Vivien Harmon, played by actress Connie Britton, is the wife of Ben and the mother of Violet. After a miscarriage, Vivien became emotionally and physically distant from Ben. Ben had an affair with Hayden, but instead of divorcing Ben, Vivien agreed to move from Boston to Los Angeles in order to try and give the marriage another show.
Vivien had sex with a man in a rubber S&M costume, who she believed to be Ben, but the identity of the man is unknown. She is currently pregnant, with a strange biological tie to the house, which healed her when she began bleeding unexpectedly. While ben was away in Boston, Vivien and Violet were attact by Bianca and two other worshippers of killer R. Franklin, who killed two students back in the house in 1968. She managed to fight back and escape, but ever since then Vivien has now had many ghost visitors including Nora Montgomery and Chad. After being attacked by the walking corpse of Hayden, who Vivien didn’t realize was dead, Vivien learned about Hayden’s pregnancy and then demanded that Ben leave the house
Ben Harmon, played by actor Dylan McDermott, is a therapist who has moved with his wife Vivien and daughter Violet to Los Angeles in order to try and heal his relationship with Vivien and start things fresh. After Vivien had a miscarriage, Ben resented the fact that she seemed no longer interested in sex and had an affair with Hayden. Vivien caught him in the act and at the start of the series the couple’s relationship is strained.
The “murder house” that the Harmons unintentionally buy in LA almost immediately starts playing tricks on Ben. It causes him to sleepwalk, black out and see Moira, a ghost maid, as being her young 80’s self instead of an elderly woman. Ben was warned by one of the homes previous residents, Larry, that the house was evil and will eventually kill his family. Ben sees patients out of the his house now, including Tate, who Ben is actively trying to get transferred to a new therapist. Ben headed back to Boston to be with Hayden during an abortion, but Hayden never went through with it and showed up on his doorstep, threatening to tell Vivien about the baby.
Violet Harmon, played by actress Taissa Farmiga, is the daughter of Ben and Vivien. She is a teenager who resents her parents, thinking her father is a liar and her mother is weak. After moving to LA from Boston, Violet took an immediate liking to a mysterious teen boy named Tate, one of her father’s patients. Tate convinced Violet to invite a mean girl from her school, Leah, down into the basement in order to scare her. Leah wound up getting attacked by a monster child and left with a horribly scratched face. Tate seemed to know what would happen all along.
Violet is strong will and it definitely showed when she and her mother were attacked by Bianca and two other home invading worshippers of killer R. Franklin. Violet and her mother fought back and Violet now sees the house as a place of triumph, where she and her mother stood together. Violet still sees Tate, despite her father telling her not to. On Halloween, when the Tate was able to walk free, Violet went to the beach with Tate on a date, but was then disappointed when Tate was unable to perform sexually. After Tate was ran off to try and lead some other mysterious teens away, Violet spoke with Constance and learned that Constance was Tate’s mother and that Tate had gone on a murder spree at her high school, back in the 90’s, and was now actually a ghost.
Moira, played by actresses Alexandra Breckenridge and Frances Conroy, was once the housekeeper at the estate, but was killed by Constance after Constance caught her and her husband Hugo having what she thought was an affair. Constance shot Moira in the eye and ever since that moment, back in the 80’s, Moira has become one of the strange “kept ghosts” of the house. She shows up, as an old woman when the Harmons buy the house and asks to be taken on as their maid.
While Vivien sees the older version of Moira, Ben sees the young, very attractive version that is stuck in a loop of “seducing her employer.” After Hayden is killed, we discover that Moira’s body is buried in the backyard and that once Ben builds a gazebo over her grave, she is now trapped forever – signaling that her remains might be the key to setting her free.
On Halloween, Moira is able to walk free from the house and goes to visit her dying mother – a woman who she’s probably only been able to visit once a year if at all. She cuts off her mother’s life support but is unable to go with her mother to the “beyond” since she is trapped by the house and doomed to walk in some sort of limbo.
Tate, played by actor Evan Peters, is introduced on the show as a new patient of Ben’s who dreams of going on a killing spree at his high school and speaks to Ben in a provocative manner in order to try and upset him. To top it off, Tate also starts visiting Ben’s daughter Violet in her room. When Ben tells Tate that he can no longer be his therapist, Tate apologizes and it becomes clear that Tate needs Ben.
