'American Horror Story' Fan Theories That We Can't Stop Thinking About

Voting Rules
Vote up the theories that stay with you.

Ten years, 10 seasons of FX's American Horror Story (and one spin-off show), each a bit crazier, a bit bloodier, and a bit wilder than the last. From the child vampires to secret covens of wicked witches, the ghosts and ghouls who haunt each season have left a mark on fans, who continue to speculate long after episodes have come and gone.

Here are a few of the most interesting fan theories regarding American Horror Story. Vote up the fan theories that stay with you.

Photo: American Horror Story / FX

  • 1
    150 VOTES

    Dr. Charles Montgomery In 'Murder House' Opened Up The Portal To Hell

    From Redditor u/SheSatan:

    Satan could have easily lived in the Cecil Hotel. The reason why he didn't was because no crimes against nature were committed. Sure, March started the hotel's curse with his "murder god" idea. However, he never committed an act against nature itself. People who were alive simply died.

    But Dr. Charles Montgomery in Murder House did commit a crime against nature. He brought his son back from the dead, which was a crime against nature. In doing so, not only did he condemn all those who die in the house to stay there, but he also invited the spirit of Satan into the Murder House.

    The doctor MADE the portal...

    It wasn't built there. It started with Nora and the doctor because he made the portal.

    150 votes
  • 2
    82 VOTES

    The First Nine Seasons Of 'AHS' Represent The Nine Circles Of Hell

    From Redditor u/visijared:

    The seasons of American Horror Story represent the nine circles of Hell, IN ORDER. Each character within represents one of the seven deadly sins.

    I know this one has bounced around a bit already, Vanity Fair talked about it, but as someone who has read Dante's Inferno from cover to cover (including all footnotes, references, and translations) I think people are missing it by just a hair.

    The nine circles of hell are represented be each season in order, from the outside-in:

    Murder House represents limbo. Characters are murdered primarily based on others not wanting them to leave. Nobody escapes. This season does not represent lust as many believe, although it is indeed a sexy, sexy season. The sexy sins, however, have already occurred in this context, ie. the infidelity has already happened. Characters in the Murder House are busy being tormented for sins they have already committed. Special spirits show up just to torment them and rub their faces in their past, or tempt them to make the same mistakes again. Spirits in the Murder House are in denial about deserving their punishments, which makes it worse and prolongs their suffering. They have opportunities to gain small amounts of progress and insight (ie. once a year they get freedom of choice) but most make the same mistakes and stay right where they are or even backslide. Everyone has to do their time while they reflect the past and slowly come around to accepting they are indeed sinners/frauds/imperfect. When they can admit that, they find peace.

    Asylum is lust. Characters are punished for their whimsical desires. Their fantasies are always met with disastrous reality and never materialize into what they thought they would. They throw reason to the wind and pursue their passions. They die in whirlwinds of dreamy desire.

    Coven is gluttony. The characters in Coven do everything to excess. Displays of opulence, wealth, and power are both the means and the end to acquiring power. Every chance they get to be away from judging eyes (i.e. weekend away from the wife) they engage in unrestrained sex and murder. When faced with death they fight for one last hedonistic experience. Characters are either in the process of discovering their rampant appetites, acquiring the means to support them, or busy filling them. Their appetites never diminish over time they only intensify. They just can't help themselves.

    Freak Show is all about greed. Everyone wants more than they have, or fixated on something they don't have. They all are destroyed because they couldn't quit while they were ahead. They had to keep going, get that extra little bit. Most of the characters are murdered because either someone couldn't stop wanting more, or someone lost interest in the thing they fought so hard to get (because it wasn't the thing they wanted, but the challenge of getting it for themselves that was exciting). They all die wanting. Only the characters who learn to let things go and compromise enough to balance their needs find some measure of peace.

    Hotel is about wrath. Characters are murdered because somebody was upset at someone else's decision. The big important deaths are heat-of-the-moment surprises, vengeful acts that are over-the-top responses to change, and completely uncalled for. When faced with a new truth about life they don't like but have to accept, the characters choose instead to lash out violently. Most deaths are unnecessary, as in, the character didn't kill for survival but for spite. They incite each other using hate and anger to lash out with them as well. Only when they let go of their anger and act out of mercy can they find peace.

    Which leads us to Roanoke, which is all about that sweet, sweet heresy. The old gods, or rather the heretic gods, control the show here. Every character in this season is escaping judgment of some kind, or trying to establish a life removed from social norms. They are each a wolf in sheep's clothing, busy trying to pretend to be something else, something they don't fully understand, for profit. The essence of a reality show is, in itself, a form of heresy. Everyone involved is profiting from lies and misdirection. Offering a false version of reality. Characters are punished for their shallowness and die while shouting falsehoods. They can find peace only by accepting the truth about who they really are.

    You can then break it down by season and character. Remember there always has to be a demon antagonist added in (usually in disguise). For example, Roanoke is as follows:

    * Greed - Lee (takes without thinking, always wants more/can't understand why she can't have more, makes excuses for profiting, fancy sports car, etc.)

    * Gluttony - Monet (drinks to excess for no real reason, only character to be shown preparing herself food)

    * Wrath - Matt (flies into rages, holds resentment and grudges)

    * Sloth - Rory (won't finish his contractual obligations)

    * Envy - Agnes (obsessed with the Butcher)

    * Pride - Audrey (thinks she is better than everyone, ridicules others)

    * Lust - Shelby (hedonistic lifestyle/mindset, had affair)

    * The Demon - First Sidney, then Dominic Banks (wants to mess with everyone, get confessions, sly troublemaker, rubs each wound in salt, etc.)

