American Horror Story: Carnival confirmed, could we see a Universal Orlando tie in?


American Horror Story is one of those shows that you either love, or you hate. The TV show tells a definitive story every season, which dives into some aspect of horror. For the first season, it was “Murder House”, a story of a truly haunted house, and the families who move in. The second season was Asylum, and tried to be about murderous inmates at a mental asylum…among other things. The most successful season to date was Coven, and dealt with a group of witches living in New Orleans. The fourth season, which was rumored to be based around the circus, was confirmed by FearNet (click here for the story) to be Carnival…though that’s not the official name. There is no definite setting of the show as of yet, though creators have said it will flash back between the 1950’s and another time period. With American Horror Story being such a hit, could the show be coming to Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights?



Disclaimer-The following is just rumor and speculation. There is nothing being discussed, to our knowledge about American Horror Story at Halloween Horror Nights.

American Horror Story has been on the radar since it’s first season. The second season, while it was a mishmash of themes, was even more successful. The third season told a definitive story, and ended with a huge rating bonanza. FX has ordered a fourth, and fifth season. The fourth season will air this October, and will take place in a Carnival. We can expect to see a circus kind of feel to it, and you can expect to see Jessica Lange, and Sarah Poulson come back once again in new roles.

Now, with the inclusion of a carnival, you can expect to see many different characters come out of the woodwork. Of course, this is a 1950’s carnival…which is closer to the modern day circus, so it’s likely that we will see a freak show full of pinheads, conjoined twins and possibly a bearded lady. Then there’s the inclusion of clowns. Why clowns? Well clowns are just damn scary. If you’ve been to the Cole Brothers Circus, the clowns (while friendly and not mean at all) look like the stuff of goddamn nightmares. While clowns don’t freak me out, they do freak out a good portion of the target audience, and having them in the show is a pretty safe bet.

But what was this talk about Halloween Horror Nights? Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando, is a haunted attraction that brings your nightmares to life. Guests can venture into the things that nightmares are made of, and have been doing so for almost 24 years. It’s one of the best haunted attractions in the country, and stands as a testament to horror.

The theme, and houses to every single year of Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) is a closely guarded secret, and is something that uber fans spend hours trying to figure out. Rumors surface, but most of the time they are wrong. Sometimes they’re right…but mostly wrong. Now enter a rumor that was tossed about a few years back. American Horror Story was supposed to be a haunted house at Universal Orlando’s HHN. It was supposed to be included in either 2012 or 2013, but was ultimately dropped due to another TV show, AMC’s The Walking Dead. That show was a huge success for Universal Orlando in 2012…and they brought it back for 2013. While it’s rumored that it COULD come back for 2014, most fans are adamant about no more zombies. The genre is kind of overused at this point, and it would be nice to see something else.

The Walking Dead has proven that TV shows can make for great horror experiences, and they have a built in fan base…as well as built in advertising…what better way to get the message out about your haunted attraction than to have a weekly TV show?

The carnival could make for a perfect backdrop for something like Halloween Horror Nights. Why? One word. Jack.



Jack the Clown is an original idea, created by Universal Orlando’s creative team (namely now Disney show director, Michael Roddy) and represents your nightmares that have come to life. It wasn’t enough for Universal to slap a clown out and say “Hey, be scary”…no, Universal needed a reason for Jack to exist…and they gave him one.

Jack Schmidt was a carnival entertainer that loved to entertain children as part of Dr. Oddfellow’s Carnival of Thrills. Only, he loved much more to kill those children. The police were hot on his trail, after following the pattern laid down by Jack. On Halloween of 1920, fearing that the cops were going to catch him, he confessed to his friend and carnival owner, Dr. Oddfellow, all in the hopes that he would hide Jack. Instead, Oddfellow killed Jack, and in a twist of ironic fate, stuffed his remains in a cartoon like “Jack in the Box”. Oddfellow feared that his business would be ruined if anyone found out the truth about his “funny business” with the clown killer. Sixty years later, a camera crew documenting old carnival rides came across the Jack in the box, and turned the crank. Out popped the body of dear old Jack, and with him was the discovery of the missing children that Jack had killed during his time on this earth. The remains were carted off, but the box never made it to it’s destination, instead the van carrying the box disappeared and the bodies of the camera crew were later discovered, murdered in much of the same fashion that Jack used to dispose of the children. Legends grew of the decomposed body of Jack killing along the countryside.

That’s how Jack came to be at Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights. Pretty elaborate story for a haunted house, right? Well Jack would become more than just a clown, he would become the first of many Icons the event would have.

Flash forward to now, and remember that rumor. Instead of using the setting of witches, or a murder house…could Universal possibly be working with the creators of American Horror Story for a Carnival themed HHN? It’s been done before, but there’s nothing like a new twist on an old tale to get the blood pumping…and spurting. For fans of the event, how amazing would it be to be introduced to a clown character in American Horror Story named Jack? And how amazing would it be to see that character morph into the demented clown we know and love? And as fans of American Horror Story, how unreal would it be to travel to the carnival, and see the demented clown you’ve been watching on Television?

It’s a great opportunity.

However, it’s probably not one that will come to pass. The creative minds at Universal usually have the ideas for HHN cooked up at least a year in advance, and this year’s HHN is probably all but ready to eat.

Again, these are just rumors, and playful speculation. Will we see Jack on American Horror Story, and in turn see American Horror Story at HHN? No. But boy can we dream!

Update 3-24-14
It’s official-American Horror Story:Freak Show will debut this fall on FX. This is more along the lines of Todd Browning’s Freaks than a circus, so maybe we won’t see a murderous clown…but we still have our fingers crossed.

Stay tuned for more updates about American Horror Story AND Halloween Horror Nights. Be sure to follow along with us on Twitter @BehindThrills for the latest updates.


For more information about Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Florida, visit the official website by clicking here!