American Horror Stories brings some scares to the summer TV slate. The FX show, which premiered July 15, is a spinoff of Ryan Murphy’s anthology series American Horror Story, which introduces a different terrifying theme each season. American Horror Stories will take a similar but truncated approach, focusing on a stand-alone story in each episode.
While the original series is known to be campy and quirky, it often draws inspiration from real-life tragedy and terror. Throughout his nine seasons so far, he has referred to the filming of Columbine in 1999 (Season 1 Murder House), accused murderer Lizzie Borden (Season 2 Asylum), and serial killers including John Wayne Gacy (season 4 Monster show) and HH Holmes (season 5 Hotel). The sixth season, Roanoke, was inspired by the demise of a colony on Roanoke Island in the 16th century, while season 9 1984 centered on Richard Ramirez, the real serial killer known as the Night Stalker who terrorized California in the mid-80s.
American Horror Stories seems to take a slightly different approach, focusing less about real crimes and more about horror, myths, urban legends and other traditions, according to a tweet from creator Ryan Murphy. Some of the images included in the trailer include a murderous Santa, teenagers with ouija boards, and a reference to Jay Anson’s famous 1977 novel. Amityville Horror (which is based on the true story of the Lutz family but includes a lot of paranormal elements).
American Horror Stories also connects to the previous one american horror story seasons, with the first episode set in Season 1’s Murder House. Rather than the Harmon family from the original series, it focuses on Michael (american horror story alum Matt Bomer), her husband Troy (Gavin Creel) and their daughter Scarlett (Sierra McKormick). After unpacking her things in the house, Scarlett discovers the Rubber Man costume originally donned by Evan Peters’ character, Tate, and dons it, eventually indulging in her own deadly feats.
These allusions to the past american horror story seasons should continue: Murphy teased that many of the 16 episodes will feature previous ones stars from the original series. It is possible that during the process, American Horror Stories will retread some of the actual events covered in american horror story, but there are certainly a plethora of horrific myths and legends he can explore that haven’t been addressed american horror story and that would help distinguish it from its predecessor. Either way, it certainly takes place in the larger frame AHS universe – and perhaps help to sow seeds for American Horror Stories 10th season to come Double functionality.