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American Horror Story Wiki

Moira O'Hara is the housekeeper of the "Murder House", and has been there for the stay of many families. She is a character in American Horror Story primarily portrayed by Frances Conroy.


At some point prior to 1983, a young Moira O'Hara began working at the Murder House as a housekeeper for Constance and Hugo Langdon. Sometime before 1983, a young Moira O'Hara had sex with Constance's husband, Hugo, due to her "feeling lonely". In 1983, when he made another advance towards her, Moira refused him saying that what they did was a mistake. Not happy with being denied, Hugo forced himself on Moira and attempted to rape her only to be caught in the act by Constance. Presumably mistaking the interaction as consensual, Constance shot Moira in the eye, killing her. Constance then shot Hugo several times in the chest, also killing him. Constance then buried Moira in the backyard of the house. After her death, Moira became a ghost trapped in the Murder House.

Personality and Appearance[]

To those who do not sexually objectify women (often other women and gay men), Moira appears as a tall, older woman with one working eye (the other is grey and clouded) and a sensible uniform dress. In her other form she appears (often to men) as an unscathed, hyper-sexual young woman in a short skirt and stockings. According to Moira, this is because women's intuition gives them insight on the true nature of people, whereas men see only what they desire. However, if the man can resist the compulsion to see her as a sexual object, they too will see her as who she "really is". Both forms of Moira have burgundy-red hair.

In her "true" visage she is pleasant, professional and somewhat 'kooky'; in the younger, she is seductive, hyper-sexual and manipulative; a femme fatale. Moira is generally soft-spoken and reserved, but sometimes has outbursts of intense emotion, including anger, sadness, and delight. Moira despises men as liars and cheaters, having met her end because of such a man. As such, she also sympathizes with women who have been cheated on, such as Vivien Harmon. Moira has a deep desire to leave Murder House, and is willing to kill or have killed anyone who will prevent her remains from leaving; the building of the gazebo and the burial of Hayden bring a deep despair to Moira.

In Apocalypse, Moira has changed slightly. Since Constance Langdon's suicide, Moira has gained greater confidence and her darker side would show itself more in a sharp tongue as she took joy in taunting Langdon. Moira's intense sadness has not waned, however, with Billie Dean Howard describing her as "the saddest soul" of all the ghosts in the Murder House.[2] Moira's love and affection for her mother similarly did not falter, and she requests to have her remains buried in the same tomb. Moira also demonstrates a profound sense of gratitude, thanking Madison Montgomery effusively for releasing her.


Murder House[]

Moira O'Hara first appears to Vivien Harmon, the new lady of the house, in the backyard of the Murder House. She introduces herself as the housekeeper and her knowledge of how to maintain the house impresses Vivien enough that she is permitted to continue in her position. Moira reveals that she worked for the previous owners and even cleaned up the bloody mess of their deaths. Moira, appearing in her younger, seductive visage quickly begins a campaign of trying to seduce Ben Harmon. The Harmon family are unaware of just how long or deep Moira's connection to the Murder House runs. Constance Langdon reveals, in passing, that Moira once worked for her. Certainly, Moira was comfortable enough with the history of the house to bury bodies alongside Constance and Tate.[3]

In a flashback, we are shown that before 1983 while still alive, Moira once slept with Constance's husband, Hugo Langdon, as she was "feeling lonely". In 1983, Langdon drunkenly makes another sexual advance towards her, but Moira refuses him, saying that what they did was a mistake. Hugo tries to force himself on Moira, only to be caught in the act by Constance. Constance, possibly mistaking the interaction as consensual, shoots Moira through the eye - killing her instantly. Constance then shoots Hugo to death and buries his and Moira's bodies in the backyard of the house.[4]

On Halloween 2011, Moira leaves the premises of the Murder House to visit her dying and comatose mother, Molly O'Hara, who still lives in a long-term care facility. Moira expresses guilt that she hadn't been there for her, and resolves to set her free. Moira tearfully unhooks the respirator, and allows her mother to die. Molly's ghost appears behind Moira, biding her "come with me baby". Moira cries that she wants to be with her mother but can't: "I want to, Mother, but I can't, I can't." Moira, full of despair, returns to the Murder House shortly before sunrise.[5][6]

