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The most prominent real-life AHS character references (I know there are plenty others). The historical figure is on the right and the show’s interpretation is on the left.

General Insane Asylum “La Castañeda” (1910-1968), Mexico.


It is an unfortunate fact that the bulk of humanity is too limited in its mental vision to weigh with patience and intelligence those isolated phenomena, seen and felt only by a psychologically sensitive few, which lie outside its common experience. Men of broader intellect know that there is no sharp distinction betwixt the real and the unreal; that all things appear as they do only by virtue of the delicate individual physical and mental media through which we are made conscious of them; but the prosaic materialism of the majority condemns as madness the flashes of super-sight which penetrate the common veil of obvious empiricism.

— HP Lovecraft
The Tomb, fragment.

The Kirkbride Plan

“The Kirkbride Plan refers to a system of mental asylum design advocated by Philadelphia psychiatrist Thomas Story Kirkbride in the mid-19th century.

"The typical floor plan, with long rambling wings arranged en echelon (staggered, so each connected wing received sunlight and fresh air), was meant to promote privacy and comfort for patients. The building form itself was meant to have a curative effect: ‘a special apparatus for the care of lunacy, [whose grounds should be] highly improved and tastefully ornamented.’” (Wikipedia, 2014)

Picture taken from Kirkbride’s 1854 work, On the Construction, Organization, and General Arrangements of Hospitals for the Insane, showing the typical staggered-wing arrangement of the Kirkbride Plan.

Special thanks to Ryan Murphy for doing what we all wanted to do after reading the diary of Anne Frank: writing an alternate ending fanfiction where Anne Frank picked up a gun and straight-up shot a nazi in his fuckin leg like a boss ass bitch can i get a hell yass

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The greatest moment in television history.