A Gory and Twisted Circus Comes to American Horror Story


merican Horror Story is unlike any television series today. It centers on different locations and characters each season, with its own beginning, middle, and end. Many actors come back from previous seasons, but they play completely different characters, creatures, or monsters.

The show has a loyal following. UWT sophomore Kynze Rogers believes that AHS has a good mixture of twisted scenarios involved with horror. “One of my favorite things that AHS offers every season is a new theme and the same cast characters with surprising new cast members,” says Rogers. AHS has explored the setting of a haunted house, an insane asylum, a witch coven and now a freak show.

Freak Show takes place in the quiet town of Jupiter, Florida in 1952. It has been decades since the public used a freak show for entertainment, but the owner Elsa, dreams of finding a home for her “monsters” and fame for herself. Elsa is a former German cabaret star from the ‘30s and her compassion for the “monsters” is shown in a manipulative way. Rogers says, “Elsa seems to be the center of everything that is going on, it revolves around her and reflects her personal problems of loneliness.” In a time when the era of television is beginning to outstage sideshow acts, these individuals must overcome those who harass them based on their looks.

This season provides a variety of creatures. Elsa gets inspiration for a sideshow when she discovers conjoined twin sisters Bette and Dot Tattler at a hospital. Other performers include Jimmy Darling, a boy born with syndactyly in his fingers and toes who wishes to leave the carnival life behind. Jimmy’s mother, the bearded lady Ethel Darling, maintains the structure and order under the tent. There is also a fortune teller, Maggie, who is a con-artist, in addition to a strongman from Ethel’s troubled past named Dell Toledo, and his three-breasted wife, Desiree Dupree.

Your heart might stop beating when you meet Twisty the Clown. UWT freshman Grant Schorbach says, “There wasn’t much told about Twisty and seeing the few things he did like killing people, there’s a lot of potential. When the clown saw a chaotic murder going around, I think he finally found a place where he could fit in.” According to BuzzFeed, the creator of American Horror Story claims that Twisty was created to be “the most terrifying clown of all time.”

Despite the fourth season’s opening sequence change, the series theme music remains intact, albeit with an added carnival-like soundscape. According to Rolling Stone Magazine, director Baz Luhrmann, is using contemporary music and employs it in this 1950s period setting.

What makes this season relatable to everyday people is that everyone has felt like a forgotten soul and an outcast in this world sometime in their life. Be prepared to be shocked by the gruesome imagery and twisted scenarios from the Freak Show.


Courtesy of 20th Century Fox Television

Courtesy of 20th Century Fox Television

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