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The Most Controversial Moment In American Horror Story: Hotel

By now, viewers can expect a few things while watching "American Horror Story": controversial characters, shocking moments, and vicious villains, human or supernatural. Creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk have done an excellent job making this series stand out from the rest, and they'll go to great lengths for shock value. Of course, this is why "American Horror Story" has such a large fan base. 

When it comes to pushing the envelope on controversial moments within a single season, Murphy and Falchuk didn't hold back with Season 5, aka "Hotel." Viewers are taken on a journey, learning what brought each character to the hotel and why, and the sensitive topic of addiction is prevalent throughout the entire season. Eventually, some sort of addiction seeps its way into just about every character's narrative. Still, there's one controversial moment in "Hotel" that has stuck with fans and critics ever since it aired.

The Addiction Demon is violent and unforgiving

There are many menacing and vicious characters in "Hotel," but the Addiction Demon (Alexander Ward) is the worst. This figure appears randomly at the hotel, and when it does, it brings immense pain to anyone it sets its sights on. The ghostly hotel owner James March (Evan Peters) explains that Sally McKenna (Sarah Paulson) brought the Addiction Demon into existence with other drug addicts in the hotel. The creature's most controversial moment involves a particular scene. 

In the first episode, titled "Checking In," a heroin addict named Gabriel (Max Greenfield) rents a room. Not long after, a figure appears in front of him, and at first, Gabriel assumes it's a hallucination. It's not. The Addiction Demon is horrifying, but it's the drill-shaped apparatus he's wearing around his waist that causes the most damage. Simply put, the demon uses this device to assault Gabriel, and at Sally's command, it stops torturing Gabriel and disappears. 

During a TCA panel, Ryan Murphy explained that the Addiction Demon's assault on Gabriel represents the hold drugs can have on a person (via Refinery29). That's understandable, but it doesn't take away from the fact that the scene is highly uncomfortable to watch. As Cosmopolitan's Danielle Henderson put it, "To say this scene was disturbing is an understatement."