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The Scariest Scene From American Horror Story According To Fans

FX's "American Horror Story" has been taking viewers to hell and back for 10 years now, and the series shows no signs of stopping any time soon. Currently in its tenth season, "AHS" has been renewed for an additional three seasons (via Deadline), and even has a sister series, "American Horror Stories." 

"American Horror Stories" — now streaming on Hulu — modifies the anthology format of the successful show, with each episode (rather than each season) telling a new tale of terror (à la "The Twilight Zone" or "Black Mirror"). Differences in narrative structure aside, though, the two shows promise to continue the legacy of horror that began when "American Horror Story: Murder House" first aired in 2011.

Over the years, viewers have watched countless creepy storylines from the minds of creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk unfold, so when fans of "American Horror Story" took to Reddit in a recent thread to determine the all-time scariest AHS scene so far, there was no dearth of horrific moments to choose from. But a clear winner did emerge (thankfully, not in jump scare fashion).

American Horror Story fans agree that power tools should be used on homes, not people

Topping the list is the nail gun scene from "Cult," the seventh season of "American Horror Story." In the episode "Holes," Kai Anderson (Evan Peters) tests the limits of the new members of his cult, Fear Is Truth (FIT). After explaining that the world record for the most nails shot into someone's head before death is thirteen, he nominates Ivy Mayfair-Richards (Alison Pill) to pull the trigger on RJ (James Morosini) first, since she previously ran away when the cult killed Bob Thompson (Dermot Mulroney).

Viewers watch in anxious anticipation as Ivy approaches RJ, nail gun in hand, and slowly works up the nerve to take aim at his head. Suddenly, Harrison Wilton (Billy Eichner) cuts through the tension with some practical advice: "You have to put it right up against his head or it won't work." And so, viewers resume the agonizing build up to the first shot. 

Ivy apologizes between shudders and squirms, and finally fulfills her duty to the cult. The others in the room then take turns, one by one pressing the tip of the nail gun up to RJ's head and letting loose another nail into his skull. Kai ends the session by licking some of the blood from RJ's face and kissing him on the cheek before opting not to try to beat the world record for most nails shot into the skull before death and putting a final nail into the victim's medulla oblongata, instantly killing him.

It's a disturbing scene, as each actor approaches their character's turn with the nail gun in a different way, lending a very real, human touch to the horror fiction.

American Horror Story fans, as per usual, were far from unanimous

The "Cult" nail gun scene definitely deserves a spot amongst the most terrifying scenes in "American Horror Story" history to date, but is it the scariest? Well, going by sheer number of upvotes across the comments, it blows the other fan offerings out of the water. (For reference, the next highest upvote count goes to the somewhat joking answer of Billie Lourd's scream in the bath in Season 8, "Apocalypse.")

While the nail gun scene is total nightmare fodder, when looking through the comments in the thread, it's honestly kind of surprising that Lana Winters' name doesn't appear more often. Her character, played by Sarah Paulson in Season 2 "Asylum" of the series, was subjected to countless brutalities — some of which arguably went a little too far, including a scene of conversion therapy used to "cure" her character of her homosexuality. That scene did make the Reddit fan list, but with only a few upvotes, it rolled in dead last. Maybe this batch of "AHS" fans weren't too keen on "Asylum"?

As with anything having to do with "American Horror Story," there really is just a lot going on and an overwhelming amount to choose from. Although these Redditors decided what the scariest scene in the show's history was, that answer is subject to change depending on which group of fans you ask, how each season ages, and what new terrors are on the horizon for future seasons. The "Cult" nail gun scene might hold the title of "scariest" for now, but the series' terrifying future is far from certain.