While many of American Horror Story's creepy seasons were based on even creepier real life people, none of these even come close in comparison to the disturbing character of Madame Delphine LaLaurie, played by Kathy Bates in AHS's Coven. During the 1800s, Madame Delphine LaLaurie lived as a socialite in New Orleans and, while she may have seemed like a lovely, kind upstanding member of society towards others, the way she treated her slaves was another story completely. In her house lay her secret "Chamber of Horrors," where she would repeatedly beat, torture and ultimately murder many of her slaves. When a fire broke out at her house in 1834, bystanders went into the house to make sure everyone was free from the flames. What they found was far more than they had bargained for. Right before their eyes, a gruesome act of murder lay out in front of them. Seven slaves were found mutilated, emaciated, whipped, were bound from their extremities and even wore spiked collars. It is rumored that as many as 100 slaves died by LaLaurie's brutal torture. The LaLaurie mansion is still standing today in New Orleans and is said to be haunted.
Another one of Coven's gruesome murders was known as The Axeman, for obvious reasons. Played by Danny Huston in Coven, the real identity of The Axeman has gone unsolved all of these years. This brutal serial killer went on a spree in New Orleans between May of 1918 and October 1919. The Axeman would sneak into the victims' home through the back door and murder them with an axe that, almost always, belonged to the victim. The Axeman brutally killed at least six or seven people and suddenly, one day, the murders just stopped. However, on March 13, 1919 newspapers published a letter supposedly written by The Axeman. The letter stated that a murder would take place 15 minutes past midnight on the night of March 19th, but any house playing jazz music would be spared. People filled dance halls and jazz music could be heard in hundreds of houses; no murder took place that night.
Elizabeth Short, who would soon become known as The Black Dahlia, was played by Mena Suvari in American Horror Story's Murder House. Elizabeth Short was a young actress looking for fame, but unfortunately for her, fame only found her when she was brutally murdered. The killer chopped her body in half and permanently carved a crooked "smile" onto Short's face. As gruesome as this murder was, the killer was never found.
As if clowns weren't creepy enough already, with their drawn on makeup and terrifying giggle, Twisty the Clown from American Horror Story's Freak Show will definitely give you nightmares. While Twisty the Clown could stand on his own as being a terrifying creature, the fact that he is based on the infamous murderer, John Wayne Gacy makes him even scarier. Gacy went by the name Pogo the Clown and would attend many children's birthday parties and charity events. While at these parties, Gacy would lure teenage boys to his home where he would rape and kill them. During the time between 1972 and 1978 he killed at least 33 boys with 26 of them being buried in a small crawl space inside his own home. His home became overpopulated with corpses and he resorted to dismembering his victims and discarding their bodies in a local river.
Remember Asylum's most popular couple, Kit and Alma Walker? Their love may have been out of this world, just like their imaginations. This couple was in fact based on a real life couple who claimed they were momentarily abducted by aliens. Barney and Betty Hill claimed they saw a UFO on their way back from vacation in New Hampshire on September 19, 1961 at around 10:30 p.m. They reported seeing a bright light shining down on the almost vacant road they were traveling on. As they got closer to the light, a pancake-like object appeared to be coming towards them. As the object appeared directly above their car, they said the car started to vibrate followed by a sense of tingling that shot through their bodies. The Hills claimed that is when they started to experience an altered state of consciousness. When they came out of this state, they realized they had traveled almost 40 miles without any recollection of it. Whether it was their wild imaginations or in fact a brief abduction by aliens, only they will ever know.
Mr. March, played by Evan Peters in American Horror Story's season Hotel, is based on the acclaimed murder H.H. Holmes. Holmes was known as America's first serial killer. In 1893, Holmes built a hotel in Chicago during the time when Chicago was hosting the World's Fair. He set out to build his hotel with only one purpose in mind, murder. Known to murder people in his very own hotel, Holmes confessed to 27 murders, but the body count tied to Holmes and his hotel could be near as many as 200. As American Horror Story Hotel depicts, H.H. Holmes was a sly con-artist who used his "Murder Castle" to fill his deepest, darkest fantasies. And from now on, staying in a hotel will forever haunt our dreams.
