AHS 1984: Theories and Explanations

As always, Jace is on the case, this time to try and decipher what is about to go down in the AHS world.

Throughout the past few weeks information has slowly been released about the upcoming season. You can see what we already know here. Remember this article is STRICTLY THEORIES. I have no idea if any of this will end up happening in AHS. But read along, let us know if you agree!

Theory Time

So, I’m about to really get really into American Horror Story and theories surrounding it. There are always multiple possibilities for the AHS world and it’s always hard to stick to just one theory, so let me break down a few for you.

It’s actually the set of a movie

Photo: FX

When show creator, Ryan Murphy, dropped the cast announcement video is when this speculation started. Quite literally opening with a countdown and an off-screen crew member saying “screen test, rolling.” In this video, the characters in multiple different outfits which clearly are from the 80’s and walking around an empty cabin .

Throughout this video we can see red tape that forms the shape of a “T” on the floor. When on set for any kind of filming, these are on the floor to tell the actor where to stand. These are called “marks.” AHS has one of the best editing teams and would not let a mistake like this slip by (*cough, Game of Thrones, cough*). Especially because in some shots it is there and in others it is not. Clearly this mark is meant to be seen, further making us believe that it is in fact a set of some sort. Now, if this theory is true, this season could either be really good or really bad.

Photo: FX
How this could be bad…

Murphy had already played around with the idea of having the season take place on a set in AHS: Roanoke. Roanoke started off as a cheesy rip-off version of A Haunting, and then turned into a reality TV-Show putting the real people and actors who played them back into the haunted house. Yeah… We’re still confused too. Long story short, it dragged. While it was probably the season with the most jump scares, the content just wasn’t there.

How this could be good…

If Murphy learned from his mistakes in Roanoke, then this could be amazing. If we’re on a set we can go horror movie gone real. People swapping out prop weapons for real ones, fake blood is actually real blood, and no one is acting when they’re screaming for their life.

From the trailer and cast announcement video we see a man in a dark trench coat who is dripping wet kind of fisherman-y. This definitely gives us I Know What You Did Last Summer vibes – but I think that’s the point.

However, we can’t jump to the conclusion that he’s automatically the killer of the season. Throughout the video we see a boy who is the ‘edgy’ kid of the bunch. Complete with luscious hair, a leather jacket, and a switch blade, this boy definitely raises a red flag.

It actually takes place in 1984

There could also be a chance that this does actually take place in 1984 and this could be a real camp. To start this theory, AHS seems to have a pattern to the seasons. A present day season followed by a season that takes place in the past. Think about it. Murder House 2011, Asylum 1960’s, Coven 2013, Freak Show 1950’s, Hotel 2016.

This is where the pattern ultimately ends because Roanoke, Cult, and Apocalypse all take place in present day. This blast to the past season is kind of over due. But back to the hard evidence.

In the video, Leslie Grossman and Matthew Morrison are definitely the oldest of the characters we’ve seen. The two are definitely superior in some sort of way.

In the video we also see the same characters walking into the cabin over and over. I can’t quite tell what their ages they are supposed to be; they could either be teenagers at some kind of art camp, or camp counselors in training. We see them in multiple different outfits, and each time they walk in, it seems as if they’re looking for something. But what?

This is the million dollar question. Are they being drawn by some kind of force? Are they ghost hunting? Did they hear cries for help?

The killer is not going to be that obvious

Each season there’s the big killer, the one with the revenge plot. However due to the fact that they’re doing a retro slasher season… I don’t think it’s going to be that obvious.

Remember in the first Friday the 13th, when we were all telling the group of kids from Camp Crystal Lake to run from Jason. JUST TO FIND OUT that it wasn’t even Jason doing the killing. It was his mother the whole time.

How about in Scream (anyone of them really), when we just think that it was a single serial killer out for revenge. When in fact, it’s usually more that two people orchestrating the whole thing looking for attention.

Heck, even thought it’s not a slasher flick, think of Gone Girl. We thought that she was kidnapped and killed for some reason when in actuality… she staged her own death to get revenge on her cheating husband (who she get’s back with in the end… but live your life, boo).

Bsically, I think that no matter the time or actual place of the season… The killer will be right under our nose the whole time. I have a feeling that it will be a team of people trying to throw the scent off of each other.

Probably some “you stole the person I love even though they don’t love me back so now I’m going to kill you” type thing… Cause y’know…. That always works out.

The Inferno Theory

Photo: FX

Some may have already heard of this theory, but for those who haven’t… Sit tight, because your mind is about to be blown.

This theory was just a small coincidence that a reddit user pointed out. At this point there were only 5 seasons… Upon hearing this, I’ve decided to dive deeper to further prove this theory that has peaked my interest.

We have always been told that all the seasons are connected in some way. We’ve had reoccurring characters and small little easter eggs placed throughout the seasons. But how are they overall connected? Are they just all in the same universe? Or is it bigger than that?

In Inferno, the first part of Dante Alighieri‘s three-part epic poem The Divine Comedy, the narrator descends through nine levels of hell: Limbo, Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Wrath/Anger, Heresy, Violence, Fraud, and Treachery. Here is where we start making the AHS connections. Each circle of hell is a different season.

