Which ‘American Horror Story’ Seasons Had a ‘Happy’ Ending?

American Horror Story is known for being gory and dark. The characters have to deal with stuff straight out of nightmares and experience some of the weirdest horrors you’ll see on TV. Some seasons are worse than others, but all are meant to terrify while following a theme. 

However, that doesn’t mean they have to end badly, either. In fact, there are quite a few that end on an upbeat note. Now, all the characters in every season still go through hell but sometimes there’s a light at the end. 

Sarah Paulson, Billie Lourd, Adina Porter, Leslie Grossman, Kathy Bates, and Emma Roberts of 'American Horror Story: Apocalypse' pose for a photo at 2018 TCA.
Sarah Paulson, Billie Lourd, Adina Porter, Leslie Grossman, Kathy Bates, and Emma Roberts of ‘American Horror Story: Apocalypse’ at the 2018 Summer TCA Press Tour | Rich Fury/Getty Images

Asylum

American Horror Story: Asylum took place in the 1960s, predominantly at a mental asylum. The themes of religion and Satan coursed through the season, but aliens were also a significant part of the action in a more subtle way. 

It ended with Lana out of the Briarcliffe and she goes on to become a successful journalist that pops up in multiple seasons after this one. Kit leaves the asylum with Grace and their child, and find Alma back at their old house with her and Kit’s baby. He helps Sister Jude after she’s released from the asylum. Even though Alma kills Grace and Kit eventually gets cancer, Kit lives a quiet life with Jude post-Briarcliffe.

Coven

After man character deaths and resurrections, the remaining witches are Zoe and Queenie, with Cordelia as their Supreme. They went public with their witchcraft and sent out a call for any potential, rising witches to head to the Robichaux Academy for teaching. A long line of girls is outside, and you see in Apocalypse that they’re thriving. This is one of the happiest finales to a season AHS has had.

Freak Show

Freak Show might not have had as much of an impact on fans, but the ending is pretty tame and sort of sweet. Dandy dies a pretty entertaining death, considering how horrible he was all season. Jimmy and Dot married, and Bette is sort of just… there. Dot (and Bette?) is (are?) pregnant, and Desiree went on to marry Malcolm-Jamal Warner. And Elsa Mars went on to marry a Hollywood exec and she got to fulfill her dream of fame. It was a generally happy ending.

Apocalypse

Apocalypse was probably one of the better endings as well. There was a lot of destruction, and the end of the world had already happened in the very beginning of the season, but Mallory coming into her full knowledge and powers as a witch. Not just any witch, but the Supreme. She travels back in time to kill Michael before the Satanic worshippers get to him to start his plans. She succeeds and moves forward in time from there (she’s basically absorbed by her 2015 self, but still remembers everything).

Zoe, Queenie, and Cordelia are alive again, but unfortunately, Madison was never saved from hell in this timeline. However, just like Mallory got Misty out thanks to her “street cred” with Papa Legba, she promises to get Madison back later after letting her “sweat it out” some more. All in all, a really good ending for the witches, again. Although, there’s the whole Anti-Christ 2.0 they have to worry about later. 

1984

The most recent season, 1984, ended with the happiest ending out of all the seasons. Again, death occurred (a lot) but the survivors do good things with what they have left. Brook survived and went on to live out her days in Oregon, and sends Bobby (Mr. Jingles’ song) money every month. Bobby tries to reunite with his father and Camp Redwood and meets all the nice, and not so nice, ghosts there. He lives too, and Margaret Boothe doesn’t kill another soul (that we can see). 

The true horrifying endings

The other seasons didn’t end with these types of settled and content resolutions. Some could say Murder House ended well, but the Harmons are all dead. On top of that, one of Vivien’s twins is the Anti-Christ, plus Violet and Tate now have to live together for all eternity. 

With Hotel, Liz Taylor has a semi-happy ending. Even though she has cancer, she’s choosing her content death amongst friends. On the other hand, the Countess is still able to kill within the hotel, and John Lowe’s daughter Scarlett has to live the rest of her days in the outside world alone. 

In Cult, even though Ally triumphs over Kai and Beverly kills him, she is the leader of her own cult now in addition to winning a senate seat. There are some wins here, but overall, it’s still dark. 

Roanoke probably had the worst ending, since it was so convoluted. A lot happened and the show-within-a-show format was a bit confusing, but everyone died, essentially. There was no one from the real-life experience or the dramatized version that survived Return to Roanoke: Three Days in Hell.

There’s at least one more season left. With bleak and bright endings, American Horror Story has done them all. What will Season 10 hold?