It's fitting that television's scariest show strives to keep viewers in the dark, but fans of American Horror Story know that's part of the whole appeal. After all, series creator Ryan Murphy has taken a sadistic delight in teasing us with plenty of misdirects over the years, and it looks like things won't change in the build-up to Season 7.
Speaking to E! News, FX CEO John Landgraf revealed that information about the next instalment of American Horror Story will remain in the shadows for the most part:
“It actually will be shrouded in super secrecy. Ryan has yet another really innovative idea for how to do something fresh and different with the franchise that audiences haven’t seen before, and there’s a marketing promotional hook around that.”
So far, all we know is that the Murder House/Coven crossover won't occur until at least Season 8, and that both Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters have signed up to return. Everything else is currently up for debate, but that hasn't stopped hardcore fans from forming Season 7 theories faster than The Butcher stabs trespassers, so join us as we round up some of the best ideas that the internet has to offer so far.
American Ocean Story
The only official clue that we've been given so far was this promo that the American Horror Story Twitter account released immediately after the Season 6 finale. Declaring that "The monsters are all gone", the brief clip is set against a scenic ocean backdrop, implying that a nautical theme could be in store for Season 7.
Murphy previously promised that hints for the Season 7 theme would also appear in the Roanoke finale, and there was one scene in particular that seemed to back this up. Remember when the Chen ghost attacked the Spirit Chasers crew? During the struggle, a model ship fell from a shelf and landed directly in the spotlight, suggesting that the cast and crew of American Horror Story may get their feet wet in the series's next instalment. Whether this involves a shipwrecked cruise such as the Mary Celeste or something more like the Bermuda Triangle remains up for debate.
American Supreme Story
Fans were shocked and delighted to discover that Gaga's character in Roanoke was in fact supposed to be the Original Supreme, but little mention was made of that in the show.
If American Horror Story really is set to feature a nautical theme next, then this would be the perfect opportunity to explore Scáthach's back story in more detail throughout Season 7. After all, Roanoke already revealed that Scáthach was born of Druid descent and originally hailed from England, stowing away on an ocean voyage that proved deadly for everyone involved.
Redditor MonkeezPa developed this theory further by also suggesting that more God-like beings could appear on the show. After seeing the Haitian spirit Papa Legba and the English Scáthach, it would make sense for American Horror Story to delve further into this mythology, featuring bloodthirsty Aztec Gods and even some Lovecraftian beings who could have ties to the 'aliens' seen in Asylum.
Alien Horror Story
Speaking of those adorable little alien critters, Redditor myroanokenightmare66 has developed a theory that accounts for their otherworldly return next season, and how this could potentially link with the Freak Show characters that Murphy has promised will return in the coming year.
Area 51 conspiracies were rife during the '50s and '60s, which just so happens to be the same time period where we first introduced to the likes of Elsa Mars and her beloved freaks in Season 4. The Redditor suggests that these Freak Show characters could be imprisoned in Area 51 for testing purposes, perhaps even providing some more answers regarding Kit's abduction back in Season 2.
The only problem with this is that Murphy recently revealed that Season 7 would be set in the present day, although there's nothing to say that the show won't move backwards and forwards in time. American Horror Story often uses flashbacks and even flashforwards to mess with our heads, so this would certainly be nothing new.
Our money's on seeing some Freak Show descendants in the present day or older versions of those who survived to the end of Season 4. We'd give anything to see an older version of Sarah Paulson as the Tattler twins, perhaps even separated by modern science.
American Philadelphia Story
Jumping back on board to the nautical theme for a moment, Redditor Supreme000 has a chilling idea that could utilize another 'real life' event to the same effect as Roanoke.
By all accounts, the Philadelphia Experiment in 1943 was designed by the Navy to conceal ships from the enemy, creating an electromagnetic field that would cloak the boat on secret missions. Reportedly, onlookers saw a green glow surround the USS Eldridge during the Government's first attempt at this experiment, just before the entire ship then vanished and reappeared miles away in Norfolk, Virginia.
As if that wasn't freaky enough, members of the crew soon discovered that they could phase through solid objects for the duration of the experiment. While that sounds admittedly awesome, things quickly took a turn for the worst after the magnetic field was shut off, leaving men physically embedded into the walls and railings of the boat. After the program was shut down, these surviving officers were then institutionalized in asylums, driven mad by the events that unfolded that day.
