Since Lady Gaga was confirmed as the female lead for Season 5 of [American Horror Story](series:206668) , and the subtitle 'Hotel' was given to the season, wild rumors have developed as to the most likely setting for the show's next season.
Gaga, Matt Bomer (as the male lead), Evan Peters and Cheyenne Jackson have all been confirmed as members of the ensemble for [American Horror Story](series:206668) : Hotel, and Kathy Bates seems certain to also join the cast once more.
The question now is what were the top hat clues - including the sneaky inclusion of top hats on coffee cups and a menu in season 4 - hinting at? And how does it connect to the hotel theme?
The following are 3 theories that seem likely to have a hint of truth to them -
1. A Season Full of Old Hollywood Glamour, based at the Garden of Allah Hotel on the Sunset Strip
This famous hotel was built in 1927 and demolished in 1959 - so it was there for the advent of talkies and ended around the same time as the Hollywood studio era. It played host to entertainment icons such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Laurence Olivier and Frank Sinatra, so it seems like the perfect location for AHS Season 5.
A few hints that lead me to believe this fan theory:
Marlene Dietrich, the inspiration for the character of Elsa Mars and the star of a 1936 film entitled 'The Garden of Allah', was a resident of the hotel.
A song written by Don Henley in 1995 is entitled "The Garden of Allah" and says:
"It was pretty big year for predators
The marketplace was on a roll
And the land of opportunity
Spawned a whole new breed of men without souls"
The Garden of Allah was even referenced in two previous episodes from the series. Once by Elsa, when she references "Garden of Allah" in the first episode of season 4, and again in season 4 when Stanley says "I do know people in Los Angeles. My cousin works at the Garden of Allah."
The 1935 film 'Top Hat' starred Ginger Rogers, a former guest at the hotel, and features the song 'Cheek to Cheek', which was covered by Lady Gaga on her duet album with Tony Bennett. Plus, is (hopefully) an obvious end point for discussion about the top hats that popped up in the latest season.
In fact, in the film Ginger Rogers' character meets her love interest, played by Fred Astaire, when he is dancing and making too much noise while staying in a hotel.
All these 1930s Hollywood connections could not possibly be incidental!
As an added bonus, a season set in Hollywood during this glory period would also allow references to the Montgomery's that lived in Murder House at the time! The perfect crossover for a show that we now know is full of links and puzzles!
2. H. H. Holmes the Murderous Hotelier
One of America's first documented serial killer's (a kind of yanky Jack the Ripper, if you will) was a tormented soul, but one with an ingenious plan.
When The Chicago World's Fair was held in 1893, Mr Holmes was ready for the influx of visitors to town, and had created an elaborate hotel where he could 'host' them.
Dubbed a "castle" by the locals, it was later found to have been designed to involve labyrinthine like corridors and over 100 windowless rooms.
It is believed that H. H. Holmes could have killed up to 200 people that came to stay at his World's Fair Hotel. Although he was tried and executed for killing only a fraction of that number, the true number of victims will never be known, as Holmes was executed in 1896, and the hotel caretaker committed suicide soon afterwards after claiming to have been haunted for months.
This theory seems a little obvious for my liking, but is still worth considering given the mystery still surrounding the crime and the potential for some horrifying scenes!
3. Operation Top Hat - the theory that just won't die
As soon as the top hat references began to pile up, speculation was rife that Operation Top Hat would influence season 5.
Operation Top Hat was a top secret US army exercise that deliberately exposed personnel to chemical and biological warfare to test decontamination methods.
It appeals to many bloggers that Freak Show's many stars could have been impacted by the testing, or the hotel that is to be featured could host people that know about this secret operation - even if it is the Garden of Allah Hotel, since the testing occurred six years before the hotel was demolished in 1959.
Those are my favourite theories so far. We have a few more months though before [American Horror Story](series:206668) : Hotel hits our screens, so keep your theories coming and let's see if we can't crack this "rubix cube" that Ryan Murphy has created for us!