Michele K. Short/FX

Twisty The Clown Made A Grand Return In 'AHS: Cult'

In the first episode of American Horror Story: Cult, an old villain made a reappearance. "Election Night" revisited a scenario familiar to anyone who knows their horror movie tropes: an amorous young couple on a picnic whose good time is interrupted by unexpected danger. While the couple joked about the urban legend of Twisty the Clown, the murderer who haunted half of Freak Show, Twisty himself showed up. However, it was quickly revealed that the slasher scene wasn't real life; it was a panel in a comic book. But how did Twisty the Clown become a comic book on AHS: Cult? Even when just drawn on a page, he still proves to be just as terrifying as ever.

The premiere episode didn't delve into the history of the Twisty comics, unfortunately, and no author's name was visible on the cover of Twisty the Clown Chronicles. The comic showed up a few times in the room of Ally and Ivy's son Ozzy, where it functioned more as a callback and terrifying omen of things to come than an in-depth look at what Twisty's been up to since Season 4. But there could actually be a very simple explanation for how Twisty made the jump from real life horror to illustrated killer.

Despite all the bloodshed on AHS: Freak Show, there were actually many survivors at the end of the season who could have shared the story of Twisty's misdeeds. Jimmy Darling, Desiree Dupree, Dot and Bette Tattler, and even Elsa Mars all lived through Twisty's brief reign of terror in Jupiter, Florida. While none of them showed any indication that they might go into the comic book business, they could have spoken about what happened. That could have contributed to the rise of Twisty as an urban legend.

Urban legends are so ubiquitous that they can take on a life of their own. Few know the origin stories of the creepy tales they've heard over and over again, but they all started somewhere. Twisty's story began in Florida in the 1950s, but it could have become infamous over time like any unusual serial killer until someone unconnected to the actual events decided to dramatize it in fiction. The idea of a killer clown is nothing new, after all, and Twisty already draws on pre-existing fears. He could have provided someone with inspiration without them actually having witnessed his murder spree.

That fits in with the idea of AHS: Cult, too. This season is all about how fear takes root and grows until it's out of control — just like an urban legend may end up in a very different place from where it started.