edward Mordrake (Part 2)".
- Regina Ross (portrayed by Gabourey Sidibe as older Regina, Nya Auzenne as young Regina) is a student at secretary school hoping to get a position at a law firm after graduation, who returns home to Jupiter when her mother Dora goes MIA. In "Pink Cupcakes", she calls Gloria concerning her mother and why she hasn't been returning her calls. The conversation turns strange and Regina feels uncomfortable and hangs up, wary of what happened. She turns up at the Mott Manor in "Blood Bath", very suspicious of where her mother is. She threatens to call the police if she doesn't see her mother soon. In "Tupperware Party Massacre", Dandy admits to the murder of Dora and lets Regina escape unharmed, despite her refusal to take a blood bath with him. Upon returning with police detective Jack Colquitt, Dandy admits to the murders and boasts about his family's wealth, buying off Colquitt for a million dollars. Regina is killed when Dandy orders Colquitt to shoot and bury her.
- Dora Ross (portrayed by Patti LaBelle) is a local townswoman who begins to discover secrets about Dandy. She is the mother of Regina and the put-upon maid to Gloria Mott. In "Massacres and Matinees", she reveals to Gloria that she found dissected animal parts behind the shed, implying they belong to Dandy. She dislikes Dandy's spoiled attitude and didn't get scared of him when he tried to kill her. In "Edward Mordrake (Part 2)", she dies when Dandy slashes her throat and Gloria helps bury her in their backyard.
- Paul (portrayed by Mat Fraser) also known as Paul The Illustrated Seal is a performer in the freak show, who was born with phocomelia of both arms. In "Edward Mordrake (Part 2)", he tells Mordrake that he immigrated to the United States from Britain to be in show business. However, he arrived during the Great Depression. In an act of despair, he tattooed his whole body except his face, because he believed that it would have been considered handsome and loveable if it wasn't on a freak. It is revealed that he is not only Elsa's secret lover, but that of Penny too, his true love. He confronts Elsa in "Bullseye" about the recent disappearance of Bette and Dot, and she in turn snaps at him for his relationship with Penny. She later becomes angry about a public confrontation with the rest of the troupe and demands one of them place themselves on the spinning wheel, to prove their trust of her. Paul volunteers and it is assumed she purposely threw the last knife into his gut, injuring him badly, leaving him bed ridden. He is then shocked and guilt-stricken later on in "Test of Strength" over Penny's mutilation. In "Curtain Call", after trying to stand up to Dandy, he is the first freak to be shot and killed during Dandy's massacre. He and the other freaks appear when Elsa joins the freak show in the afterlife, where he and Penny have gotten married.
- Eve (portrayed by Erika Ervin) also known as Amazon Eve is a performer in the freak show. She is abnormally large. She is seen as the piano player of the show and is also instrumental with protecting the troupe, along with Jimmy and Paul. In "Bullseye", she becomes concerned over Ma Petite's disappearance until Maggie turns up with her, healthy and alive. Initially, Eve is somewhat quiet and even-tempered, but in "Test of Strength", Dell attempts to murder her in her caravan. Afraid that he is attempting to rape her, Eve defends herself by savagely beating him and throws him out. She goes to Ethel where she cares for her bruised hand. She and the other women of the freak show then plot to kill Dell once and for all. In "Curtain Call", she is the last freak to be killed by Dandy after she tries to overpower him in Desiree's caravan. She and the other freaks appear when Elsa joins the freak show in the afterlife.
- Mahadevi Patel (portrayed by Jyoti Amge) also known as Ma Petite, is a performer in the freak show, who also serves as Elsa's assistant. She is seen playing a miniature violin of sorts and also serves as Elsa's manicurist and "cuddle" toy in the later hours. She was born with achondroplasia which results in an extremely short stature, and is thus deemed the world's shortest woman. Seen as the baby of the troupe, Ma Petite's sweet nature and naive innocence leads her to trust almost everyone, with ultimately tragic consequences. Maggie lures her away one night attempts to murder her in "Bullseye" for Stanley, but can't force herself to go through with it. In "Test of Strength", Dell, under the pretense of gifting her with a new dress, hugs her and then squeezes until her spine snaps and she dies. He gives her body to Stanley and it is later seen being presented by Lillian in her Museum of Morbid Curiosities in a jar of formaldehyde, where her birth name is revealed. The carnies later find her bloody dress in an area full of unidentified bones, and believe that she has been eaten by a wild animal. She later appears to Dell in a hallucination before he attempts suicide by hanging. She and the other freaks appear when Elsa joins the freak show in the afterlife, where Ma Petite once again helps Elsa to get ready for her performance.