Murder House (Limbo)

Photo: FX

The first stop in Dante‘s journey is Limbo, here he comes across people who are trapped in an in-between afterlife. Not deserving of damnation but not yet able to enter heaven.

In Murder House, the ghosts of the house are trapped. If they die on property, their souls can never leave (except on Halloween), making them trapped between the living people of earth and the afterlife.

Asylum (Fraud)

Photo: FX

In the poem, the next circle after Limbo is Lust but it seems as if Ryan Murphy, the shows creator, skipped around with placement. Because next circle we see is Fraud. In the poerm, Dante saves this circle from false prophets and health professionals that actually exploit patients instead of curing them. Sound familiar?

In Asylum, Braircliff is basically a cover up for Dr. Arden to experiment on patients. There is also Dr. Oliver Threadson using and abusing his power to try and frame someone as the killer Bloodyface, when it is in-fact Threadson himself.

Coven (Treachery)

Photo: FX

Treachery, which is the technically last and worst circle in hell is said to be reserved for those who betray their friends and loved ones… Let’s take a trip down memory lane.

In Coven, remember that scene where Fiona betrays Maddison by killing her? Or when Cordelia‘s husband not only betrays their marriage by having an affair, but by being a witch hunter and planning to kill her this whole time? How about that part when that crazy mom killed her son in the hospital because he realized how much she has lied to him. Yeah, I think it’s safe to say there’s some treachery going down in season 3.

Freak Show (Greed)

Photo: FX

The fourth circle, greed, was divided into two groups. Those who hoarded possessions and those who lavishly spent.

Freak Show is all about greed. Elsa is quite literally making a profit of people with deformities that had no where to go. They were her family-her possessions that she hoarded and could never let go of. As for the lavishly spent portion… two words… Dandy Mott.

Hotel (Gluttony)

Photo: FX

The circle of Gluttony is for those who are well… gluttonous… who have habitual needs. Like addiction, maybe?

Drugs, alcohol, and sex are all things that represent modern-day gluttony. And represents AHS: Hotel. Sally has an on-going heroin addiction, Detective Lowe suffers from alcoholism, The Countess lures men and women to feed off of through sex, and there is literally an Addiction Demon.

Roanoke (Wrath/Anger)

Photo: FX

In the poem, the 5th circle is where you find wrathful and angry people. When venturing through this level Dante said that these people could be seen fighting and drowning each other.

In Roanoke, The Butcher has quite the anger problems against the colonists that rebelled against her. Above that, she tortures everyone that dares to live on her property. In this season we also see the angry cannibalistic Polk clan. Not to mention that one scene where Shelby finds Matt cheating on her with Scáthach (All hail supreme Gaga) and bashes his head in… Yeah I think that everyone in that season is a little angry.

Cult (Heresy)

Photo: FX

The Heresy circle is reserved for those who have beliefs or ideas that contradict the christian beliefs. These are the people that started… well… cults…

Cult. Well the connection is literally in the name. That and the fact that Kai tries to create a Messiah baby andhas an obsession with playing “god“; idolizing cults like the Manson Family, Jonestown, and Heavens Gate.

Apocalypse (Violence)

Photo: FX

The seventh level is Violence, this circle is divided into three sub-circles. Outer being the murderers, middle being profligates (extravagant and wasteful people), and the inner being blasphemous people (acting out against god).

While the whole season of Apocalypse is violent in the sense of the apocalypse happened and wiped out almost all of humanity… There are some harder facts.

Below you can see a picture of Outpost 3. Its shape is three circles much like the Violence circle.

Photo: Richard Serra

The outer circle is the outside… If you were to go outside you would be murdered by these infected zombie people.

The middle circle would be the actual inside of the outpost, where they dressed as extravagantly as it was decorated. Not to mention they worried about wasting food because of rations (but they did anyway).

The inner circle are those who are blasphemous and speak out against god, this is more of Michael entering the outpost and trying to take over because he’s…. the literal anti-christ.

1984 (Lust)

Photo: FX

This brings us our final circle. As you just read, there’s some pretty solid evidence for this theory. You may ask, “Jace, how do you know this season will be Lust if it hasn’t even aired?” Well my friend. I don’t. But the facts show that it’s possible.

Seasons 1-8 have each shown that they could very possibly represent a different circle in hell. Leaving only Lust left. Now, after analyzing the teaser and cast video over and over, I couldn’t find anything even remotely close to lust. Nothing showed it… But that was the problem…. Nothing SHOWED it. I ended up curious about the song that was playing over the cast video. It was Dan Hartman “I Can Dream About You”.

When I listened, it seemed like your everyday cheesy 80’s pop love song. It wasn’t until I read the lyrics that it clicked. The lyrics are saying that because he cannot be with her, he can dream about her. He keeps going on like this almost like he’s obsessed with her… like he’s in LUST with her.

I think this gif describes how we all feel right now.

What do you think?

Is this wishful thinking? Maybe? But it sure makes sense, doesn’t it. We won’t know if this season is Lust until it actually airs… And we won’t really know if this Inferno theory is true until next season… American Horror Story: 1984 airs September 18th at 10pm on FX and FX Streaming.

What do you think? Do you think there is enough evidence proving it true? Do you have another theory? Let us know in the comments below!


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Words: Jace Chiappetta | Featured Image: FX

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