American Horror Summer: What We Know About ‘American Horror Story’ Season 11 and ‘American Horror Stories’ Season 2

Last summer, American Horror Story fans were able to indulge in back-to-back releases of not only the long-awaited tenth season, American Horror Story (AHS) Double Feature, but also the premiere of American Horror Stories, a spin-off series with standalone, horror-filled tales for each episode. Hulu dropped the first two episodes of Stories, titled “Rubber (Wo)man: Part One” and “Rubber (Wo)man: Part Two,” on July 15, 2021, featuring a familiar setting of the iconic Murder House from season one of AHS. The season also concluded at Murder House in “Game Over” which debuted on August 19, 2021. Merely a week later, fans were favored with the release of the first two episodes of the first part of season ten of AHS: Red Tide featuring Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Finn Wittrock, Lily Rabe, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, and Frances Conroy.

This year, fans are anticipating the second season of Stories as well as the eleventh season of AHS with much fervor and excitement. While little is known about season eleven, a considerable amount of info about the second season of Stories has been circulating around social media. The following is everything we know so far about both season two of Stories as well as season eleven of AHS, according to and several AHS fan pages such as, but not limited to, @horrorstorynews, @ahseleven, @ahscults, @ahszone, and @ahsnewyork.

American Horror Story: Season Eleven

Fan art from @AHSEleven
Fan art from @AHSEleven

Filming for season eleven officially began in mid-June in New York City. The code name for the eleventh season is supposedly Bandana as they are filmed under a different moniker to keep the real title a secret. Double Feature was filmed under the code name Pilgrim (most likely because the first half of the season was set/filmed in Provincetown, Massachusetts, the first place the Pilgrims landed in North American), Cul-de-sac served for the sixth season, Roanoke, Spring Fever was for the seventh season, Cult, and Radioactive was for Apocalypse. It is rumored that the theme of the new season will not be known until its actually debuted, just like the theme of Roanoke was not known until the first episode aired.

Fans have started to speculate about the real theme for this season. With the code name Bandana and the third episode being titled “Smoke Signals,” some are starting to wonder if this season could incorporate pirates and other seafaring legends. This assumption might seem farfetched if not for the fact that filming is also taking place on Fire Island, a thirty-two mile long, half-mile wide barrier landmass that borders the southern edge of Long Island. It has over 100 miles of coastline with 400-year long residents. The town of Cherry Grove, located between Sailors Haven and Fire Island Pines, was one of the firstly openly gay beach towns in the country. According to folklore, the name of the island came from the fact it was inhabited by land-based pirates known as “wreckers” who would build fires on the beach at night to lure cargo ships ashore. The island’s Sunken Forest was also used by rum runners and bootleggers to hide their goods. Additionally, Lee Aaron Rosen (Saving Private Ryan) is rumored to appear in season eleven under the maritime title of Captain Ross.

These nautical clues also correlate with long-time fan desires to see sirens and/or mermaids as a theme. In an Instagram poll on director Ryan Murphy’s story last April, fans were able to vote for one of six different themes, with Sirens coming in as one of the top two fan favorites (the other being Bloody Mary, and accordingly, this is currently the title of the fifth episode of Stories season two). Ryan Murphy also responded to a comment by Sarah Paulson regarding her vote for Sirens, teasing fans even farther that this could become a future theme in the American Horror Story universe:

“@mssarahcatharinepaulson Lady, you do realize that because you voted for Sirens, there is a huge chance you could spend half of 2022 in a water tank wearing a flowing gold wig bloodily feasting on North Carolina pirates…right?”

Season eleven will consist of ten episodes with some of them taking place in the 1970s and ’80s. Fire Island is one of the oldest LGBTQ+ inclusive communities in the country and New York City has a rich, if somewhat tragic, LGBTQ+ history during this time. The 1969 Stonewall Riots kickstarted the gay liberation movements of the 1970s and included accomplishments such as the first Gay Pride week, the first gay television movie, and the first openly gay person to be elected to office, just to name a few. Additionally, the AIDS epidemic emerged in the early 1980s, and with little to no federal intervention and coupled with bigoted religious leaders touting the virus as the “gay plague,” New York City was affected by the epidemic more than any other city in the United States.

