The American Horror Story franchise continues to thrill fans year after year by crafting the most bizarre, alarming, dark and twisted plot sequences a horror devotee could ever ask for. While the terrifying episodes are enough to keep you up at night, just wait until you hear the real-life versions. That’s right! The creepy, bloodcurdling narratives are not just a bunch of hocus pocus. Writers of the show have based all of the AHS plot lines on gruesomely true events.
Season 1: Murder House
The plot sequence of this diabolical season revolves around the themes of revenge and murder — almost 100 years of it in fact — but one of the menacing flashbacks was actually based on a real-life murder case.
Elizabeth Short, otherwise known as the ‘Black Dahlia’, was one of the guests that stopped by the murder house to receive dental work. Although the interpretation of how she was killed was simply the imaginative work of the AHS writers, to this day no one knows the mystery behind how her half-sliced body was found drained of her blood.
Season 2: Asylum
This season of the American Horror Story franchise follows two protagonists, Kit and Alma Walker, who claim to be abducted by aliens. These petrified characters were inspired by a real-life mixed-race couple, Barney and Betty Hill, who also went public about their supernatural experience in the 60s.
Season 3: Coven
This spine-chilling season of the show was in fact based on Madame Delphine Lalaurie, a real historical figure that was a prominent New Orleans socialite in the early 1800s. She was portrayed just as ghastly and frightening as the old newspaper accounts had written, showing how she tortured and killed people in her ‘Chamber of Horrors’. Hearsay suggests that LaLaurie killed a huge number of slaves, leaving them chained to the wall, or left mutilated on the floor of her home. Needless to say, it is said that her home remains haunted.
Season 4: Freak Show
This bizarre, yet intriguing season was inspired by real people, including the character Pepper who was based on Schlitzie the Pinhead — an American sideshow performer who also starred in an early 30s movie. Schlitzie had a neurodevelopmental disorder that caused him to have a smaller head and brain than the average human. Many performers during this time period possessed some form of developmental complications which was seen as abnormal.
Season 5: Hotel
This bloodcurdling depiction was based on the real life Cecil Hotel in LA, rumored to be a favorite spot for serial killers in the area, as guests were known to be found dead or switch to thirsty killers overnight. Fans often connect the plot line to the real-life death of Elisa Lam, a Canadian student who was found dead at the hotel with earlier footage of her acting strange in the elevator.
Season 6: Roanoke
This season of the American Horror Story franchise is entirely inspired by the lost colony of Roanoke — the first known British settlement in the Americas. This mysterious American mystery started when a whole town of 117 people in Northern California completely vanished in the year 1590. The only thing that was found where their town once prospered was a single skeleton with the world ‘CROATOAN’ carved into a nearby fence post. Spooky!
Season 7: Cult
While most AHS seasons satirize historical and cultural lore and fears from the past, season 7 was more interested in showing the current state of America. This story focuses on the aftermath of the 2016 federal election all while intertwining the historic background of cults across the country — comparing fictional character Kai Anderson to real-life leaders such as Charles Manson and Jim Jones. This season also touched on the mysterious clown sightings that happened that same year.
What do you think ‘Season 8: Apocalypse’ will be based on? Tell us all about it in the comments section below.