It turns out the rumors are true.  Months ago, while ‘American Horror Story: Coven’ was still in full swing, rumors surfaced that the next installment of the anthology would revolve around a ‘Circus’ theme.  Producers then opened up about the fact that the next season would be set during the early 1950s and that Jessica Lange was “practicing her German accent.”

Beyond that, not much else has been revealed until now.  On the Nerdist Writers Panel podcast, Douglas Petrie, one of the show’s writers and co-executive producers confirmed that the fourth cycle of the scary hit would be set in a carnival of some sort.  “That’s the idea, very roughly that’s the idea,” Petrie admitted.  He did however caution that the producers had just barely begun work on the new season, which won’t air until the fall.  With this being Lange’s final season, expect big things.

Circuses have long embodied something of a dichotomy, illustrating a family friendly sheen on the surface while hiding a seedy underbelly, in earlier times serving as a front for prostitution, pickpockets, corruption, animal cruelty and most notably mistreatment of the handicapped, or “freaks” as often witnessed in legendary “Freak Shows.”  In 1932, director Tod Browning crafted a tragic tale centering on one such sideshow attraction in the legendary classic ‘Freaks’, often cited as an important movie in the evolution of horror cinema, employing many actual handicapped performers.

‘American Horror Story’ creator Ryan Murphy has made a point of including differently able actors in his work, including Jamie Brewer who has Downs Syndrome and who played Nan in ‘Coven’ after having previously appeared in earlier seasons.  And then there’s the character Pepper from ‘Asylum’ who was a “pin head,” however she was portrayed by average actress Naomi Grossman.  And Murphy often addresses difficult social conventions, including slavery and racism on ‘Coven‘ and mental illness in ‘Asylum’.

So ‘American Horror Story’ has grappled with a haunted house, an insane asylum, a witch coven and now a creepy circus.  This may just be the most frightening season yet!

What do you think?  Are looking forward to more chills from ‘American Horror Story’?  Are you sad to see Jessica Lange go?  Or will your intense fear of clowns (because we all have one!) scare you off?

Source: Screen Rant