12 Sneaky Horror Movie References in ‘American Horror Story’

It’s finally October, and at long last, the premiere of “American Horror Story: Freak Show” is upon us.  Over the course of its three existing seasons, “American Horror Story” has triumphantly carved out a niche for itself, building a magnificent, gore-soaked bridge between the interests of twitchy genre nerds and more average, mentally stable viewers.

“American Horror Story” is a great show for a lot of reasons. It’s impressively bloodthirsty, it’s action-packed, its storylines are damn weird and will always keep you guessing. It’s also one of the best shows in recent history to get away with having a primarily female cast – and no matter how many times they nominate her for “Best Supporting Actress,” we all know Jessica Lange, a powerful, sexy woman in her ‘60s, is the show’s actual star.


Related: The 50 Scariest Horror Movies Ever Made


“American Horror Story” is a great show for another reason, too, and that has to do, partially, with nostalgia. It isn’t just about pinpointing why horror movies are fun to watch, it’s about what the genre actually means to people who truly embrace it. Horror movies are about familiarity as much as they’re about the unknown, and the show’s habit of recasting the same performers to tell a different story each year is a testament to this. Each season is like a bizarre, acid trip mash-up of tropes, clichés, and references to the well-thumbed source material that inspired it.

There are way too many references to existing horror classics to list all of them here. In the spirit of the encroaching holiday season, however, here are some of our personal favorite, sneaky references to existing horror classics in the first three seasons of “American Horror Story.”

Slideshow: 12 Sneaky References in ‘American Horror Story’

Devon Ashby is a featured contributor at CraveOnline. Follow her on Twitter at @DevAshby.


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