13 Characters And Events From American Horror Story Inspired From Real People And Events  

13 Characters And Events From American Horror Story Inspired From Real People And Events  

American Horror Story creators are notorious for combining real life incidents with their stories in the show. From real-life tragedies to people from real-life events. They have compiled several stories in the show that depict similar situations to real-world tragedies.

Here are 13 such real life people and events from the show American Horror Stories inspired from real people and tragic events.

13 Characters And Events From American Horror Story Inspired From Real People And Events  

Here are 13 such real life people and events that inspired characters and events in the American Horror Story show.

The Nurse Murders (Murder House)

The Nurse Murders story was inspired by Richard Speck murders of eight residents of a dorm for nursing students. R. Franklin’s character on the show was based on Speck. Who tortured eight nursing students sexually and tied them up then murdered them.

The real story horrified the shit out of me!

Tate’s Shooting At Westfield High (Murder House)

Tate Langdon shooting at West High in Murder House was inspired by the incident in 1999. Columbine High School massacre where Cassie Bernall was killed by a shooter at school.

Bloody Face (Asylum)

Blood Face was inspired by Ed Gein who was the most terrifying serial killer who was finally caught in 1957 after killing and decapitating Bernice Worden.

Kit and Alma Walker (Asylum)

The character Kit and Alma Walker was based on Betty and Barney Hill who lost memory for two hours post an encounter with aliens in 1961. Later through hypnosis they regained their memory and told the same story about aliens.

The couple claimed seeing the, “bipedal humanoid creatures in the window of a large spacecraft that landed in a field.”

They worked towards alien research from then till their death in 1969(Barney) and 2004(Betty).

Papa Legba (Coven)

Papa Legba was inspired from the lua, Baron Samedi, who could meet souls as they depart from their body who he helps to the afterlife. He was also responsible for stopping the resurrection of these souls by outside forces.

He has power of granting acceptance to the afterlife, curing mortal wounds and illness, power of resurrection and counteracting hexes and curses. The Papa Legba character was also similar to the legend of the Caribbean Vodou. Caribbean Vodou allowed communication between living and souls being a master communicator between these two worlds.

The Axeman of New Orleans (Coven)

The Axeman character was based on the real Axeman in the city of New Orleans in 1918. The real life Axeman killed more than 12 people by axes in the area and on 13th March 1919 a letter was sent to the people of New Orleans.

The letter goes like “They’ve never caught me, and they never will … .I swear by all the devils in the nether regions that every person shall be spared in whose home a jazz band is in full swing at the time I have just mentioned. If everyone has a jazz band going, well, then, so much the better for you people.” He claimed he killed individuals whenever he saw it fit.

Now that’s real horror and guess what the real letter excerpts were used on AHS.

Madame Delphine Lalaurie (Coven)

The character of Madame Delphine Lalaurie was based on the real tales about the Lalaurie Mansion where a huge fire broke out in 1834. While putting out the fire firefighters found several ‘horribly mutilated’ slaves chained inside the mansion.

When the story broke out neighbors started destroying the already destroyed building that led to real Madame Delphine fleeing to Paris in France. As the story goes she tortured these slaves horribly and kept them locked inside the castle. She tortured them by putting bugs on open wounds of these slaves, bashing old people’s heads, beatings, etc.

Marie Laveau (Coven)

Marie Laveau in the AHS was a woman who sacrificed her soul to Papa Legba in return for immortality to escape sudden death. She had to kill people to survive and be with her child. But the inspiration for her character came from Marie who was a powerful woman of color holding a high status in the 1800s.

She was neither immortal nor a revenge-seeking woman but she was a hairdresser for New Orleans rich people like the AHS character. Opposite to AHS character Marie, real life Marie was helpful and could nurse back sick people as she was a talented herbalist. She was also a dedicated Catholic.

Both in real life and in the show she was known as “Vodou Queen” for very different reason real life she cured the sick with her herbal talent while in reel she had evil power and immortality.

Pepper (Freakshow)

The character of Pepper from the AHS show is inspired by Schlitzie Surtees who was born with microcephaly. He loved to perform as a sideshow performer at various famous circuses. He acted in the movie Freaks in 1932 and more movies since the 1920s.

James Patrick March (Hotel)

This episode of AHS was inspired by the story of America’s first serial killer, H.H. Homes. The character of March was inspired from the serial killer Homes who killed more than 130 people.

He committed several frauds, murders and felonies but was convicted for only one murder. But later he confessed to other murders including killing people in the 1893’s World Fair Chicago.

While running from the law and after changing his name he built a new home that would be known as “Murder Castle.” The castle had several trap doors, acid vats, kilns for cremation, soundproof rooms and a series of chutes.

The Countess (Hotel)

This episode’s Countess Elizabeth story was inspired from the stories about the Hungarian Countess Elizabeth Bathory. She was born into a wealthy family in 1560 that ruled Transylvania and she holds the Guiness World Record for being the “Most Prolific Female Serial Killer.”

If stories are to be believed she killed more than 600 virgin young women to drink their blood that would grant her eternal youth.

The Lost Colony (Roanoke)

This episode was based on the real life mystery surrounding the settlers of Roanoke Island. In July of 1587 a group of 117 Pilgrims made their way towards Plymouth Rock including children and women. This group was led by Sir Walter Raleigh. Among this group was John White and his family and his pregnant daughter.

After the birth of his grandchild he returns to England to bring more supplies. When he returns to Roanoke Island after three years finds it empty and wildlife overgrown the place completely. The only thing he found was the words “CROATOAN’ and ‘CRO” carved on things.

Believing his family moved inland he starts to explore more but is forced to go back to England due to a hurricane that damaged his ship. He could never find out what happened to his family despite many attempts to return to America.

Bloody Mary (American Horror Stories, Season 2)

There are several stories regarding the legend of Bloody Mary, so American Horror Story Season 2 dedicated an episode regarding the folklore with its own interpretation. In the AHS episode it is shown that a slave called Mary escapes with other slaves and gets tricked into stopping by the reversed underground Railroad.

To escape the underground railroad she summons a powerful African spirit by murdering other slaves and the slave who lured them. So after Mary commits the murder the powerful spirit traps her in the mirror after sulling her soul. Henceforth she is called Bloody Mary.

Across the time many characters were said to be Bloody Mary with several discrepancies in the story about her summoning.

Some say you can summon her by saying in front of the mirror “Bloody mary” thrice in a pitch black dark bathroom. While others say you have to call her 13 times in front of the mirror with water running.

Some say Bloody Mary was a girl who had a disfigured face who cursed the mirror and got killed with it. While others say she was someone who died after being run over by a truck. Some say she was Mary I of England herself.


Which real life incident did scare you the most, let us know. Did you previously have the knowledge that American Horror Story took  inspiration from real terrifying incidents and characters?

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Nabamita Sinha loves to write about lifestyle and pop-culture. In her free time, she loves to watch movies and TV series and experiment with food. Her favorite niche topics are fashion, lifestyle, travel, and gossip content. Her style of writing is creative and quirky.

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