Everything We Know About 'American Horror Story' Season 10

It's finally (almost) here.

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'American Horror Story: Double Feature' | FX
'American Horror Story: Double Feature' | FX

Ryan Murphy's creepy anthology series American Horror Story has taken us to haunted houses, sentenced us to an asylum, checked us into a spooky motel, and so much more—and there's no signs that the FX series will be stopping anytime soon. The nightmarish show was confirmed for a tenth season before its ninth, AHS: 1984, even ended in fall 2019. Half the fun of every new installment of the campy, terrifying series is in the mystery behind it: Murphy recycles his regular cast members, putting them in entirely new, but always spooky, scenarios. Here's what could be up next for American Horror Story Season 10.

ALSO READ: How American Horror Stories connects to the American Horror Story universe

When will American Horror Story Season 10 premiere?

Hail Satan: AHS will officially return on Wednesday, August 25. The show will premiere that night on FX, airing weekly as usual, with episodes available on FX on Hulu the following day. Fans should get excited that there's finally a release date on the calendar, since the pandemic greatly impacted the show's production schedule and it's now been nearly two years since AHS last graced our screens. Thankfully, it'll be giving us nightmares again soon.

How many episodes will AHS Season 10 have?

Ten for 10! According to EW, Season 10 is confirmed for ten installments. While it may not be the highest episode count for a season of AHS, it's what the show's been averaging in recent years, like with Apocalypse and Roanoke. AHS: 1984 came in at only nine episodes, so we'll take what we can get.

Are there any AHS Season 10 episode titles yet?

A few! IMDb lists the titles for episodes 1 through 4, which are "Cape Fear," "Dead and Buried," "Twisted Pleasures," and "Overdose," respectively. Considering how familiar with AHS is with racy themes like sex and addiction, or how often the show's featured plots revolving hiding bodies and the undead, they all seem pretty on point. "Cape Fear" is an interesting one, though. Cape Fear is, in fact, a real place off the coast of the North Carolina—not to mention the setting and name of a 1962 thriller and 1991 remake from Martin Scorsese, starring Robert De Niro in a gonzo performance. Most likely, though, it probably just refers to the season's Cape Cod location, and how haunted it probably is. That doesn't mean you shouldn't start theorizing, though: Colonizers were said to have stopped there before routing to Roanoke, so there may be some AHS expanded universe connections in here.

Who is in the cast this season?

A new AHS season always leads to two big questions: What's the theme, and who's in the cast? The showrunner took to Instagram way back in February 2020 to give fans a taste of what they can expect, dropping an eerie teaser that revealed Kathy Bates, Macaulay Culkin, Leslie Grossman, Billie Lourd, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Adina Porter, Lily Rabe, Angelica Ross, and Finn Wittrock are all set to appear. Plus, in February 2021, the showrunner confirmed that Frances Conroy will be making an appearance again. When Murphy announced the theme on Instagram (more on that below), he clarified in a comment that those names are the primary cast for the first half of the season, so it's unclear if another group will take over entirely for the second half or if some characters will carry over. Regardless, an exciting handful of fan favorites are returning. 

The most interesting addition this time around is definitely former child star Macaulay Culkin, though. He'll probably fit right in, since as we saw (and rewatched a hundred times) in Home Alone, he's already a bit of a scream queen. As with everybody else, who he is playing is under wraps, but Murphy did post a picture of him in costume and arm-in-arm with Leslie Grossman, and his role looks pretty wild. The showrunner has also shared some shocking information about his role, telling E! News Culkin has a "very, very insane part" that includes having "crazy, erotic sex with Kathy Bates," so for what it's worth, know that's in the pipeline.

