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American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained

Despite being an anthology horror series, creator and showrunner Ryan Murphy has confirmed that every season of American Horror Story is connected. American Horror Story's seasons are famed for their intricate, terrifying narratives, with American Horror Story: Double Feature the latest of the ten AHS series releases to date. As originally reported by Decider, it has now been confirmed every season of American Horror Story is connected, with the series revealing some shocking links between seasons.

Since airing on FX in 2011 with season 1, Murder HouseAmerican Horror Story has explored numerous elements of history, the horror genre, and has brought numerous, terrifying stories to audiences. The series has won an astounding number of awards for technical merits as well as acting through the years, with the first three seasons - Murder House, Asylum, and Coven - being the most successful overall. Audience appetites do not appear to be slowing down for the series, with creator Ryan Murphy managing to keep audiences so engaged in his anthology series that FX renewed the show through season 13 in early 2020.

Related: American Horror Story: How Every Coven Character Died

Though subsequently becoming involved with many different projects on Netflix, network television, and movies since Murder House first premiered in 2011, Murphy's passion for the American Horror Story series continues to be apparent to this day. Whether through the care he takes to make clever series to series connections, or by keeping the universe richly developed, American Horror Story has become a trove of Easter eggs, callbacks, and AHS canon references for fans to unravel. Here's every American Horror Story season's connections explained.

Ryan Murphy teased the crossover season between Murder House and Coven for a while before it finally came to fruition in AHS season 8, Apocalypse. While it has its own plotline that doesn't fixate on the characters from Coven and Murder House directly, the post-apocalyptic wasteland created by Michael Langdon acts as the perfect vehicle to bring everything together. Michael Langdon, who comes into his powers as the Antichrist, is the son of Tate Langdon and Vivien Harmon; the Harmon family moved into the Murder House in season 1, and Tate, a ghostly resident, raped Vivien before becoming romantically involved with her daughter, Violet. Medium Billie Dean Howard teased the unnatural birth of such a child and discussed a prophecy that would bring about the End of Days. At the end of season 1, Michael's murderous nature was seen when he was still just a child.

The crossover between the AHS seasons Murder House and Coven connected in other ways outside of its inclusion of Michael Langdon. The witches' purpose is to stop Michael Langdon and restore balance to the world in a match-up of ultimate good vs. ultimate evil. While there's a lot involved within the season, there is a connection that is more of a theory than a direct link. Madison Montgomery, one of the witches in both Coven and Apocalypse, could be related to the original owners of Murder House: Charles and Nora Montgomery, though this has never been confirmed. However, Madison did travel to Murder House with Behold during season 8; this could be just a coincidence or another clever clue from Ryan Murphy.

Billie Dean Howard, a medium who was first introduced in season 1, traveled to the very haunted and connected Hotel Cortez in American Horror Story season 5 to commune with the different spirits who inhabit the place as part of her TV show, which is similar to shows like Ghost Adventures, except Howard has a genuine gift. Billie Dean Howard wasn't a major character in either season, but as the Cortez and Murder House are both located in California, it begs the question as to whether she travels around to numerous other haunted locations in the state; perhaps some of these haven't been revealed yet, or perhaps they have been and just haven't been revisited yet, such as Camp Redwood in 1984.

Related: American Horror Story: Why Michael Langdon's Death Was So Anti-Climactic

Pepper is one of the more tragic characters in American Horror Story, and while she certainly endured a lot during her time at Briarcliff in AHS season 2, Asylum, it was revealed in season 4, Freak Show, that Pepper was originally a part of Fräulein Elsa's Cabinet of Curiosities. Pepper grew up in an orphanage and was adopted by Elsa to become a part of her troupe of performers. A kind, gentle soul, Pepper was wrongly blamed for the murder of her sister's baby, and ended up in Briarcliff as a result. In a scene that includes Sister Mary Eunice, also a character from Asylum, during Pepper's admission to Briarcliff, she is told that Pepper sliced off the baby's ears and drowned it. In Freak Show, Pepper always showed a maternal and even domestic nature, referenced through her marriage to Salty, another "freak" with microcephaly, and her caring for the tragic AHS character Ma Petite.

Lana Winters, who is arguably one of the most iconic characters in American Horror Story history, tends to pop up all over the series' timeline just via her nature as a reporter. While most prominently featured in season 2, Asylum, Lana makes an appearance in Roanoke - and her show does, too - when she interviews Lee Harris. Another connection that Lana Winters shares is a brief mention in season 7, Cult, when the journalist asks to interview Ally Mayfair-Richards, but is denied the opportunity. Perhaps this has something to do with Sarah Paulson playing both Ally and Lana, but the actress has doubled up on roles and characters before, so it might have just been an Easter egg or a way to show Lana Winters is still going strong in modern years, as Cult took place after the 2016 US Presidential Election.

