ByStettler Brown, writer at
If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn’t matter a damn how you write. – Some

It is no secret that all of the American Horror Story seasons are connected. But by what exactly? It's a bit of a mystery. Entertainment Weekly sat down with the show's co-creator Ryan Murphy and he confirmed:

"They’re all connected. We’re just beginning to tell you how they’re connected. They’re all very separate but there’s clues every season that we’re now telling you how the different worlds are intertwined."
Ryan Murphy
Ryan Murphy

One theory doing the rounds is that the show is following the story of Dante's Inferno. This is a portion from the 14th-century poem Divine Comedy about the poet himself, Dante Alighieri, who finds himself lost in the woods. In the poem, Dante tells us of his journey through the nine circles of hell, guided by Roman poet Virgil.

So what are the nine circles of hell and how do they relate to American Horror Story?

The Nine Circles Of Hell

Each of the circles represents a sin. They are as follows:

  • First Circle — Limbo: In limbo resides the unbaptized and virtuous pagans. Though they might not have been sinful, they did not accept Christ.
  • Second Circle — Lust: Characterized as having extreme sexual desires.
  • Third Circle — Gluttony: Overindulgence or overconsumption.
  • Fourth Circle — Greed: Intense and selfish desire, especially for power or wealth.
  • Fifth Circle — Anger: Sudden violent displeasure.
  • Sixth Circle — Heresy: A belief or opinion contrary to orthodox religious (especially Christian) doctrine.
  • Seventh Circle — Violence: A behavior involving physical force intended to hurt, damage or kill.
  • Eighth Circle — Fraud: The intentional deception of a person or entity made for monetary or personal gain.
  • Ninth Circle — Treachery: A betrayal of trust; deceptive action or nature.

How Has 'American Horror Story' Portrayed Dante's Inferno?

Season 1, 'Murder House' — Limbo And Lust

In our first season of American Horror Story we don't really know what to expect, though things quickly start to get really interesting. You have all of these ghosts stuck in a sort of limbo in the murder house. And when Violet dies, she runs and runs yet cannot leave. Also, there is a lot of lust going on in this season, which could also explain the reason why they are stuck in limbo.

Season 2, 'Asylum' — Fraud

Though in Season 2 there is a lot of violence, I don't believe that was at the crux of the story. In Briarcliff, there is a lot of fraud taking place, with staff giving patients the idea that they are sick and need to be healed for them to be allowed out into the real world again. Fraud is portrayed in the staff members pretending to be concerned, but actually using the patients as guinea pigs in experiments.

Season 3, 'Coven' — Treachery And Anger

The Coven is full of treachery, with the untrustworthy, deceptive witches turning on one another in a bid to become the next Supreme. Every single witch thirsts for power, and anger features prominently this season because of all of the deceitfulness and grudges the witches bear.

Season Four, 'Freak Show' — Greed

Dandy was the perfect example of greed; he did what he wanted, when he wanted, undoubtedly aided by his vast wealth. Elsa Mars, the owner of the Freak Show, was also greedy as hell. Even though she had all of her "monsters" under he manicured thumb, she still craved fame and fortune.

Season Five, 'Hotel' — Gluttony

In this hotel experience you can find multiple addicts gorging themselves on blood, alcohol, drugs, even murder. Gluttony can be seen as the driving force behind Hotel, in which the characters make crazy, impulsive decisions to fulfill their desires.

Though we are not 100 percent positive that American Horror Story is following the nine circles of hell, I feel it's an awesome theory. Wouldn't it be awesome to find out that the series was in fact the experiences of Dante, only in present time? With Season 6 set to hit the small screen in September, I can't wait to see what's to come with the next connection to Dante's journey.


Do you think 'American Horror Story' is the modern Dante's Inferno?


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