American Horror Story Wiki
American Horror Story Wiki

Stanley (also known as Richard Spencer) is a con-artist who is working with Maggie Esmerelda to gain access to Fräulein Elsa's Cabinet of Curiosities. He is a character in Freak Show portrayed by Denis O'Hare. He often works under false names and wears disguises. He'll do anything for a quick buck, even if it means murder.


Stanley confesses to Jimmy Darling when he is in jail that he lost his mother at a young age, which leads him into trouble; however, it is uncertain whether or not this is true.

Stanley met Maggie in Kansas City in 1941, where she was stopped by a police officer for theft. Stanley quickly took the opportunity to defend her by stating that she was his child and was aiming to get into the character of Oliver Twist for a stage production. Stanley took Maggie under his wing, training her how to best be a thief/con-artist. He paid her 10 cents to the dollar, which was a payment Maggie couldn't refuse, he also gave her food and lodging.

Personality and Appearance[]

Stanley is a con man with a quick disguise set up for his next scheme. He is driven by greed and seems to have no moral qualms about inflicting pain and putting others in danger for his own financial gain. Stanley is gay. He possesses, what some may see as his own "freak" quality, a very long penis.


Stanley, along with Maggie, makes most of his money selling items to the American Morbidity Museum.  Under the guise of being medical professionals, he tries to convince the curator to buy what he claims to be "a genuine sasquatch fetus," to which she readily dismisses as a fake. With the money drying up, he and Maggie find and attend Elsa Mars ' freak show, with Stanley now pretending to be an agent from Hollywood, which immediately attracts Elsa. Using Maggie's façade as a fortune teller, he uses her as his inside woman to scope out potential money making victims. Stanley is furthered ingratiated into Elsa's confidence by helping her concoct the lie about how Ethel Darling actually died.

Stanley screenshot

With his dark antics, Stanley is primarily, albeit indirectly, responsible for the death of Ma Petite by blackmailing Dell Toledo. He is also responsible for the loss of Jimmy's hands, and for chopping off Salty's head after his death - ironically one death for which he was not responsible. Once Maggie came clean about her conspiracy with Stanley and his crimes were discovered by the remaining freaks, they proceeded to mutilate him by sawing off his limbs and dressing him as Meep - keeping him caged as punishment. His ultimate fate remains unknown, although it is implied that either the remaining freaks or Dandy Mott finished him off at some point.


  • To Maggie Esmerelda: "Nobody cares what happens to a freak."
  • To Dell Toledo: "Quiet slapping of two penises waggling in the wind."