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'American Horror Story': A primer

Everything you need to know about the ”Murder House” and its very unlucky occupants

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The House

Known as ”Murder House” to true-crime geeks, the brick Victorian was built in 1922 by demented Dr. Charles (Matt Ross) for his unhappy wife, Nora (Lily Rabe). The couple ran an exploitative abortion operation out of the basement. The dwelling has since become a magnet for double homicides and attracted an unspecified number of undead servants and squatters. Among them: housekeeper Moira, who looks like a bitter older maid (Frances Conroy) to some and a sexy young maid (Alexandra Breckenridge) to others; and the ”infantata,” a monstrous, deadly overgrown baby.

The Owners

Meet the Harmons: Ben, a psychiatrist (Dylan McDermott); Vivien, a former cellist (Connie Britton); and angry daughter Violet (Taissa Farmiga). They moved from Boston wanting a fresh start after Vivien’s stillbirth and Ben’s adultery. But the rebuilding project hasn’t gone well. Ben can’t shake a violent patient named Tate (Evan Peters) who’s fallen for Violet…and may be undead himself. Vivien — rattled by a home invasion by ”Murder House” psycho-fans — wants to move, though Violet has threatened to run away if they do. Besides, the stress of moving might be hard on the little one on the way.

The Pregnancy

Hours after having sex with Ben, Vivien got kinky with a dude in a fetish suit presumably left behind by the home’s previous owners, a gay couple who apparently died in a murder-suicide. She assumes it was Ben…but Ben was in the kitchen sleepwalking during the deed. Now she’s pregnant. So who’s the daddy?

The (Unwanted) Visitors

At least two former residents remain obsessed with the house and want something from the Harmons. Larry Harvey (Denis O’Hare) killed his family by setting them on fire and now has terminal cancer. He bludgeoned Ben’s pregnant ex-mistress, Hayden (Kate Mara), when she tried to coerce Ben into financing her move west; her body is currently buried in Moira’s grave under the gazebo. And then there’s Constance (Jessica Lange) and daughter Addy (Jamie Brewer). They’ve been in the neighborhood for decades. When Constance lived in the house in 1983, she found her husband forcing himself on Moira and shot both of them dead.

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