American Horror Story: Book Companions

FX's hit television show American Horror Story is a popular anthology series that has been in production season after season since October 2011. Creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk often use the same actors throughout the series, including Evan Peters (seasons 1-8, 10), Sarah Paulson (seasons 1-8, 10), Emma Roberts (seasons 3-4 & 7-9), Kathy Bates (seasons 3-6, 8,& 10), Angela Bassett (seasons 3-6 & 8), and Jessica Lange (seasons 1-4 & 8). Each season has a different theme and revolves around supernatural and modern-day horrors. 

New Season: American Horror Story: Double Feature (August 25, 2021)

The tenth season tells two different horror stories (due to the pandemic shutting down production in 2020). Not much has been said about the plot, despite "one story taking place by the sea, and the other on land". Many original actors are returning, including Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates, and Evan Peters.

Note: We do not have the most recent season, 1984 (2019). American Horror Story is for mature audiences; viewer discretion is advised.

If you're looking for a book companion to any of the seasons of American Horror Story, check out the suggestions below. Haven't seen all the seasons? Click on each season's title to check them out.

Season One

In American Horror Story: Murder House (2011), the Harmon family (Dylan McDermottConnie Britton, and Taissa Farmiga) move from Boston to Los Angeles for a better life and the restored historical mansion they acquire seems too good to be true. But they're unaware that the house is haunted by former violent residents...and their victims.

If you enjoyed Murder House, go with Rosemary's Baby, by Ira Levin. 

Rosemary Woodhouse and her husband Guy move into The Bramford, an old New York City apartment building with an ominous reputation and mostly elderly residents. The neighbors sure are nosy, and, despite Rosemary's reservations about their eccentricity and the weird noises that she keeps hearing, her husband enjoys their company. Shortly after, Guy lands a Broadway role, and Rosemary becomes pregnant. As she becomes increasingly isolated and sick, she begins to suspect that the neighbors are not what they seem...and neither is her pregnancy. 

Season Two

In American Horror Story: Asylum (2012), it's 1964, and the infamous, Catholic church-run Briarcliff Manor teeming with residents. The bustling mental institution has plenty of disturbed patients - and staff members. But a darker mystery lies in wait for everyone in the form of the Devil himself.

If you enjoyed Asylum, go with another dark and sinister asylum in The Devil Aspect, by Craig Russell. 

Young psychiatrist Viktor Kosárek accepts a position at Hrad Orlů, an ancient castle that houses the Devil's Six, Prague's worst criminals. Kosárek uses sedatives to understand their innermost motivations for their horrible crimes, which he has dubbed the "Devil Aspect." Meanwhile, the Prague police force is desperate to catch a killer known as Leather Apron, who has been murdering women sex workers in ways that mimic Jack the Ripper's methods. 

Season Three

In American Horror Story: Coven (2013), over 300 years have passed since the Salem Witch Trials, and those who have managed to escape are facing mass extinction. As attacks escalate against witches, young girls are sent away to a special school in New Orleans run by Cordelia Goode to learn how to protect themselves. Finding herself wrapped up in the chaos, new arrival Zoe Benson harbors a terrifying power and meets others with secrets of their own. 

If you enjoyed Coven, try Grady Hendrix's southern-inspired horror show, The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires.

Patricia Campbell had always planned for a big life, but after giving up her career as a nurse to marry an ambitious doctor and become a mother, her life has never felt smaller. The one thing she has to look forward to is her book club, a group of Charleston mothers united only by their love for true-crime and suspenseful fiction.

In these meetings, they're more likely to discuss the FBI's recent siege of Waco as much as the ups and downs of marriage and motherhood.But when an artistic and sensitive stranger moves into the neighborhood, the book club's meetings turn into speculation about the newcomer.

Patricia is initially attracted to him, but when some local children go missing, she starts to suspect the newcomer is involved. She begins her own investigation, assuming that he's a Jeffrey Dahmer or Ted Bundy. What she uncovers is far more terrifying, and soon she - and her book club - are the only people standing between the monster they've invited into their homes and their unsuspecting community.

Season Four

In American Horror Story: Freakshow (2014), it's 1952, a troupe of human curiosities led by Elsa Mars arrives in Jupiter, Florida. Unfortunately, the troupe arrives at the same time that unusual occurrences begin, including Twisty the Clown - a kidnapper and serial killer - sudden appearance. 

If you enjoyed Freakshow, read about this sinister carnival in Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury.

Two boys' lives are changed forever when a sinister travelling carnival stops at their Illinois town.

Season Five

In American Horror Story; Hotel (2015), the Hotel Cortez is a six-story, Art-deco hotel in Los Angeles with a turbulent history. The hotel's owner is Elizabeth Johnson or "The Countess" a glamorous would-be-actress who has been infected by a vampire-like virus. But The Countess' past is coming back to haunt her. Ex-lover and fellow vampire Ramona Royale is bent on revenge and LA homicide detective John Lowe is hot on her trail.

If you enjoyed Hotel, go with another tragic hotel in The Shining, by Stephen King.