American Horror Story has a rich trend in centering queer characters and history, such as Lana Winters, Sarah Paulson’s heroine role from Asylum, Liz Taylor, Denis O’Hare’s trans character from Hotel, as well as lesbian couple Ally and Ivy Mayfair-Richards, played by Sarah Paulson and Alison Pill in season seven, Cult. Ryan Murphy, who is a queer man himself, also directed the groundbreaking show, Pose, which revolves around the gay and trans ballroom culture of New York City in the late 1980s. Additionally, the first part of AHS season ten, Red Tide, was set and filmed last year in Provincetown, Massachusetts, another prominent and well-known LGBTQ+ community.

So far, confirmed cast members include Charlie Carver (Ratched) and Billie Lourd (American Horror Story seasons Cult, Apocalypse, 1984, Red Tide), although several other former members of the AHS cast have been spotted in NYC such as Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Cody Fern, Kaia Gerber, and Nico Greetham. John J. Gray is rumored to be directing the first episode of the season, with Lou Eyrich as the costume designer, James Wong as Executive Producer, and Stanley Fernandez Jr. as Director of Photography.

The titles for the first three episodes have also been released, including episode one, “Something’s Coming,” episode two “Thank You For Your Service,” and episode three, “Smoke Signals.” According to IMDB, the following actors are listed under the first episode of season eleven with their corresponding character names:

Frances Conroy – Catherine Seale

Denis O’Hare – Odysseus Seale

Cody Fern – Thomas McAfee

Nico Greetham – Dennis

Leslie Grossman – Shirley Smith

Evan Peters – Donald Morehead

Angelica Ross – Calliope

Lily Rabe – Anna

Billie Lourd – Camille

Sarah Paulson – TBA

Despite being listed on IMDB as a cast member of season eleven, in late May, Angelica Ross stated:


She was responding to a rumor that Ryan Murphy confirmed her for the eleventh season. Angelica Ross made her American Horror Story debut in the ninth season, 1984, as Donna Chambers, a PhD student studying serial killers. She returned again in Double Feature as the chemist in Red Tide and Theta in Death Valley. Ross’ “big announcements” probably correlated to the release of her debut single, “Only You,” and the world premiere of the music video on June 3, 2022.

It’s interesting that her character’s name on IMDB is Calliope which is the muse of poetry in Greek mythology. Her character from Red Tide manufactured the famous black pills that turned the talented into successes and the untalented into mindless, pale people.

In episode two, “Pale,” Austin Sommers (Evan Peters) remarked:

“Nothing feels better than those first few nights on the Muse. That’s what we should call it by the way – the Muse!”

The Muse is also the fictional name of a real restaurant in Provincetown where Harry Gardner (Finn Wittrock) first meets Belle Noir (Frances Conroy) and Austin Sommers. The restaurant’s real name is The Mews and is located at 429 Commercial Street.

Despite the tenth season airing in late August of last year, American Horror Story fans can expect season eleven to roll out on FX in mid-October. According to @ahszone on Twitter, the tentative release date for season eleven is Monday October 17th.

It will be the first season since Hotel to start in October and end in November and the first to air on Mondays. October 17th is also the ten-year anniversary of the premiere of season two, Asylum. As for the theme, Double Feature was announced with considerable hype via Ryan Murphy’s social media pages March 2021. Who knows if Murphy is going to release season eleven’s theme in advance, or if he is going to hold out and make fans wait for the first episode to air.

American Horror Stories: Season Two

The next season of American Horror Stories is set to be released on July 21, 2022, and includes eight episodes with individual stories. On June 21st, the official American Horror Story Instagram page dropped the first teaser poster for the season in three different posts, captioned, “Play with us,” “You are not alone,” and “Somebody’s watching you.” The poster features the pseudo-realistic yet mannequin-like faces of several eerie looking dolls glaring directly at the viewer. It evokes the Uncanny Valley phenomenon, an unsettling, disturbed feeling people experience when presented with simulations that resemble humans yet lack necessary qualities of being realistic.

The poster is most likely an homage to the first episode of the season, titled “Dollhouse,” and features long time AHS anthology actor Denis O’Hare. It’s rumored that his role is connected to one of his previous American Horror Stories characters. The name of the episode gives way to the idea that we may revisit his character, Spaulding, from Coven where he played the mute butler of the witches’ academy who had an unnatural and disturbing penchant for playing with baby dolls.

