American Horror Story Season 4 (and Beyond): 7 Possible, Mostly Plausible Premises

Since American Horror Story: Coven has been scaring up such excellent numbers for FX, we’re pretty much assured a Season 4 (and even 5, 6 and 7, we’d wager). But, having already thrown open the doors to a haunted house, a loony bin and Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies, where will Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk take us next?

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Scroll through the gallery below for 7 spine-tingling possibilities, then hit the comments to single out the ones that enchant you!

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94 Comments
  1. Josh says:

    I could see them doing the “slasher flick”/camp horror next. That would actually be pretty cool.

    • pmiller says:

      Why not a refined ‘slasher’ concept ?

      American Horror Story : West End

      A high-profile, troubled stage production is plagued with surreal incidents and disturbing ‘accidents’ during the rehearsal period, all building up to the season finale revolving around the epic opening night. This is supposed to be the big comeback of a normadesmondesquely dellusional/mentally unstable fading movie star (Jessica Lange) who is constantly surrounded by her viciously manipulative co-star (Sarah Paulson) and the suspiciously secretive playwright (Zachary Quinto). Set in the 50s, the British accent and the period costumes and fashion would make it a classy, glamorous season, one that could appeal to the high-brow Mad Men/Downton Abbey viewers who are usually not that into the horror genre. It would be an homage to the golden age of cinema and films like Sunset Boulevard, All About Eve and Rebecca, and that could bring in the otherwise picky cinephiles, as well, not to mention the theater enthusiasts. It would be a viable concept to reach new demos, and do something classic and remarkably cinematic. With more recent examples, basically Black Swan meets Smash. (sorry for my English)

  2. Emily says:

    I like the summer camp and fairground ideas. Could definitely see the camp idea being done.

  3. Kat says:

    Yeah, I could see the camp one. Or the “Funland” – maybe a traveling circus or carnival type thing. That would be good too!

    • You beat me to it, Ka!t. Until they announced that S2 would just be taking place in a ‘popular horror institution’,(whereupon I thought hospital, mental hospital, or jail), that was my idea- some (retro) traveling circus a little along the lines of Carnivale that would DEFINITELY include a sideshow. Or a traveling theater-troupe. Then my theory was the same after Asylum and before Murphy started dropping big hints (my other very misguided theory was a Western).

      I’d rather not see a slasher, but that’s just me.

  4. Dan says:

    I thinnk the Washington plot would make for compelling television!

    • Sara says:

      Me too…it seems like the only plausable idea in this mix. Mars? No “American” horror story…it wouldnt work. I like the idea of basing storylines around an antichrist figure in modern society, that is truly scary. I also thought a new premise could be a haunted hotel/Shining type storyline…it would leave room for many different types of characters and storylines as guests come and go, along with the staff.

  5. Steven says:

    I would love to see either a camp season or a carnival (Maybe even Coney Island in its heyday)

  6. Jen says:

    I think it would be cool to re-visit the places we’ve already seen. Have a new family move into the haunted house and see what’s going on with the ghosts and the creepy baby. Take Asylum to modern day and have it rebuilt… all KINDS of crazy things could happen. Or what about vampires? I’m always down for a GOOD vampire story. Or a season of Urban legends would be cool too.

    • Stefan says:

      Ryan Murphy said that they only have one rule: No vampires or werewolves. Ever.

    • stephanie says:

      that would be awesome i hope ryan murphy takes this into account next season they should do their circus freak show one then defianetely vampires i and everyone is obsessed with vampires then urban legends would be maybe the best season yet they are popular and scary love it and love the idea of ending it with going back to the ghost house season one with tate, evan peters and asylum the best two and even the coven ending it with a better scarier story i just hope its around long enough i cant wait to see season 4 ryan murphy is a genius and i know they’ll be great no matter what but i would love at least one of those ideas be used please ryan murphy listen and keep the seasons coming i cant wait i hope season 4 is great and scary

  7. Sam says:

    I would love a modern, urban season of horror story. However, I feel like Murphy wouldn’t be able to resist some dumb technology-type scares. But a story involving clubs, drugs, and urban landscapes? That could be pretty awesome.

  8. Cory says:

    Okay so Mars or Congo aren’t even remotely plausible, because they’ve stated since it’s called American Horror Story it will always be set in America. They could do a spinoff to extend the franchise and not be limited to America, though, and I’d totally watch it

  9. Hoyt says:

    The DC one sounds stupid, but the Anti-Christ agenda sounds kinda cool.

    • Sara says:

      The only problem there is that the Antichrist is apparently going to be involved in politics, he’d have to be to be powerful. Youd have to have DC somewhere in the mix…..unless the story followed his rise to power, and people he hurts and kills along the way, etc.

  10. alistaircrane says:

    I would love to see them do a zombie season, but with a twist: Not your typical Romero zombies, but the original Haitian kind.

