17 Most Shocking Deaths in American Horror Story

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American Horror Story prides itself on shocking, bloody, horrific tableaus, as characters both beloved and detested meet their makers in due course.

There have been dozens and dozens of deaths throughout the five seasons of the series, and there will surely be plenty more to come in the upcoming American Horror Story Season 6 – regardless of the fact that we don't even know yet what the theme of the new season will be.

We've watched as characters who were considered heroes met shocking and unexpected ends and as villains finally got their satisfying comeuppances. Among the many ends throughout the series, a few characters' deaths stand out as particularly shocking – either because of the way they died, the timing, or the circumstances around their demise.

Here are 17 of the most shocking deaths – so far – throughout American Horror Story's five seasons, before the upcoming sixth season tops them all.

American Horror Story Season 6 will premiere at 10/9c on FX on Wednesday, September 14th. Be sure to check back here for our review of the season premiere!

1. Hayden

Hayden
I can't imagine anyone was expecting Constance's scarred beau Larry Harvey to randomly appear and clonk Ben's mistress Hayden over the head with a shovel, killing her instantly, as a "favor" to a shocked Ben.

2. Shelley

Shelley
When AHS does body horror, it really goes all out. "Nymphomaniac" Shelley was butchered and experimented on beyond recognition by the sadistic ex-Nazi Doctor Arden in the Briarcliff Asylum. The Monsignor's decision to strangle a suffering Shelley with his rosary came across as a definite act of mercy.

3. Johnny Morgan (aka Bloody Face 2)

Johnny Morgan (aka Bloody Face 2)
The climactic death of the season was absolutely Lana's murder of Johnny Morgan, the psychotic child she'd given up for adoption who was conceived during Dr. Thredson's rape of Lana. Johnny was a seriously damaged serial killer (much like the dear old "dad" he'd never known), so his death was a long time coming -- didn't make it any less shocking to see Lana actually pull the trigger.

4. Grace Bertrand

Grace Bertrand
Each of Grace's two deaths were sudden and surprising, but her butchering by a deranged and damaged Alma was particularly gruesome. Grace's final (and lasting) death cut short the apparently happy life she'd built with Kit and their child (and Alma and their child).

5. Kyle Spencer

Kyle Spencer
Like Sarah Paulson's characters, every character portrayed by Evan Peters is known for having a major role in the story. His "Coven" character Kyle Spencer was killed in the bus crash enacted by a furious Madison Montgomery (after her gang rape at the hands of Kyle's fraternity brothers), and it was super unexpected. Of course, he wasn't gone for long.

6. Madison Montgomery

Madison Montgomery
Madison was gearing up to become the next Supreme. She seemed like the most likely candidate for a while -- at least until reigning Supreme Fiona Goode very suddenly confronted her possible successor and slashed her throat. Madison's later (final) death at Kyle's hands was also quite dark and gruesome -- he straight-up murdered her in cold blood in retribution for allowing his love Zoe to die.

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American Horror Story Quotes

We have two selves. One the world needs us to be, compliant, and the shadow. Ignore it and life is forever suffering.

Countess [to Liz]

I am the queen of every hive. I am the fire on every hill. I am the shield over every head. I am the spear of battle. Who but I am both the tree and the lightning that strikes it?

The Butcher