When American Horror Story: Freakshow debuted in October of 2014 there was some doubt about whether or not it would be the last incarnation of the serial show. From the beginning American Horror Story has been one of only a few TV shows to take on a serialized format where each season was an entirely different story and setting with the same actors playing new roles. Each season was one complete story where the story wrapped up in the season finale. Freakshow had a record setting premiere and audiences embraced the unique storyline set in the 1950s in Florida and following the stories of Elsa Mars and her stable of sideshow freaks. Thanks to the huge popularity of this chapter of the story the show was renewed early on in the season.
But there was some doubt about the casting of the show because one of the fan favorites Jessica Lange announced that Freakshow was likely to be her last season on the show. Most fans couldn’t imagine American Horror Story without her. It looks like Freakshow really was the last season for Jessica because it was recently announced that pop icon Lady Gaga has been cast as the headliner in American Horror Story Season 6 which is subtitled Hotel. While fans of the show are thrilled with the casting of Lady Gaga for a lead role in American Horror Story they will miss Jessica Lange who has been an integral part of American Horror Story since it began.
The Hotel Storyline
Theories are already flying about what hotel will be the inspiration for the fifth season of American Horror Story. It’s a common consensus that Ryan Murphy will avoid referencing hotels in famous horror movies like The Shining and Psycho and focus instead on some of the more infamous hotels that have some pretty terrifying pasts. There have been some rumors that the fifth season is going to be set in modern day, which would narrow down the choices for the hotel being used considerably. With the announcement that Lady Gaga would be the lead actress for the series many fans are hoping that the Hotel storyline is going to have something to do with the Cecil Hotel in LA.
The Cecil Hotel
The Cecil Hotel made headlines most recently in 2013 when Elisa Lam was found drowned in a hard to access water tank on the roof. Surveillance video of an elevator shows Lam on the day of her disappearance acting very strangely and seeming to interact with someone who can’t be seen in the video. At one point in the video she looks out into the corridor as if she is looking to see if she is being followed and then hides in the elevator. Her strange behavior and strange manner of death remain mysterious and some people think she was the victim of foul play while others believe she was possessed and drowned herself.
The Cecil Hotel has a long history of odd occurrences and infamous associations. At one point a young woman committed suicide by leaping off the roof. And several notorious people have stayed at the Cecil throughout the years including the “Nightstalker” killer Richard Ramirez and serial killer Jack Unterweger who killed more than 12 women. It is also the last place where the Black Dahlia Elizabeth Short was said to have stayed before she was murdered.
The long and strange history of the Cecil Hotel would make it the perfect inspiration for American Horror Story and the inclusion of megastar Lady Gaga in the cast makes it seem like the Hotel series of American Horror Story may indeed be inspired by the Cecil.
Another possible inspiration for the series is the “Murder Castle” built by H.H. Holmes in Chicago in the late 1800s. H.H. Holmes commissioned the building of a huge home that looked like a castle that he wanted to open as a hotel for the World’s Fair. He convinced young women who were in town for the Fair to stay in his hotel, where he tortured and murdered them. Some historians say he could have killed more than 200 people in the castle. With such a morbid history the Murder Castle would also be a fitting inspiration for the fifth series of American Horror Story.