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There are several running theories, as to what the inspiration behind American Horror Story is. I’m here today, to toss in my American Horror Theory.

First, I’ll be dissecting the title. ‘American Horror Story’. Okay, so far all the seasons have taken place in America. All four seasons are based in the horror genre, and they each tell a story. Simple stuff, right? Maybe not. What if I told you, the title comes from great American Horror?

What do you mean? Lets take a look at season one. The tale of the murder house. If you thought the season seemed a little familiar, don’t worry, you haven’t gone mad. In 1991 Wes Cravens ‘The People Under the Stairs’ made its debut.


Haven’t seen The People Under the Stairs? That’s okay. I’ve come prepared with a brief description. A set of filthy rich, psycho siblings kidnap children. When these children don’t behave accordingly, they are beaten, tortured, or far worse. When the child becomes too gruesome to stand the sight of, they are locked in the basement, void of light, society, and hygienic conditions.


So far, it sounds like the correlation would be a stretch, only imagined by the fevered mind of someone with no life. That statement is half right. In the first season of American Horror Story, there are no ghoulish, zombie like children hiding within the walls. But there are plenty of ghosts. Some, being children.

Okay, so ghosts, zombies, were starting to make a little head way. Still, it goes deeper. In ‘The People Under the Stairs’ Everett McGill plays Man. One of the psychotic siblings. And whats his favorite pass time? Dressing up in a bondage suit, and roaming the house. Starting to sound familiar? Evan Peters (Tate) does the same thing, as “The Rubber Man”.



With the bondage based baddies out of the way, we can shift focus to the sweet innocence of Violet (Taissa Farmiga) and Alice (A.J. Langer). Both intelligent young women with a feisty side. Violet falls for Tate, and eventually overdoses within the walls of the Murder House. Alice, doesn’t exactly fall for Roach (Sean Whalen) but the two become friends. Roach, a mutilated survivor of the psycho sibs, has no tongue, but still has plenty to say. As he leads Alice through the walls of the house, and eventually to her freedom. How do these two examples of young love have anything in common? Well, some may consider death a form of freedom. At least Violet did. But , at last, that’s were the similarities end.



To be safe, lets recap, both American Horror Story and The People Under the Stairs revolve around people being trapped within a house. On one side they are ghosts, on the other they’re zombified, feral children. Next up are our favorite bondage based baddies, Man, and Tate. And too finish, we have our heroines who who are entranced by strange, yet strangely charming young men.



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