Welcome to another deranged and haunted hotel: The Overlook. Jack Torrance has accepted a new job as the off-season caretaker of the grand hotel nestled into the Colorado mountains. He thinks it'll give him plenty of time to reconnect with his wife Wendy and his troubled (and clairvoyant) son Danny, as well as work on his writing. But, as the harsh winter and sense of isolation settle in, the hotel "guests" of long ago turn their sinister thoughts onto Jack, creating serious danger for the family.

Season Six

In American Horror Story: Roanoke (2016), Shelby and Matt Miller win in an auction a beautiful but rundown 18th-century farmhouse in the middle of a North Carolina forest. Unbeknownst to the Millers, the building is in close proximity to the site of the historical and mysterious Roanoke Lost Colony. Through a successful television documentary entitled, My Roanoke Nightmare, My Roanoke Nightmare, it is revealed that Shelby and Matt had a horrifying paranormal experience. In the present day, they return to the Roanoke house in a final showdown with the entities.

If you enjoyed Roanoke, go to the frightening mansion in Home Before Dark, by Riley Sager.

Twenty-five years ago Maggie Holt and her parents, Ewan and Jess, moved to Baneberry Hall, a rambling Victorian estate in the Vermont woods. They spent twenty days there before fleeing in the dead of night, an ordeal Ewan later recounted in a horror memoir, House of Horrors. His tale of ghostly happenings and encounters with the malevolent spirits became a worldwide phenomenon, rivaling The Amityville Horror in popularity - and skepticism.

Maggie has lived her life in the shadow of her father's book, so when she inherits Baneberry Hall after his death, she returns to renovate the house to prepare it for sale. However, her homecoming is anything but warm. People from the past, chronicled in the House of Horrors, lurk in the shadows. And locals aren't thrilled that their small town has been made infamous thanks to Maggie's father.

Even more unnerving is Baneberry Hall itself - a place filled with relics from another era that hint at a history of dark deeds. As Maggie experiences strange occurrences straight out of Ewan's book, she starts to wonder if what he wrote was more fact than fiction. 

Season Seven

In American Horror Story: Cult (2017), the fictional city of Brookfield Heights, Michigan, a community is left divided by the 2016 U.S. presidential election. A dangerous cult leader Kai Anderson decides that using fear as a weapon will establish his twisted goals. 

If you enjoyed Cult, read about another dangerous cult in Cult X, by Fuminori Nakamura.

When Toru Narazaki's girlfriend, Ryoko disappears, he tries to track her down, despite the warnings of a private detective he's hired to find her. Ryoko's past is shrouded in mystery, but the one concrete clue to her whereabouts is a previous address where she lived: in a compound in the heart of Tokyo, with a group that seems to be a cult led by a charismatic guru with a revisionist Buddhist scheme of life, death, and society. Narazaki plunges into the secretive world of the cult, ready to expose himself to any of the guru's brainwashing tactics if it means he can learn the truth about Ryoko. But the cult isn't what he expected, and he has no idea of the bubbling violence beneath its surface. 

Season Eight

In American Horror Story: Apocalypse (2018), after the nuclear apocalypse, the world's chosen elite survivors have been placed into secret underground outposts created by the mysterious Cooperative. The arrival of Michael Langdon, a Cooperative Representative, throws the survivors' world into chaos. The only hope for humanity is the powerful Supreme Witch Cordelia Goode and her coven. This is a crossover season between season 1 (Murder House) and season 3 (Coven).

If you enjoyed Apocalypse and it's very evil spawn, go with Baby Teeth, by Zoje Stage.

Suzette Jensen brought Hanna into the world and was proud to be starting a family with her husband Alex. But Hannah is a difficult child. She's seven years old and has yet to say a word, despite being able to read and write she refuses to behave in class, forcing Suzette to homeschool her. Hanna constantly acts out in anger, becoming more aggressive by the day. The only time she seems to be happy is with her father. Suzette fears there's something inside her little girl that isn't right. As Hanna's acts threaten to pull her and Alex apart, Suzette begins to fear that her life, too, may be in danger.

Season Nine

In American Horror Story: 1984 (2019), Camp Redwood, a summer camp in rural California, gets hit with sudden tragedy: three teenage camp counselors are killed after someone murders them, along with all the other children in the camp. In 1984, Brooke Thompson is attacked by a serial killer, and decides to leave town for the summer to work as a counselor at the newly reopened Camp Redwood with her new friends, but things begin to repeat itself...very quickly. (we do not own Season 9).

If you enjoyed 1984, try this fast-paced thriller by Grady Hendrix, The Final Girl Support Group.

In horror movies, the final girl is the one who's left standing when the credits roll. But after the sirens fade and the audience moves on, what happens to her?

Lynnette Tarkington is a real-life final girl who survived a massacre twenty-two years ago, and it has defined every day of her life since. And she's not alone. For more than a decade she's been meeting with five other actual final girls and their therapist in a support group for those who survived the unthinkable, putting their lives back together, piece by piece.

That is until one of the women misses a meeting and Lynnette's worst fears are realized--someone knows about the group and is determined to take their lives apart again. But the thing about these final girls is that they have each other now, and no matter how bad the odds, how dark the night, how sharp the knife . . . they will never, ever give up.