In the episode titled "Devil's Night" during American Horror Story's season of Hotel, we see a gathering of serial killers from across the board. Oh what a dinner party to be apart of. Which one of them murdered the food? Your guess is as good as ours. One of America's most well-known serial killers makes his appearance at the dinner table on Devil's Night. Known as the Milwaukee Cannibal, Jeffrey Dahmer would rape, murder and dismember his victims. As his name would suggest, what he did with the body after the murders was even worse. Between 1960 and 1994, Dahmer murdered seventeen boys and men. Actor Seth Gabel plays the infamous serial killer in "Devil's Night," where a child's worst nightmare would most definitely come true surrounded by clowns, murderers and down-right psychopaths.
Freak Show was a season about the carnival shows many know to host the Bearded Lady and creepy clowns. This season of American Horror Story also portrayed conjoined twins, Dot and Bette. Dot and Bette were likely to have been based off a real life set of conjoined twins, Violet and Daisy Hilton. The twins were born in England in 1908 and shared a fused pelvis leading them to be joined at the hips and butt. Their sideshow career started at the young age of 3 where they toured across Britain known as "The United Twins." They made their way to the United States in 1916 and, after the death of their mother, were managed by Meyer and Edith Meyers who would hold the girls captive and beat them if they did not do as they said.
Jimmy Darling, played by Evan Peters in Freak Show, was actually based on a real life person. Yes, you read that right. Grady Stiles Jr. was born in 1937 with a deformity called ectrodactyly, in which his fingers and toes were fused together forming claw-like extremities. Known as "The Lobster Boy," Stiles toured in many sideshows showing off his unique lobster-like claws.
There's nothing like a good old fashioned haunting to have you nervously looking around each corner and jumping at every noise you hear. Just watching the two nurses that haunt The Murder House gave us those same heebie jeebie feelings. Well, these hauntings didn't come from one of those crimes only seen in movies. The brutal murder of these nurses were based on the mass murder of 8 student nurses from South Chicago Community Hospital on July 14, 1966. Richard Speck broke into the nurses' dormitory and proceeded to hold them hostage for hours. He then led them out of the room one by one, stabbed or strangled each of them to death, finally raping and strangling his last victim.
You may remember Edward Mordrake as the dark, creepy fellow who made an appearance for the Halloween episode of American Horror Story Freak Show. Him and the evil face on the back of his head set out to kill the Freak Show cast one by one that Halloween night. While this man wasn't a killer in real life, there was a man that did in fact have a face on the back of his head (no, Voldemort we're not talking about you). In real life, the extra face on the back of his head was in fact a deformity that Mordrake suffered from. While the extra face couldn't do tasks like speak or see, it was said that it would smile whenever Mordrake was happy and frown whenever he was sad. Mordrake begged doctors for years to have the face removed because he claimed the face would whisper things to him only demons would speak of. No doctor would take on such a challenge and Mordrake ended up committing suicide in his mid 20s.
Another one of Freak Show's strange acts was Pepper. Pepper, and her husband Salty, was in fact based on a real life person named Schlitzie Surtees, who was also went by Schlitzie the Pinhead during his sideshows. During the 1900s Schlitzie the Pinhead performed in many sideshows. Schlitzie was born with a rare disease called microcephaly, a neurodevelopmental disorder that caused him to have a small brain and skull and a moderate to severe intellectual disability. It was said he had the cognizance of a three-year-old. Schlitzie performed in many sideshows under titles such as, "The Last of the Aztecs", "The Monkey Girl", and "What Is It?" However, he is most famous for his role in the movie Freaks which came out in 1932.
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