Yesterday we learned that the next season of FX’s hit series will be titled American Horror Story: Hotel, and it was also revealed that singer Lady Gaga has nabbed a starring role. Details about the season are being kept under wraps, which means it’s time we start speculating…
The first thing that came to my mind when I heard the not-so-provocative subtitle for Season 5 was H.H. Holmes, widely considered to be the very first documented ‘serial killer.’ Back in the late 1800s, Holmes confessed to 27 murders, though his actual number of victims could be as high as 200.
Now the reason Holmes came to mind is because of the location where he claimed most of his victims: a hotel. In 1893, Holmes built and opened The World’s Fair Hotel in Chicago, a labyrinthine building that the madman constructed as a sort of death trap – his own personal murder house, if you will.
The hotel consisted of over 100 windowless rooms, as well as many stairways leading to nowhere and doors that could only be opened up from the outside. Once female guests checked into the hotel, they rarely checked out, and he would dispose of their bodies with a secret chute that led to the basement.
From there, Holmes would strip the bodies of their flesh and cut them into pieces, and in a cruel twist he would sell many of the skeletons and organs to medical schools. Other bodies were simply cremated, or boiled in vats of acid.
Holmes was captured and put on trial in 1895, and hanged one year later.
It’s no secret that American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy often draws inspiration from real-life tales of horror, and so it’s not at all a stretch to imagine him using H.H. Holmes’ so-called Murder Castle as the basis for a season. Considering it’s going to be set in a hotel, it seems fairly certain that he’s done just that.
Another compelling bit of information that supports this hunch is that Murphy recently stated that images of black top hats seen throughout the course of Freak Show served as Season 5 clues, and so it’s worth noting that H.H. Holmes was known for wearing… a black top hat. Yea.
American horror stories don’t get much more horrifying than H.H. Holmes’ murder hotel, so I can’t think of a better theme for a season of American Horror Story. Will Hotel bring Holmes back to life or am I totally off base with this guess? We’ll soon find out!