Aside from Culkin, the reveal that AHS royalty Paulson and Peters are returning after both being gone for a season is a big deal. Right now, it's hush-hush as usual regarding who these actors will be playing, but we do know that Paulson will be making a grand return, which is something to look forward to, considering how much fans missed her in 1984. The Murphy muse has been known to lead seasons, like she did in Asylum, Cult, and Apocalypse, and take on smaller roles like in Murder House, but in Season 10 she's confirmed to be taking on a main role again. She told The Wrap in January 2020 that she "will be a central character." While details are still scarce, it sounds like she'll veer on the villainous side, as she admitted to Entertainment Weekly in early 2021 that her character "has some issues." All hail the AHS Supreme.

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FX

What is the theme of American Horror Story Season 10?

Perhaps even more than his precious cast, Murphy keeps his lips sealed regarding the anthology's theme for as long as possible. This time around, it took awhile—more than two years after the series was renewed—but the showrunner finally shared the theme in March 2021 with a black and white video of crashing waves that announced Season 10 is called American Horror Story: Double Feature

Fans of the show are used to the title giving a big plot reveal regarding what to expect from the coming season (ie. Asylum, Freak Show, etc), but that's not necessarily what they got this time around. The video Murphy posted did indicate, though, that the new installment will feature "two terrifying stories"—"one by the sea… one by the sand"—which is definitely something different for the series. 

It's still unclear what exactly those two stories will be about right now, but we know for sure they involve some sort of humanoid monsters from under the sea and aliens. Murphy had actually been teasing some sort of beach-set season with ravenous sea monsters or mermaids for quite awhile—both on Instagram and dating back to AHS: 1984. Murphy told TV Guide about a Season 10 Easter egg that appeared in Episode 8, "Rest in Pieces," and as Newsweek points out, that's when characters had a conversation about urban legends. You may recall a scene in a diner where Angelica Ross' character Donna and Emma Roberts' Brooke run into a crime journalist who mentions that "... back in the '70s, all anyone cared about was Bigfoot, aliens, the Loch Ness Monster—all that Leonard Nimoy In Search Of... shit." So, cryptids definitely are at the center of the season. What they'll be doing aside from likely abducting, operating on, eating people, or pulling them underwater to their death is hard to say, but probably expect all of that and more. 

It's also important to note that this season is set in Cape Cod, so a Jaws-inspired monster could also be a possibility. Same goes for a theory pointed out by fans on Reddit that Season 10 might explore the Lady on the Dunes, an infamous 1974 cold case about a woman whose body was discovered along the Massachusetts sand dunes but was never identified. The story is its own form of urban legend, certainly hits the markers of what else we know about the upcoming season, and AHS is known to explore famous real-life cases in the past, like the Black Dahlia and the Night Stalker.

Whatever's coming, it's sure to satisfy fans who've been waiting for quite awhile. Lily Rabe told Collider that this one's for the longtime fans—so get excited, if you're not already.

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Is there a trailer for American Horror Story: Double Feature

FX finally dropped a teaser for AHS: 10 just about a month out from the release date—and it's a doozy! While we knew the season's dubbed Double Feature because it features two stories—one set "by the sea" and the other "by the sand"—for awhile now, the new clip clarified Part 1 is called "Red Tide" and Part 2 is called "Death Valley." 

Other than revealing that bit of information, the clip is totally batshit. In a nutshell: There's classic green guy aliens and some sort of humanoid cryptid from underwater with razor-sharp teeth. More specifically, they're making out with each other, the aliens are performing operations on some people (and a violin made out of meat?), and the toothy monsters look like they're out for blood from beneath the waves. AHS tends to release shock factor, stylish teasers that fail to divulge any crumb of information about the coming season, so it's hard to say what anything in the trailer really means. If anything, it looks like the two are either working together or maybe even one-in-the-same, in a way. (Maybe the aliens created the creatures and sent them down to Earth? Or they experimented on humans, and the monsters are the results?). With AHS, anything goes. The trailer claims it's going to be "a collision of terror like you've never seen," and we believe it!

How will Season 10 be connected to the rest of the AHS universe?

