Following the news that Glee star Kevin McHale, Riverdale actor Charles Melton, Pose alum Dyllón Burnside and The Prom’s Nico Greetham would all be starring in upcoming American Horror Story spinoff series, American Horror Stories, we got to thinking about which spooky tales and myths we’d love to see explored in the anthological episodes.
With so many different paths to tread in the genre of horror, there are a multitude of directions the show could go in. Here are seven we’d love to see Ryan Murphy’s new series tackle…
7. The Bunny Man
Likely originating from two incidents in 1970, in Fairfax County, Virginia, the story of Bunny Man is one that has since spread throughout Washington.
It's your typical slasher horror tale, but this time of a man who wears a rabbit costume. After selecting his victims, he murders them with an axe and then slinks back into the shadows.
There’s something extremely unnerving about killers who wear outfits that would look sweet or even cute in the day, but take on a whole new life of their own once night falls. This is definitely an episode that would have us hiding behind our sofa cushions!
If playing video games is your thing, then the story of the fictional Killswitch will be right up your street. Players get just one chance to make their way through the game; if they die or reach the end of the challenge, then Killswitch deletes itself and vanishes without a trace.
This narrative could of course be adapted in a multitude of different ways. A talented scriptwriter could write into the story some tragic results for any player who failed to complete the game, for example.
Though it sounds like a narrative which may better fit anthology series Black Mirror, we would love to see what Ryan Murphy would do with Killswitch.
5. The story of Bobby Dunbar
At just four-years-old, young Bobby Dunbar wandered away from the safety of his family and was never seen again. Some believe he drowned, whilst others think he was abducted. We will never know the truth, because although the authorities thought they had found the youngster, the child that actually stepped into Bobby's life was another person entirely.
At the time, another woman claimed that the returned child was her own, but as she wasn’t able to afford a lawyer, the courts ruled in the favour of the Dunbar family. Now that it’s been proven the child wasn’t a Dunbar blood relative, many believe that the boy was in fact this poor woman’s. A truly tragic, real-life story that would make a fantastic episode of AHS.
4. The Sodder Children
Another true story that could make for a terrifying edition of Horror Stories is that of the vanishing Sodder children.
One Christmas Eve night, five of 10 siblings asked their parents if they could spend the night playing with their new toys, rather than going to sleep. Their parents agreed before going to bed themselves, and wold never see the kids again.
Later in the night, the phone rang and the children's mother answered, with the unrecognisable voice on the other end asking for someone she hadn't heard of. The person on the line laughed before hanging up. She returned to bed without thinking on it any further, but later realised that all of the lights in the house were still on, with the doors unlocked.
A sound on the roof stirred her from her sleep, at which point she woke up her husband and, at 1.30am, realised that the house was on fire. Whilst the five children sleeping and their parents escaped, the five who stayed up never emerged. Their father went to collect the ladder to get up to their second floor bedrooms, but it was nowhere to be seen. It was later found dragged far away from the home.
Authorities concluded the kids had died in the fire, but the parents never gave up hope right up until the point they themselves passed away. They instead think their children were kidnapped and brought up by somebody else. A terrifying and tragic thought.
3. The Water Babies of Massacre Rocks
Pocatello plays host to one of the most intriguing urban legends of all; that of the Water Babies of Massacre Rocks. Those who have sat by the river claim to have heard crying infants, but have been unable to locate them.
During a famine, women in the area were forced to kill their babies upon their birth, rather than allowing them to starve. The method of murder? Drowning.
Some say that the babies didn’t actually die, but instead evolved into creatures of the water with gills and fins. Wouldn’t that be a sight on the small screen?
2. The Spider Bite
If you’re squeamish, perhaps skip this entry!
The Spider Bite urban legend, also commonly referred to as The Red Spot, tells the story of a woman who is bitten on the cheek by a spider. Though she ignores the nip and believes it to simply be something that will go away with time, it quickly morphs into a boil on her face. Then, one day it bursts wide open, splattering mucus and releasing hundreds of tiny spiderlings.
It’s a simple story, but one that could be turned into a stomach-churning hour of television if given the right care and attention!
1. The Doll Creator
Our final instalment here is a story that originated on CreepyPasta, which I first heard during my time in school. It still to this day makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand to attention.
Whilst I can’t remember all of the details, it focused on a man who would kidnap young women and children, before somehow casting them as a plastic doll. Though they were incapable of moving or showing emotion, they would still be conscious despite standing still and being passed off as simple mannequins to anybody who saw them. Think House of Wax, but instead of the people dying, having to live on as a figure.
American Horror Stories is set to begin in July on Hulu in the US. We'll bring you more news about a UK release date when we get it!
Tagged in Ryan Murphy