Check out more American Horror Story episodes that are based on 'true events' in the clip below:
Not only would this theme put a horrifying spin on the purported nautical theme, it could also provide Murphy with a chance to revisit the backstory of Freak Show alumni Chester Creb, the psychotic ex-soldier who nursed a disturbing obsession with the Tattler twins.
American War Story
While we were distracted by constant threats of disembowelment and Uber drivers going "gay for pay", more attentive fans of American Horror Story spotted a number of clues that support rumors of a military focus in Season 7.
Redditor Funky-al has compiled some of the biggest hints, including the appearance of a confederate flag in the Polk barn, the name of Sophie's fan-site "Army of Roanoke" and the fact that Wes Bentley's character regularly referred to his time in Afghanistan, all suggesting that war could be on the way for American Horror Story.
Previous seasons have also held stronger ties to warfare than you may have realized, including a scene in Freak Show when Massimo discussed how replica towns are built for atomic testing. Could Season 7 end with apocalyptic proportions?
American Orphanage Story
While rumors of an orphanage theme have been doing the rounds ever since Murphy promised that children would play a central role in Season 6, Redditor Colsephur has put a fresh spin on the theory, arguing that now is the perfect time to use this theme, bringing together all of the present-day orphans from each of the past 6 seasons.
From Flora and Tate's evil son Michael to the vampiric Hotel children and the pig-suckling Roanoke boys who screamed Croatoan at every given opportunity, it seems as though we now have more than enough orphans to fill every bed in a freaky American Horror Story style orphanage.
Although it could seem contrived to bring each of these characters together in one season, this would certainly be an effective way of beginning to tie each setting into one cohesive universe — an approach which Murphy has already claimed will take precedent in Season 7.
Dante's Horror Story
An even more prevalent theory than the Orphanage theme is the idea that each season of American Horror Story was designed to reflect the nine circles of Hell from the literary masterpiece, Dante's Inferno.
The idea originally came from Red Herry back in 2014, who explained how the sins which are punished in each circle of Hell also take prominence in corresponding seasons of the show.
- Murder House — Lust
- Asylum — Fraud
- Coven — Treachery
- Freak Show — Greed
- Hotel — Gluttony
- Roanoke — Wrath
While this fan theory has always been one of the more popular ones doing the rounds, interest was renewed recently when Ryan Murphy himself told TV Guide that he enjoys the idea, explaining that;
"With American Horror Story I do like the Dante's inferno theory. I have a theory about the show that I've never told anybody and probably won't until it's over, but that theory is a good one. I always learn a lot about my theory based on other people's theories which is really all I can say. I read those theories obsessively and compulsively, I cannot get enough of them, I really do. And the other actors do too. Like Sarah Paulson will talk about that all the time."
Could Season 7 focus on one of the other circles of Hell that remain, such as limbo or heresy?
American Horror Story: Asylum Pt 2?
After many fans noted the similarities between Murder House and Roanoke, Redditor liveordie2 theorized that Season 7 of American Horror Story may continue this trend by revisiting themes from the second season, Asylum.
If that's true, then Season 7 should deliver some hard-hitting journalism, bloody murder sprees and more than a few deeply disturbing experiments on institutionalized patients. Hell, this could even signify the return of the aliens, as previously mentioned above, as well as Frances Conroy's unforgettable Angel of Death. We would discuss the possibility of Jessica Lange returning too, but our excitement at the very thought of this is enough to drive even the most stable of people mad beyond all reasoning.
Interestingly enough, this pattern also fits with the possibility that Season 8 will probably revolve around a Murder House/Coven mash-up, meaning that Season 9 will be thematically similar to Freak Show and Season 10 will evoke elements of Hotel.
- 'American Horror Story’ Renewed For Seasons 8 & 9 — When Will We See The Murder House/Coven Crossover?
- 'American Horror Story: Roanoke' — Here's How The Season 6 Finale Sets Up Season 7 & Future Crossovers
- 'American Horror Story' Cast: The Evolution Of Every Recurring Actor & Their Best Role To Date
Knowing Ryan Murphy, there's a good chance that none of these fan theories will come true as he enjoys keeping us on our toes, although the fact that he's actively discussed some to the media now does give us hope. Either way though, Season 7 of American Horror Story looks set to continue pushing boundaries as one of the most innovative shows on TV.
At the end of the day, we're still holding out for the idea that every season may in fact be connected through a documentary format, just like Roanoke, which could then open the door for absent cast members such as Jessica Lange to return.