- Lillian Hemmings (portrayed by Celia Weston) is the curator of the Museum of Morbid Curiosities; she collects and buys strange artifacts for her museum. She catches Stanley and Maggie's fraudulence but says if she is offered something of real worth from a freak show, she will pay big money. Stanley regularly imagines scenarios with her presenting him with money and acclaim for his finds. In "Test of Strength", she unveils her new exhibit to various wealthy people of Ma Petite's dead body (presented as Mahadevi Patel, the world's smallest woman), floating in a jar of what is assumed to be formaldehyde. In "Orphans", she is seen revealing Jimmy's claw hands. In "Show Stoppers", it is revealed that she was murdered by Desiree shortly after Maggie's fainting spell; her decapitated and preserved head is given to Stanley before the freaks attack and mutilate him.
- Penny (portrayed by Grace Gummer) is a candy striper at the local hospital. In the first episode, she is drugged and kidnapped by Elsa and taken back with her to the freak show. She is blackmailed by Elsa into staying at the camp because Elsa filmed her in a drug-fueled orgy with the freaks. It is later revealed she is in a relationship with Paul, but her father begins to abuse her over the affair. In "Test of Strength", she attempts to move out but before she can do so, her father Vince hires a man to mutilate her face – tattooing her with scales, giving her a forked tongue, and shaving half her hair off while she is unconscious. She is accepted by the freak show and takes the name The Astounding Lizard Girl. In "Blood Bath", she and the women of the freak show kidnap her father and feather and tar him for what he did, but she spares his life after being persuaded by Maggie. In "Curtain Call", she is shot and killed during Dandy's massacre. She and the other freaks appear when Elsa joins the freak show in the afterlife, where she and Paul have gotten married.
- Edward Mordrake (portrayed by Wes Bentley) was in life a 19th-century nobleman who suffered a form of diprosopus, with the second face on the back of his head whispering depraved and evil things to him. Mordrake's attempts to kill his second face drove him mad and his family committed him to an asylum, only for him to escape and join a sideshow. But Mordrake loses his sanity again on one Halloween night, murdering his own troupe and then hanged himself. Despite his death, explaining that he is unable to resist the whims of his other face while expressing regret to his victims, Mordrake's tormenting spirit is said to appear before sideshow performers should they perform on Halloween to add them to his collection. The character appeared in a two-part Halloween episode, having each of the freaks provide them their life story which his second face judge them as it can tell when people lie and knows a person's darkest secrets. Mordrake was about to claim Elsa Mars when he was attracted to Twisty, adding the clown to his collection upon hearing his story. Mordrake later appears before a suicidal Elsa in the season finale when she intentionally summons him while performing on her variety show, killing her but sending her to her personal afterlife.
- Andy (portrayed by Matt Bomer) is a hustler working in a gay bar. One of his many clients is Dell, with whom he had been having an affair. He is paid by Dandy to come to Twisty's abandoned bus, where Dandy stabs him viciously multiple times, and even after having his arm removed by Dandy, he remained alive. Dandy is later seen dissolving Andy's severed limbs in acid.
- Corey Bachman (portrayed by Major Dodson) is a young boy who is kidnapped by Twisty, after Twisty murders his parents. He is later able to run away after Bonnie attacks Twisty, but is caught again when Twisty chases after him. In "Edward Mordrake (Part 2)", he escapes Twisty with the help of Jimmy and Maggie.
- Meep (portrayed by Ben Woolf) is a Geek performer in the freak show with pituitary dwarfism. He was framed for murder of the police officer by Dell and arrested, killed by prisoners in a shared cell with his corpse later dumped near the freak show. Meep appears when Elsa joins the freak show in the afterlife.
- Toulouse (portrayed by Drew Rin Varick) is a performer in the freak show. Toulouse is an ex-convict that was saved from working on a chain gang when Elsa bribed a guard for his release. He has since served as one of several "little people" employed with the troupe. Like most of his fellows, he plays many roles – from cook, to stagehand, to performer. In "Curtain Call", he is shot and killed during Dandy's massacre. He and the other freaks appear when Elsa joins the freak show in the afterlife.
- Legless Suzi (portrayed by Rose Siggins) is a performer in the freak show with sacral agenesis. As her name suggests, she has no legs, because they were amputated shortly after birth. In the past, she killed one of her fellow beggars over jealousy. She helps Penny get revenge on her father, Vince, by breaking into his house and tarring and feathering him. In "Curtain Call", she is shot and killed during Dandy's massacre. She and the other freaks appear when Elsa joins the freak show in the afterlife.
- Salty (portrayed by Christopher Neiman) is a microcephalic performer in the freak show, having been brought as a companion to Pepper with Elsa marrying them. Salty eventually died of what is assumed to be a stroke in his sleep, his head is then cut off by Stanley.
