I remember long, long ago (2011), when American Horror Story first began. Viewers did not know at the time, but the season was titled Murder House, and they would never revisit it after the first season. When Ryan Murphy announced that AHS was an anthology series, some people were upset. Well, fast forward to 2017, and I cannot imagine the series any other way. However, despite the fact that the series has a different setting each season, producers make sure that they're all connected in some way, but is AHS: Cult connected to earlier seasons other than Freak Show? There are some clues about other possible callbacks to the past.
The most obvious crossover so far is Cult's connection with Freak Show. In the premiere, Oz (Ally and Ivy's son) read a comic book that featured Twisty the Clown. For viewers who forgot about Twisty (which, how could you, he's been a part of my nightmares ever since), he died on Freak Show to become part of Edward Mordrake's eternal freak spirit troupe. Lovely ending for a lovely character! Well, just kidding, because he's back. On Cult, he's only been seen as part of the comic book, so not in the actual universe, but who knows what Ryan Murphy's plans are for him as the season plays out.
Twisty will not be the only reference to Freak Show though. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly last year, Ryan Murphy said, "Next year, we will be going back to some Freak Show characters, deeper histories and mythologies. So we’re sort of still exploring Season 4 in Season 7." So, fans have to keep their eyes peeled for those reoccurrences. Besides Twisty, though, what other callbacks have occurred in the first two episodes? As of now, there are only slight references to other seasons — and they're a bit of a stretch, honestly.
Collider theorized that Ally's phobias are all related to imagery of the other seasons: confined spaces as in Murder House; blood like Hotel; particles in the air like in Coven; and the dark like in Roanoke. This leaves out her trypophobia... maybe that's something to do with Asylum? It doesn't seem like that solid of a connection, but the idea that Ally's fears have to do with paranormal elements in other seasons is pretty cool. It could also relate to the theory that all American Horror Story seasons coincide with Dante's Inferno — the nine circles of hell. Murphy shared a list on Instagram in July, which only helped to solidify fan resolve:
This season would be "heresy," or contradicting beliefs to religious doctrine. Seeing as Cult centers around... well, a cult, it seems to fit. Speaking of, one Reddit user may have found a Cult clue while rewatching Roanoke: a mention of Helter Skelter. Helter Skelter was serial killer and cult leader Charles Manson's vision of a "race war." He indoctrinated his followers, the "Manson family," with this belief of a racial Armageddon, and they carried out his murderous plan in the summer of 1969. Charles Manson will supposedly have a role on Cult, as Murphy said that Evan Peters will not only play the fictional Kai, but some real-life cult leaders like Manson.
The mention of Helter Skelter in Roanoke could have been a one-off, but knowing AHS, it easily could've been foreshadowing to this season. As in all other AHS universes, the connections will become more and more apparent as the season goes on. Viewers already know they will be seeing some Freak Show characters pop up again, but I'm excited to see other ways in which Cult fits in with the show as a whole. Perhaps one character is a Supreme, or was a guest at Hotel. There's even a theory about there suggesting that Oz is actually Michael Langdon from Season 1, though this has yet to be proven.
Knowing AHS fans, they'll spot those Easter Eggs as soon as they appear in future episodes.
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