'AHS' is the gift that keeps on giving
American Horror Story made waves when it burst onto the small screen in 2011. The first season, (which came to be known as) Murder House, was regarded as a breath of fresh air and helped catapult “horror TV” to new heights of popularity.
Over the years the show struggled to regain its former glory within the confines of its strict anthology format, but once fans started finding connections between the seasons, Ryan Murphy (television genius) confirmed that there are, indeed, threads that run throughout. With the end of the show’s sixth (and arguably best) season, Roanoke just behind us, let’s take a look at how it’s all connected.
1. Crossover Characters: Pepper and Mary Eunice
First, for the concrete:
The most obvious connection between the seasons are the recurring characters who pop in every now and then. The first and most prominent character to cross over was Asylum’s Pepper (Naomi Grossman) when she appeared as a mainstay of Freak Show—which proved to be Asylum Pepper’s origin story. Asylum’s Sister Mary Eunice (Lily Rabe) also made a brief appearance in Freak Show, but it was more of a cameo than an actual crossover.
Crossover Characters: Cameos Galore
Other characters have had small crossovers throughout multiple seasons, as well. Marcy (Christine Estabrook), the realtor who sold the titular home in the first season to the Harmon family also appeared in Hotel, this time selling another haunted property, the Hotel Cortez. Billie Dean Howard, Sarah Paulson’s character from season one, also makes an appearance at the Hotel Cortez after making a name for herself in the years between the Harmon family’s death and the events of season five. Dr. Charles Montgomery (Matt Ross), Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe), and Dr. Arden (James Cromwell) all appear in multiple seasons as well.
Finally, and potentially most notably, Asylum’s inmate-turned-TV-maven Lana Winters (Sarah Paulson) graced our screens once more to play an integral part in the Roanoke finale last week. Not only did her appearance serve an important function within the Roanoke narrative, but it confirmed—without a doubt—that the AHS-universe is interconnected and that the major events of each season do bleed into the popular culture of the others.
2. Family Ties: Mott Family Tree
Recent seasons have shown a more broad familial threads that run throughout the series. The most recent example is that of the Mott family who first appeared in Freak Show. Though Mott family members have not crossed over from one season to the next, the house that Roanoke centers around was built by Dandy Mott’s (Finn Wittrock) ancestor, Edward Mott (Evan Peters).