Why Doesn’t Tate’s Father Appear To Him In ‘American Horror Story: Murder House’?

The first season of American Horror Story did an excellent job of setting the series apart. It combined horror and gore with addicting stories and captivating writing. It also established the actors that were going to appear on the show for years to come. It did, however, leave some questions unanswered. One issue involves Tate’s father. He exists and appears a couple of times, but the audience never sees him interact with Tate, even though they’re both dead and in the same house.

Taissa Farmiga, Ryan Murphy, and Evan Peters pose at the after-party for 'American Horror Story: Murder House' in 2011.
Taissa Farmiga, Ryan Murphy, and Evan Peters at the after-party for ‘American Horror Story: Murder House’ in 2011 | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Some of Tate’s issues stem from not knowing his father’s dead

While American Horror Story: Apocalypse confirmed that Tate was under evil influences while in the house, he still was a pretty neglected, messed up kid. This part of his story was bound to impact his actions as he got older. 

As Reddit user, u/lipstick_dipstick wrote, “Tate has issues because he believes Constance made his father leave. Seems like he has no idea his father is actually dead. So that means his father never appeared to Tate.” 

To recap, Constance (Jessica Lange) shot her husband Hugo because he was cheating on her with Moira. Constance also shot Moira, the maid in their house, that he constantly harrassed and tried to rape. From the dialogue in the show, Tate doesn’t know about the dad’s death and that he’s in the house.  

But Hugo Langdon is a ghost at the murder house

After Hayden is murdered on the property and buried there, she’s a nuisance as a ghost. One scene shows her having sex with Hugo, only to stab him repeatedly afterward. They’re both dead, so it’s mostly just a gross expression of passion. 

Tate was six years old in 1983 when his father was murdered. Constance was able to cover up her mess and made it look like Hugo abandoned them. While Hugo wasn’t a great guy, Tate grew up without his father and held a chip on his shoulder about it. He hated Larry, who Constance seduced to move back into the murder house, and set him on fire before he shot up his school in 1994. It’s possible Tate hated Larry because of his mother’s involvement with him or Larry killing Beauregard (if Tate knew at this point). Or it’s likely just hated Larry for no reason at all. But it also could be linked back to Hugo’s disappearance. 

Tate’s dad is just a bad person and negligent dad, in life and death

In regards to why Hugo never appeared to Tate, it was probably because Hugo didn’t care to. He’s a jerk who attempted rape and was unfaithful to his wife. So even in death, he didn’t both to show up for Tate. 

As Reddit user, u/danielsk1 wrote, “There is a chance that Tate’s ghost didn’t have any interaction with his father as each ghost decides how to interact with each other and to be visible or not.” They also pointed out that Hugo doesn’t interact with Moira in the afterlife, even though they’re both dead in the murder house as well. 

Hugo Langdon exists even in death at the murder house and he doesn’t seem to have much of a place among the ghosts there. Eternity is a long time, but odds are neither Hugo or Tate will reconnect while they’re there.