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Larry Harvey

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Larry Harvey (full given name: Lawrence[1]) is a previous owner of the Murder House. He is a character in the first season (dubbed by fans "Murder House") portrayed by Denis O'Hare. He has third-degree burns prominently on his face and on the left side of his body.

Background

Larry was one of the Murder House's previous owners, having lived there with his wife, Lorraine, and their two young daughters in the early 1990s. He claimed to have been arrested and sent to prison after he was accused of dousing the beds of his family in gasoline and setting fire to them as they slept, and that he was released due to terminal brain cancer.

Personality and Appearance

Larry is lanky with light eyes, one of which is faded on the scarred side. He has short, dark hair that only grows on one side. Because of the burns encompassing over 70% of his body, he walks with a limp and his left arm is perpeually curled agiainst his chest. Larry is generally polite, but this can be used as front to try to manipulate others. He can be manipulative, but also willing to be used by others to a obsequious degree. He can be craven when threatened and prone to episodes of tears and rage when emotional, showing his instability.

While at first Larry is only warning Ben about the house, it quickly becomes apparent that Larry has a greater, if not psychotic, interest in pursuing the Harmons. He regularly harasses Ben, usually threatening him or asking for money, until the situation comes to a climax in "Halloween: Part 2".

Shortly after, Ben digs into Larry's past and discovers that he was not actually put in jail, but placed in a psychiatric ward instead. Larry then admits that he fell in love with Constance while his family lived in the house, even murdering her son Beau at her request. He told Lorraine that he was leaving her and was having Constance move back into the house. Larry says that after telling his wife about his plans, she locked herself in their daughters' room and set it on fire, which Larry alleges is the origin of his burns.

After the death of his family, Constance and her children moved back into the house with Larry. He tried to play the father role in Tate and Addie's lives as their father "left" several years prior; however, Tate disapproved of his relationship with Constance. Tate is aware that Larry is the one responsible for killing his brother, Beauregard, and retaliated by dousing Larry with lighter fluid and setting him on fire the morning he committed the Westfield High Massacre, which is the real story behind his burns.[2]

Story

Shortly after the Harmon family move into their new home, Ben begins noticing a mysterious stranger stalking him. One day, he sees the man following him while jogging. When he can't shake him, he approaches the man from behind and demands to know why he was following him. Larry introduces himself to Ben and gives his fake background, claiming he was released from prison because he is terminally ill. He claims that six months into living in the house, he started hearing voices. These voices were what caused him to kill his family, and he claims he did not know what he was doing until he caught fire himself, also stating that he doesn't even remember how he got out of the house. He asks Ben if he has had blackouts, which startles Ben, as he had experienced them and was sleepwalking. Larry tells him to read his trial transcripts and get out of the house. Ben is angry at this intrusion into his life, and tells Larry that he will have him committed if he does not stay away from him and his family. Ben runs away, leaving a grinning Larry behind. Over the next few weeks, Larry continues to follow and heckle Ben. He has mentioned that he always wanted to be an actor in plays, and asks Ben for $1,000, which he wants to use for head shots in exchange for "services". Ben forcefully tells him that he will not give him any money. He later suddenly shows up at the house and bludgeons Ben's ex-lover, Hayden, with a shovel, killing her as she's leaving the house. Larry then buries her in the backyard. He then tells Ben that he "could really use that thousand bucks," apparently thinking he was doing Ben a favor.

Larry is shown to be becoming increasingly unstable. He shows up at the Harmon residence several times demanding the $1,000. Ben threatens to call the police, but Larry aptly points out that Hayden was pregnant with his child, which would look worse on Ben if the police were to get involved. He also makes vague threats to call public inspectors about the gazebo Ben built over Hayden's grave. Seemingly having a psychotic breakdown, he shows up on Halloween night while Violet is home alone, banging on the door and demanding his $1,000.[3] Ben confronts Larry in his front yard, having encountered Hayden's ghost moments prior. Pushed to the breaking point by all that unfolded on Halloween night and believing he and Hayden have concocted an extortion plot together, Ben savagely beats Larry while vowing to kill him if he sees him on his property or near his family again. Larry dares Ben to do it, saying he'd take joy in coming back to haunt him.[4]

Undeterred, Larry breaks into the house and knocks out Ben as he talks to Hayden. He coldly apologizes and offers to join her in tormenting the Harmons. Larry begins pouring gasoline on several of the curtains, though when confronted by Chad, he is startled and flees the house.

