‘American Horror Story’: 10 Theories About Season 7’s Theme

American Horror Story | FX

American Horror Story | FX

American Horror Story‘s next season isn’t set to debut until this fall, meaning this is the longest fans have ever had to wait between seasons. Since FX and creator Ryan Murphy have yet to announce Season 7’s theme, what better way to pass the time than to speculate over the many possibilities? From a potential nautical setting to a war-themed story, there are plenty of ideas out there surrounding the forthcoming season and what it might focus on. As we eagerly await the return of the horror drama, here’s a look at 10 popular theories about the Season 7 theme:

1. Cthulhu

One of the most prevalent rumors surrounding AHS‘s Season 7 is that it will focus on sea monsters — specifically, Cthulhu. The speculation surfaced from one of the final tweets made by AHS about Roanoke, which features a video of ocean waves and the words, “The monsters are all gone.”

A figment from H. P. Lovecraft’s fictional stories, Cthulhu is a sea monster-type creature that lives underwater. With an “octopus-like head,” a scaly, rubbery-looking body, prodigious claws, and long, narrow wings, the monstrous-looking creature has the ability to drive anyone who lays their eyes on it insane — perfect for AHS‘s spook factor.

2. Orphanage

American Horror Story: Roanoke

American Horror Story: Roanoke | FX

AHS fans have been theorizing about an orphanage being a potential setting for the show for years now, so it’s no surprise that it’s popped back up as a possibility for Season 7. To be fair there’s plenty of material to work with. As fans have pointed out, there are a number of orphan characters who have been left behind in the first six seasons, including Season 1’s Michael, Season 5’s Lachlan, and lastly, the very young Polk children and Flora from Roanoke. Getting them all under one roof could make for a very scary season.

3. Ghost ship

American Horror Story Season 6

American Horror Story Season 6 | FX

The previously mentioned waves video also has some fans speculating that Season 7 could take place on a spooky, Pirates of the Caribbean-like ghost ship. After all, what’s creepier than an empty, destroyed ship haunted by the spirits of passengers who have met their watery graves? Sounds very Ryan Murphy to us.

4. Shipwreck

American Horror Story

American Horror Story | FX

Building on that same premise, the idea of AHS: Shipwreck has also been bandied about among viewers. Similar to the ghost ship theory in that it takes place on a sea vessel, a shipwreck-themed story would revolve around a luxury liner that crashes or runs into some sort of disaster. The event would then force its passengers to band together — or since this is AHS, turn against each other and descend into pure bloody mayhem.

5. Boarding school

American Horror Story | FX

American Horror Story | FX

A certain educational institution was mentioned twice in AHS‘s Season 5 finale, leading many to suggest that a future season of the show will take place at a boarding school. Since Season 6 didn’t use this theory, there’s still the possibility for AHS Season 7 to take place in a boarding school — and in particular, The Thacher School.

As fans know, the Season 5 finale specifically called out this academy as the school where John Lowe’s daughter is heading off to, and which Will Drake’s son, Lachlan, already attends. The name-dropping was definitely noticed by viewers, who were quick to point out that the name of the school probably wouldn’t have been explicitly stated if it wasn’t important in some form. We’ll have to stay tuned to find out if that’s really the case.

6. Summer camp

Kathy Bates in American Horror Story: Roanoke

Kathy Bates in American Horror Story: Roanoke | FX

This has also long been a favorite fan theory for a future season of the FX horror series. As previously mentioned, there are many kid characters involved in the AHS canon that could participate in a camp-themed season. Plus, there’s an inherent spookiness to sleepaway camp (woods! ghost stories! creepy counselors!) — which could make for the perfect, scare-rich setting for disturbing characters to run amuck.

7. Area 51

Area 51 sign

Area 51 | Dan Callister/Getty Images

The possibility of AHS featuring an Area 51 theme has recently surfaced, courtesy of Reddit. Murphy has hinted that Season 7 will revisit several characters from Freak Show. Since Freak Show took place during the ’50s and ’60s (a time when Area 51 conspiracy theories were in full swing), internet sleuths have suggested the upcoming season could incorporate the infamously mysterious setting. The intense secrecy surrounding the locale is perfect for AHS to explore and could be an easy way to tie Freak Show with the next season.

8. World War II

American Horror Story: Freak Show

American Horror Story: Freak Show | FX

Another way to dive back into the time period that Freak Show took place in? Have Season 7 revolve around the backdrop of World War II, as several fans have recently suggested. In addition to being set in the appropriate years to coincide with the Freak Show timeline, it would also fit in with some of the characters’ plot lines — such as Elsa, whose backstory took place on the brink of Nazi Germany.

9. Asylum revisited

American Horror Story: Asylum

American Horror Story: Asylum | FX

Many fans have noted that Season 1 (Murder House) was thematically similar to Season 6 (Roanoke). A recent Reddit theory suggested that Season 7 could continue that trend by revisiting themes from Season 2 (Asylum). If that does turn out to be the case, audiences can expect to see a return to a mental ward setting, with plenty of disturbing experiments conducted on the patients. It could also potentially signal the — dare we say it? — return of Jessica Lange, although that’s probably wishful thinking.

10. Dante’s Inferno

American Horror Story Season 7 themes, AHS Roanoke

American Horror Story: Roanoke | FX

There’s been a longstanding theory that each season of AHS is designed to reflect the nine circles of Hell from Dante’s Inferno. For example, Murder House features lust, Asylum features fraud, Coven reflects treachery, etc. Though it’s never been officially confirmed, Murphy himself has said he enjoys the theory, telling TVGuide:

With American Horror Story, I do like the Dante’s Inferno theory. 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.

Does that mean that Season 7 could reflect another one of Dante’s nine circles, such as limbo or heresy? We’ll have to wait to find out.

The official theme for American Horror Story Season 7 will reportedly be announced this spring and will hit FX sometime this fall.

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