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Scenes that American Horror Story actors regret filming

American Horror Story has been thrilling and terrifying audiences since 2011, with each season of the anthology series giving fans a new reason to sleep with the lights on. Fine with witches? Have a psychopathic clown. Not worried about violent cults? Here's a nuclear apocalypse.

And it's not just the viewers who are scared — many AHS actors are never the same after their time on the show, and there's good reason for that. Taissa Farmiga, who started her long run on the series playing Violet Harmon in the very first season, is a self-confessed horror movie avoider, and was terrified on set. Fellow AHS veteran Emma Roberts was most creeped out by the exterior of the bunker in Apocalypse — not only is it in the middle of a field, in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the night, but the crew pumped in fake fog just to add to the spookiness.

Although shooting can be a living nightmare, there aren't many scenes that the AHS cast would take back. But for two of the actors, things got a little too real. Here are the scenes that AHS actors regret filming.

Gabourey Sidibe may have been a little too good at her Latin chanting

Usually, when an actor is struggling with their lines, their main concern is that the dialogue won't be convincing enough. But Gabourey Sidibe had a much more chilling problem in one scene of American Horror Story: Coven.

In the episode "Go to Hell," Sidibe's character Queenie chants a Latin phrase that will summon Papa Legba (Lance Reddick), the gatekeeper to the spirit world. Given that Papa Legba is one of the American Horror Story characters based on real people, Sidibe was understandably reluctant to annoy the spirit himself.

According to Sidibe, her concerns turned out to be well-founded. During the March 2015 panel "The Television Academy Presents: An Evening with the Women of American Horror Story," held at the Montalbán in Hollywood, Sidibe said that as she was chanting, the light fixture in the room started shaking, and her back went out. When they moved on to shoot a different angle, the light fixture crashed to the floor. They resumed shooting — and that's when Sidibe felt a finger move up her chin to her lip, which started to swell.

Waiting in the makeup trailer for a medic, Sidibe and the makeup artist could hear scratching on the outside, "like something was trying to get in." Sidibe decided the best approach was to pray, which seemed to work — the noises stopped. Once home, Sidibe called her Catholic friend, who gave her a devil-banishing prayer.

Everything was peaceful until it came to shooting final episode of the Coven season, which required the rest of the cast to say the words too. When some of the ensemble found themselves struggling with the Latin, Sidibe reluctantly agreed to say the lines again — and this time, she felt a finger run from her forehead to her top lip, which immediately swelled up again. "Do not do this at home, you guys," she finished.

Finn Wittrock felt bad about Dandy's massacre

American Horror Story has treated us to many terrifying supernatural characters. But one of the show's most disturbing monsters was actually a human — albeit one with a psychotic disposition who did not respond well to not getting his own way.

In American Horror Story: Freak Show, it initially seems like the most fearsome villains will be Twisty the Clown (John Carroll Lynch) and Edward Mordrake (Wes Bentley). And to be fair, you would not want to run into either of them on a dark night in the woods (or, indeed, at a sunny picnic). But it was the spoiled, "freak"-obsessed Dandy, played by Finn Wittrock, who really upped the violence and sadism — and who audiences most wanted to see get his comeuppance. Unlike Twisty and Mordrake, Dandy's murders weren't inspired by vengeance for lifetimes of abuse. He killed out of petty vindictiveness and to feel a sense of power.

Freak Show was Wittrock's debut season of American Horror Story, and one particular scene left him so shaken that he almost didn't want to return. In 2015, he told Popsugar that the scene in which Dandy massacres most of the remaining cast of the freak show really got to him. 

"That was actually the one day that I walked home like, 'Argh I really hate myself and don't wanna do this,'" he revealed, describing his mental state afterward as "really despondent."

However, Wittrock got over that initial shock. He's since become a main fixture of the series and the entire American Horror Story timeline.

Many of Evan Peters' American Horror Story scenes have left him feeling uneasy

Like his season-after-season co-star Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters has been a mainstay throughout the American Horror Story anthology since the very beginning — and he's embodied some of the darkest characters the series has ever seen.

On the inaugural season, later subtitled Murder House, Peters played teenage ghost Tate Langdon, who committed mass murder in his high school when he was alive and continued to do terrible things as a ghost trapped in the titular home. His characters on seasons 2 through 4 — Kit Walker, Kyle Spencer, and Jimmy Darling — weren't exactly Tate-level terrifying, but his character on season 5, the twisted serial killer James Patrick March, chilled viewers to their core. Ditto for the handful of characters he played on American Horror Story: Cult — a mix of real-life and fictional murderers. 

By his own admission, Peters has felt uncomfortable filming a number of scenes for American Horror Story, and has been affected by the subject matter at hand. He shared in a July 2018 interview with GQ that shooting such sinister material is "exhausting" to the point where he's questioned his own identity afterwards. 

"It's really mentally draining, and you don't want to go to those places ever in your life. And so you have to go there for the scenes, and it ends up integrating it somehow into your life. You're in traffic and you find yourself screaming and you're like, 'What the hell? This isn't who I am,'" said Peters.

He also added that nude scenes on American Horror Story have unsettled him as well — particularly one that happened on season 5. "A strange one was when I was Mr. March [in American Horror Story: Hotel]. I was doing this butterfly razor cutting of this poor girl while I was having sex with her. It was just horrific and weird and sad," the actor shared. "At that point, it was season 5, and I was more comfortable with the crew, so it's like, 'Okay, I guess my butt will be out.' There were some earlier ones that were very unnerving."

Peters has seemingly taken all the experiences on the chin and done his best to separate the chaos of his professional life with the calmness of his personal life. The actor will be back for American Horror Story season 10, set to premiere sometime in 2021, so clearly, any scenes he's regretted haven't kept him from the series that turned him into a household name.