|Setting for Murder House and YGTDIT|
|The Murder House|
|“||I've never said this to any of my employers for fear of losing their trust or my job, but this house is possessed. Things break, disappear. Doors open for no reason. There are spirits here. Malevolent spirits.||”|
|— Moira O'Hara to Vivien Harmon[src]|
1120 Westchester Place, colloquially known as "The Murder House", is the central location and focus of the first season of American Horror Story and of the web experience "You're Going To Die In There". According to Billie Dean Howard, it is "just West" of the Hotel Cortez.
The Murder House also plays a significant role in three episodes of the first season of American Horror Stories, which oversees the property's destruction and the end of its reign on the ghosts trapped within.
- 1 History
- 2 Ghost Sightings
- 3 Locations
- 4 Promotional Website
- 5 Residents
- 6 Notes
- 7 References
The house is a classic Los Angeles Victorian, built by prominent "surgeon to the stars" Charles Montgomery for his wife, Nora. Requiring financial stability due to Nora's lavish tastes and Charles' addiction to diethyl oxide, they performed many abortions in the home's basement, one of which resulted in the death of Charles' only known assistant. Eventually, as a form of retribution, their son Thaddeus was kidnapped and dismembered by the boyfriend of one of the women Charles performed an abortion on. Charles used his surgical expertise to "resurrect" his son using the beating heart of one of his clients, but Thaddeus was restored as some kind of creature. Nora, traumatized by her son's death and what her husband had turned him into, murdered Charles by shooting him in the head, and then committed suicide by putting a bullet through the roof of her mouth.
At some point over the next decade, the house became the dentist office of Dr. David Curran. When a woman named Elizabeth Short arrived for an unlisted appointment, Curran used anesthesia to knock her unconscious and then proceeded to rape her, but used too much and inadvertently killed her via overdose. A panicked Curran dragged her corpse down to the basement, where the ghost of Charles Montgomery offered his assistance. Montgomery mutilated Short's body and cut her in half so Curran could dispose of her remains in an abandoned lot outside of the property. After her corpse was found, she infamously became known as the ”Black Dahlia”.
At least for a while, the house was used as a sorority for a nursing school, but was presumably shut down following the deaths of two nurses by serial killer R. Franklin, who drowned one and repeatedly stabbed the other.
Due to the house's sordid history, it was abandoned for another decade and was left to decay, inhabited only by the unnatural still-living child of Charles and Nora Montgomery, who devoured a pair of twins that had wandered onto the property.
Constance Langdon lived in the Murder House with her husband Hugo and their four children: Tate, Beauregard, Adelaide and Rose, who died in the house at an unknown point in time under unknown circumstances, having either been born without eyes or lost them.
After catching her husband having an affair with their maid, Moira O'Hara, Constance shot both of them and processed their corpses through a meat grinder to feed to the family dogs, later burying their bones in the home's backyard to hide their deaths from her children and the authorities. It is as of yet unknown in which year she and her family moved in, but she moved out of the house following financial struggles after her husband's death.
Later, Constance and her family moved back into the house after she seduced Larry Harvey, the home's latest owner. Larry's wife, Lorraine, was driven to despair over her husband's betrayal and infidelity, and locked herself and their two daughters in a room of the house which she proceeded to set ablaze, burning them all alive. Following this, Larry lived with Constance and her three remaining children in the role of Constance's late husband, but was openly despised by them.
In 1994, Constance ordered Larry to smother her son Beauregard, who she had kept chained in the attic of the house as a result of his unsightly physical deformities, yet did not want to be taken away from her by Child Protective Services. Tate, by now under the home's influence, took vengeance on Larry for his brother's death by dousing him in gasoline and setting him on fire at his workplace, just as Larry's own family had been, then proceeded to massacre several students at his high school. After being followed by S.W.A.T back to the house, he was shot to death in his bedroom. Constance and Adelaide moved out of the house once more following these events, but moved next-door to the property in order to remain close to the ghosts of their deceased family members in the home.
The house was restored to its original grandeur by Patrick and his boyfriend, Chad Warwick, who was drawn to the home's authentic Tiffany glass fixtures. Both were brutally murdered by the Rubber Man on the evening of Halloween.
Ben Harmon, his wife Vivien, and their daughter Violet moved into the house, and over the course of a year, met their untimely deaths. Among those also victimized were Fiona and Dallas - two serial killer re-enactors who attempted to recreate the 1968 R. Franklin murders - Ben's mistress Hayden McClaine, exterminator Phil Critter, and Constance Langdon's lover Travis Wanderly, whose murder became known as the "Boy Dahlia" due to its similarities to the 1947 murder of Elizabeth Short. Vivien, having been raped by the Rubber Man earlier in the year, died giving birth to a child that personified the house's evil, who was adopted by Constance next-door.
