The “Murder House” from American Horror Story

murder houseThe mansion from the first season of American Horror Story is often referred to as the “Murder House,” onscreen and off. The audience learns from a passing-by sightseeing bus, that the Murder House had an upward of 20 violent deaths throughout its history. All of those who died in the Murder House, were in a certain state of mind during their deaths, which caused them to act and appear in particular ways, according to Barry Curtis. The house is a sign of a domestic habitat, which according to Dale Bailey is the perfect concoction for horror. The house itself holds onto the souls of the lost, playing its key part in the series as a monster itself. The house is not human, yet now incorporates humans into itself, therefore it “separate[d] out the human from the non-human and fully constituted [the] subject from the partially formed subject,” such as the spirits and humans, and according to Barbra Creed making itself monstrous with the inclusion of alive and dead humans.

Works Cited:

Bailey, Dale. American Nightmares: The Haunted House Formula in American Popular Fiction. Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green State University Popular, 1999. Print.

Curtis, Barry. Dark Places: The Haunted House in Film. London: Reaktion, 2008. Print.

Goddu, Teresa A. “Introduction to American Gothic.” The Horror Reader. Ed. Ken Gelder. London: Routledge, 2000. N. pag. Print.

Long, Carolyn Morrow. Madame Lalaurie, Mistress of the Haunted House. Gainesville: University of Florida, 2012. Print.


One response to “The “Murder House” from American Horror Story

  1. I love how you linked the murder house to humanity. The house holds these murdered human souls, and is thus a vessel for these souls to carry on, even without their human component. Your quote strongly supports the murder house’s monstrous qualities. It is interesting that the murder house acts as an adequate domain for both living and dead beings, which gives it a monstrous quality that many environments do not possess. I don’t watch American Horror Story, but you summed up the murder house very well. I think I may start watching the show now, it sounds really cool and scary.

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