American Horror Story has been feeding America's craving for creepy, campy horror since 2011.
With season 9, 1984, debuting this week, many viewers are hoping that the show leans further into its cutting social commentary and goes easier on the gratuitous sexual violence and grotesque body horror that's detracted from its later seasons. Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk have created a show that steps over the line time and again to challenge our notion of decency and decorum in an age of mass shootings, fake news, and Marianne Williamson (a.k.a. actual Supreme witch). At times the show has almost certainly gone too far in its depictions of the terror humans wreak upon each other. It's also created disturbingly sympathetic villains who challenge the harsh tribalism that divides most American opinions—suggesting, if only for the duration of a gory amputation scene, that the shadows of Absolute Evil we see in the world are usually projections of the evil lying within ourselves.
All that's to say: Murder House was the absolute best season of AHS, and if you don't agree, then you're not the Supreme. Whether you're ready to cancel AHS for stepping over the line or you love to confront the show's moral ambiguity, these are some of the most stomach-churning moments throughout the show's eight seasons.