Over the past decades, horror has taken over television starting with Disney’s Monstober, which features child horror movies such as Halloweentown and The Haunted Mansion.
In 2011, the award winning phenomenon, American Horror Story, aired its first episode, making the biggest show to ever glorify horror. American Horror Story has finished 4 seasons and is currently airing the 5th season on FX.
Each season has a word or phrase following American Horror Story. The caption following the show title hints what the season will be about or when/where the story will take place. Every season is about a certain aspect of life, or a theme if you will.
For example, Season 2, American Horror Story: Asylum is about sanity and control. The story takes place in 1964 at the Briarcliff Mental Institution in Massachusetts for the criminally insane. The current season, season 5, American Horror Story: Hotel, featuring Lady Gaga, takes place in LA in 2015 at the Cortez Hotel and is about addiction and the state of being enslaved to one habitat, or in this case Hotel Cortez.
The Hotel Cortez is real, but not as Hotel Cortez. The Cecil in Los Angeles, California is known as one of the creepiest places in the city. The hotel’s history is littered with tragedies. It is the place where the 23 year old Canadian student, Elisa Lam, who went missing in 2013. A month later, she was found dead floating on the top of the hotel’s water tank after complaints of foul-tasting water. She was last seen entering an elevator, but she had acted erratically before she was found missing. What made this more spooky was the hotel had a creepy reputation before this incident.
The Cecil was also the last place The Black Dahlia was seen alive before her brutal much-publicized murder in 1947. She was cut in half and her mouth was mutilated from ear to ear. CNN reports that there have been three suicides from jumping outside of the upper floor windows and was the base for two serial killers. The first, Richard Ramirez, “The Night Stalker”, was convicted of 13 murders in the 1980’s and would dispose the bloody clothing in the dumpster behind the hotel. The second, journalist Jack Unterweger killed 12 people in the 1990’s.
American Horror Story and its backstory aren’t the only horror taking over TV. Fox recently released the sixth episode of the new series, Scream Queens. It centered around sorority, Kappa Kappa Tau, and fraternity, Dickie Dollar Scholars, both under attack by a “psychopath serial killer” called the Red Devil. The sorority with main leader, Chanel Oberlin (Emma Roberts) and Chanels #3, 5, and 6 (Billie Lourd, Abigail Breslin and Lea Michele) along with other students live in the house. Each episode, a character is killed.
Horror and death are slowly taking over television as we know it. There will always be the classics of news, a couple cartoons, crime shows and little kid shows, but new shows air and catch our attention as we grow older. Although some of these shows may be gory and graphic, they are worth watching.
Watch American Horror Story: Murder House, Asylum, Coven and Freak Show on Netflix and Hulu, American Horror Story: Hotel on FX Wednesday Nights at 10, and catch the Scream Queens Tuesday nights at 9 on Fox.