What Is American Horror Story Based On? Exploring the Origins and Inspirations Behind the Popular TV Series

What Is American Horror Story Based On? Exploring the Origins and Inspirations Behind the Popular TV Series

The Origins and Inspirations Behind American Horror Story


American Horror Story is a popular TV series that has captivated audiences around the world with its unique storytelling and terrifying imagery. But have you ever wondered what the show is actually based on? In this article, we will explore the origins and inspirations behind American Horror Story, shedding light on the various influences that have shaped this haunting series.

1. Historical Events

One of the key elements of American Horror Story is its incorporation of real-life historical events. Each season of the show focuses on a different theme, often rooted in some form of historical context. For example, the first season, titled “Murder House,” draws inspiration from the true story of the Black Dahlia murder, while the third season, “Coven,” delves into witchcraft and the Salem Witch Trials. By weaving these historical events into the narrative, the show creates a sense of realism and adds an extra layer of intrigue for viewers.

2. Gothic Literature

Another major influence on American Horror Story is the tradition of gothic literature. The show pays homage to classic gothic tales, such as Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” and Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein.” The gothic genre, with its themes of horror, terror, and the supernatural, provides a rich source of inspiration for the series. By incorporating elements of gothic literature, American Horror Story creates a dark and eerie atmosphere that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats.

3. Urban Legends and Folklore

Urban legends and folklore also play a significant role in shaping the stories told in American Horror Story. The show taps into the collective fears and myths of society, drawing inspiration from tales that have been passed down through generations. For instance, the second season, “Asylum,” explores the horrors of a mental institution, touching on the fears and rumors associated with such institutions in real life. By drawing on these urban legends and folklore, American Horror Story taps into our primal fears and creates a sense of unease that resonates with viewers.

4. The Supernatural

One of the defining characteristics of American Horror Story is its incorporation of supernatural elements. From ghosts and witches to demons and vampires, the show embraces the paranormal and brings it to life on screen. This fascination with the supernatural can be traced back to the works of authors like H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe, who delved into the realm of the unknown and the mysterious. By drawing on these influences, American Horror Story explores the boundaries between the natural and the supernatural, creating a sense of dread and wonder in the process.


American Horror Story is a TV series that draws inspiration from a wide range of sources, including historical events, gothic literature, urban legends, and the supernatural. By incorporating these influences into its storytelling, the show creates a truly unique and chilling viewing experience. Whether you’re a fan of horror or simply curious about the origins of the show, exploring the inspirations behind American Horror Story provides a fascinating glimpse into the creative process behind this popular series. So dim the lights, grab some popcorn, and prepare to be terrified as you dive into the dark and twisted world of American Horror Story.


1. What is American Horror Story based on?

American Horror Story is based on an anthology format, meaning that each season is a self-contained story with its own plot, characters, and setting.

2. Who created American Horror Story?

American Horror Story was created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk.

3. What are some of the themes explored in American Horror Story?

Some of the recurring themes explored in American Horror Story include supernatural entities, psychological horror, historical events, and social commentary.

4. How many seasons are there in American Horror Story?

As of 2021, there are ten seasons of American Horror Story, each with a unique storyline and set of characters.

5. What are some of the popular seasons of American Horror Story?

Some of the highly regarded and fan-favorite seasons of American Horror Story include “Murder House,” “Asylum,” “Coven,” and “Roanoke.”

6. What are some of the inspirations behind American Horror Story?

American Horror Story draws inspiration from various sources such as classic horror films, real-life events, urban legends, and iconic horror literature.

7. Does American Horror Story feature any recurring cast members?

Yes, American Horror Story often features a group of talented actors who portray different characters in each season. These recurring cast members include Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Kathy Bates, and Angela Bassett, among others.

8. How does American Horror Story connect its different seasons?

While each season of American Horror Story is a standalone story, there are occasional connections and crossovers between them. For example, characters from previous seasons may make appearances or certain locations or objects may be referenced.

9. Has American Horror Story won any awards?

Yes, American Horror Story has received critical acclaim and has won numerous awards, including several Emmy Awards and Golden Globe Awards for both its performances and technical aspects.

10. Is American Horror Story suitable for all audiences?

American Horror Story is known for its dark, violent, and graphic content, as well as its mature themes. Due to its explicit nature, it may not be suitable for all audiences and is often rated for mature viewers.