As we eagerly await news of the theme for American Horror Story Season 6, everyone and anyone has been throwing out predictions for what the theme will be about. As an eager and curious fan I have read my fair share of these predictions and many of some of these ideas really appealed to me. So much so that I am now hoping the Ryan Murphy is planning on including all of them at some point. I thought I would highlight some of the best ideas, that while maybe wont be the theme for season six, would be great suggestions for future seasons. I am also a supporter of the theory that the reason all the seasons are connected is that the show is a retelling of Dante's Inferno wherein each season represents one of the nine circles of hell (here's hoping AHS lasts for nine seasons); in that case each of the ideas below could also fit into this theory.
American Horror Story: Colony (Heresy, Limbo)
There are so many possibilities for a season set in the colonial age, for starters there is the opportunity to connect to AHS: Coven with the Salem Witch Trials as well as possibly AHS: Asylum with Briarcliff Manor since it is also in Massachusetts. In fact, because every season has had at least some connection to Massachusetts, AHS: Colony would be a great way of depicting perhaps the origin of the entire series. For example, maybe the ancestors of many of our characters (The Harmons, for instance, or even Mr. March who is said to be from back east and adopts a Brahmin accent which originates from Boston) encountered a spiritual (Native American remains) or supernatural force that has plagued their descendants throughout history. It would also explain why many of the characters are played by the same actors and look alike as they would all descend from the first few people in the founding colony and therefore be related/cursed (not a farfetched idea either since it is estimated 10% of Americans today can trace their ancestry back to the Mayflower colonists.)
For the nine circles of hell theory, the themes of Heresy and Limbo could be applied to this season. Heresy because during the early colonial years freedom from religious persecution as well as new religious attitudes (some quite fanatical) played a big part in the formation of the colonies. Limbo could also apply given the isolated nature that many early colonists likely felt when they arrived since it was often a one way trip to the New World. Either way it was probably a pretty horrific time to be living in America.
American Horror Story: Prison (Violence)
AHS: Asylum may have treated many of the characters as inmates in a prison, but a much bigger part of that season was the psychological torment. In AHS: Prison, however, it would be a full blown facility with gaurds trying to maintain control of the many violent inmates. American Horror Story has never been short of violent criminals, especially serial killers, so there is certainly room for connections amongst the AHS criminal underworld; also since Ryan Murphy gets a lot of inspiration from real stories, theres no shortage on true stories of American criminals to use. There are several storylines that can be explored in this season, such as the struggle to uphold the rule of law in a prison environment, the balance between order and chaos, or just the plain everyday suffering of the inmates or the guards who may not want to be there. As always, there are many ways for AHS to take the traditional prison show and turn upside much like they did with Murder House and Hotel, giving us an evertwisting and terrifying look into the American prison system.
For the circles of hell, theory this season would most certainly epitomize the circle for violence. From prison riots to gang violence and the brutaity of the gaurds there is no shortage of violence in a prison so there would most certainly be an excess and abundance of violence in this season, but this is American Horror Story so it would certainly feel appropriate.
American Horror Story: Academy (Anger, Treachery)
Just as AHS: Prison is a more straightforward version of a prison than AHS: Asylum, AHS: Academy is a more straightforward version of a school than Miss Robicheax's Academy from AHS: Coven. Some believe the show might revisit Scarlett Lowe and Lachlan Drake at the Thatcher Institute where they ended up after Hotel; while this might be interesting, this season could just as easily depict a brand new host of characters at a new school. We could connect to other seasons by seeing how some of the characters had attended in their early lives similar to how Pepper lived at the Freak Show before ending up at Briarcliff Asylum. There are many ways of depicting a school, especially a private institution in America, with it's own horror-filled secrets. Perhaps a shady cult or club has existed since it's founding and engages member students in less savory and possibly supernatural rituals; there could also be conspiracies and power struggles between the faculty who use the academy and it's students for their own agenda similar to Dr. Arden's abuses at Briarcliff.
Either eay there's no telling the twisted scariness Ryan Murphy could explore, and since we have all had bad experiences at school this could possibly be the most uncomfortably relatable season of all. This season would be similar to Coven as reflecting the circle of Anger and/or Treachery, whether among the students or teachers.
American Horror Story: Log Cabin (Limbo)
Well wouldn't this be a terrifying season, our characters stuck in a cabin, or some other abandoned house/mansion, for the majority of the season trying to survive any number of threats such as ghosts in cabin, monsters in the area (werewolves?), or the tried and true AHS serial killers. Since focusing on just the characters at the cabin might get boring there could be flashbacks for a different character each episode focusing on their lives before they ended up at the cabin; this could also be a great way to connect them to other seasons, maybe some attended the aforementioned academy, maybe theres a witch who lives outside the coven from season three, or there are descendants of some of the other characters from other seasons. There would of course need to be a reason they all ened up at the cabin, as well as why they can't leave; although I dont have any good suggestions I'm sure Ryan Murphy could come up with something. It also be interesting to see if there is just one threat or many and whether it/they are just outside the cabin or if there is a threat inside too; there'd also need to be some backstory behind the monster but with American folklore as rich as it is theres no shortage of real world connections (Bigfoot?), since we know Ryan Murphy loves to adapt real stories or inspirations when they fit.
The cabin setting would be an obvious representation of Limbo where our characters have ended up abandoned in a place of isolation. One interesting thing about Limbo from Dante's Inferno is that it is where people who have not been baptized (i.e. most pagans predating christianity such as the Ancient Greeks) reside because they couldnt get to heaven even if they had lived lives without sin. Therefore it be interesting if some of the characters were actually innocents who had become trapped; Murphy has actually done this before with characters such as Pepper and Misty Day (still wont forgive him for that one). There could also be other previously trapped characters who survive, maybe in the cabin or in the surrounding area, and some of the aforementioned flashbacks could focus on them towards the end of the season. This season could have so much going on and it be pretty great to see what Ryan Murphy and the AHS cast could do with just a cabin in the woods.
American Horror Story: Area 51 or Roswell (Treachery, Heresy)
Now this is a season I think many would be excited about, I mean the aliens were one of the mysterious parts of AHS: Asylum and it be great to see more of them messing around with humans on Earth. The show has already brought back ghosts and demons so aliens isnt that much of a stretch, plus for those who think it in space isnt really connecting to the "American" in American Horror Story, there is plenty of connections by setting it in Roswell and/or Area 51 and the plethora of UFO folklore in America. While AHS has avoided being very political and we really wouldn't want it to completely, this season could feature a lot of the government espionage and cover-ups, secret experimentation, and power struggles for weapons and knowledge that can be found in movies featuring aliens and remote laboratories. It would also be nice to get more on the aliens and their master plan if they have once since their involvment and motives were only teased and never really elaborated on in Asylum; perhaps they could have been the ones manipulating everything each season (wouldnt it be great to see a adaptation of "The Monsters are due on Maple Street" at some point.)
Withe likely involvment of government figures in this season trying to commit or stop nefarious operations, I think this season could fit into either Heresy or Treachery. Heresy because there would inevitable be characters fighting against the government doctrine, whether towards the aliens or innocent people. Treachery because there would certainly be betrayal as characters would likely have their own agendas when aliens are involved.
So what do you think, should American Horror Story include any one of these ideas for it's seasons or is there another plotline you would like to see? In the meantime, here's to the upcoming season 6 whatever it ends up being about.