In the past, the creators behind American Horror Story have revealed each season's theme well in advance of the premiere episode's debut on TV, but this year, Ryan Murphy and co have kept surprisingly quiet about what's in store for Season Six.
Ok, well, aside from a few casting announcements, the number 'six' logo and hints at some child-themed content, we've still been kept mostly in the dark about Season Six of American Horror Story. This enigmatic approach has led to wild speculation among the fans, suggesting a variety of theme ideas that range from brothels and orphanages to even space! But in reality, we've mostly been clueless about what direction American Horror Story will take next. That is, until now.
On Wednesday, the twisted minds behind American Horror Story released six teaser trailers which promise that Season Six could be the most disturbing instalment of the anthology yet, freaking us out with stylish but harrowing clips of fear and death.
At first glance, each of the six new teasers don't appear to reveal much, aside from the fact that children will indeed play a prominent part in the show. But now that Murphy has confirmed that each season is linked in some way, a closer look at the new trailers reveals a surprising number of potential links between Season Six and the wider universe of American Horror Story.
American Horror Story: Season 6 Teaser #1
The first clip shows a number of knives and other sharp objects hanging precariously over a baby's crib, including one shaped like the 'six' logo that appears in each of these teasers. The eerie atmosphere created by the creepy lullaby playing in the background is suddenly shattered by a demonic hand that reaches out of the crib and grabs the knife.
The evil baby hinted at in this teaser potentially confirms a popular rumour doing the rounds online that hearkens back to the first season of American Horror Story. At the end of Season One, Vivian (Connie Britton) gives birth to a demonic infant and hands him over to Constance (Jessica Lange) for safe keeping.
It's entirely possible that the character depicted in this teaser is the evil spawn Michael, as Murphy has already confirmed that part of Season Six will take place in the present. This will allow us to see what happens next to the evil baby who could be a potential antichrist in the making.
American Horror Story: Season 6 Teaser #2
Teaser #2 also uses sound to chilling effect. While our eyes are drawn to the visually striking image of the logo billowing out of a secluded house, a chainsaw and female screams can be heard in the background.
Continuing on from the previous theory about Season One, this clip suggests that perhaps Constance sent Michael to a remote location like this to keep him (and those around him) safe while he grows up. If that's the case, we could very well be looking at a new Murder House for Season Six, as Michael wouldn't be able to suppress his murderous instincts for long.
However, the imagery used in this second promo also hints at a number of links to Season Four's freak show setting. The most obvious of these is the remote farmhouse that the siamese twins Bette and Dot Tattler (Sarah Paulson) live in before joining the travelling show.
The most memorable character in American Horror Story: Freakshow was undoubtedly Twisty (John Carroll Lynch), the deranged clown whose quirks and general aesthetic owe more than a passing debt to Leatherface, the iconic antagonist from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise.
Could we see the return of Twisty somehow or at least some kind of reference to the disturbing clown? Failing that, there's always a chance that flashbacks could reveal more about what happened to Elsa (Jessica Lange), when her leg was amputated with a chainsaw back during her time in Germany.
American Horror Story: Season 6 Teaser #3
The third teaser for Season Six of American Horror Story is perhaps the most simple, just showing a family of three silhouetted against a flickering sun. All of their features are obscured by shadow — aside from their eyes, which glow unnaturally.
The majority of fans online seem to think that Michael from Murder House could be the focus of the child-related themes in Season Six. However, the Countess (Lady Gaga) in American Horror Story: Hotel also looked after her fair share of freaky children, so we could possibly see her return instead.
The glowing eyes could also be a potential indicator of what's to come. Village of the Damned references aside, this trio's supernatural leanings could be linked somehow to the witches in American Horror Story: Coven or even the Demon from the Asylum chapter, who possessed Sister Mary Eunice (Lily Rabe) and altered her eyes at one point.
However, while these last two ideas are admittedly stretches of the imagination, there's a stronger possibility that this trio could somehow work as a reference to Kit and his family who lived in a remote farmhouse after he escaped the Aslyum from Season Two. If that's the case, then Evan Peters wish to see more links with a space bound setting could be granted after all, as aliens were heavily involved with the circumstances surrounding this family.
American Horror Story: Season 6 Teaser #4
Out of all the teasers, this one provides us with the closest look at an actual character's face, where a millipede crawls through the parting in a woman's hair while creepy humming can be heard in the background.
The characters depicted in these teasers are rarely seen in the episodes eventually released, instead acting as archetypes that provide us with clues regarding the next season's content, but it's hard to deny that this particular woman looks remarkably like Lady Gaga, who was last seen in American Horror Story: Hotel.
Does this suggest that the Countess herself will return, or are we being provided with hints about Gaga's new character? Millipedes usually eat decaying leaves and dead plant matter, so the creature's inclusion in this teaser could refer to Gaga's vampiric role in Season Five or even provide clues on the intent of her potentially new role.
American Horror Story: Season 6 Teaser #5
Out of all six teaser trailers released so far, this is the only one that features dialogue;
"Try to keep it dry."
Whether the man is providing some clues regarding potential water-based themes or is simply telling the poor victim to keep his wounds clean, it appears that the psychopath stapling the number six into the other man's head has some kind of medical background.
Doctors have appeared on the show frequently over its five seasons to date, but the one who's clearly had the most impact is Dr. Arthur Arden (James Cromwell). Arden was a Nazi war criminal who worked at Briarcliff Manor in Season Two, and was responsible for removing Elsa's leg in Season Four.
Oh ,and is it just us or does the poor victim in the trailer remind you of a certain bed monster from an early episode of American Horror Story: Hotel?
If Murphy wants to continue making the links between each season more explicit, there's a strong chance that either of these fan favorite characters could return in Season Six somehow.
American Horror Story: Season 6 Teaser #6
Our final glimpse into Season Six reveals a woman running down a metal staircase, whimpering as she tries to avoid the hands that reach up for her feet from underneath. Michael, anyone?
One of the most memorable settings in the original Murder House season was the basement where a demonic creature lived, and the creators drew a lot of tension out of each characters' descent under the house. If Season Six really is going back to basics, then this clip could be another explicit reference to how the new episodes will directly link back to the show's first season.
Until Murphy and the rest of the creators release the official title of Season Six, any attempts to unravel what American Horror Story has in store for us next is ultimately conjecture, although it's becoming increasingly likely that the links between each season will become more and more explicit as time goes on.
What do you think American Horror Story: Season Six will be about and what do you think of the teaser trailers? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below and remember to tune in to FX on September 14.