Ever since American Horror Story's Season 2 (Asylum) established its unique anthology format in 2012, fans have wildly speculated about a unifying theory that would bind all the disparate seasons and universes together.
Probably the best known and most compelling is the Dante's Inferno theory, credited to Red Herry. The theory posits that every season of the FX horror series represents one of the nine circles of Hell, as depicted in the 14th century Italian poem by Dante Alighieri.
Now that the series has been renewed for 2 more seasons (bringing it to a total of 9 seasons) the theory has never seemed more relevant.
In Dante's poem, each circle of Hell is dedicated to tormenting those who commit a specific sin, which fans claim is also true of American Horror Story: the characters of Season 1, Murder House,are all trapped by lust; Asylum's terrors correspond to the pitfalls of fraud; Coven is a hell of treachery; Freak Show's overarching theme is greed, and the excesses of Hotel are products of the sin of gluttony.
If you are one of the fans debating these theories online, you should know that AHS creator and showrunner Ryan Murphy is a big fan of your work.
"With American Horror Story I do like the Dante's inferno theory," Ryan says. "I have a theory about the show that I've never told anybody and probably won't until it's over, but that theory is a good one. I always learn a lot about my theory based on other people's theories which is really all I can say."
"I read those theories obsessively and compulsively, I cannot get enough of them, I really do," he continues. "And the other actors do too. Like Sarah Paulson will talk about that all the time."
Say what?! Our favorite stars and writers are talking about fandom theory?! Excuse us while we go scream into a pillow forever.