All American Horror Story fans have heard about the Garden of Allah Hotel, the Cecil Hotel and H. H. Holmes' 'Murder Palace', as these have been the leading theories as to where season 5 of the series will take us. These are understandably popular theories, but are not the only good horror hotels that Ryan Murphy could draw from.
There are many other convincing theories, so it is important to consider where else he could be finding inspiration as he writes AHS 5.....
Hotel California and the Church of Satan
The subject of debate ever since its release in 1977, but one of the most recognisable songs of the last century, 'Hotel California' by The Eagles was labeled by Christian evangelists as the story of the Church of Satan's first real estate purchase - that of a hotel based in San Francisco, which they later turned into their first church.
The Church of Satan was founded by Anton LaVey in 1966 when he ritualistically shaved his head, as he claimed executioners used to do, and proclaimed 1966 as Year One, Anno Satanas—the first year of the Age of Satan. The Church of Satan garnered media attention when LaVey performed a Satanic baptism on his daughter, promising her to the Devil, and when he performed a Satanic wedding ceremony for a high-profile couple in 1967.
"You can check out anytime you like but you can never leave."
This line is probably the main inspiration for the evangelists' theory about The Eagles' song. That and this mysterious, blurrey face in a window on the record's cover, which many began to believe was that of a bald, goateed LaVey, despite the person clearly having an amazing afro.
Anyway, the point is, the Church of Satan bought a former hotel and turned it into a church. Whether or not the song is discussing it, it is completely believable that a former-hotel could have become LaVey's base for his Satan-worshipping followers.
Given Ryan Murphy's fascination with the occult and satanic rituals (see: Coven and Asylum), a 'Hotel California'/ Church of Satan hotel would have some serious potential for blood, gore and mystery!
Oh, and given rumors suggesting American Horror Story: Hotel will be set in California, this is extra perfect!
The Crescent Hotel & Spa
I may be in the minority here, but American Horror Story 1, 'Murder House' was probably my favorite season. The ghosts of owners past allowed the costume designers to go wild, the actors to have fun and created a real puzzle of a season, which really appealed to me.
While some fans want Murphy to avoid a 'Murder House 2' at all costs with AHS 5, if he does decide to do a similar anthology season, The Crescent Hotel and Spa would be the ultimate setting.
Often labeled as "America's Most Haunted Hotel", The Crescent Hotel and Spa is said to be haunted by at least eight spirits.During its construction in 1886, an Irish stone mason called Michael is said to have fallen to his death into Room 218, which is now a popular stop for ghost-tours.
Despite this horrific beginning, The Crescent was originally a resort for the wealthy and was 'the symbol of Arkansas hospitality'. However, it didn't take long to struggle and it fell into repair after only a decade.
By 1908 it had been transformed into a college for young women (something with some creepy storyline potential, if you ask me!). This too did not last long and in 1937, Norman G. Baker bought the hotel and turned it into a hospital.
Baker claimed to be able to cure cancer and pretended to be a doctor, despite having no medical training. For his fraudulent activities, Norman Baker eventually ended up behind bars, and once again The Crescent was abandoned.
With the potential for fake doctors and miracle cures to be explored, the possibility of troubled young women from the College roaming the halls and the original, glamorous resort background, Murphy would have plenty to play with if he investigated Eureka Springs Arkansas' Crescent Hotel and Spa.
Queen Mary Hotel
A Long Beach, California icon, the Queen Mary Hotel is a former ocean-liner that officially retired from service in 1967 and was moored in its permanent location at the Long Beach port.
In its glory days, the RMS Queen Mary was launched in 1934 to run twice-weekly across the North Atlantic. However, after the outbreak of World War II, it was decided that Queen Mary and her sister ship, Queen Elizabeth would become troopships to carry Australian and Kiwi soldiers to the United Kingdom.
One of the three largest liners in the world was painted grey to look more militaristic and was soon labeled the 'Grey Ghost' given its unusual speed and sleek look.
Queen Mary carried 16,082 American soldiers from New York to Great Britain in 1942 and for this, still holds a record for carrying the most passengers ever transported on one vessel.
When the ocean-liner was retired, it was moored at Long Beach and turned into a hotel, restaurant and tourist attraction. Its haunted nature has become a drawcard for the ship and reports suggest visitors can sometimes hear children playing in the nursery, may hear or view ghosts of murdered passengers, and in particular, may encounter 'a lady in white'. We all know how great (and slightly spooky) Gaga looks in white -
The brilliant thing about the Queen Mary Hotel is its historical nature and its various reincarnations. The opportunities would be endless for Murphy, and although it could be set in current day California (as many are expecting the season to be), it could include features from different, fascinating eras.
Do you think these could be good settings for [American Horror Story](series:206668) : Hotel? What do you hope to see in AHS 5 in October? Have you heard theories about the fifth season that are more convincing?