Moira develops a friendship with Vivien Harmon, and shows admiration and dedication to her when she reluctantly prepared the offal meals Constance brought for Vivien's babies.[7] Moira also shows resistance to the will of the house by using her younger form and seducing Joe Escandarian so that he will buy the house and put in a pool, requiring him to unearth her body in the backyard (and hopefully release her trapped spirit). Moira is horrified to learn he intended to pave the land as a parking lot instead. Moira responded to this by biting off Escandarian's penis during fellatio, in a team effort between Constance, Larry, and Moira to kill him off-site.[8]

Moira urges Vivien to leave the house as soon as possible while she still can, fearing for Vivien's safety from Hayden and other influences. It is revealed that Moira helped orchestrate the scene in which Chad Warwick and Patrick were found after their deaths.[9]

Moira continues to try to seduce Ben during Vivien's committal, although he still rebukes her. Exasperated, she and Elizabeth Short have sex on Ben's couch, and Moira tries again to entice him. He responds to this by trying to fire her. Moira returns to find Ben holding the Rubber Man mask, putting facts together. He rejects her one final time; and Harmon finally stops sexually objectifying Moira. She congratulates him: "Congratulations, Dr Harmon, you're finally beginning to see things as they are." Moira appears only in her older form to him from that point on.[10]

Moira tearfully cleans the newly newborn Harmon baby, and becomes the godmother to ghostly Jeffrey Harmon when he is later discovered. Moira is considered an equal to the Harmon family and a close friend after their ordeal, and works to keep unsuspecting families away from the violent elements in the house.[11][12]


When Constance kills herself in the Murder House, she is reunited not only with her children but also Moira O'Hara. The two spend their time verbally sparring, as Moira is now equal to Constance because she is a ghost even if Constance treats Moira as a servant. 

After Madison and Behold come to the Murder House to learn about Michael, Constance makes a deal with them: if they'll get rid of Moira, she'll tell them all about Michael. Madison has Behold dig in the yard for Moira's bones. They take the collection of limbs to Moira and she hugs Madison in gratitude. They ask her where she'd like to be buried. She chooses to be taken to the cemetery. The same cemetery that her mother is buried in. Moira reunites with her mother and confesses to her that she killed her, but Molly thanks her for putting her out of her agony. Then they depart together to a peaceful afterlife.[2]

Moira's release was reversed by the Supreme candidate Mallory during her use of Tempus Infinituum. As she traveled back to 2015 and killed Michael Langdon in his weaker state, Madison and Behold never had to go to the Murder House in the first place. Moreover, Constance never had to commit suicide.[13]


Moira O'Hara is the first and thus far the only ghost to have the ability to change her own appearance.

  • Shapeshifting - The supernatural ability to change one's appearance into another form.
    • Age Shifting - Moira O'Hara possesses the ability to change into her young appearance to seduce unfaithful men; and her older appearance to women and other people who see beyond physical beauty.
  • Intangibility / Invisibility - The ability to choose not to be seen by humans and other ghosts. Moira mentions to Vivien that she can choose to be seen or unseen by Ben.

Associated Characters[]

Molly O'Hara[]

Molly O'Hara is a guest starring character in American Horror Story portrayed by Marilyn O'Connor.

Following the disappearance of her daughter, Molly O' Hara moved on with her life until, in old age, she was hospitalized in a long-term care facility. Moira visited her during the window of opportunity given at Halloween. Feeling guilty because she wasn't there for her mother for thirty years since her death, and wanting to let her free, Moira unhooked the artificial respiration machine and Molly died peacefully. Moira then turned away and began to cry as Molly got up as a ghost offering to come with her to Heaven but Moira refuses. Moira later goes home at sunset like all the other ghosts.

