There are plenty of true stories that inspire American Horror Story. They are the stories that resonate and terrify, which is exactly why the creators of the show pull inspiration from their intriguing bits of folklore. The show's creators do an exceptional job at putting their own unique spin on real life atrocities. Each season pulls from multiple sources, unsolved crimes, historical oddities, and chilling legends people have told around campfires for generations can all be found sprinkled throughout the show.
American Horror Story plots inspired by real events have included the Black Dahlia, Elizabeth Bathory, the Axeman of New Orleans, and the haunted Cecil Hotel, to name a few. But what other horrifying stories - fact or fiction - haven't they done that would make for great television? Jack the Ripper? Slender man? Here are some possible options from popular legends and real events that could fit in nicely with the collection of scary stories in American Horror Story.
The SS Ourang Medan
The American Horror Story “Sweet Dreams” trailer seemed to hint at a horror at sea. How awesome would AHS: Ghost Ship be? The historic mystery of the SS Ourang Medan would be a great place to pull inspiration from.
According to legend, multiple ships picked up distress calls from the SS Ourang Medan. The message received was broken up into two parts (with undecipherable morse code between them) the messages said "S.O.S. from Ourang Medan * * * we float. All officers including the Captain, dead in chartroom and on the bridge. Probably whole of crew dead. I die."
When the ship was actually found drifting near Indonesia, the entire crew aboard the Ourang Medan was dead - eyes wide open and mouths gaping.
Fans have been screaming - well, more like typing in all caps - for an American Horror Story: Prison for quite sometime now. Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, which is reportedly one of the most haunted locations in the country, would be the ideal place to start. They had famous inmates like Al Capone, George "Machine-Gun" Kelly, Arthur "Doc" Barker and the first "Public Enemy #1" Alvin Karpis.
Obviously there would be plenty of vengeful ghosts of some insanely violent individuals. Any earth bound spirits of guards and administrators would be pretty terrifying as well since this facility was known for inhumane treatment of prisoners, back in the '30s prisoners were kept in "hole-cells." There is even talk about the land itself being haunted log before the prison went up.
According to local historians, the land was a Native American burial ground. Complaints of haunting have been going on since opening day.
Centralia, Pennsylvania, The Real Silent Hill
Between the video game and the movies you’d think Silent Hill was a done deal, but it doesn’t have to be. At least not the real Silent Hill that is…
The story everyone knows was inspired by a very real, extremely eerie small town called Centralia in Pennsylvania. What once had a population of about 3,000 people, is now completely abandoned and has been on fire since 1962. There is plenty of horror fuel in any small mining town setting, but a slow burning fire running through a labyrinth of creepy coal mines beneath the decapitated, densely fog covered town of Centralia is just too good a setting to pass up.
2 people just voted on The Demon House Of Gary, Indiana
The infamous demon house in Gary, IN, made headlines in 2014 when Latoya Ammons and her three children sought out exorcisms to rid themselves of demons. There was extensive media coverage, police involvement, and even members of the Department of Child Services got involved with these claims and witnessed unexplainable horrors in that house.
Footsteps, flickering lights, and strange sounds in the night quickly escalated to a 12-year-old child levitating off a bed, a nine-year-old walking backwards up a wall (in front of a nurse and case manager), and then full on demonic possession of all the members of the family. The family reached out to two clairvoyants, both of whom claimed the house was infested with 200 demons. The Catholic Church to intervene and performed multiple exorcisms.
The demon house has since been demolished by paranormal investigator Zak Bagans. Bagans purchased the house in 2014 to shoot a documentary. and found the place too evil to leave standing. But is it too evil to inspire AHS: Demon House?
Fox Hollow Farm
A sprawling, wooded estate owned by an unassuming family man with murderous impulses became a mass burial site for gay men living in Indianapolis. The story itself is rife with twists, creepy dolls, and sex - perfect for AHS.
In this true story, Herb Baumeister was living a double life. He was a married father of three and business owner who was secretly luring gay men back to his own home to strangle them to death in his creepy pool surrounded by mannequins. Then he would burn or bury their bodies in the yard where his children played.
Once his double life had been revealed, Baumeister took off to Canada to commit suicide at Pinery Provincial Park. Prior to killing himself, he set the stage in a ritualistic fashion, building up a sand mound and surrounded it with dead birds as an altar for himself. Then, he positioned himself on it with his arms stretched out, and shot himself.
The 1996 police investigation of the property uncovered 5,500 bones, but more are still being discovered by the current owners today. After his death, Baumeister was also linked to the I-70 Murders. After speaking with his wife, authorities discovered his travels lined up with a series of unsolved murders where the bodies were dumped along I-70. The number of lives he claimed remains uncertain to this day.
Winchester Mystery House
There may be some Winchester Mystery House inspiration flowing through AHS: Hotel, but there should be a full season dedicated to the real story of Sarah Winchester and her remarkable house. She built an entire mansion with strange doors and staircases leading to nowhere, or perhaps somewhere the living can’t see.
After the death of her husband - heir to the Winchester rifle fortune - and child in the 1880s, Winchester went to see a medium. The medium told her to go out west and craft a home for the ghosts of those killed by Winchester rifles. So she did, continuously adding rooms, windows, doors, balconies, and staircases, all to appease the spirits she communicated with in her séance room.
The Bloody Benders
A Bender family dinner was a pretty brutal affair. It would involve inviting an unsuspecting guest to sit over a secret trapdoor with their back to a curtain so John could pop out and bash them in the head with a hammer. Then one of the kids would slash their throat before opening the trapdoor that led to the basement. They’d bury all the corpses out in the nearby orchard.
Randomly enough, the Benders lived near Laura Ingalls Wilder, (famous for Little House on the Prairie). She even mentioned the family and their exploits in some of her writings and speeches. A creepy family of murders on the prairie sounds right up American Horror Story's alley.
Jack The Ripper
American Horror Story: Ripper has a nice ring to it. They’ve already given the axe man a storyline, why not follow the infamous Jack the Ripper for a spell? An unidentified killer that stalked the impoverished streets of Victorian era London slicing prostitutes with surgical-like precision? It’s pretty shocking they haven’t taken a stab at this story already.
If you're unfamiliar with the Ripper's story, he's considered the first "serial killer" of modern times. He was known for brutalizing his victims, and his identity is still unknown.