From the outset, it’s clear that Tate knows the Harmon’s house, convincing Violet to lead a school rival down into the basement to be attacked by a deformed child and helping Violet and Vivien fight off home intruders, chopping on, Bianca, in the stomach with an axe. Afterwards, Tate, Constance and Moira all clean up the mess. On Halloween, Tate invites Violet out on a date, but is unable to perform sexually when the moment arises. While on the beach, Tate and Violet are confronted by teens who Violet believes to be dressed in costumes but who are really Tate’s dead victims, risen on Halloween, back to confront him about the school killings he, in fact, committed back in the 90’s. Tate, no matter how hard he’s pressed by the teens, is unable to remember killing them.
Contance reveals to Violet later than night that she is Tate’s mother.
Constance, played by actress Jessica Lange, lives next door to the “murder house” and is an aggressively sassy woman who moved to LA from Virginia long ago to try to make it as an actress but saw her dreams dashed when she turned down roles because they required nudity. Constance acts friendly but has a definite cruel streak that is evident in her treatment of Adelaide, her daughter who suffers from Down syndrome and her attempt to poison Vivien with ipecac-laced cupcakes.
Constance know a lot more than she’s telling as we all saw that she actually killed Moira back in the 80’s when she caught her having an affair with her husband, Hugo. She still holds a grudge over Moira, who we saw as being an unwilling participant in the “affair,” and taunts her whenever she can. It was also revealed that Constance is Tate’s mother, which makes the disturbed Tate Constance’s secondly ghost connection to the house.
After her daughter Adelaide is killed on Halloween night, the victim of a hit and run, Constance felt regret and remorse over the loss and put make-up on Addy’s face at the morgue so that she could be “pretty.”
Adelaide or “Addy,” played by Jamie Brewer, is the daughter of Constance. Addy has Down syndrome, a condition that has caused Constance to resent her. She is first seen, as a little girl back in the 70’s on the day when twin brothers Troy and Brian are killed while vandalizing the “murder house.” Addy had warned them that they would die, but they didn’t listen.
As a grown up, Addy still warns new tenants, including the Harmons, that they will die in the house, but it’s also clear that she’s friendly and playful. Addy, however, is unable to stay away from the house because her “friends” are there and it becomes a constant frustration for the Harmons. During the home invasion, Addy ran back home to get help, but Constance instead locked her in a closet full of mirrors to torment her.
Addy had a crush on Travis, Constance’s much younger lover, which gets her in trouble with Constance. Allowing her to be a “pretty girl” on Halloween, Constance gets Addy a rubber girl mask and lets her go out trick ‘r’ treating. Addy is then killed when she is hit by a car while crossing the street, and died in her crying mother’s arms.
Larry, played by Denis O’Hare, seems to be one of the few *living* people on this show that knows the evil of the house. Larry used to live in the house, but he tells Ben that it caused him to burn his wife and daughters to death in the house, leaving him alive and covered in 2nd degree burns. Larry says that he was recently released from a mental institution because he has inoperable brain cancer and doesn’t have much long to live.
Larry has formed an odd relationship with Ben, both trying to warn him about the house and take advantage of Ben’s dire situation. Larry showed up to kill Hayden with a shovel, saying that he did it so that Ben didn’t have to. But now Larry is demanding $1,000 dollars from Ben or else he’ll tell the cops about Hayden’s body being buried in the backyard. On Halloween, Larry and Ben had a standoff which saw Larry knock out Ben and tie him up, planning to burn the house down once again. Chad stepped in to stop Larry however.
There were a few episodes when the audience wondered is Larry was real or not as Ben was the only one seeing him, but Violet definitely heard Larry on Halloween, and some Trick ‘r’ Treaters saw him as well. The house now seems to also want Ben to burn his family alive, as seen in the pilot episode with Ben sleep walking and playing with the stove.
Chad, played by actor Zachary Quinto, is a gay man who lived in the house right before the Harmons. He and his lover Patrick were suffering from a strained relationship during the time they died due to Patrick’s philandering ways. Chad, resigned to try and just make things work in order to keep up appearances was busy trying to carve pumpkins and make decorations for a Halloween party, that would give the house more of a family-friendly appeal, when he was attacked by the Gimp and drowned in his own apple-bobbing bin.
Chad showed up again on Halloween, as a new ghost, helping the Harmons get their house ready for Halloween. Vivien mistakes him for a “fluffer,” someone her real estate agent was going to send in to help spruce up the estate. Chad and Patrick’s drama winds up getting them kicked out of the house and Chad then starts destroying the outside decorations. It’s clear that Chad still cares about the house and how it looks when he stops Larry from burning it down.
I was also revealed that Chad and Patrick also fell into the “money pit” trap and were actively trying to sell the house. They had planned to buy it and flip and now all their collective money was tied up in the property
This post has been locked, replies are no longer allowed.