American Horror Story Wiki
American Horror Story Wiki

Asylum is the subtitle for the second season of American Horror Story. The season was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film for Jessica Lange. Asylum was also nominated for seventeen Emmy Awards, winning two.


In a New England sanitarium, presided by ministers of faith and science, the innocent and the mad run from greater dangers and their own pasts. Bookended by modern day explorations of the ruins, a darker mystery lies in wait for new victims.

Cast and Characters[]


Episode # Premiere Writer(s) Director
Welcome to Briarcliff 1 2012-10-17 Tim Minear Bradley Buecker
Tricks and Treats 2 2012-10-24 James Wong Bradley Buecker
Nor'easter 3 2012-10-31 Jennifer Salt Michael Uppendahl
I Am Anne Frank: Part 1 4 2012-11-07 Jessica Sharzer Michael Uppendahl
I Am Anne Frank: Part 2 5 2012-11-14 Brad Falchuk Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
The Origins of Monstrosity 6 2012-11-21 Ryan Murphy David Semel
Dark Cousin 7 2012-11-28 Tim Minear David Semel
Unholy Night 8 2012-12-05 James Wong Michael Lehmann
The Coat Hanger 9 2012-12-12 Jennifer Salt Jeremy Podeswa
The Name Game 10 2013-01-02 Jessica Sharzer Michael Lehmann
Spilt Milk 11 2013-01-09 Brad Falchuk Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Continuum 12 2013-01-16 Ryan Murphy Craig Zisk
Madness Ends 13 2013-01-23 Tim Minear Alfonso Gomez-Rejon


Murphy and Falchuk planned that each season of the series would tell a different story from the beginning. After the first-season finale aired, Murphy spoke of his plans to change the cast and location for the second season, while retaining some actors from the first.[1]

Brad Falchuk described the shift in tone as, "To me, last year was a family drama. This is our version of a workplace drama."[2]

Asylum was considered the hardest to film for the cast. Having to portray mentally ill or dark characters in a dark setting was mentally daunting and depressing for the cast. To try and cheer things up, Ryan Murphy included the Name Game sequence to try and cheer the cast up, and Zachary Quinto would play his banjo in between takes to cheer things up too. [3]


Returning cast include Sarah Paulson, Lily Rabe, and Zachary Quinto, who were upgraded to main. Jessica Lange got even more in the spotlight, with Murphy stating the second installment revolves around her character, Sister Jude. Evan Peters was also reprising a leading role. New faces included Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Lizzie Brocheré, Chloë Sevigny, James Cromwell, and Joseph Fiennes, whose involvement were disclosed throughout the spring of 2012.

Clea DuVall and Mark Consuelos were cast in recurring roles, with Frances Conroy and Dylan McDermott returning in a guest starring capacity in key roles to the season.