The time has come to gather around your television sets for the spooky season premiere of FX’s “American Horror Story.”
Although the show is slated to air episode 1 of Season 6 on Wednesday, little is known about this year's installment — including what the theme will be. More than 20 teasers have been released for the series and fans are no closer to knowing which is real and which are diversions. Couple that with photos from the set and you’ve got a recipe for confusion. A number of rumors have circulated about the theme, with some fans speculating that it may be tied to the lost colony of Roanoke, Season 1’s murder house, and more.
Network executives have been open about the fact that they are trying to throw fans off. During the Television Critics Association press tour, FX CEO John Landgraf revealed that the producers came together and decided not to announce the theme of Season 6. He noted that while that’s what they’ve done in previous seasons, they’re taking a new approach to creator Ryan Murphy’s latest installment of “American Horror Story.” Landgraf said that they thought “it’d be really fun” to keep it to themselves, adding that the crew has gone to great lengths to keep it under wraps by delivering all scripts directly to him and having all spoilers tied to the Season 6 focus blacked out.
“Every year we’ve basically laid out the themes, the new genre that Ryan’s going to be approaching, and we just thought [this year] it’d be really fun to keep it a mystery,” Landgraf said in August. (via Entertainment Weekly). “So, we are. The scripts come in, and they’ve got my name emblazoned across them and there’s only one script that comes into the company. Everything’s blacked out that might give away the [setting]...and what [head of marketing] Stephanie [Gibbons] and her team, with Ryan’s help, did was they went out and made many more trailers than you’ve actually seen for hypothetical seasons of ‘American Horror Story.’ Different genres, different places. I think they’re really fun and funny and beautifully, artfully made...and a lot of them are accurate. The others are all misdirects.”
So what is the theme of “American Horror Story” Season 6? Here are a few final guesses before the season premiere Wednesday, Sept. 14:
The Lost Colony:
In 1590, 177 colonists mysteriously vanished from the Roanoke colony in the outer banks of North Carolina. The story surrounding their disappearance is often hailed as the oldest unsolved mystery in American history. The only clues left behind after the colonists were wiped out was the bones of one settler and the word “Croatoan” — a word Native Americans believed would banish evil spirits — carved into a nearby tree.
Photos from the set show the word carved into the bark of a tree outside of what appears to be an old village. TMZ obtained the pictures on Aug. 1, reporting that cast members were seen on the set wearing clothes similar to those Pilgrims would have worn. Other photos showed a colonial field located on the set, creating further speculation about the theme of Season 6.
The last of six trailers released in July featured a number six coming out of a chimney in smoke. The home is situated in the middle of an empty field. There is nothing else in the trailer that gives any insight into the theme, but many suggested that the sixth trailer was further connected to the missing Roanoke colonists.
The first trailer for Season 6 brought viewers into a nursery room where a baby could be heard crying. The child’s wailing stops and it is revealed that it is not an infant, but rather a monster. The creature spots a mobile above its bed, which featured a six and a question mark. Fans theorized that the mobile spelled out the word “pig” when properly aligned. Anyone who closely studied the Charles Manson cult will recall that this exact word was written in the blood of actress Sharon Tate when she and her unborn child were killed in their home by a member of the Manson Family.
On Aug. 12, amid the hype about the Netflix original series “Stranger Things,” FX released a trailer starring a mysterious human-like figure crawling down train tracks. Many fans compared the creature to that the cast battled in “Stranger Things.”
While many viewers believe the 24 “American Horror Story” trailers are meant to throw them off from the actual theme of Season 6, others speculate that they may be more connected than they appear. As was previously reported, each teaser appears to have some connection to a previous season. Further evidence that this theory may be true stems from a 2014 interview with Murphy. The showrunner told Entertainment Weekly at the time that each season was “connected” in some way.
“We’re just beginning to tell you how they’re connected,” he said ahead of Season 4, which boasted a freak show theme. “They’re all very separate but there’s clues every season that we’re not telling you how the different worlds are intertwined.”
Classic Horror Films:
Another wildly popular theory is that Season 6 of “American Horror Story” may be based off cult classic horror films. As was previously reported, there are callbacks to movies like “Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” “The Hills Have Eyes,” “Rosemary’s Baby,” and “Nosferatu” in the promos. Neither this theory nor any of the others have been confirmed by showrunners or cast members, but it seems like a strong contender.
Still confused? You can watch all 24 “American Horror Story” Season 6 trailers HERE. What do you think the theme will be? Tune in to FX at 10 p.m. EDT on Wednesday to find out.