Created by: Ryan Murphy
Other cast: Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott, Taissa Farmiga, Evan Peters, Denis O'Hare, Jessica Lange,
Release date: October 5 – December 21, 2011
Running time: 1h
The Harmons face many conflicts going on in their new home; the primary one stemming from Ben Harmon's adultery, and the subsequent fallout with his wife Vivien and daughter Violet. Other conflicts include the intrusive behavior of the neighbors, Constance and Adelaide, as well as intrusions from one of Dr. Harmon's patients, Tate. A parade of mysterious visitors to their haunted home, including the scarred Larry Harvey make the first year of the Harmons in Los Angeles very dangerous. The house seems to have a vivid history, ranging from brutal murders to demonic manifestations, and it seems to have its own agenda.
A therapist moves his wife and teenage daughter across the country to escape their troubled past. The Harmon family quickly discovers their new home comes with its own kind of baggage.
Vivien and Violet find themselves in a dangerous situation eerily similar to a past event. Ben goes back to Boston to fix a mistake.
After putting the house back on the market, Vivien learns about its first residents. Ben’s visitor causes him to further unravel. Constance and Moira’s history is revealed.
The line between the living and the dead blurs on Halloween. Two of the house’s previous residents give the Harmons decorating advice.
Halloween night concludes with Tate coming face to face with his past. Ben and Vivien are haunted by one of the house’s newest guests.
Constance enlists Violet’s assistance with Tate. Ben helps a new patient confront his fears.
Moira persuades a prospective buyer to make an offer. Constance and Larry work against her efforts. Vivien and Luke grow closer.
The man in the rubber suit is revealed.
Spooky Little Girl
One of history’s most famous murder victims pays the house a visit. Constance discovers more of Tate’s bad behavior.
Violet learns about the rules of the house. The truth about Larry’s condition is explained. Constance is interrogated by the police.
Vivien gives birth. Tate and Violet attempt to rid the house of some of its ghosts for good.
Constance schemes to raise Tate’s baby as her own.
The pilot episode was shot on location in a house in Country Club Park, Los Angeles, California, which serves as the haunted house and crime scene in the series. Designed and built in 1902 by Alfred Rosenheim, the president of the American Institute of Architects’ Los Angeles chapter, the Tudor or Collegiate Gothic-style single family home was previously used as a convent. An adjoining chapel was removed from exterior shots using CGI.
The series is filmed on sets that are an exact replica of the house. Details such as Louis Comfort Tiffany stained glass windows, and hammered bronze light fixtures, were re-created to preserve the look of the house. The house became available for rent on Airbnb in February 2016.
Due to a “very aggressive” production schedule and the series’ pilot shoot having to wait for co-creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s other show, Glee, to wrap its second season production, it was announced that the show’s first season finale, the thirteenth episode, would be thirty minutes shorter than planned. Finally, the thirteenth episode was dropped and they made the twelfth episode 10 minutes longer (52 minutes). The finale aired on December 21, 2011.
In its first season, American Horror Story was nominated for 65 awards, and won 19.