    • Elm says:

      You’ll se that this season. Have you not seen the promos? :)

    • Aleeeeex says:

      Here ya go. American Horror Story: Family. It’s about a family of cannibals that travel around the country and move every 5 years to different cities to commit their horrible crimes.

      • Sara says:

        LIKE!!! That idea of cannibals is truly horrifying. Especially if they were all just like normal Jones’s in suburbia….inviting you over for dinner and stuff.

  11. choochoo says:

    I’m not sure if this article is a joke or not…these sound ridiculous

  12. margo says:

    Jessica Lange already confirmed that next year’s season would be her last.

    • Jared says:

      She didn’t “confirm” she said “probably”.

      • margo says:

        “I have a list: another stage production, maybe one or two more movies, one more season of American Horror Story, and that is it for me,” – Jessica Lange

        That’s called a confirmation, my friend.

        • Jared says:

          I apologize, I wasn’t aware of today’s announcement. Because a few weeks ago she was asked the same question and just answered with she wasn’t sure how much longer she would go but did know it was coming soon.

        • Elm says:

          Not really, though? :O I don’t see this show live on without her :(

          • abz says:

            She’s amazing and I love her in this show, but if they can continue to find actors and actresses of equal calibre. I don’t see why it couldn’t go on especially given the show’s formula. Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett weren’t in previous seasons, but they’re amazing so far. Also, with the success of the show, I think there would be many A-List actors willing to take on a role.

  13. Shaun says:

    I’d love for Brad and Ryan to tackle Asian horror. The Ring, The Eye. Something like that. Ghost type horror is my favourite kind of horror.

  14. Rand says:

    This list should’ve been called: How to make American Horror Story jump the shark next season.

  15. jerrired says:

    i’ve definitely been hoping they do a camp/slasher film type season. Hopefully that’s where they’re headed soon.

  16. Jon says:

    The Shady Pines idea is the best! I can see that, maybe incorporate some ideas from Stephen King’s latest, Doctor Sleep. A retirement home/hospice house.

    • Kira says:

      I feel like it would be weird to do a retirement home because AHS along with being scary, is also kind of smutty and nobody wants to see old people raping eachother

  17. Jared says:

    OMG the “Funland/Circus” theme would be SUCH a good idea!!!!!!

  18. Without a doubt Camp Blood or Funland. Either one would rock out.

  19. Matthew says:

    Terrible. All one-shot episodes of a bigger season maybe, but none of these (beyond the space one) have traction for more than an hour’s worth of entertainment.

    How about a post-apocalyptic horror story? Or medieval? How about doing a story involving some of North America’s original European settlers? The producers could probably do an entire season about the disappearance of the Roanoke colony.

    Actually, I do kind of like the D.C. one, too. A little bit conspiracy, a little bit horror. But my ideas are still better… in my opinion.

    • S says:

      How about doing a story involving some of North America’s original European settlers? — YES!!!

      and

      The producers could probably do an entire season about the disappearance of the Roanoke colony. —YES!!!

      Great ideas.

      • Tori says:

        Doing a season based around the civil war would be fantastic as well. Old southern plantations that are haunted by past slaves. They could be tormenting the ancestors of their previous owners. Soldiers haunting battle grounds. So much that could be done in flashbacks and in modern day or even set it in the 1960’s so it was around the 100th anniversary of the war.

  20. Scott Brecht says:

    How about a “Devil in the White City” themed season. Seems like the movie is taking FOREVER!

    • Aprilcot says:

      That’s an amazing idea. I was just telling someone the other day about how awesome the book was and wondered why the movie is taking so long!

      • Matthew says:

        Just did some research on this. Why not combine this with my above idea about settlers? AND Roanoke. I mean, AHS crams a lot into their seasons usually, do an entire horror story of the era. Oooh, they could even make a cabal of serial killers come over from Europe. Or something. I think that’s what I’d do; a shady society of serial killers spreading out across the United States from Europe.

    • Butters says:

      That is a fantastic idea.

  21. Christine says:

    Circus!

  22. webly3 says:

    Carnival seems pretty great.

  23. kchamley says:

    Camp one could be good! – how about a boarding school? With a slasher on the loose?

  24. Steven says:

    I love abandoned Amusement Parks so that would be awesome! I also would love a good old slasher film style season.

  25. steven says:

    As long as they bring back Zachary Quinto, the setting in season 4 doesn’t matter.

  26. Christine Wright says:

    An H.H. Holmes based arc would be interesting. The famous murder hotel of the “White City” is twisted. Did you know Holmes claimed to be posessed by the devil at one point? But he was born evil. He was a classic serial killer.

  27. Someone, and I don’t remember who or where, had mentioned a cult theme. I think that could work well.

    • A.Rae says:

      Manson family, or who were the Northwest cult that poisoned a whole town? They could totally make that work…

    • Sara says:

      Yes it would because most people can only guess at what really goes on in cults….you could go anywhere with that. I love that idea.

