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The Rules That Ghosts Have To Follow In American Horror Story

Sometimes, it's hard to know who or what is a ghost on FX's American Horror Story because there are seasons, such as Murder House, where the characters don't acknowledge or even know that they have crossed over to the spirit world. Overall, the ghosts are pivotal characters throughout the series, and even though they have no bills to pay or a job to go to, they are still bound by certain rules which dictate what they can do and when.

Of course, some of these undead souls don't seem to abide by the rules, but nonetheless, as much as AHS might appear to be lawless, there are, in fact, fairly consistent boundaries in terms of what they can and can't do within the series' universe. American Horry Story fans will know that the ghosts on the show don't generally like to follow any sort of rules, but the rules are there all the same.

Ghosts in AHS stay where they died as humans

One of the biggest downfalls of being a ghost in season 1 is that if someone dies on the Murder House grounds, they'll stay there for eternity, save for one night a year, on Halloween. Whether by accident or murder, characters such as Tate Langdon (Evan Peters), Violet Harmon (Taissa Farmiga), Moira O' Hara (Frances Conroy), and Hayden McClaine (Kate Mara) are stuck where they died, which is extremely tragic. This is the first look at what happens to ghosts in the series, which then followed in Hotel, Roanoke, and 1984 as well. Most of the characters know they are dead, or have realized it before viewers see them, but some ghosts such as Nora Montgomery (Lily Rabe), remain quite confused on the subject.

In Hotel, it seems like utter torture for some ghosts such as Sally "Hypodermic" McKenna (Sarah Paulson) to be stuck at Hotel Cortez, whereas Iris (Kathy Bates) wishes to die on the premises so she can live with her son, Donovan (Matt Bomer) for eternity. In 1984, several ghosts that remain on the camp's grounds become vengeful and even go after fellow ghosts because they are stuck there. Meanwhile, some souls in the series were purposely saved to make sure their last moments of life were spent off cursed ground such as Murder House and Camp Redwood.

American Horror Story ghosts have limited "powers"

A so-called "power" the ghosts have is the ability to be seen ... or not. But, this is broken when the living can tell them to "go away" — then they must remain in the shadows and live their ghostly lives in the shadows. When mediums, such as Billie Dean Howard (Sarah Paulson), pop up and demand to talk with the spirits, they can forcefully make the ghosts appear, while also banishing them to some other realm, which is still kind of a mystery.

As mentioned above, some ghosts have a bout of amnesia after their deaths, causing them to forget how or why they were killed. When they realize how and why they became a ghost, they can reveal the wounds they may have received at their deaths and torture the living with them.

An interesting character that can alter the way she looks in the presence of men is Moira O'Hara in Murder House. She can show herself as a young, beautiful woman, which is how she died, but she can also appear as an older woman with an injured eye, which is where she was shot and killed by Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange) when she was caught sleeping with Constance's husband.

The reviews are mixed, and sometimes the rules bend and change with the seasons, but overall, these are the guidelines the ghosts of American Horry Story have to follow.