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Why American Horror Story remains the stuff of pure nightmares

As we near Halloween, Alex Casey recommends American Horror Story to deliver frights, freaks and full on costumes. 

Since its debut, The American Horror Story franchise has morphed like a shapeshifting demon, changing location, time period and introducing new horrifying characters to deliver a fresh nightmare with every season. Like witches? Check out Coven. Fan of Adam Levine getting brutalised? Asylum is for you. A little monster who loves monstrous room service? Lady Gaga in Hotel has your name on it.

With Halloween breathing the word “boo” down our necks, I’ve assembled a crash course in why American Horror Story remains the scariest show on television.

The hotel in Hotel is bloody real

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The picture above is most definitely a set, but the most chilling fact about the fictional Hotel Cortez is that is it inspired by a real hotel in LA. Once named the Cecil Hotel, the joint became infamous after this mysterious video emerged of tourist Elisa Lam in distress in an elevator and yelling at nothing.

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Just another casual Friday night, you may think? How about five days later when they found her dead body in the water tank of the hotel?

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On a trip to LA last year I considered staying at the since-rebranded Stay On Main hotel, but I read too many articles and got too scared that a ghost would drown me in the night.

The grisly death of Adam Levine

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My poor 12 year-old heart breaks to see such a chiseled yet kind of annoying man meet such a brutal death. Serves you right for rocking up to a clearly haunted asylum, mind you. Even if it was a… Sunday morning.

This codger inside a mattress

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Hotel reminded us that bed bugs are the least of our worries when staying away from home. Travel tips: drinks lots of water and always do a thorough check for any undead bald men covered in boils who may or may not be lurking in your mattress.

Twisty the goddamn Clown

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With amateur clowns terrorizing the entire world with their scary flowers that spray deadly water and their haunting oversized shoes, you might want to check out Freak Show and meet Twisty the Clown. Just have a sick bag nearby for when he takes his mask off because good GOD.

This horrible rubber man

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You can read all about this guy in my latest book: Why I Will Never Feel Safe in a Look Sharp Store Again

This chilled-out scene

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Sarah Paulson in Coven demonstrates the completely rational response to when you are watching something too frightening.

This fucking lamp

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In Asylum, the serial killer Bloody Face makes furniture, clothes and masks out of human skin. Take, for example, this fetching bedside lamp featuring REAL HUMAN NIPPLES. Alright Ed Gein, it’s a very solid nope from me.


Nipple lamps at the ready, click below to watch American Horror Story seasons 1-5 on Lightbox:

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