The house was briefly owned by the Ramos family: Miguel, Stacey, and their teenage son Gabriel. Fortunately, they were scared away over the duration of a single night due to the combined efforts of the home's benevolent ghosts - the Harmon family, Moira O'Hara, and the Black Dahlia. who wished to prevent more unsuspecting people from being trapped within it. How long they kept this up for, if at all, is unknown, as more people would proceed to die in the house over the next several years.
By now, 36 deaths had been legally documented to have taken place in the house. In this same year, Cordelia Goode sent Madison Montgomery and Behold Chablis to the house in order to gather information about Michael Langdon, a possible next Supreme. They purchased the house under the guise of a newly married couple, keeping it in the possession of the Salem Coven to ensure no more deaths occurred within its walls. Unfortunately, this was later undone when the witch Mallory traveled back in time to prevent the Apocalypse, thus creating a new timeline where they never took ownership of the property.
In the new timeline, Troy and his husband Michael Winslow bought the house and moved in with their daughter, Scarlett. As the family made renovations, a darkness took root within them, resulting in the deaths of four teenage girls, a psychologist, two contractors, and Troy and Michael themselves. Scarlett took on the mantle of the "Rubber Woman" and became a killer-for-hire, engaging in sadomasochistic murders outside of the home's confines for client compensation, but continued to keep in touch with the house's deceased occupants and visit each Halloween. After the 9 bodies of those killed during the year were uncovered, the house was once again listed for sale, having lost most its value.
Sometime later, the house was purchased by Michelle, a game developer seeking to use the home's sordid history to create an immersive virtual experience for her son, Rory, titled "Escape From Murder House". In a bid to bring closure to the ghosts trapped in the home, Rory believed only purifying fire could destroy the property and doused it in gasoline, inadvertently creating a conflict between the ghosts who wished to remain in the mortal realm and those who sought to finally find peace in the next life. This event reached its apex as the dead who sought peace fought to protect Rory from the home's malevolent past occupants, giving him enough time to light and drop a match on the ground. As the house was cast into flames, the souls within were finally set free and departed to their respective afterlives, though those who refused to move on may have been released into the outside world.
It can be assumed that everyone who has died within the house or near it’s property has become a ghost. Here is a list of all those confirmed to be trapped in its premises. As of the events of Game Over, all of the spirits have finally found peace and crossed over to the afterlife.
- Charles Montgomery - a renowned surgeon who built the house and is its original owner, died from shooting by Nora in 1926
- Nora Montgomery - Charles’s socialite wife, died from shooting herself in the mouth in 1926
- Elizabeth Short - the infamous "Black Dahlia", died of accidental nitrous oxide overdose in 1947
- Gladys - nursing student killed via drowning by serial killer R. Franklin in 1968
- Maria - nursing student killed via stabbing by serial killer R. Franklin in 1968
- Troy and Bryan - twins devoured by the Infantata in 1978
- Moira O'Hara - a flirtatious maid shot by Constance Langdon in 1983
- Hugo Langdon - Constance Langdon’s adulterous husband, shot by her in 1983
- Lorraine Harvey - Larry Harvey’s wife, killed herself and two daughters in a fire she started in 1993
- Margaret Harvey - killed by her mother in a fire in 1993
- Angela Harvey - killed by her mother in a fire in 1993
- Beauregard Langdon - Constance’s deformed son, smothered by Larry on her orders in 1994
- Tate Langdon - Constance’s mentally unstable teenage son, shot by a S.W.A.T team in 1994
- Chad Warwick - Patrick’s Type A boyfriend, drowned and neck snapped by Tate in 2010
- Patrick - Chad’s adulterous boyfriend, beaten by Tate in 2010
- Fiona - serial killer enthusiast, killed in 2011
- Dallas - serial killer enthusiast, killed in 2011
- Hayden McClaine - Ben Harmon’s deranged mistress, beaten by Larry with a shovel in 2011
- Travis Wanderly - Constance’s boy toy, stabbed by Hayden in 2011
- Violet Harmon - Ben and Vivien’s rebellious teenage daughter, died from accidental pill overdose in 2011
- Phil - exterminator, poisoned with his own toxins by Tate in 2011
- Jeffrey Harmon - newborn baby, died shortly after birth in 2011
- Vivien Harmon - Ben’s wife and Violet’s mother, died from hemorrhage during childbirth in 2011
