Every once in awhile, when I haven’t been actively re-watching AHS because I’m an investigative addict, I like to go back and watch the seasons in a different order. It’s exciting because you can link so many different clues to so many different seasons, and different clues can turn into reminders and tall tales and clues for seasons we haven’t seen yet. It’s like watching it brand new again in a whole new perspective and you see the AHS universe linked in ways you hadn’t seen before. Especially since Ryan Murphy said all the seasons are linked in the same universe, I have a fascination with finding the perfect order for watching the seasons. I can’t wait to find out where the new season Cult will fit into place!
Most recently, I started with Freak Show. It’s one of the best places to start because of how colorful and child like and wide eyed the season is. It introduces us to a world we all grew up familiar with, but as children never fully experienced (hopefully); killer clowns, freak shows, ghosts who appear on Halloween night, sociopaths, the underdog wanting to be acknowledged. It’s a typical, American horror story we’ve all indulged in that began during the rise of society after the depression. The moments in time where humanity slowly began to consciously evolve and realize the darkness lurking right under our noses. We began seeing ‘freak shows’ in every hometown carnival across the country. This season is the only season so far that FULLY takes place in the past (40’s & 50’s), which makes me need to mention that they are amazingggggg with their time pieces. Yet, season 4 is the only season that doesn’t bring us to present day while every other season does. So if you want to start in the past, this is the best place to begin where you can dive right into the world of AHS with child-like wonder. For some, it is harder to witness ‘monstrous’ humans than it is to witness ‘monstrous’ ghosts and ghouls.
Next on this list is Asylum. Asylum literally follows up right after Freak Show, where we see Pepper being placed into Briarcliff. It takes place in the later 50′s & 60′s. Time line wise, it just makes sense that Asylum would come next and we are also introduced to present time in this season. During Asylum’s present time, we see a couple wondering around the abandoned Briarcliff and get murdered by Bloody Face Jr who later gets murdered by his now elderly mother, Lana Winters. This season takes place mostly in the past and also gives a good foundation to continue building off of Freak Show to bring us fully into the present time of the AHS world.
Next we have Hotel. Hotel is set in the present but gives us A LOT of flashbacks to many different timelines dating back to the 20′s. This is where we are first introduced to Dr. Montgomery which makes us wonder what type of man would abort a baby from a woman in her last trimester. We are also introduced to a species we are all highly familiar with, blood sucking vampires, the first non human living monsters of all the seasons. We also learn that the hotel is home to many murderous spirits who cannot pass on or leave the hotel. This is also where we are first introduced to Queenie who seemed to have some magic powers but was killed, or was she? At the end of this season, we meet a medium named Billy Dean Howard who shows up to the hotel with a camera crew and tv show. From the looks of her tv show, you truly cannot tell whether Billy Dean is the real deal or not. We get to see her in action speaking with spirits because we ourselves see them as well, but her viewers do not.
In the fourth spot, we have Roanoke. Roanoke tells the original American horror story about a settling colony that we all grew up learning about in school. We are now fully delving into the darkest parts of the AHS universe. This season takes place mostly in the present but is completely affected by spirits from the 1500′s, and we get to see the dark twist on the original settlers. We also see yet another building as well as acres of land being haunted by the original settlers who cannot pass on or leave the land via black magic spells placed upon them all. We watch as two more tv shows take place inside the house and on the land. This is where we first learn through another medium we are introduced to that screaming “CROATOAN” will dispel any spirits that are around. This medium also comes across as pretty phony for awhile, but proves to be dedicated to helping the family, until his sad demise at the end. Also, in the end of this season, we get to see the lovely & aged Lana Winters yet again in another interview.
After Roanoke, we arrive at the Murder House. In Murder House, we have yet another building and piece of land that is haunted by ghosts who cannot pass on or leave. We have been in this house before with the Countess when she tried to abort her monster baby. In this season, we get the full low down on the monstrous Dr. Montgomery. I love the perspective of meeting him vaguely with her, and then revisiting to his story later. We also meet Billy Dean Howard again who proves to us how legitimate she is. In a conversation with Constance, Billy is hesitant to explain that the neighbor is impregnated with the antichrist. During her hesitation, Constance makes a comment to get her to continue speaking without caution by saying, “For Christ’s sake, Billy Dean, the cameras aren’t rolling in here.” I love this perspective of seeing Billy Dean first as a possible scared phony in Hotel, to seeing her as an actual, talented medium in Murder House. We also see how she uses the same “CROATOAN” method as the other medium in Roanoke used. When Violet attempts to use the method, it does not work for her. Maybe it’s because she is dead herself already at that point, or maybe there was a blood moon out. In this season we also hear about the Pig Man and Butcher story which is botched but is clearly derived from Roanoke. Billy Dean even makes a few references to Asylum and also explains why spirits will haunt places and people and not be able to pass on or leave. This season gives us so many reminders of past seasons while also giving us many flashbacks of multiple different eras of time beginning in the 20′s.
Last but definitely not least, is Coven. This season takes place in the present with flashbacks to the 1800′s and throughout the 1900′s. In this season, we meet Queenie again who we assumed was dead, but we learn she has some awesome magical powers hidden in her. We also meet another witch, Madison Montgomery, who is very bougie and cynical, much like her possible Murder House Montgomery family. She even has a better Frankenstein touch than her ancestor Dr. Montgomery did. After all these seasons of seeing mediums working their magic and seeing the black magic in Roanoke, we finally get to delve into what magic truly means in the AHS universe. In the coven, we have evolved from dealing with ghosts and spirits to bringing people back to life after dying, visiting and returning from hell, divination and pyrokinesis. We get to delve more into the world of the magic that we first saw with Lady Gaga’s witchy character in Roanoke. I cannot wait until they do that Murder House/Coven crossover season which I think will give us even more details on AHS magic in past centuries, linking Lady Gaga’s witchy character to the rest of the Coven.