‘American Horror Story’ to Take on Rich Carnie Mythos Next Season

By  · Published on March 18th, 2014

FX’s American Horror Story looks to be dead-set on continuing to explore the creepiest creepy creep shows that America has to offer ‐ and for their next season, the ostensible miniseries is hightailing it to a literal creep show. Over at /Film, they’ve got wind of a report that the fourth season of the series will move its setting (as they move setting and plot every incarnation) to a carnival. Send in the freaks (and the clowns, too, why not)!

The outlet reports that writer and co-executive producer Douglas Petrie recently appeared on the Nerdist Writers Panel podcast, and despite first sticking to a tight-lipped stance, saying ”I can’t say anything” to questions about the show’s next season, he was waylaid when another guest mentioned that she had “heard” that the next season would take place at a carnival, to which Petrie replied, “Yes ‐ that was the, it ‐ it does not have a title.” Got you, Petrie!

The carnival season (may we suggest the title American Horror Story: Carnival, and just be done with it?) will join other equally-as-creepy seasons that also took place at variously eerie locations, from a haunted house to an insane asylum to a witchy school for girls. It’s a pretty perfect fit, and the AHS team will undoubtedly have plenty to work with, from the kind of freak show acts that used to frequently pop up at carnivals to the pure terror a whirly-ride that is moved every week or so can instill in passengers. Hell, they could even go the disaster route ‐ why not make a series about something like the Dreamland Amusement Park fire of 1911? Although not exactly a carnival, the Coney Island-set attraction was full to the gills with carnival-type entertainments, and that could translate quite nicely to the small screen. And yes, it quite horrifyingly burned to the ground the night before it was set to reopen ‐ the fire even started in an attraction known as “Hell Gate.”

As /Film notes, this carnival theme has been hinted at for awhile now, with a recent batch of posters for the series going with a circus theme, though “showrunner Ryan Murphy dismissed them as fan posters and insisted that ‘no one has completely guessed what [the Season 4 setting] is.’ Well, sure, maybe not completely, but ‘carnival’ and ‘circus’ are pretty damn close.” Just take away the big top and call it a thing.

The outlet also reminds us that Murphy has doled out a few clues about the program as of late, as he recently told EW “that Season 4 would be split over two time periods, as American Horror Story: Asylum was, with one of them being the 1950s.” He also teased, “If you look historically what happened in the year 1950, there’s some more clues in that year.” Carnival and circus fans, anything spring to mind?

The show will also bring back fan favorites Jessica Lange and Sarah Paulson. American Horror Story returns to the small screen this fall.