The hard-to-escape Hotel Cortez, the connecting point of season 5, Hotel, has a bigger significance than just warranting a whole season. Not only is it one of several locations in the series - such as Camp Redwood and Murder House - where the dead don't stay dead, it is revealed to be of integral importance by none other than Michael Langdon during Apocalypse. Apparently, the Hotel Cortez isn't just a haunted hot spot. It's also a sort of purgatory - which they all could be, in a way - where Madison and Queenie from Coven were trapped for years before being released by Michael.

Though another, smaller connection, it's revealed in 1984 that serial killer Margaret Booth has taken to purchasing true crime locations and turning them into cash cows. 1984 and Asylum's American Horror Story timelines end up being directly connected through this new business venture of Margaret's, because she purchases Briarcliff because she sees it as a decent investment, just like Charles Manson's ranch and the site of her own murders, Camp Redwood. As true crime is very profitable, there's no reason why something like this wouldn't be a gainful business even outside of the American Horror Story universe.

Related: AHS Season 10: The Red Tide Character Kathy Bates Almost Played

While Coven introduces the concept of a Supreme through Jessica Lange's character, Fiona Goode. Fiona is a determined, powerful leader - albeit a selfish one - who will stop at nothing to keep her power and hold over the coven intact instead of being replaced by a younger model as her body starts to fail her. However, as witches are not immortal, there have been many Supremes throughout American Horror Story series history. In Roanoke, audiences were introduced to Scathach (Lady Gaga's character), who started the entire line of Supremes that eventually led to Fiona and Cordelia sparring at Miss Robichaux's Academy in season 3.

One of the darker connections in American Horror Story, Dr. Arthur Arden from Asylum ended up having a significant role to play in season 4, Freak Show, even though he only made a brief appearance. One of the biggest mysteries surrounding his character, who was a major player in season 2, was whether or not he had connections to the Nazi Party. This was brought up to question when a woman who claimed to be Anne Frank was admitted to Briarcliff and said she knew him as Hans Gruper. His experimentation on different patients at Briarcliff certainly revealed that Dr. Arden had a dark side, but Anne's identity - and Arden's - was left ambiguous after she was lobotomized. In American Horror Story's complete timeline, Elsa is revealed to have lost her legs in a snuff film, and it was confirmed that her legs were removed by none other than Dr. Arden years before she ever arrived in Jupiter. Even more interesting was the confirmation that when he removed Elsa's legs, he was going by the name of Hans Gruper.

The events of Roanoke primarily take place at a farmhouse that is purchased by Matt and Shelby Miller, the focus of My Roanoke Nightmare, a docuseries about the terrors they endured that are connected to the disappearance of the Roanoke colonists who mysteriously disappeared in North Carolina. The farmhouse was once occupied by Edward Philippe Mott, an ancestor of Dandy Mott and his mother, Gloria, who were trying to purchase Elsa's show during season 4.

While Ally Mayfair-Richards' fear of clowns is a prominent feature of American Horror Story season 7, Cult, along with the clown cult that is headed by Kai Anderson. However, one clown who was already a major feature of American Horror Story, Twisty, who premiered in season 4 is featured in comic form. Ally and Ivy's son, Oz, is seen reading comics that feature the tragic villain, although his mother does not approve.

Related: American Horror Story: Twisty The Clown's Death Explained

Richard Ramirez connects to two seasons, 1984 where he plays a major role and Hotel, where he appears as a guest of hotel proprietor James March for his Devil's Night celebrations alongside other prominent serial killers. While the history behind the character's inclusion was a bit murky at times, Ramirez's existence in both seasons is yet another connection that the nine seasons of American Horror Story, including 1984, all share.

Season 2's Asylum included an extended plot thread about aliens that ended quite cryptically, with Evan Peter's Kit Walker abducted for the final time on his 40th birthday to close the season's extraterrestrial loop. While Murphy's commentary in 2012 following Asylum's release suggested the alien presence in the series was an allegory for divine intervention, these same extraterrestrials have since been hinted at in American Horror Story: Double Feature. The season's seventh episode, “Take Me to Your Leader,” grants a first look at little grey aliens that appear identical to the ones featured across Asylum. In addition, the Asylum storyline happens concurrently with Double Feature's alien developments, with Asylum's Kit narrative taking place in the 1960s parallel with American Horror StoryDouble Features' Eisenhower alien plot even down to the mirrored technology used by the aliens in both seasons.

Next: American Horror Story: Why Double Feature Is The Worst Season (Not Roanoke)

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