Whether you call it a fabrication, a fantastical tale, or even just a stretching of the truth, there’s no denying that popular media goes out of its way to lie to the consumer from time to time. The hit TV show “American Horror Story” is particularly good at this as it’s known for taking what is either known or easily researched and pushing it beyond the boundaries of what can be easily believed in order to up the ratings and keep fans entertained. If you take the time to look however you can find the lies within each season, even if they are necessary to keep the show moving.
Here are five lies American Horror Story told us
5. Marie Laveau – Coven
Portrayed by Angela Basset, Laveau was a woman that had lost her lover, Bastien, to the cruelty of Madame Delphine LaLaurie, played by Kathy Bates. Taking her revenge on LaLaurie, Laveau then went on to live the life of an immortal voodoo priestess that could turn vengeful at the drop of a hat. In reality Marie Laveau was greatly revered by the people of New Orleans between the 1820s to 1860s, and was seen as a nurse and healer.
4. Edward Mordrake – Freak Show
Wes Bentley brought this character to life in a very diabolical fashion, but this is where the reality of Mordrake ends. The real Edward Mordrake was documented as having a lumpish, awkward face on the back of his head that could neither speak, hear, see, or react save for a nervous tic that would occur when Mordrake would either laugh or cry. There is no evidence to be found concerning any unknown deaths at carnival freak shows during Halloween. Safe to say that this is a myth born out of superstition and entertainment-seeking fantasy.
3. Scathach – Roanoke
Give props to AHS for doing it’s homework at least in part. Scathach translates from Gaelic to mean “the shadowy one” which seems to paint a very accurate picture of Lady Gaga’s character in the sixth season. However, according to further research, the real Scathach was actually a female warrior that was known for teaching and inspiring other warriors and was quite adept at several forms of combat. Had the writers thought to include this little tidbit into the series instead of opting to make Gaga’s character a straight up creepy woodland witch it might have created a different arc for the character that might have allowed the story to expand a bit.
2. Anne Frank – Asylum
The writers of any horror series seem to enjoy stirring the pot when it comes to controversy and the ever popular “what-if” game. This would work too if history wasn’t so persistently sought after by actual historians without an agenda or a need to further their own goals. That being said, this presents a very interesting arc to the story that is never fully explained but still grants a pleasing distraction for a short time. The real Anne Frank was in fact interred in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany where she perished at the age of 16.
1. Papa Legba – Coven
For this entry there was definitely some truth to the character, but it was a truth that was kept while the rest was scrapped in favor of keeping the character as despicable as possible. According to the truth behind his legend however, Papa Legba was not a cocaine-sniffing, baby-stealing, hellish devil that would gladly consign people to their own personal hell for his pleasure. While he does have his origins in voodoo, Papa Legba is more of a wise teacher that serves as the communicator between worlds. But it’s not much of a stretch to believe that AHS will take any character that they need and demonize them to serve their purpose.
A lot of people simply want to be entertained and not loaded down with actual facts and legends that run contrary to their favorite shows and characters. This is what American Horror Story banks on more often than not, as their historical characters are often so over the top that it almost seems as though they are begging fans to search for the truth.