ByJancy Richardson, writer at
To avoid fainting, keep repeating 'It's only a movie...It's only a movie...'
Jancy Richardson

Calling all American Horror Story fans: Ryan Murphy has just confirmed that every season of AHS is connected... and what's more, he's finally dropped some major bombshells about season 5!

After feverish fan speculation about the American Horror Story connected universe - read some of the biggest theories here and here - AHS creator Ryan Murphy told EW:

They’re all connected. They’re all very separate but there’s clues every season... There are purposeful connections, character connections, and similarities and things that connect that we’ll continue to connect moving forward.

How great is it to have that confirmed? More potently still, Murphy was asked about the Top Hat Theory - which gained momentum when Maggie (Emma Roberts) is passed this coffee cup...

Maggie's coffee cup in Freak Show ep. 4.04
Maggie's coffee cup in Freak Show ep. 4.04

Ryan Murphy confirmed that the truth of Season 5 starts with a top hat, and Maggie's coffee cup is a 'big' clue:

That is a big season five clue! It’s an arcane clue, but it’s very purposeful, and it illuminates something that you’ll be like, 'Oh! You dirty b******!'

In case anyone is totally confused about what the heck a top hat has to do with anything, let's have a look at the significance.

Operation Top Hat

Coven's Papa Legba in a top hat
Coven's Papa Legba in a top hat

The prevalent theory for American Horror Story season 5 is to be set around 1953, when Operation Top Hat was a secret U.S. army exercise for the Chemical Corps. This involved people being purposely exposed to dangerous contaminants in experiments for biological and chemical warfare... sounds pretty AHS-worthy, huh?

The Top Hat motif has turned up a lot in Freak Show

The Top Hat coffee cup in episode 4.02
The Top Hat coffee cup in episode 4.02

Just in case you thought it was just Maggie who is given the Top Hat Clue, the motif also shows up in the toy store in episode 4.02, and on the dinner menu when Jimmy and his friends go to eat.

Other notable American Horror Story top hat wearers include Coven's Misty Day and Papa Legba, and more recently, Freak Show's Edward Mordrake.

Dat Hat.
Dat Hat.

The Mushroom Clouds Clue

In addition to the top hats, a redditor noticed that pictures of mushroom clouds hang behind Jimmy in his woman-pleasuring scene at the start of AHS: Freak Show. This links again to the prospect of chemical testing and 50's military paranoia.

The 'AHS Season 5 = Aliens' Theory, Debunked!

Sure, there were plenty of clues that hinted at AHS 5 being something space-related. Elsa Mars performing Life on Mars, the cop's planetary tie and other clues... but Ryan Murphy has 100% denied there's any truth in those rumors, saying:

We’re not doing space. It is land-bound and it takes place in the United States.

TL; DR: no aliens, but the top hat is significant. Personally, I think that the Operation Top Hat, 1953-era AHS Season 5 is a good theory - what do you guys think?


Do you think American Horror Story Season 5 will be good focusing on chemical testing and 50's paranoia?

Sources: EW, Wikipedia, Huffington Post, Reddit, Twitter


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