American Horror Story may be an anthology series, but creator Ryan Murphy has confirmed that every season can be connected: here’s how.

Despite being an anthology horror series, creator and showrunner Ryan Murphy has confirmed that every season of American Horror Story is connected.

Since airing on FX in 2011 with season 1, Murder House, American 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. Soon to hit its landmark tenth season, Ryan Murphy has managed to keep audiences engaged in his anthology series enough that FX renewed the show through season 13.

While the theme for season 10 has not yet been announced, and might even have to change due to production and filming delays due to COVID-19, Murphy never seems to lack in ideas for the anthology. Even though he has since become involved with many different projects on Netflix, network television, and even has lent his talents to movies, Murphy’s passion for the show – and his fans – continues to be apparent through the care he takes to make these clever connections, keeping the universe richly developed and fans scouring each season for hints about what could be coming next.

Murder House & Apocalypse: Tate & Vivien’s Child Becomes The Antichrist

American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained
American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained

Ryan Murphy teased the crossover season between Murder House and Coven for a while before it finally came to fruition in season 8, Apocalypse. While it has its own plot line 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.

Cove

n & Murder House Cross Over In Season 8

American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained
American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained

The crossover between 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 Works With The Spirits In The Hotel Cortez

American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained
American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained

Billie Dean Howard, a medium who was first introduced in season 1, traveled to the very haunted Hotel Cortez in 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.

Pepper & Sister Mary Eunice Travel From Asylum To Freak Show

American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained
American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained

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 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 Ma Petite.

Lana Winters From Asylum Appears In Multiple Seasons

American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained
American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained

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.

Hotel Cortez’s Function Is Revealed In Apocalypse

American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained
American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained

The Hotel Cortez, the focal 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.

1984 Connects To Asylum’s Briarcliff Manor

American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained
American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained

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 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.

Roanoke Connects To Coven Through The First Supreme

American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained
American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained

en 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 history. In Roanoke, audiences were introduced to Scathach (Lady Gaga), who started the entire line of Supremes that eventually led to Fiona and Cordelia sparring at Miss Robichaux’s Academy in season 3.

Asylum Connects To Freak Show Through Dr. Arthur Arden

American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained
American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained

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 mysterious 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. 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 Mott Family Is Connected To Roanoke

American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained
American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained

The Mott Family Is Connected To RoanokeThe 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.

Twisty The Clown Appears In Cult (In Comic Form)

American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained
American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained

While Ally Mayfair-Richards’ fear of clowns is a prominent feature of 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.

Richard Ramirez Visits The Hotel Cortez & Stalks Camp Redwood

American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection Explained
American Horror Story: Every Season’s Connection 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 all share. Likely, with the release of season 10 on the horizon, more will eventually be revealed.

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