After Madison and Behold come to the Murder House to learn about Michael, Constance makes a deal with them: if they'll get rid of Moira, she'll tell them all about Michael. Madison has Behold dig in the yard for Moira's bones. They take the collection of limbs to Moira and she hugs Madison in gratitude. They ask her where she'd like to be buried. She chooses to be taken to the cemetery. The same cemetery that her mother is buried in. Moira reunites with her mother and confesses to her that she killed her, but Molly thanks her for putting her out of her agony. Then they depart together to a peaceful afterlife.[2]



  • To Vivien Harmon: "Sometimes, people just go mad."
  • To Constance Langdon: "Your sense of humor was and continues to be a delight."
  • To Constance Langdon: "You need to pay for what you've done."
  • To Violet Harmon: "You'll come to understand, Violet, that the word 'ancient' will lose all its meaning when your entire existence is one long today."
  • To Ben Harmon: "The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak."
  • To Vivien Harmon and Ben Harmon: "I'm not naive to the ways of men. Their need to objectify, conquer. They see what they want to see. Women, however, see into the soul of a person."
  • To Vivien Harmon: "They come, they go, I stay."
  • To Vivien Harmon: "No. Your denial is impressive. You're a ghost, Mrs. Harmon. I don't take orders from ghosts."
  • To her mother: "It's beautiful here. I feel like I can finally breathe."


  • She is the first character to be portrayed by Frances Conroy and Alexandra Breckenridge. For a complete list of their characters, see Cast. Conroy's portrayal of Moira earned her a Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie.
  • The Greek word moira (μοῖρα) literally means a part or portion of the whole and by extension one's portion in life or destiny, which consisted of bad and good moments distributed by the Fates. The three Moira were demons/goddesses (depending on the Ancient Greek source) who determined every person's moment and manner of death.
  • The actress who portrays the older version of Moira, Frances Conroy, actually has a discolored iris, she is not wearing contact lenses. She was in a car accident and then had eye surgery. Frances mentioned her eye problem in the casting sessions and the writers decided to make this a plot point so that she would not have to wear contact lenses. That is why Constance shooting Moira in the eye was written in.[14]
  • The fact that the Moiras and the twins Troy and Bryan have red hair is a plot point. Ryan Murphy has revealed that the redheads have something to do with Ben's childhood. “It’s something that happened to Dylan’s character as a child that involves redheads,” Murphy said. “It’s a beautiful childhood thing for him that will be explained.”[15]
  • Among all the ghosts in the house, Moira is the only ghost to have a change in appearance even after her death. All the other ghost's age seemed to stop in time, retaining the way they looked upon death.
  • Moira is one of three ghosts who managed to get out of the place of their death, the other two being The Axeman and Queenie.
  • Moria's story is somewhat akin to that of Medusa, in which the aforementioned was raped by Poseidon and then, in a plea for help, was disfigured by Athena. This is similar to how the ghost of Moira seems to take on the form of an older woman, with a distinctive cataracts-like eye, who is arguably the most pitiful soul in the Murder House, after being killed by Constance. Meanwhile, Hugo (her rapist) remains oblivious to his status as a ghost
  • Some theorise that Frances Conroy's casting as Moira O'Hara is significant to the character. Indeed, Moira is possibly designed to play off Conroy's famed role as Ruth Fisher in Six Feet Under - both are importantly older women, "trapped" (in some sense of the word), who often express emotional outbursts. Moreover, Moira O'Hara and Ruth Fisher are arguably subversions of the crone archetype.



  1. In Smoldering Children she appears in a picture.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Episode: Return to Murder House
  3. Episode: Home Invasion
  4. Episode: Murder House (episode)
  5. Episode: Halloween: Part 1
  6. Episode: Halloween: Part 2
  7. Episode: Piggy Piggy
  8. Episode: Open House
  9. Episode: Rubber Man (episode)
  10. Episode: Spooky Little Girl
  11. Episode: Birth
  12. Episode: Afterbirth
  13. Episode: Apocalypse Then
  14. Behind the Scenes video- Casting
  15. Malloy, Tim (6 Aug 2011). TCA: Ryan Murphy's 'American Horror Story' Haunted by Redheads. The Wrap.