American Horror Story Wiki
American Horror Story Wiki

Murder House is the fan-given, retroactively assigned subtitle for the first season of American Horror Story or "AHS".[1] It ran from October 5, 2011 until December 21, 2011. First broadcasts[2] of episodes were on FX in the United States.

The season was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Drama, winning the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries, or Television Film for Jessica Lange. In addition, Murder House was also nominated for seventeen Emmy Awards, winning two.


The Harmons face many conflicts going on in their new home; the primary one stemming from Ben Harmon's (Dylan McDermott) adultery, and the subsequent fallout with his wife Vivien (Connie Britton) and daughter Violet (Taissa Farmiga). Other conflicts include the intrusive behavior of the neighbors, Constance (Jessica Lange) and Adelaide (Jamie Brewer), as well as intrusions from one of Dr. Harmon's patients, Tate (Evan Peters). A parade of mysterious visitors to their haunted home, including the scarred Larry Harvey (Denis O'Hare), 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.

Cast and Characters[]


Episode # Premiere Writer(s) Director
Pilot 1 2011-10-05 Ryan Murphy ; Brad Falchuk Ryan Murphy
Home Invasion 2 2011-10-12 Ryan Murphy ; Brad Falchuk Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Murder House (episode) 3 2011-10-19 Jennifer Salt Bradley Buecker
Halloween: Part 1 4 2011-10-26 James Wong David Semel
Halloween: Part 2 5 2011-11-02 Tim Minear David Semel
Piggy Piggy 6 2011-11-09 Jessica Sharzer Michael Uppendahl
Open House 7 2011-11-16 Brad Falchuk Tim Hunter
Rubber Man (episode) 8 2011-11-23 Ryan Murphy Miguel Arteta
Spooky Little Girl 9 2011-11-30 Jennifer Salt John Scott
Smoldering Children 10 2011-12-07 James Wong Michael Lehmann
Birth 11 2011-12-14 Tim Minear Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Afterbirth 12 2011-12-21 Jessica Sharzer Bradley Buecker


Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk devised the idea of American Horror Story before they started to work to FOX hit series Glee. The series is inspired by staples of the gothic horror genre with Murphy explicitly citing ABC soap opera Dark Shadows, Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of The Shining and Roman Polanski's adaptation of Rosemary's Baby as sources.[3]

Production on the series began in April 2011, with a series order consisting of 13 episodes given on July of the same year.[4] In August 2011, it was announced that Tim Minear, Jennifer Salt, James Wong, and Jessica Sharzer had joined the series as writers. [5]


Principal casting began in March 2011 lasting until May. Ryan Murphy attracted the three leads Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott and Jessica Lange, the latter in her first regular television role, planning the entire season arc. By revealing them the entire storylines, the three actors were given a chance to break from their usual roles and, in Lange's case, a less demanding commitment than that required by a broadcast network.[6]

Denis O'Hare and Frances Conroy joined the ensemble cast in late March 2011, with Taissa Farmiga and Evan Peters cast last as the troubled couple consisting of Violet and Tate in the titular Murder House.


Principal photography occurred at the Rosenheim Mansion in Country Club Park, Los Angeles, California. The series is filmed on sets that are an exact replica of the house.



  1. Despite being fan assigned, the FX president and general manager John Landgraf uses the name Murder House.
  2. They are not "aired", because FX, a cable network, does not go over the airwaves. Digital streams or downloads are similarly "streamed", "distributed", or as a blanket term "broadcast".
  3. Josef Adalian (2011-08-06). Ryan Murphy Talks American Horror Story. Vulture.
  4. Fienberg, Daniel (2011-17-02). FX orders 'American Horror Story' from 'Glee' pair". Entertainment Weekly.
  5. Goldberg, Lesley (2011-03-08). 'American Horror Story' Adds Tim Minear, 3 More Writers. The Hollywood Reporter.
  6. Eggertsen, Chris (2011-10-10). Jessica Lange Talks Ryan Murphy's American Horror Story. The Backlot.