- Barbara (portrayed by Chrissy Metz), also known as Ima Wiggles the Fat Lady, is Elsa's new star attraction for the freak show, found in "Blood Bath". She is extremely overweight and a former debutante sent to a fitness academy by her rich parents. When Jimmy's mother dies and after he pushes Maggie away, he finds comfort in Ima, eventually having sex with her. In "Curtain Call", she is shot and killed during Dandy's massacre, later appearing in Elsa's vision of the afterlife.
- Vince (portrayed by Lee Tergesen) is Penny's disapproving father who works as a well respected electrician. In "Test of Strength", he hires a man to mutilate Penny after finding out about her relationship with Paul, a freak. In "Blood Bath", he is captured by Desiree, Penny, Eve, and Legless Suzi and covered in hot tar and feathered while in Dell's trailer. Maggie shows up and talks the women out of going through with the killing, with Penny threatening her father to never come back.
- Dr. Bonham (portrayed by Jerry Leggio) is Ethel's doctor who diagnoses her with Cirrhosis of the liver in "Edward Mordrake (Part 1)". In "Pink Cupcakes" he offers to perform surgery on Desiree to make her normal, but Dell breaks his hands while threatening to do the same to the doctor's grandchildren should he come near any of the performers again. Ethel and Desiree are later told by Bonham's daughter that he killed himself.
- Rita Gayheart (portrayed by Mare Winningham) is Pepper's older sister who is malicious and alcoholic yet classy. Rita sent Pepper away in the orphanage when she wanted to marry and have children. But apparently sterile, Rita is forced to take Pepper back as she helped around the house. But after the sudden birth of her son Lucas, who was born deformed, Rita allows her husband to kill their child and have Pepper be sent to Briarcliff.
- Chester Creb (portrayed by Neil Patrick Harris) is a stage magician who happens to be a traveling salesman and haunted by his ventriloquist dummy Marjorie, who speaks only to him. As it was revealed, Chester was a soldier in World War II who returned home with metal plate put into his head. The head injury causes Chester to have hallucinations of Marjorie being alive while murdering his wife and her lover in a fit of rage. When he arrives at the freak show's camp, he becomes enamored with Bette and Dot. He attempts to purchase the show from Elsa when she reveals she's leaving for Hollywood. During preparation for his first performance as the show owner, he inadvertently murdered Maggie by sawing her in half while practicing his act. This causes Chester to snap and he "kills" Marjorie and goes to the police station to be arrested.
- Marjorie (voiced and portrayed by Jamie Brewer) is Chester's ventriloquist dummy who appears to Chester as a living person, taunting him and persuading him to commit acts of violence.
- Mike (portrayed by Dalton E Gray) is a young boy who is kidnapped by Twisty, after Twisty sees him trick-r-treating dressed as a clown. He is later able to run away after Bonnie attacks Twisty, but is caught again when Twisty chases after him. In "Edward Mordrake (Part 2)", he escapes Twisty with the help of Jimmy and Maggie.
- Waitress Carol (portrayed by Mariana Vicente) is a waitress at a local diner and is seen flirting in the first episode with Jimmy. Once he (along with his troupe) returns in "Massacres and Matinees", she is no longer friendly towards him and asks Paul to stop eating someone's leftover food.
- Lucy Creb (portrayed by Shauna Rappold) is Chester's wife and Alice (portrayed by Angela Sarafyan) is Lucy's lover. The two women fall in love while their husbands are away at war. When Chester returns, the three are involved in a polyamorous relationship. Alice and Lucy are killed by Chester, who believes that Marjorie actually committed the murders.
- Massimo Dolcefino (portrayed by Danny Huston) a carpenter who crafted Elsa's wooden legs before going after each of the men responsible for her amputation. However, Dolcefino ends up being captured by Hans Grüper, the Nazi who had cut off Elsa's legs, and was castrated during his torture for most of the World War. Dolcefino was also the one responsible for crafting a new set of hands for Jimmy, later dying of lung cancer in the series epilogue.
- Angus T. Jefferson (portrayed by Malcolm-Jamal Warner), an acquaintance of Desiree. In the season finale, it is shown that he and Desiree were married and had children together.
- Jack Colquitt (portrayed by P.J. Marshall) is a police detective who is bought by Dandy when he offers him one million dollars to help cover up his murders, murdering Regina Ross and framing Jimmy for Dandy's murder of the housewives. Colquitt also uncovers information about Chester when Dandy finds out he is getting closer to Bette and Dot. It is unknown if Colquitt was exposed for working with Dandy.