American Horror Story fans speculate show’s timeline

Emily Ruthven, Around Creek Editor

All across America, fans sat on the edge of their seat, waiting for the arrival of the popular cult-hit, American Horror Story. As most fans know, each season has a completely different story line. However, each one includes the same actors from previous seasons. And yet, there has been recent speculation that all of the seasons are somehow connected to the same time line.

The premiere season of American Horror Story is centered around a mysterious house the condemns all of those killed on the property to be trapped in the house for all eternity. When the Harmon family, composed of actors Dylan McDermott, Connie Britton and Taissa Farmiga, moves into this Murder House, strange and horrible things begin to happen. The first season also stars several power players such as Evan Peters, Denis O’Hare, Jessica Lange and Kate Mara.

After positive ratings, creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuck decided to continue the twisted franchise with American Horror Story: Asylum. Set in 1964 in corrupt mental institute, mental patients are relentlessly tortured in the dimly lit halls of Briar Cliff Manor. Among the hundreds of patients that fall under the needle at the asylum, this season follows gay journalist, Lana Winters, portrayed by Sarah Paulson, alleged serial killer Kit Walker, played by Evan Peters and accused murderer Grace Bertrand, portrayed by Lizzie Brochere.

The show’s third season, Coven, follows a coven of Salem Witch Trials descendants who live in Miss Robichaux’s Academy, a boarding school located in New Orleans, Louisiana. Unfortunately, this season of American Horror Story received less than satisfied reviews with critics complaining that Coven “has no idea how to work all its insanity into a cohesive plot that actually made sense” and that the previous two seasons “had their fair share of craziness too, but they ended up pulling all of these elements into the main story, giving the craziness meaning,” according to Ross Bonaime, a Paste critic.

In contrast to season three’s flop, the theme for this season, Freak-show, has yet to disappoint. Fans and critics alike adore such complex characters such as Twisty the Clown, played by John Carroll Lynch, Jimmy Darling, played by Evan Peters, Maggie Esmerelda, portrayed by Emma Roberts, Bonnie Lipton, played by Skyler Samuels and many more.

There are many theories as to how American Horror Story could be one continuous timeline. The first uses season two, Asylum, and season four, Freak Show. Pepper, portrayed by Naomi Grossman, was originally a mental patient in the Briar Cliff Asylum but has now been confirmed to make a re-entrance onto the current season, Freak Show. Grossman will not be returning as a new character, as most American Horror Story stars do, but as her former role, Pepper.

“Its sort of what happened to Pepper before the asylum. We thought about it long and hard and we decided that is was interesting to do,” said creator Ryan Murphy.

Another speculation utilizes the Murder House love story of Tate Langdon, portrayed by Evan Peters, and Taissa Farmiga’s character, Violet Harmon. Tragically, both of these lovers die in the cursed home, therefore condemning them to the walls of the Murder House for all eternity. Fans speculate that this could mean that the two would live together forever, perhaps even in another season of American Horror Story. To support this theory, in season three, Coven, the two actors return again as soul mates.

Some fans use the location of all of the seasons to link them together. In season one, the Harmons are native to the Boston area. Also located in Boston is season two’s Briar Cliff Manor. In Coven, all of the witches can trace their lineage back to Salem, which took place just outside of Boston. Fans are asking, “does it all trace back to the Salem Witch Trials?” according to Lindsey Weber of

Creator Ryan Murphy put all of these theories to rest when he confirmed that all of the American Horror Story Seasons are in fact connected on October 31, 2014.  Murphy’s words are “music to the ears of fans who have speculated for months about the ties between the show’s all four seasons,” said Bill Bradley of the Huffington Post.

Many fans have had to become extremely creative in their theories of connection before Murphy confirmed all of the speculation.

“Part of the fun of the show is the Rubik’s cube design of it, but, yes, there are purposeful connections, character connections, and similarities and things that connect that we’ll continue to connect moving forward,” said Murphy to Entertainment Weekly.