Larry poses as a prospective buyer for the house when Marcy and Vivien are trying to sell it. Seemingly recognizing Larry, Marcy threatens him with a gun, though he refuses to leave and Vivien decides to give him a tour. During it, Larry makes cryptic comments about how he'd think the parlor would look good with "murals", an apparent reference to the demonic paintings that Vivien tore down after moving into the house.[5]

Ben later learns of his appearance at the Open House and meets him at his apartment, where he promises to get a restraining order since Larry has turned his attention to harassing his wife. He also reveals that he uncovered Larry's history, finding out that he was in the mental institution and not prison. Breaking down in tears, Larry admits that he only harassed Ben and tried getting the house because he is still in-love with Constance. He tells him his alleged true background (though he leaves out Constance moving in and his murdering of Beau) and says the house is all that's left of his happiness. Having had enough of Larry, Ben coldly tells him that its over and that the potential new buyer is tearing down the house. As a result, Larry contacts Constance and Moira and the three lure Joe to the house, where they promptly kill him. Larry is shown professing to Constance that he loves her, though she cruelly rebuffs him.

Larry then disposes of Joe's body in an unknown location. Hayden later calls on him (as a return favor for his murdering of her) to get rid of Travis' horribly mutilated corpse. He tosses it in a nearby public basketball court. Larry is seen with a smile on his face as he watches some of the court's users find the body in horror.

In "Smoldering Children", Constance appears at Larry's apartment and threatens to kill him, believing he murdered Travis. Larry admits to her that he moved the body but explains that a ghost in the House did it. He tells her again that he loves her, but Constance once again insults him and leaves. At this point, he resolves to pin the murder on Constance and he goes to collect the remaining evidence from the House's basement. In an emotional moment, however, Lorraine and his daughters appear. Breaking down again, Larry apologizes for what happened and promises to make Constance pay. Lorraine then somberly points out that Constance wasn't the one who broke any marital vows and ripped apart their family. She then vanishes with the girls, leaving the heartbroken Larry alone in the basement.

Prompted by Lorraine's words, Larry takes the fall for Travis' murder in order to pay for all he's done. As a request before his incarceration, Larry asks for Constance to visit him, where he tells her that he's taking the fall as penance for his crimes but that he still loves her and will be able to endure his imprisonment fully if she reciprocates his feelings. However, Constance tells him that she will never love him and then departs, leaving Larry alone and remorseful.

Quotes

  • To Ben Harmon: "Give me my treat. You don't want the trick!"
  • To Ben Harmon: "I am not leaving here until I get my 1000 dollars, screw you!"
  • To Tate Langdon: "Oh, of course, son. I was hoping you would choose to become a part of this family."
  • To Ben Harmon: "Promises, promises."
  • To Ben Harmon: "Well.. more than anything, I guess, to be on the stage. You know what stopped me? Fear of what my family would say. But... now that they're, well, you know, dead, and, uh, I have terminal brain cancer, I figure... maybe I should just go for it, you know? Chase that dream. What about you? What dream are you chasing? Or should I say, what dream is chasing you?"
  • To Marcy: "Oh, I see. It's because of my affliction, isn't it. Sometimes I wonder, if I knew how much I was going to be shunned, if I would have run back onto that burning school bus to save those children. Now this crudité is making my mouth dry. I'm going to have a little glass of this Chardonnay, and then you may show me the house."

Notes

  • The name "Larry Harvey" is a humorous reference to the correspondingly named co-founder of the "Burning Man" festival.[6]

Gallery

References

  1. Referred to as "The Burnt Man" in some promotional material.
  2. Episode: Smoldering Children
  3. Episode: Halloween: Part 1
  4. Episode: Halloween: Part 2
  5. Episode: Open House
  6. Turek, Ryan, "Denis O' Hare talks to 'Shock' about 'American Horror Story'", Shock till you drop, http://www.shocktillyoudrop.com/news/interviewsnews.php?id=21961, 18 Nov 2011

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