By Becca Arkwright
Bethany, W.Va. AHS is a anthology horror series, each of the seasons contains its own self-contained storylines that follows different characters and settings created by Ryan Murphy. AHS chronicles fictionalized haunted locations where the living interact with the dead. The series is known to casts the same group of actors each season but who play different characters and roles. You can also expect each season to contain new additional actors along with the small “original” cast. Each of these miniseries have some themes and characters that overlap, which theorist suggest will eventually come full circle and different seasons will connect with others as the stories continue. Below I have ranked all the seasons of American Horror Story from best to worst excluding the newest season Cult because it has yet to conclude.
Murder House: The story follows a psychiatrist and his family that moves from Boston to Los Angeles to have a fresh start after his wife has a miscarriage and he strayed from his marriage. The Harmon’s move into a restored mansion that has a dark past and holds more secrets than a house should. As the family tries to move forward with their lives, these secrets and ghosts of the past make life a nightmare. Tis season contains flashbacks set in the 1920s, 40s, 60s, 70s, 90s, and 2000s.
Coven: This seasons is set at an all-girls boarding school in New Orleans which hosts and stands to protect the nearly extinct descendants of the last line of witches who had survived the Salem Witch Trials. The school is run by a seemingly naive young woman names Cordelia Goode who is the daughter of the current “Supreme” witch. The Supreme is the most powerful witch in her generation. Each witch has their own unique power that they posses. The seasons theme revolves around jealousy and long standing rivalries between not only the boarding school coven and the local voodoo coven but between the witches themselves. The search for the next supreme is underway and the claws come out.
Hotel: Hotel is based out of Los Angles in 2015 in a retro hotel that happens to house the tortured souls of its past occupants. Hotel Cortez was built for the sole purpose of acting as a giant torture chamber for the deranged millionaire James Patrick March. The multiple colliding storylines include a local detective and his family, an 111 year old vampire, an addict and his over protective mother, a prostitute, a transgender bartender and a New York fashion designer. This season is full of plot twists and intertwining storylines that all revolve around the hotels creator and his mysterious wife.
Asylum: This season takes places in 1960s and explores the dark corners of an insane asylum. Briarcliff Mental Institution is located in Massachusetts which houses the criminally insane. The institute is run by Monsignor Timothy Howard and his two nuns, Sister Jude and Sister Mary Eunice, along with an sadistic scientist Dr. Arthur Aden and a psychiatrist Dr. Oliver Thredson. The season revolves around two main storylines of an undercover journalist who seeks to exploit the asylum of its harsh conditions and to look into the mysterious happenstances that surround the informs institution; and the story of the accused serial killer Kit Walker who is accused of murdering multiple women including his own wife. Although Kit stands firm on his innocence and believes that his wife was abducted by aliens.
Roanoke: This season takes a different approach than other previous seasons. This is presented to you in a form of a documentary style that contains actors that are reenacting true events along with narration and interviews with the Millers who are the real life people to which the documentary is based on. But things go horribly wrong when the cast begin to witness and experience the same thing that the previous owners endured, from a mob of ghostly villagers to a half man half pig monster to an evil witch priestess. The “production team” soon begins to realize that what they thought was movie props and special effects, is anything but that. People thought the Miller’s story was all made up, until costars began be picked off one by one.
Freak Show: Set in 1952 in the town of Jupiter, Florida the season follows the lives of struggling circus performers owned by Elsa Mars (a aspiring actress). Unfortunately, matters are only getting worse with the decline in freak shows being considered any form of entertainment to the masses, Elsa however wants to make sure that her “monsters” eventually find a permanent home and that her search for stardom is soon to be realized. When Elsa receives news that there are conjoined twins at a local hospital, she sets out to recruit them into her freak show and introduce a new wow factor.
The freak show consists of many odd characters such as a man with lobster hands, a bearded lady, a woman with three breasts, the worlds strongest man, along with others. Although in their ranks arrives a man and his assistant who plan to kill the freaks one by one and sell them off to a museum for profit. But their is even more evil afoot as a sadistic spoiled rich boy takes a liking to the group and wants to purchase all of the freaks in order to become one himself. His fascination with the group leads to more trouble than anyone was expecting.
*Note if I were to include the newest season Cult that premiered on Sept 5, 2017, I would have to place it in third place because I have enjoyed the crazy plot twists. This season has kept me guessing the entire time.