- Ben Harmon - psychologist hung by Fiona and Dallas on Hayden's orders in 2011
- Rose Langdon - Constance’s eyeless daughter, died from an unknown cause at an unknown time
- Constance Langdon - mother of Tate, Beauregard, Adelaide and Rose, committed suicide via alcohol poisoning in 2015 (reversed by Mallory using Tempus Infinituum)
- Ruby McDaniel - sadomasochist, committed suicide by slashing her wrists in 2020
- Andi Grant - psychologist, throat sit by the Rubber Man in 2021
- Maya - high school girl stabbed to death by Scarlett Winslow in 2021
- Nicole - high school girl stabbed to death by Scarlett Winslow in 2021
- Erin - high school girl stabbed to death by Scarlett Winslow in 2021
- Rowena - high school girl stabbed to death by Scarlett Winslow in 2021
- Troy Winslow - Michael's unfaithful husband, stabbed to death by Ruby McDaniel in 2021
- Michael Winslow - Troy's handsome husband, throat slit by Ruby McDaniel in 2021
- Adam - unhinged contractor and an affair of Troy's, stabbed to death by the Rubber Man in 2021
- Martin - Adam's assistant, head beaten in with a hammer by Adam in 2021
Outside & Gardens
The property features a porte-cochère with a medium-high wall. Violet Harmon has been seen sitting there while smoking. In "Murder House", Ben Harmon builds a gazebo in the garden to mask where Hayden McClaine was buried. Moira O'Hara is also buried in the same grave, but Ben is unaware of this. It is worth noting that the gazebo is demolished by Madison Montgomery and Behold Chablis, in order to find the human remains of Moira O'Hara, in erased timeline.
- Ben meets clients for therapy sessions here since he operates his psychiatry practice from home.
The basement is now home to the Infantata.
- 1926: The unnatural half-human prodigy of Elizabeth, a vampire, killed and consumed Charles Montgomery's nurse after a failed abortion.
- 1978: Troy and Bryan were killed here by the Infantata.
- 2011: Leah was attacked here by the Infantata. Fiona, Dallas, Chad Warwick, Patrick, and Joe Escandarian are all killed here.
- 2021: The Rubber Woman butchered Maya, Nicole, Erin and Rowena here.
The Parlor/Dining Room
Currently houses a gas-fed fireplace.
- 1926: Dr. Charles Montgomery was shot here by his wife Nora before she killed herself.
- 2010: Tate/Rubber Man attacked Chad and Patrick here.
Ben suggested using the space as a music room for Vivien. However, due to his wife's reluctance to play the cello, it serves as a living room. Vivien played the cello here. The peeling wallpaper, which was removed by Vivien, hid a mural across several walls depicting gruesome imagery. In 2011, Vivien and Violet were bound here during a home invasion to re-enact R. Franklin's murders.
- 1968: Maria is murdered here by R. Franklin.
- 2011: Vivien gives birth here and dies in childbirth.
- 2015: Constance ended her own life in this room so she could be with her children forever, in the erased timeline.
- 1983: Constance shot her husband Hugo and housekeeper Moira O'Hara in the Master Bedroom.
- 2021: Troy and Michael were murdered by Ruby.
Turquoise Bedroom (Tate's/Violet's/Gabriel's bedroom)
- 1994: Tate is shot by the S.W.A.T. Team.
- 2011: Other than scenes involving Violet and Tate or Violet and Vivien, Moira gives Joe a blowjob here. Tate attempts to kill Gabriel Ramos in this room, with the purpose of not leaving Violet alone, but he fails to do so when she saves the Ramos' son by distracting Tate.
Note: The kitchen and the turquoise bedroom were the only rooms that the crew redecorated. All other furniture and decorations belong to the Rosenheim Mansion (with the exception of the wall mural). The defining color of Violet's room (other than the turquoise wall color that is part of the Rosenheim Mansion) is, of course, violet: her bedding, her carpets, and her small, round, leather seat are all violet. Violet's room was decorated with items which relate back to several episode storylines. It features:
- A poster of a skull next to her bed.
- A jar with dolls heads (referencing the jars in the basement).
- A collection of spiked belts draped over her desk lamp.
- A collection of dead bugs and butterflies.
- An armchair.
- A Ferris wheel (the Ferris wheel was invented for the 1893 Chicago World Fair mentioned in Piggy Piggy).
- A dollhouse on the window sill. When Tate lived in this room, a copy of Henrik Ibsen's "A Doll's House" was in its place.
- When this was Tate's room, he had a poster of Saturn on his wall. In Roman mythology, Saturn fulfilled the same role as the Red Dragon that Leah mentions in "Home Invasion" in the Bible's Book of Revelations: He devours children as soon as they are born.
- 1968: Gladys was drowned in a bathtub by R. Franklin.
- 2011: Violet does her cutting here at the sink with her father's razor blades.
