Graveyard Shift

The True Story Behind The Alien Abduction In 'American Horror Story: Asylum'

Fans were divided at the end of American Horror Story: Asylum, which patched together the storylines of a nightmarish mental institution and an alien abduction. At first glance, the two plots have nothing in common, and showrunner Ryan Murphy had to defend the choice. "For me, [aliens] were always an obvious metaphor for God. It fit very easily into the world of a Catholic sanitarium asylum... It was also about science versus faith so it made sense to me," Murphy said in a 2013 interview.

The American Horror Story alien abduction adapts the supposed real-life abduction of Betty and Barney Hill. The Hills claimed they were taken in 1961 (Asylum starts in 1964), and their story quickly became a media sensation. They collaborated on a book about their experience, and their story was later adapted into a 1975 made-for-TV movie called The UFO Incident, starring Estelle Parsons and James Earl Jones.

The alien abduction case of Betty and Barney Hill has fascinated the public for decades and frustrated skeptics who believe the whole ordeal is nothing but a giant hoax.