    82 votes
  • 3
    105 VOTES

    Anne Frank In 'Asylum' Is Exactly Who She Says She Is

    From Redditor u/KaleStuffedBlunt:

    In Season 2, there is a mysterious woman admitted to the asylum who claims to be Anne Frank. Everybody passes her off as crazy, but she recognizes Dr. Arden as a N*zi she saw when she was in Auschwitz. She calls him out on it and says his real name is Hanz Grouper. This accusation later comes to fruition.

    We all know that Anne Frank died, so obviously this woman just seems insane. Yet she has irrefutable evidence against him. Also, how could an everyday woman recognize this man immediately, even if she researched and saw pictures of him in the past? It has been years since Dr. Arden was active at Auschwitz, and age wasn’t exactly kind to him either.

    If you had direct and traumatizing interactions with this man, you would most likely remember that kind of face anywhere at any second.

    Here’s where it gets interesting. Aliens played a prominent role in Season 2 and saved multiple people from the brink of death and even brought Grace back from the dead after she was deceased for a significant amount of time.

    I believe the Aliens could have brought back Anne Frank from the dead, and thus this woman actually is who she claimed. She knew about the impact her diary had and even said in the show, “I can do more good dead than alive”... When asked if she was telling the truth then, why didn’t she let anyone know she was still alive?

    The aliens gave her another chance at life and she knew she couldn’t tell anyone, so she attempted to have a normal one, with a husband, kid, etc. but the weight of this bearing upon her is what caused her to snap and end up at Briarcliff.

    105 votes
  • 4
    105 VOTES

    Adelaide Was A Witch In 'Murder House'

    From Redditor u/stereostarlight:

    I was watching Coven just now, and it came to the part where Nan bakes a cake for Luke. Suddenly, I realized something cool.

    In Murder House, Constance gives Vivian the incense to welcome her to the neighborhood and tells her Adelaide, (played by Jamie Brewer) wanted to bake her a cake but she tended to spit in the cooking.

    Flash forward to Coven, when Fiona hypnotized those detectives by spitting in their cups of water. Witches spit in food to control the consumer's mind.

    Flash forward again to the part where Nan, (also played by Jamie Brewer) bakes a cake for the hot new neighbor she has a crush on. To welcome him to the neighborhood.

    "Adelaide wanted to bake you a cake, but she tends to spit in the cooking."

    105 votes
  • 5
    103 VOTES

    Time Was Permanently Altered Because Of The Events In 'Apocalypse' 

    From Redditor u/Deus-system-failed:

    In Apocalypse, Mallory (AKA the Next Supreme) is tasked with defeating Michael Langdon by time travel, a rare and powerful ability no other witch has ever achieved. Her first attempt is to save Anastasia Romanov during the Communist uprising fails, but I think the Butterfly Effect has lasting ripples.

    In American Horror Story: 1984, the Night Stalker, AKA Richard Ramirez, escaped from prison and was never caught due to his imprisonment at Camp Redwood. Also Briarcliff Asylum is owned by Margaret and turned into a haunted attraction despite Season 2 claims it was abandoned in 1978 until modern day.

    I think somehow Anastasia did survive due to Mallory intervening, thus causing an odd ripple effect over decades, causing Season 2 to not end the same. Same with Season 5 and Season 6.  

    103 votes
  • 6
    55 VOTES

    The Aliens Are Actually Angels

    From Redditor u/SpookET*ts:

    In every American Horror Story series there is a theme (the exact themes are debatable) and every part fits together to the theme, no matter how strange.

    Asylum operates under the fact of angels and demons being real and by default God and Satan.

    “The devil is at Briarcliff in your favorite young nun. Guard your thoughts, use your rosary. Each bead is HIS NAME. This is your moment, Timothy.”

    The Angel of Death (which is established as an actual entity and not a delusion) indirectly confirms the existence of God in this universe. Which gives a theme Evil vs Good, Angels vs Satan. The Angel of Death also appears as a white woman in mourning wearing clothes that are modern for the time period which more than likely is to make those she visits comfortable with possibly letting go.

    So where do the Aliens fit?

    Truth is, aliens do not fit. But angels do.

    1. Visual Similarities

    In the Bible, Angels are messengers of God that bring life, kill, destroy etc. Angels also orchestrate the will of the Lord by answering prayers, giving messages to prophets etc. They are described as VERY terrible and scary beings that could be seen as alien like. Some with animal body parts, some with 4 heads and some with eyes covering their whole bodies.

    The bright light that flickers when the Aliens arrive is something that the Bible and most shows use to exemplify the arrival of Angel. Blinding lights.

    Kit and his wives are taken up and shown things that Alma deems terrible and gives Grace faith/belief.

    2. Possible miracles

    In the Bible sometimes, angels perform large miracles. but sometimes they perform smaller ones to set off chain reactions with people to help a multitude of people down the line.

    This was what they did with Kit and his children. Because Kit was accused of murder, he was utilized to expose Bloody Face, save Jude, and indirectly helped bring down Briarcliff.

    Sister Jude is shown as praying often after being ‘humbled.’ I don’t believe that Jude was ever crazy but in fact, she was gifted with so much understanding that her mind couldn’t process it all. There are many instances in the Bible of Angels speaking through people like she spoke to Cardinal Timothy. Jude and Kit’s children have an understanding of one another that Kit does not understand. The children seem to channel the clarity Jude has. In many ways, it’s a miracle, his children helped soothe her psyche and ease her transition into death.

    3. Biblical Translation

    Kit's "death" replicates two of the most prominent "deaths" in the Bible. Enoch and Christ both were "translated" meaning they did not die but were taken up by God. Body and soul. This is the same thing that happened to Kit. Kit never died, while entering the end of his life a light comes and takes him away. Kit never feared the light or the Angels, in fact he was said to have had peace the last days of his life AND his children told Lana "there’s no reason to mourn."

    55 votes