- Violet dies in the bathtub after overdosing on sleeping pills. At the time it appears as though she lived but Tate later reveals that she had swallowed far too many and that she did, in fact, pass away in his arms.
The kitchen and Violet's/Tate's room were the only two rooms of the Rosenheim Mansion that were redecorated for the show. All other furniture comes with the property, with the exception of minor props. For later episodes, the exact same furniture from the Rosenheim Mansion had to be recreated.
The Attic is now home to the gentle Beau, though he does occasionally play in the basement.
- 1994: Constance's son, Beau, was smothered by Larry Harvey.
- 2011: Vivien finds a gimp suit attached to the ceiling in the attic.
- Stained glass
- The house features several original Tiffany lamps and stained glass windows. The stained glass windows feature the color blue, which Nora explains was Charles' tribute to her eye color. All stained glass windows are actually part of the Rosenheim Mansion. It is true though that the stained glass in Ben's office, which is, in reality, a Greek temple, resembles the gazebo and that the Dining Room has stained glass windows with violets in them. It is thus possible that the writers of the show took clues from the actual decorations of the Rosenheim Mansion.
These are the residents of the house, both intended and unintended, whether currently living or deceased.
|Homeowners and tenants|
|Residents in Erased Timeline|
- Overall, as of "Return to Murder House", there are 36 people who are stated to have died in the estate and been trapped in its confines as restless (or malevolent) ghosts, not including the occupants featured in You're Going To Die In There.
- Due to Mallory's time travel spell in Apocalypse creating a new timeline, 10 additional people have died in the house as of the revised 2021 , topping the amount of deaths at 46. It is possible there may be even more, as Michael Winslow states after becoming a ghost on the property that there are "hundreds" trapped in the house, possibly indicating that the 36 deaths mentioned in "Return To Murder House" are only deaths which have been documented by realtors, opposed to being the total sum of deaths on the property.
- The house is revealed to be sentient to some degree and resistant to magical powers, cancelling out abilities such as telekinesis. This is explained by the fact that witches draw their magic from light , and given that the Murder House is a hellmouth, or a gateway into Hell itself, their powers are heavily mitigated inside it. For this very reason, Tate Langdon states that even people protected by magic are not safe in its depths. Despite this, passive powers and spells are shown to still work on its grounds, such as divination and the Spirit Revealing Spell.
- Similar to the Hotel Cortez, the Murder House is a place where people who die within its premises are unable to cross into the afterlife, remaining forever trapped there as disembodied souls. If the human remains of a deceased person are placed outside the house's limits, however, their soul will be free to depart, as in the case of Moira O'Hara. The limits of the house, though not strictly laid out, are known to include the yard surrounding it and the sidewalk in front of it. It is unknown if the Hotel Cortez's ghosts could be similarly released if their corpses were removed from its grounds.
- According to Madison, the ghosts in the house behaved violently due to the Devil's influence there and his desire to manipulate the living and deceased to sire the Anti-Christ. Madison claims that once the Anti-Christ was born and left the house in the form of Michael Langdon, he took all of the ghosts' evil thoughts and urges with him. This seems to be true, as by the time Madison and Behold Chablis arrive at the house, all of the ghosts choose to remain unseen by the living and do not actively try to harm or toy with them – or they just wouldn't want to mess with witches.
- Billie Dean Howard is revealed to be one of few living human beings who the ghosts will allow to come and go from the house.
- The house, in addition to being populated by the ghosts of its past tenants, is also home to other supernatural phenomena, such as the Frankenstein-esque Infantata and the Devil. The Anti-Christ was also born in the house and lived in it for a period of time, and in 1926, the house was visited by a vampire who gave birth to a half-human-vampire hybrid in its basement. In the erased timeline, the house was also visited by witches, who bought the estate to prevent more unsuspecting people from dying in it. This places the Murder House as one of the spookiest locations in the American Horror Story universe, next to the Hotel Cortez and Briarcliff Manor.
- The house used in filming is the Rosenheim Mansion.
- On February 2018, current owners of the house Dr. Ernst von Schwarz and Angela Oakenfold sued the previous owners and estate agents for failing to disclose its connection to the FX show. Daily intrusions and trespassing by fans of the show are the main issues motioned in the lawsuit.
- This house was featured and sold on the SYFY show Collection Intervention.
- The house is also used on Buffy the Vampire Slayer as the outside of the Alpha Delta Fraternity House.
- Mentioned by Billie Dean Howard.
- Episode: Pilot
- Episode: Afterbirth
- Episode: Home Invasion
- Episode: Rubber(wo)Man
- Episode: Could It Be... Satan?
- Episode: Return to Murder House
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