We know that at least one familiar character, or costume, rather, will make an appearance. In April 2020, Murphy teased fans with another look at the upcoming season, posting a photo on Instagram of Season 1 villain Rubber Man with the caption, "Coming soon…" As you may recall, the erotic latex suit was worn by a number of characters in the first season, including Tate Langdon, and later Michael Langdon when he returned to Murder House in Apocalypse, but it was actually originally purchased from an S&M shop by previous Murder House homeowner Chad Warwick. So, it could mean that one of those names will be back, but more likely we'll learn its probably very creepy origin, or somebody new will zip themselves into in. It is just sitting in the Murder House attic!

Also, since it's clear that extraterrestrials are a major part of the plot in Double Feature, fans might see some connections to Asylum. The aliens haven't made any sort of appearance since then, so it might be about time. The aliens plot from Season 2 was full of mystery that left more questions unanswered, so it definitely seems possible we could learn more about their origin or intentions going forward. Of course, everything is speculation and it is worth noting that the aliens involved with Kit (Evan Peters) and his children turned out to be totally benevolent—and by the looks of all Season 10 previews, these green guys don't seem so nice—so they could be a different set of creatures from space. Regardless, seems like some AHS universe connections are in store. 

Will this be the last season of American Horror Story

Ten seasons may be a lot of television, but if you're worried that might mean this will be the series' last, don't be. In January 2020, EW reported that FX renewed the long-running show for at least up to 13 seasons. It may seem like Miss Robichaux's Academy cast a spell to keep the limited series on air for this long, but in reality it's the network's highest-rated series, so ultimately, it would be a real-life horror story to see it go. 

Since AHS likes to keep everything a secret, it's hard to say what we can expect from the next three seasons (especially since the 10th hasn't even arrived). One thing we do know, though, is that Murphy told Entertainment Tonight that fans haven't seen the last of the beloved witches from Coven and Apocalypse, so another story featuring their black magic should be in the works. Aside from that, all we know about Seasons 11, 12, and 13 is that Paulson is game to appear if Murphy will have her. She told The Wrap, "I did ask Ryan, if the question [of coming back to AHS in the future] was asked to me, could I say that I was coming back, and he said, ‘Yes, you can say.’ So yes, I will be back on American Horror Story.”

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What about the spin-off series?

While each season of American Horror Story is, well, an American horror story, now there's also an entirely new show called American Horror Stories—plural. Ryan Murphy announced the show on Instagram in May 2020, and Deadline went on to confirm it was officially in the works; about a month later, Hulu announced the show was set to air on its FX hub, FX on Hulu. It's a companion to the original AHS, but takes the form of telling one standalone ghost story per episode. Think of it as bite-sized AHS

American Horror Stories hit the air before American Horror Story: Double Feature this year, premiering on FX on Hulu on Thursday, July 15. It's confirmed to include 16 episodes, which Ryan Murphy has said delve "into horror myths, legends, and lore." Early episodes delve into AHS lore more specifically. The trailer that dropped in early July revealed the show returns to the infamous Murder House, and the bloodthirsty Santa Claus from Asylum is also back, so you can expect a handful of connections to the AHS universe throughout Stories

A handful of familiar stars are also confirmed to appear. It's still a little hush hush which favorites will be back—and whether they'll reprise their roles—it has been announced that Matt Bomer and Billie Lourd are among the cast. Other than them, Broadway star Aaron Tveit, Danny Trejo, model/daughter of Cindy Crawford Kaia Gerber, and model/actress/daughter of Michael Jackson Paris Jackson are all joining the scary universe, among many others. It also looks like one episode will be one big Murphy affair with Kevin McHale (Glee), Nico Greetham (Prom), and Dyllon Burnside (Pose) appearing together (along with Riverdale's Charles Melton). Basically, major fans of the series should be in for a good, spooky time.

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Sadie Bell is the entertainment editorial assistant at Thrillist. She's on Twitter at @mssadiebell