American Horror Story is an FX series that has grown a massive following of horror and non-horror fans, alike. With changing themes each season, it’s definitely an interesting concept that keeps people guessing what will happen from season to season, and, more recently, trying to connect the dots between each season.
The American Horror Story house for Halloween Horror Nights 26 is comprised of three seasons: Season One – The Murder House, Season Four – Freakshow, and Season Five – Hotel. Unfortunately, while I did get to tour this house, I couldn’t take any behind the scenes pictures because the photo policy with the IP houses just changed. However, I do have a little bit of insight to share.
First up, the Murder House:
As you enter, flashes of the iconic opening American Horror Story credits appear on the wall in front of you, setting the mood with the vignette. From here, you enter into the basement of the murder house, filled with the horrors of murderers and victims alike that have met some gruesome fate before their spirits became trapped in the house.
Once you escape the basement, passing various characters, including Tate, you enter into the house itself, with more iconic scene and characters. One of the more interesting set ups is using the maid, Moira. In the show, Moira is cursed to look beautiful, young, and seductive to the men in the house, while appearing much older to the women. In the house, you come around a corner to see a beautiful young Moira dusting, a momentary distraction, when suddenly the older version comes screaming around the corner to progress you further along in the house, and into one of the stranger rooms.
The last room of the Murder House area is designed to mimic the iconic poster of the red room with the rubber man. The room you enter is red and purposely disorienting, as you find yourself surrounded by mannequins hanging from the ceiling, as well as standing around the room. Except, not all of these rubber men are lifeless, as you soon find out. Once you exit the room, you’re greeted by more flashes to set the scene.
It is time to attend the Freakshow.
The setting changes to outside the circus tent, surrounded by the various caravans and banners featuring some of the attractions, such as Amazon Eve, who pops out from behind her banner for a quick scare, before entering a caravan, and walking past multiple Twisty the Clown characters on your way into his own caravan. If you look carefully, you’ll see a sack with HHN icon Jack the Clown’s face on it laying on top of Twisty’s things.
From here, you pass through the iconic Freakshow entrance, into the demonic mouth, toward the next scene, which is straight from the show itself, and fairly unnerving to walk through. If you remember the characters looking to kill and sell the bodies of the freaks, well, here’s where they sold them. Including one particularly heartbreaking one.
From here, we go straight into the Twisty copy cat, Dandy’s, home. Not only do you encounter some of the horrors he’s created, but you run into the spoiled psycho himself, before entering the last part of the freak show section.
This was a particularly cool concept. If you’ve seen the show, and this season, you’ll recall the film Elsa was in that she lost her legs. Well, you enter that scene, which was brilliantly lit to make you feel like you’ve stepped into an old black and white film. There lies Elsa on the bed, while her legs are being removed. It gives a very cool and eerie effect, over all. And, as you guessed, once you move from this room, another set of clips appears to signify your entrance into the Hotel Cortez.
You’re greeted by the Countess, reaching out from the elevator for you. You then move down a hallway with transparent walls with eerie mannequins and scareactors lurking just beyond. The walls are glass with buss wrap on them, so when illuminated from behind, you can see what’s behind it.
Again, iconic sets, characters, and scenes are explored as you make your way through the house. You encounter the Countess again, as well as March, the children of the hotel, creatures crawling up through a mattress, as well as Sally.
Over all, this was a fantastic house. It was appropriately given the nickname “KING” during the planning period, and it’s easy to see why.
Stick around for more houses, and more about this years Halloween Horror Nights!