5 Best 'American Horror Story' Seasons, Ranked – Showbiz Cheat Sheet

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Another season of American Horror Story is in the books. Season 11, NYC, wrapped things up with its two-part finale on Nov. 16. Many fans had mixed feelings about NYC as a whole, as some found it boring while others were hooked on the serial killer premise. There’s no denying that American Horror Story has seen hits and misses throughout its time on FX; season 11 wasn’t the best, but these five other seasons rank high for many fans.
You can’t go wrong with ’80s nostalgia — just look at Stranger Things for proof. American Horror Story Season 9, 1984, is set at a summer camp in the titular year. And much like a number of classic slasher movies from the ’80s, the camp has a killer on the loose. This season is perfect for slasher fans, chock-full of references to hit horror flicks like Friday the 13th, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Yes, some of it is predictable with all the tropes, but those are just part of the homages to ’80s horror. It is, in a punny word, camp.
American Horror Story: Apocalypse is like an ode to longtime fans of the anthology series. It features crossovers with a few other beloved AHS seasons, including Hotel, Murder House, and Coven. There’s just something so satisfying about seeing Coven witches Myrtle Snow (Frances Conroy), Cordelia Goode (Sarah Paulson), and Madison Montgomery (Emma Roberts) go head-to-head with the boyish Antichrist himself, Michael Langdon (Cody Fern), who aims to punish humankind with an apocalypse. Plus, this season features the brief return of Jessica Lange, the queen of AHS.
American Horror Story: Coven seems to be one of those seasons where fans either love it or hate it. It’s perfect for those who love witchy vibes and an overall less scary tale. However, some AHS fans prefer the darker seasons, and that’s understandable, too. But Coven is all about powerhouse women, which we love. It also has some of the most memorable quotes of any season — Madison Montgomery’s “surprise, b****” line is one example. Lastly, Coven does a great job of incorporating accurate New Orleans folklore, which many fans have applauded. Oh, and we can’t forget that iconic Stevie Nicks cameo.
They’re not going anywhere. Take a look back at the spirits that haunt Murder House. FX’s American Horror Story: NYC is new every Wednesday on FX. Stream on Hulu. #AHSNYC #AHSFX pic.twitter.com/381Z5e7CQF
RELATED: ‘American Horror Story’: 6 Behind the Scenes Facts That Are Even Scarier Than the Show
American Horror Story: Murder House is the one that started it all, so it has a special place in many fans’ hearts. It introduced many people to the phenomenal acting skills of Evan Peters, who shows so much authentic emotion as Tate Langdon. Plus, Tate’s romance with Violet Harmon (Taissa Farmiga) is considered one of the most iconic in the franchise. Murder House is a classic haunted house story with dark, bizarre twists and scares that keep fans hooked, and it sets the tone for American Horror Story as a whole.
American Horror Story: Asylum will get the “Name Game” stuck in your head for at least a week. But it won’t be for nothing: While other musical numbers throughout AHS tend to feel unnecessary, this one fits perfectly into the storyline and acts as a light moment in an otherwise very dark and unsettling season. In addition to doing music well, Asylum features stellar acting from Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, and Lily Rabe. It also plays around with both sci-fi horror (aliens) and historical horror (inhumane practices at mental health institutions), so there’s something for everyone.
All 11 seasons of American Horror Story are available to stream on Hulu.

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