  28. Mellie says:

    Ha. A friend and I ran a game and subsequently wrote a series called Funland, USA… Which was a survival horror type game that, in it’s third season, got a bit of inspiration from AHS. Full circle.

  29. Cory says:

    Vampires! and not the ones with the glitter addiction!

  30. Christine Wright says:

    I’d like a “Something Wicked This Way Comes” Circus arc!!!!!

  31. Something involving the disappearance of the Mayans could be interesting, to make it another period season and to explore something that hasn’t really been touched in television. But as others have said, a sleepaway camp-type setting could be really fun, as would a carnival

  32. Fernanda says:

    American Horror Story: Funeral… Six Feet Under meets the Murder House from season 1

    American Horror Story: Lima Height Adjacents… Santana from Glee and the real horrors of the bad part of Lima, Ohio.

    American Horror Story: TV Line… we could see the horrors behind the gossips, spoilers and blind items.. :)

  33. pmiller says:

    American Horror Story : West End

    A high-profile, troubled stage production is plagued with surreal incidents and disturbing ‘accidents’ during the rehearsal period, all building up to the season finale revolving around the epic opening night. This is supposed to be the big comeback of a normadesmondesquely dellusional/mentally unstable fading movie star (Jessica Lange) who is constantly surrounded by her viciously manipulative co-star (Sarah Paulson) and the suspiciously secretive playwright (Zachary Quinto). Set in the 50s, the British accent and the period costumes and fashion would make it a classy, glamorous season, one that could appeal to the high-brow Mad Men/Downton Abbey viewers who are usually not that into the horror genre. It would be an homage to the golden age of cinema and films like Sunset Boulevard, All About Eve and Rebecca, and that could bring in the otherwise picky cinephiles, as well, not to mention the theater enthusiasts. It would be a viable concept to reach new demos, and do something classic and remarkably cinematic. With more recent examples, basically Black Swan meets Smash. (sorry for my English)

  34. sammy says:

    SHARKS!!!

  35. Singingal says:

    I’d be interested in seeing something old west style, as long as they kept the story strong and the characters interesting. Deadwood+ AHS? I think it has potential.

  36. Olive says:

    I am down for camp, carnival, circus, or small town.

  37. Erin says:

    What about the Donner Party? Gold Rush, Cannibalism, the works.

    Hopefully the writers are trolling the boards!

  38. OnceFan316 says:

    Well Lets See

    Season 1: Haunted House
    Season 2: Haunted Asylum
    Season 3: Witches
    Season 4? I wouldn’t mind a Camp storyline or a Haunted Amusment Park something like that

  39. a fan says:

    If they do early American settlers, They should definitely keep it a secret of where they are until the last Episode, and end the season with a shot of a tree in the (former) settlement with the word Croatoan on it. That would be pretty cool (and it would pay off the use of it in season 1)

  40. Marco says:

    I’d love it if the season was about duplicity, maybe mirror images trying to replace their originals. American Horror Story: Mirror Image has a nice sound to it, too.

  41. yvonne ledonne says:

    I don’t see American horror story doing a camp theme that’s really boring to me n not very scary.
    But I do see them doing a carnivale kind of thing with a murder background, oooo yes scary.
    I also can see American horror story doing ‘the ripper’ season where his family in the 21st century live on his legacy .telling the tale of their great great father or unkle that will be for them to decide and telling stories of how he multilated girls for fun!
    But that’s just me :D

  42. Danee says:

    Washington Devil worshipers sounds intriguing.

    What about the holocaust at Auschwitz, Catholic Church and exorcisms, Creepy Haunted hotel with cannibals feeding the guests people meat, A twist on the Titanic.

    The possibilities for horror are endless.

  43. j says:

    No need for DC – already way too scary there.

  44. j says:

    How about an abandoned school – the Glee set will be waiting by then.

  45. Alex Ross says:

    I’d love to see the Funland one but it’s already been done with Carnivale. I don’t think they could improve on that.

  46. bellohello says:

    What about a ship wreck on an island where cannibals reside on the island with the myth of an ancient monster

  47. belinda says:

    Post Armageddon and the devil walks the earth or a freaky cult, the possibilities are endless.

  48. belinda says:

    Also, it has to have a storyline that can support a very large cast with intertwining storylines. All three seasons have been incredibly complex and there were never any holes of slow moments. This is an incredible feat for TV.

  49. belinda says:

    I’ve get one more, my apologies, I can’t stop thinking about it. :-).
    Jessica Lange could be an aging movie star who sold her soul to the devil for fame,she’s going insane,and the devil has come to make her pay up. It could be set in present day Hollywood, or 1940’s or 50’s Tinseltown. They could also add an “All about Eve” storyline to go with it. Norma Desmond meets All about Eve,meets Lolita. Hollywood has many secrets and endless possibilities. What’s more”American” and “Horrifying” than Hollywood. So many murders, suicides, creepy mysteries, etc.
    I’m just thinking out loud so please forgive me.

  50. zac says:

    american horror story: museum

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