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You sound exactly like my daughter Scarlett. She's around your age, but she's the oldest little girl I know. I think deep down she blames herself for everything that's wrong with me. But it's me, not her. And it's him, not you.
~ John Lowe to Wren.

John Lowe is the overall main protagonist of American Horror Story: Hotel. He is a Homicide Detective hell-bent on solving the Ten Commandment Killings, only for him to realize he had been the one doing the killings.

He is portrayed by Wes Bentley.



Being a cop, John had always saw the injustice and corruption of the Justice system. After walking in on a family manslaughter, John had gone to the Hotel Cortez in search of getting heavily drunk. There, he meets the ghost of famous serial killer, James Patrick March. He saw potential in him and started trying to make him his successor to finish his Ten Commandments murders. After five years, his son, Holden, was abducted from a carnival in Santa Monica by The Countess. This event cause a large strain on his marriage. Afterwards, he began committing the murders.


John documents a unique crime scene involving a dead woman impaled by a spear and locked in super-glue affixed coitus with a man who has had his eyes and tongue removed but left alive. Upon returning to the department, he reviews a case from a month earlier involving one Martin Gamboa, killed by blunt force trauma to the head with an unknown weapon and sexually assaulted by something (perhaps the weapon) that left traces of gold paint in his rectum. After handing over the old case to be cross-referenced with the new he receives a call from someone claiming responsibility for the murder and directing him to Room 64 at Hotel Cortez. At the hotel, he found nothing in Room 64 but an extremely inviting bed where he quickly fell asleep. Upon waking to a jazz playing clock-radio he discovered a young boy in the room resembling his abducted son. He gave chase through the halls but he was successfully evaded. An emergency text from his wife (actually a ruse) leads him to a home where he receives another anonymous call before seeing a mysterious figure and discovering the disemboweled corpses of two men hanging from their respective bedposts. To draw danger away from his family and give his wife time to grieve, John takes up temporary residence at Hotel Cortez.

John Lowe finds another murder case of the Ten Commandments Killer - the editors of a gossip site are killed and their tongues are rather nailed-up or even taken out and thrown randomly around the room. After seeing this gruesome crime scene, he comes back to the hotel where he is "welcomed" by Gabriel who is dying and all covered in blood. He takes him to the hospital where he says that he didn't mean to kill her (referring to Claudia) but "the junkie whore" Sally instead. Therefore, he goes back to the hotel to question her but since he doesn't find out anything new, he decides to arrest her for trying to edit one of the Ten Commandments which he finds disrespectful and suspicious as well. While going down in the elevator, Sally seduces him and disappears. Later, his wife meets him at the hotel and asks for a divorce. After Alextakes him to his room and gives him medicine to have a rest, they make out but she stops and leaves.

Serial killers check into the Cortez, including Aileen Wuornos who meets John at the bar and attempts to kill him, only for him to subdue her and realise that multiple other killers have supposedly checked in. Refusing to believe this and only accepting that these people are wearing Halloween costumes and playing some cruel trick, Liz informs John about March's annual Devil's Night, a dinner where the most notorious American serial killers, who have previously checked into the hotel before their apprehension or death, come together and celebrate their crimes. At the dinner, John is introduced to John Wayne Gacy, the Zodiac Killer, and Jeffrey Dahmer, and witnesses the guests murdering a man who has been picked up by Sally. After passing out during the dinner, John wakes up in a now empty room where the dinner was held with only Sally in it, who asks him if he knows what is and isn't real anymore.

John Lowe tells his lieutenant about the "copycat" serial killers at the hotel on Devil's Night, knowing how insane he sounds. John's reputation has been in tatters since his breakdown following Holden's abduction, and he is fired for instability. John awakes again, this time scratched and in bed with Sally. She claims he practically dragged her into his room from the bar, where they had sex. He says she needs to go, and she recoils after their evening together. He claims he doesn't remember any of it, and she says he's lying; she also thinks it is their destiny to do it again and again, and that he can't fight it.

Although he was sacked, John won't stop looking for answers about the Ten Commandments Killer. He checks into the West Los Angeles Health Center on purpose after finding out that someone related to the murders is kept there. After beating up the guard, he walks into the ward and finds Wren, one of the Countess' blood-sucking children. They have a small talk and she decides to lead him to the killer if he takes her out of this place. They leave the hospital unnoticed butWren says that the murderer is at the Cortez and commits a suicide.

He goes back there and tries to make Liz Taylor tell him something. Then Sally appears and asks him to follow her in order to find out who the killer is. She leads him to Room 64 where she shows him a secret room with inwards of all the victims (even some who were killed in the 1920s) and tells him that James March was the one who started it but John himself finished his business unconsciously. It turns out that John has visited the hotel for the first time far back in 2010 while being drunk (see more on Background). He went to the police and confessed to his friend Detective Hahn but he wouldn't believe him and tries to convince him that he is a good person. Then, John says that he knows that Andy andAlex have been dating and stabs him to death. He returns to the Cortez and meets Iris. She tries to act like she sees him for the first time but John tells her that he remembers everything and he goes to Room 64. He puts a part of Andy in one of the tubes left for parts of the victims killed because of the Ten Commandments.

It is revealed that John has been in a mostly sexual relationship with Sally, for five years, and he couldn't recall most of them until recently.

John attempts to live a normal life with his family, helping to supply Alex and Holden with victims to feed on but eventually they left him. In the episode "Be Our Guest", it is revealed during the time jump to Devil's Night 2022 that John was shot to death by police officers but failed to cross the hotel's threshold in time to remain as a spirit, now only appearing each year for Devil's Night to attend the annual serial killer party hosted by March. John also helps Iris and Ramona rid themselves of Billie Dean Howard who has turned the hotel into a media sensation with her paranormal TV shows with the spirits of John, the other serial killers and Ramona threatening her into never coming back to the hotel or else she will be murdered. John then lays in bed with Alex, Holden and the adult Scarlett who has lived a successful life by their bedside.


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Murder House
Vivien Harmon | Ben Harmon | Violet Harmon | Moira O'Hara | Nora Montgomery | Billie Dean Howard

Lana Winters | Kit Walker | Sister Jude | Sister Mary Eunice | Pepper Gayheart | Grace Bertrand | Shachath

Cordelia Foxx | Zoe Benson | Kyle Spencer | Misty Day | Queenie | Nan | Myrtle Snow | Madison Montgomery | Marie Laveau

Freak Show
Elsa Mars | Bette and Dot Tattler | Jimmy Darling | Ma Petite | Amazon Eve | Maggie Esmerelda | Pepper Gayheart | Penny | Meep | Massimo Dolcefino | Sister Mary Eunice

John Lowe | Alex Lowe | Iris | Liz Taylor | Tristan Duffy | Will Drake | Billie Dean Howard

Lee Harris | Matt Miller | Shelby Miller | Monet Tumusiime | Audery Tindall | Priscilla

Rudy Vincent | Winter Anderson

Cordelia Goode | Mallory | Madison Montgomery | Coco St. Pierre Vanderbilt | Zoe Benson | Myrtle Snow | Misty Day | Queenie | Nan | John Henry Moore | Violet Harmon | Behold Chablis | Ben Harmon | Vivien Harmon | Billie Dean Howard | Moira O'Hara | Marie Laveau

Brooke Thompson | Benjamin Ritcher | Xavier Plympton | Chet Clancy | Ray Powell | Trevor Kirchner | Donna Chambers | Bobby Ritcher II

American Horror Stories
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