Other American Horror Story actors who are set to appear in the next seasons of Stories include Gabourey Sidibe (Coven, Freakshow, Apocalypse) in episode three, “Aura;” Nico Greetham (Death Valley) in episode four, “Drive;” and Cody Fern (Apocalypse, 1984, Death Valley) in episode seven, “Milkmaids.” Pose actress Dominique Jackson will appear in the fifth episode, “Bloody Mary,” while Pose writer Our Lady J wrote the seventh episode, “Milkmaids.” Behind the scenes photos from “Milkmaids” makes it look like this episode could take place in the 17th or 18th century, while “Bloody Mary” is rumored to focus on witches and slavery.

Episode One – “Dollhouse”

Premiere date: 7/21/2022

Cast Members: Denis O’Hare, Matt Lasky, Kenia Arias, Abby Corrigan, Emily Morales-Cabrera, Simone Recasner, Maryssa Menendez, Houston Towe, and Kristine Froseth

Writers: Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Manny Coto

Director: Loni Peristere

Filming Locations: Andrew McNally House in Altadena, California


Episode Two – “Necro”

Premiere date: 7/28/2022

Cast Members: Randy Jay Burrell, Cameron Cowperthwaite, Madison Iseman, Jennifer Marks, Spencer Neville, Sarah Paust, Jessika Van

Writers: Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Crystal Liu

Filming Locations: Cemetery in Altadena and Pasadena City Hall

Episode Three – “Aura”

Premiere date: 8/4/2022

Cast: Gabourey Sidibe, Freddie Masnight, Sam Bixby, Max Greenfield, Nancy Linehan Charles, Lily Rohren

Writers: Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Manny Coto

Director: Max Winkler

Filming Locations: Golden Oak Ranch in Newhall, California


Episode Four – “Drive”

Premiere date: 8/11/2022

Cast: Nico Greetham, Bella Thorne, Austin Woods

Writers: Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Manny Coto

Episode Five – “Bloody Mary”

Premiere date: 8/18/2022

Cast: Angelique Ayoade

JJ Batteast, Shane Callahan, Liisa Cohen, Anecia Forbes, Dominique Jackson, Carol Jefferson, Kyla-Drew, Ryan D. Madison, Dorian Martin, Kyanna Simone, Quvenzhané Wallis

Writers: Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Angela Harvey

Director: SJ Main Muñoz

Location: High school in Los Angeles


Episode Six – “Facelift”

Premiere date: 8/25/2022

Cast: Rebecca Dayan, Marah Fairclough, Judith Light, Danielle Lima, Britt Lower, Francesca Barker McCormick

Writers: Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Angela Harvey

Filming location: Culver City, California

Director: Marcus Stokes

Episode Seven – “Milkmaids”

Premiere date: 9/1/2022

Cast: Cody Fern, Cameron Lee Price, Julia Schlaepfer

Writers: Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Our Lady J

Filming locations: Disney Ranch in Santa Clarita


Episode 8 – “Lake” (originally thought to be titled “Cellulite”)

Premiere date: 9/8/2022

Cast: TBA

Writers: Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk

About Maggie Riegel

Maggie Riegel is a first year PhD student of Communication, Culture, and Media at Drexel University in Philadelphia. An avid horror addict since childhood, her favorite horror genres include Stephen King books/movies, psychological horror, historical horror, and paranormal horror. Her research centers around American Horror Story and exploring intersectional identities of race, gender, sexuality, and disability within the show’s decade long canon. Her other research interests include gender and queer studies, critical race theory, feminist theory, horror studies, and other academic disciplines that challenges structures of power and hegemony. She holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and political science from Moravian University, a master’s degree in political science from Lehigh University, and a master’s certificate in women, gender, and sexuality studies from Lehigh University. She is the creator and administrator of an all-original American Horror Story meme page on Instagram, AHSFXmemes, and will be presenting her essay “Goddess Don’t Speak in Whispers…They Scream: Queer Identity Construction and Visibility in American Horror Story” at the Popular Culture Association conference in April 2022. In her spare time, she enjoys painting, gardening, drinking wine, cooking elaborate meals, and taking care of her five cats.

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